Is The First Page of Google Really Essential?
The first page of Google, and more than that, the first entry on the first page of Google SERP is the target of everybody. This is not just to win a race and reserve the first position, but rather the traffic it drives is incomparable.
A study done in Cornell University by Laura A. Granka, Thorsten Joachims and Geri Cay revealed that more than 56% of the total traffic on any search is driven by the first result of the first page of Google. Is it not amazing? More than half of the whole traffic goes to the first result. And 88% of the traffic goes to the first 5 results. This proves how important is it to rank your post on the first page of Google. You’ll hardly get any traffic if your post is listed on other than first page.
Why Your Blog Is Not on The First Page of Google?
Well, there might be many reasons – each one more prominent than the other. But whatever, it is certain that your SEO efforts are not in the right direction. You are missing something that prevents you to rank on the first page of Google!
SEO is really vast topic. The term itself is sufficiently capable to confuse any new blogger. On top of that, the multitude of SEO myths and hypes exists to thrash you down to ground. This is why some SEO companies are prospering. It has become a promising career indeed.
The result of its complication made some bloggers to completely ignore SEO and put all of their efforts to community and networking. This must be the reason why some great bloggers made study to run blog without depending on Google. James Pruitt teaches How To Ignore Google And Still Get Higher Search Rankings. Ileane opines bloggers don’t need SEO, Even Mat Cutt Says You Don’t Need SEO to Blog.
They are not wrong in any respect. If you can harness the social network and build your powerful empire out of community, you’ll hardly need to crave to crawl up to the first result in search page. Saying that, can you just ignore the hoard of free traffic from search engines (we call them organic traffic)? That’s great and that’s all free!
On the other hand, refer to Charles Mburugu with 6 SEO Mistakes You MUST Avoid or Mitz on Ileane’s blog with a post 10 Major SEO Practices to Avoid Like the Plague to get some idea about how fatal it can be to avoid SEO and not optimizing your post well.
Let me cut it short and remove the complication.
How do I get on the first page of Google?
Let us cut this SEO into two halves – the on-page and off-page. By off-page we understand all the search engine optimization efforts made out of your own site. This includes listing in directories, submitting feeds, submitting sitemaps, social networking, link building (buy backlinks, acquire links through blog commenting, guest posting, relevant anchor text, one way linking, reciprocal linking, link building rate, neighbourhood and so on). It requires more knowledge, practice, time and effort. By on-page-SEO we understand all the tasks and practices done to optimize from inside the website. It includes keywords, keyword density, title, description, images, text length, internal linking, headings, css, scripts and so on.
Answer each of the question below and if you answer is positive, you made your way up to the first page of google almost secure. Rest will depend on off-page-SEO.
Is Your Blog Blacklisted by Google?
What could be more of misfortune than this. No matter how great content, no matter how well optimized your blog, if it is in Google blacklist, you’ll never appear on the first page of Google.
I check the Google blacklist once in every month. Because I host my blog on HostGator, it offers free SEO Tools from Attracta. It has a tool to scan through the list to check whether my blog entered there. If you are planning to buy a new hosting, I strongly recommend HostGator. Apart from most reliable hosting and superb support, HostGator offers some awesome tools.
Though you don’t have HostGator hosting, you can still create an account on attracta.com and check if your blog is on Google blacklist.
Did you submit sitemap to Google?
Submitting sitemap is very necessary. This will ensure that Google has all of your links to crawl. If Google has links to your site, you can expect it to visit and index it sooner. Please refer to my earlier article if you don’t know what is a sitemap and how to generate and submit sitemap to Google. For WordPress blogs, you can find some awesome plugins to do regularly for you.
Do you have Facebook Page and Twitter Profile for your blog?
Needless to say, Facebook and Twitter are most dominating social networks where you can throw updates about your blog and your links. Though these networks allow only ‘nofollow’ links (refer to mypost if you don’t know What is nofollow) but their coverage and influence is irresistible. Having a Facebook page and twitter profile dedicated to your blog can boost your SEO practices. Connecting with pages of other blogs and blogger you can start creating your community.
