5 Simple Steps To A First Page Ranking

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How do you transform your website into a lead-generating asset? What is it that will separate you from your competitors and work to drive in streams of visitors with buyer intent? A calculated strategy on how you approach your optimization can take your business to the next level.

Goal setting

What is it that you would like to achieve from your first campaign? Regardless of the size of your company you will need to consider one goal at a time and establish the plan on how it will become a reality.

A clearly defined goal will set the parameters for what it will take to achieve it. For example, if the goal is 5 new clients a month it suggests a minimum volume of monthly traffic that needs to be generated.

If 4 out of 10 visitors pick up the phone and 1 out of 4 becomes a client then you know that a minimum of 50 people is needed on the site to achieve your goal.

Considering that at best case scenario, the number one ranked website will typically attract between 20-30% of the total traffic, the total keyword volume needs to be a minimum of around 250 searches per month at the number one position and a minimum of 1600 searches in the 10th position (assuming 3% click-through rate).

Keyword research and selection

The volume should be used as one consideration of your keyword selection but not the entire basis of your decision. There are a few stages of planning and filtering to go through when making your keyword selection.

Find the most relevant terms and generate ideas

The first step in identifying your keywords is to list the keyword topic you want your page to rank for and write all of the subtopics that would complete a summary of your topic. This hub topic cluster model will be the basic layout for your content and form the next stage of your keyword planning.

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look for the most direct terms that describe your offering. You need terms that your ideal client would use when searching for your product or service.


Put yourself inside the mind of your client and make a list of the keywords they might use in a search.


You are then going to expand on your list by plugging those terms in a keyword tool of your choice. Mondovo, Ahrefs, and Moz all offer paid and free trial versions to get you started.

Eliminate high competition terms

Once you have narrowed your list down to the most relevant terms you will want to eliminate any terms that are not realistic according to keyword difficulty.

Overly competitive terms are those in which the top ten websites have an excessive number of referring domains or are authority sites such as Wikipedia.

Choose terms with high reward

Filter out the remaining keywords based on volume and commercial value. The highest cost per click and the highest search volume will obviously benefit your site the most.

The list you have remaining should include your target keyword and related keywords to incorporate within your content.

Identify search intent

Content has the stage when it comes to ranking highly in the search results. Search engines assess the ability to satisfy user intent as a major element in determining where your page will rank.

Rather than trying to figure out semantic analysis and how a search engine works, it is much easier to focus on the user to identify the true intent behind the search.

If your keyword was “French press coffee maker” the intent behind the search could include a variety of related topics. As a vendor that sells French presses, it would be wise to include in your content how to use a French press, the best beans to buy, the best grinders for a French press, etc.

By covering a range of related solutions a user may require, you improve your ability to satisfy search intent. Identify related topics by scouting the first page of results. See what is currently ranking for your search term and what topics are being included in the content.

You can take it up a notch by researching forums, social groups and anywhere your potential clients are voicing opinions, concerns, questions or problems related to your keyword topic. Finding common problems is excellent topic to include because you can provide the solution to make your content more valuable.

On-page optimization

Your on-page optimization is an element that cannot be ignored. Here is a quick checklist for where you should place your keyword.

  1. Title
  2. Subtitle
  3. URL
  4. First 100 words of your page
  5. Image alt tags
  6. Meta description

Off-page optimization

There are no websites that rank in the number one position without having some backlinks pointing to them. Acquiring quality backlinks will give your page credibility and authority to outrank your competitors.

Outreach campaign

An outreach campaign is the first choice among SEO consultants and agencies. The process starts with making a list of prospects that link out to content similar to yours.

You can find qualified link prospects by running a backlink check on your competition. Type your competitors URL and run a report so you can check each link and what content was used to link to their page.

If your content is better you have a reason to email the Webmaster to inform them of the new and updated piece of content you’ve published. If your page truly outperforms your competition, you may get them to switch the link.

Either way, build relationships with everyone you contact. If you don’t get the link this time round there’s a good chance they’ll consider linking to your content in the future.

Guest posting

This form of link building can land some high-quality links from blog sites within your niche. All you need is a high-quality article to submit that hasn’t been published anywhere else before.

Search for lists of websites that accept guest posts. There are dozens of websites that have grouped guest-posting sites by industry. Make your way through the list and apply it to the sites whose guidelines match your content.

Get an idea of how many links you need in your competitor’s backlink analysis. You may need to write a lot of articles to get published within an acceptable timeframe. Some sites can take as long as two or three weeks to respond.

Make sure you are linking to the page that you published within the body of your article. The link should be natural rather than forced in order to get approved by the editor.


Creating the first-page appearance for your website typically doesn’t happen overnight, however, with a well-timed strategy that covers the essentials it’s a goal that can be realized with a persistent effort.


Christian Carere is an SEO consultant who works primarily with small to medium businesses. His company, Digital Ducats offers SEO services to improve the quality of traffic and increase the number of leads and new clients a website produces.


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