how to rank first on google: a full guide

how to rank fast and first on google

Ranking first on Google is not easy, but there are some effective ways to improve your chances. Here are some tips from the web:

  • Use long-tail keywords that are specific and relevant to your niche.
  • Structure your link-building strategy to optimize your content and make it authoritative.
  • Ensure your website is indexed by Google and follow the technical SEO best practices.
  • Match your content to the search intent of your target audience and provide high-quality information.
  • Reduce your bounce rate by making your website fast, user-friendly and engaging

Long-tail keywords:

Long-tail keywords are longer and more specific keyword phrases that visitors are more likely to use when they’re closer to a point of purchase or when they’re using voice search. They usually have lower search volume than short or “head” keywords, but they also have higher conversion rates because they target a more niche audience. For example, the keyword “meditation” is a “head” keyword because it gets 211k searches per month, while the keyword “meditation for beginners youtube” is a long-tail keyword because it gets only 1.6k searches per month2.

You can use long-tail keywords to optimize your website for search engines and attract more qualified leads. To find long-tail keywords, you can use tools like Keyword Tool or Ahrefs Keywords Explorer which can generate hundreds of suggestions based on your seed keyword.

Long-tail keywords are important for SEO because they can help you rank for less competitive and more relevant terms that match the search intent of your potential customers. For example, if you have a website that sells meditation courses, you might want to target long-tail keywords like “best meditation course for beginners” or “how to meditate for stress relief” instead of just “meditation”. These long-tail keywords are more likely to convert because they show that the searcher is looking for a specific solution that you can provide.

To use long-tail keywords effectively, you need to do some keyword research and find out what your target audience is searching for. You can also look at your competitors’ websites and see what keywords they are ranking for. Then, you need to create high-quality content that answers the questions and needs of your audience and includes your long-tail keywords naturally and strategically. You also need to optimize your title tags, meta descriptions, headings, images, and URLs with your long-tail keywords to help search engines understand what your content is about.

By using long-tail keywords, you can improve your website’s visibility, traffic, and conversions in search engines. You can also build trust and authority with your audience and stand out from the competition.

Examples of long-tail keywords: 

Long-tail keywords are usually made up of three or more words and are more descriptive than short-tail keywords. They also have lower search volume and higher conversion rates than short-tail keywords. Here are some examples of long-tail keywords and their corresponding short-tail keywords:

  • Short-tail keyword: meditation
  • Long-tail keyword: can meditation make you smarter (50 searches per month)
  • Short-tail keyword: red shoes
  • Long-tail keyword: red leather shoes for women (260 searches per month)
  • Short-tail keyword: SEO
  • Long-tail keyword: best SEO course for beginners (480 searches per month)
How do I use long-tail keywords in my content?

To use long-tail keywords in your content, you need to follow these steps:

  • Conduct keyword research to find out what long-tail keywords your target audience is searching for and how competitive they are.
  • Define and target your buyer personas to understand their needs, pain points, goals, and search intent.
  • Brainstorm ways to create high-quality content that answers the questions and provides solutions for your buyer personas1. You can use different formats such as blog posts, videos, podcasts, ebooks, etc.
  • Use long-tail keywords throughout your site content in a natural and strategic way. You can include them in your title tags, meta descriptions, headings, subheadings, images, URLs, and body text. Don’t overuse or force them into your content as this can hurt your readability and SEO.
  • Measure and optimize your results by tracking your rankings, traffic, conversions, and other metrics for your long-tail keywords. You can use tools like Google Analytics, Google Search Console, or Ahrefs to monitor your performance and identify areas for improvement.
How many long-tail keywords should I use per page?