Do you have primary and secondary keywords for your post?
It is always beneficial to go through a small keyword research and identify a handful of primary keywords as well as few more secondary keywords. Google Keyword Research Tool (https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal) is free and best you can find for this purpose. Look at the broad search, exact match and phrase search to determine which keywords are better over others. You’ll surprise to see the amount of change in traffic to use one keyword over the other. If you have Google Ads or other CPC Ads, you should consider the Approximate CPC as well.
Does your keyword appear in title, URL and SEO title?
These three places are very important from SEO point of view. Make sure you’ve injected as many keywords in your post title, url (WordPress calls it slug) and SEO Title. Please note that SEO Title is different from your post title. (refer to my earlier post if you don’t know the difference between SEO Title and Post Title. This is one of the three essential SEO tasks you must do right now).
Try to make your SEO Title attractive to search engine users while injecting keywords. Limit number of characters to 65-70 to avoid cropping it in search result page (refer How long is your post title?).
Are you keywords in first and last sentences?
This is another important SEO tips you should follow while writing blog posts. Search engines consider the beginning and ending of the post more valuable. So place your keywords in those sentences.
I saw around 30% change in SEO Score after I inject the keyword on first and last sentence while measuring with SEO Pressor. If you have this plugin you can get idea and suggestion on SEO Score. SEO Pressor is really recommended for any blogger.
Are your keywords Bold, Italic and Underlined?
Format your keywords inside post. Bold, italic and underlined words are paid more attention by crawlers. If you have your keywords formatted in this way, search engines will care what you want them to see. You are guiding them what to read on your post.
Keep the keyword density in 2% to 3%
Search engines measure keyword density and assign score to pages that can be the cause to avoid you from listing on the first page of Google. If you keyword density is too high, Google consider it as spamming (keyword stuffing) and if it is too low, the keyword is irrelevant to the post. Thus a perfect balance is a must.
Thanks to Kimberley to suggest me to buy SEOPressor WordPress Plugin. It measures keyword density and offers appropriate suggestions to optimize the blog post.
Does your theme implement H1 for post titles?
The heading tags are another important aspect to optimize your posts for search engines. If you theme does not use H1 tag for blog post title, you better think about customizing or changing the theme.
I made a recent change in theme and now I use Profits Theme. This one is great from SEO point of view as well as a valuable tool for Internet Marketers.
Use keywords inside H2 & H3 tags
Apart form having keywords in blog posts which is wrapped by H1 tag, you should use H2 and H3 tags and keywords inside them.
H2 and H3 headings can be the best place for secondary keywords and synonyms.
I feel is often uncomfortable to use all the H1, H2 and H3 tags on a post but as far as possible you should try to.
Are your images optimized?
Images are other important aspect of any blog post. Images are entertaining and attractive to the readers as well as Google likes them. However, you should care if your images are optimized or not.
Make sure you are using right sized images (not scaled with width and height attribute of IMG tag). Having correct sized image will help to reduce file size and load your blog faster.
Use descriptive Alt and Title attribute on those images. Use your keywords in Alt tag and description. (read What is Alt Tag and Let your images speak with crawlers)
Are your posts too short?
Bing from the beginning indexed only the posts with longer text. After the panda update, Google too preferred longer post. So if you are writing posts less than 400 words, its very hard to rank and reach up to the first page of Google. 1000+ posts are better preferred if you wish to rank it higher.
Does you post link to other posts in the blog?
Please make sure you link with other posts in the blog with relevant anchor text. Posts linked with each other are favored by crawlers. After all they are the links that makes crawler possible to work.
I uses Insights WordPress plugin to find related posts from my blog. You just type the keyword and click search right from your post editing window. You can link the related posts with just a click.
Add rel=”nofollow” for all those links for what you don’t want to rank for. Similarly add nofollow attribute to all the outgoing links unless you want to share the link love. Too many outgoing links can dilute your SEO score.
Well, those were the question and I hope you found the reason why your posts are not on the first page of Google. Wish you happy blogging and may your posts always reserve the first page of Google.
Incoming search terms: