As content creators, many of us aspire and work towards having our content to rank on the first page of Google. Much of my content does now land on the first page of Google. There are a few things I do and tools I use to ensure my content is not only seen from social shares but through organic Google search. I have heard the question of, “how to rank on the first page of Google” many times. I wanted to take the time to share some tips.
It’s important to create content that is so good, it leaves your audience drooling.
But what good is that content if no one sees it? That is why SEO is so important and why content creators stress over hitting that first page Google rank.
How to Rank on the First Page of Google
What is SEO?
We already know what SEO stands for– search engine optimization. I hate Wikipedia’s definition of SEO because it’s not in English. But for the sake of being accurate, here it is: “Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine’s unpaid results.”
In my own words: SEO is optimizing your content in a way that causes a higher search result based on a certain keyword(s).
Think of SEO as the shiny wax you see on apples at the grocery store. That shiny wax is so appealing that it causes more people to choose the shiny apples over the dull looking apples.
That was probably a horrible real life example. Let’s not do that again.
In other words, SEO is the message to Google to choose to add your post above others.
So if your article is a DIY tutorial for a Christmas wreath, you want your article to be in the top results when someone searches “DIY Christmas wreath.”
There are over 2 million blog posts published each day. You want to be at the top. Many people don’t go beyond the third page of Google search results.
*You will find affiliate links in this post, meaning I earn a commission from any purchases you make. You can get the details on my disclosure here.*
I am going to share 5 things I do to rank on the first page of Google as well as increase my click-through rate.
Show Me How to Rank on the First Page of Google
First of all, what makes me an expert? I’m not. But, I have had my content ranked on the first page of Google numerous times.
Here are a couple recent examples.
Now that you have seen my “proof”, here are the 5 tips on how you can make it happen for you.
If you are on WordPress, use the Yoast plugin. It really is a lifesaver. When creating a blog post, it has a red, orange, and green indicator to let you know just how good your SEO is for that post. Yoast has a “checklist” of items it goes by to let you know what you could do to reach the green indicator. As I am writing this, I am currently at orange. I like to finish my post, add my images, then check Yoast to see if any improvements need to be made at that point. Here is my current analysis. I will show you my ending analysis at the completion of this post.
If you are on Squarespace, SEO is not dead for you. Check out this article by Nesha Woolery on some Squarespace SEO myths.
Use a Headline Analyzing Tool
One of the ways to ensure your article is chosen from the millions of others is to have a great headline. Elna Cain shared more on what makes a good headline in our recent summit. You can still grab the all-access pass for The Mom Project summit in case you missed it!
My favorite tools for analyzing headline is CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer. Simply enter in the headline you are considering and it will give you an analysis on word balance, length, and provide insight on sentiment or emotional response. It will also give you a preview of how your headline will look on a Google search page and if you used it as an email headline.
Use a Keyword Search Tool
Being able to use a keyword search tool to help you choose better keywords. There are a few options out there such as the Google’s Keyword Planner. I personally use Jaaxy. It’s free to use for up to 30 keyword searches. I have had it for a few months and I still have searches left! It does a great job of showing you how a keyword ranks as well as some other similar keywords. It is best to use long-tail keywords or keyword phrases. For example, it’s better to use “plants that grow best in the winter” versus “winter plants.” You want to choose keywords that don’t compete with other keywords so that you will appear in those high ranking results. We call those”low competition keywords”. Here is a video of how I use Jaaxy to choose keywords.
Put Your Keywords in Your Images
Another way to add in those keywords is to add them to your images. For example, I will be saving my images with “how to rank on the first page of Google” in the description for saving as well as in the “Alt Text” field when adding them to my post. Here is a look at the details of the photo below. I have my keyword in the image file name and in the “Alt Text” field.
Change Your Meta Description
When using Yoast, you have the ability to update your meta description, or the description people see under your post headline when searching keywords on Google. To not only increase your SEO but also your click through rate, be sure to update this description before you hit “Publish”. Before updating your meta description, Yoast will only have what your blog post says at the beginning of your post by default.
It is best to change that description so that you have your keywords in the description, which helps with SEO, as well as to increase your click through rate. When you Google something, you don’t just hit the first option that pops up. You read the title and the description in order to find the link that best fits what you are searching for.
The more click-throughs, the more your link will increase in ranking. If your link is number two and it is clicked more than the link above yours, Google will soon see that your link is performing better than the first option and increase your rank.
Remember, Google ranks content according to the user, so your description should be catered to your ideal audience and reader.
I update my description to reflect my keywords and convey what will be learned if the user clicks on my link.
After doing all five of the above-mentioned tips, my Yoast has gone from orange to green.
Now, Yoast is not the end all be all. It is simply a guide.
Things to remember outside of these tips, create great content and use your keywords more than once in a blog post–specifically in the title, in a headline, in the body, and in the actual post link. Use things like videos in your blog posts as well.
Grab my Pre-Publish SEO checklist with more action items to help you remember what things to do next time you create an epic blog post that you want the world to see!
Grab the Checklist!
Grab the Pre-Publish SEO Checklist!