Why is it so important to rank on the first page of Google? A study found that sites on the first page of Google’s search results had an average click through rate (CTR) of 32.5%, the second page got 17.6% and the third page received a measly 11.4%.
Staying on the first page of Google is therefore mission critical for those of you who want to generate more traffic and get more leads. Now, how the hell do you get on the first page of Google? Here’s what you need to know:
1. Identify highly-effective keywords when looking for ideas
Once you have a blog post idea, the first step is to target the right keywords within the topic itself.
Ahrefs lets users determine keyword ideas, keyword difficulty, annual search volume trends, and other handy metrics for honing in on the right words to use and highlight in your articles. Their database has more than 3 billion keywords and advanced insights on related keywords to target.
2. Place keywords throughout blog posts
Once you’ve determined the keywords that you want to target, it’s time to place them as you write the blog. Make sure that the words naturally fit in each sentence. So, no throwing out words like “Brand Awareness” in an article about Google rankings, OK?
For SEO purposes, you’ll need to place the main target keyword in the following places of the post:
- Headings and subheadings
- Meta description
- Image alt text (search engines can’t read images)
- Within the post itself
3. Link to high-ranking websites
When it comes to link building, birds of a feather tend to flock together.
If you want to get noticed by Google, you need to link to high-authority and reputable websites. In addition to telling Google that you really do know what you’re talking about, this also shows readers that you get your material from relevant sources.
A good tip for driving up your search engine street cred is to add research-backed insights and statistics to add credibility to your arguments.
4. Publish longer posts
It’s no secret that readers prefer longer and in-depth content. So, it makes sense that longer posts are more likely to rank on the first page of Google’s search results.
In fact, SearchMetrics found that the average word count of top-ranked content in Google is between 1140 and 1285 words. Curata also found that longer and more in-depth blog posts generated 9x more lead than shorter ones.
Having said that, when it comes to word count, is more always better? Coschedule found that only 10-20% of their readers reach to the bottom of a post - so there’s clearly a balance to be struck here.
Not many religiously finish reading blog posts and landing pages. The solution? Write scannable blog posts that are easier to read.
5. Add internal links
Place internal links within your blog posts so readers are encouraged to stay on your site longer. See above with our clever link to our pillar article on Brand Awareness in Step 2 if you need a reference point. See what we did there?
If they read more content and find out more about your brand, this could also lead to potential conversions - people who’ve been shy up to this point about pulling the trigger on your particular call to action may now trust your expertise enough to entertain a conversation.
For example, Hubspot’s articles mention related articles to get readers to browse their website.
6. Optimize images to increase site speed
There’s a lot of perks to adding more visuals in your blog posts but they can have an effect on your site speed. We’ve all experienced a website that we were stoked to visit, that seems to get bogged down and won’t open quickly enough. This kind of friction turns away potential converters and is the perfect reason why site speed should still remain as a top priority.
Additionally, Google offers preferential treatment to websites that load faster. The quicker your site loads, the lower the bounce rate. You can easily determine load times through Google’s PageSpeed Insights.
Fortunately, you can reduce the lag and maintain the number of images through free image optimization tools. These tools can reduce your image size with a minimal loss in quality. All you need to do is upload the photo and download the reduced version.
7. Conduct link building strategies
How do you build traffic for your blog? Most marketers consider writing guest posts on niche publications or collaborating with business websites.
Simply reach out to editors with a simple email like this:
You can also create blog posts that editors want to link to. These could be valuable assets such as research results, thought leadership posts, infographics, or interesting insights that people won’t find anywhere else.
For example, Hubspot aggregates relevant email marketing statistics which ultimately leads sites to constantly link back to their articles:
There you have it, folks - a tried and tested formula for getting your blog post on the first page of Google. Subscribe to our blog and stay tuned for next week for our post where we answer the question, “Should you insource or outsource your website developer?”.
Article written by Monique Danao