There is no definitive answer to how many long-tail keywords you should use per page, as it depends on various factors such as your niche, your content length, your primary keyword, your user intent, and your competition. However, some general guidelines are:

  • Focus on one primary keyword that best matches the main topic and goal of your page. This should be the most relevant and popular keyword for your target audience.
  • Use secondary keywords as subtopics that support and expand on your primary keyword. These can be synonyms, subtopics, or long-tail variations of your primary keyword. They can help you cover more aspects of your topic and rank for more related queries.
  • Use long-tail keywords naturally and strategically in your content. Don’t try to stuff them or force them into your content. Use them where they make sense and add value to your readers. You can use tools like Ahrefs or Google Keyword Planner to find long-tail keywords that have low competition and high relevance.

The number of long-tail keywords you can use per page may vary depending on the length and depth of your content, but a good rule of thumb is to aim for at least 3-5 long-tail keywords per page.

How do I measure the effectiveness of my long-tail keywords?

To measure the effectiveness of your long-tail keywords, you need to track and analyze various metrics that indicate how well your content is performing in terms of SEO and conversions. Some of the most important metrics are:

  • Rankings: This shows how high your content ranks for your long-tail keywords in the search engine results pages (SERPs). You can use tools like Ahrefs or Google Search Console to monitor your rankings and see how they change over time.
  • Traffic: This shows how many people visit your content from organic search. You can use tools like Google Analytics or Ahrefs to measure your traffic and see which long-tail keywords are driving the most visitors to your site.
  • Click-through rate (CTR): This shows how many people click on your content from the SERPs. You can use tools like Google Search Console or Ahrefs to measure your CTR and see how well your title tags and meta descriptions are attracting clicks.
  • Bounce rate: This shows how many people leave your content after viewing only one page. You can use tools like Google Analytics or Ahrefs to measure your bounce rate and see how well your content is engaging and retaining your visitors.
  • Conversion rate: This shows how many people take a desired action on your content, such as signing up for a newsletter, downloading an ebook, making a purchase, etc. You can use tools like Google Analytics or Ahrefs to measure your conversion rate and see how well your content is persuading and satisfying your visitors.
What are some common mistakes to avoid when using long-tail keywords?

Some of the common mistakes to avoid when using long-tail keywords are:

  • Not researching customer questions first: You should always start your keyword research by understanding what your potential customers are asking and looking for. You can use tools like AnswerThePublic or Ahrefs to find popular and relevant questions related to your topic.
  • Focusing only on long-tail keywords: While long-tail keywords are important for targeting specific and low-competition queries, you should not neglect the head and body keywords that have higher search volume and broader appeal. You should aim for a balanced mix of keywords that cover different stages of the customer journey.
  • Not looking at what your competitors are ranking for: You can learn a lot from analyzing the keywords that your competitors are using and ranking for. You can use tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush to find out what keywords your competitors are targeting, how much traffic they are getting, and what gaps you can fill.
  • Not looking at keyword competition levels: You should always check how difficult it is to rank for your long-tail keywords, as some of them may be more competitive than you think. You can use tools like Ahrefs or Moz to measure the keyword difficulty and see how strong the current ranking pages are.
  • Focusing only on exact-match keywords: You should not limit yourself to using only the exact words and phrases that match your long-tail keywords. You should also use synonyms, variations, modifiers, and related terms that can help you rank for more semantic and natural language queries.
How do I optimize my content for voice search?

To optimize your content for voice search, you need to follow some best practices that can help you rank higher and provide better answers for voice queries. Some of the most effective ways to optimize your content for voice search are:

  • Optimize for rich answers: You should aim to provide clear and concise answers to common questions that can be featured in Google’s rich snippets, such as featured snippets, knowledge panels, and local packs. You can use tools like Semrush or Moz to find out what questions your target audience is asking and how to optimize your content for them.
  • Re-imagine and restructure your content: You should organize your content into logical sections that can be easily scanned and understood by voice assistants. You can use headings, subheadings, bullet points, lists, tables, and other formatting elements to break down your content into bite-sized chunks. You can also use schema markup to help Google understand the structure and meaning of your content.
  • Use conversational language for content: You should write your content in a natural and engaging tone that matches how people speak and search. You can use tools like Aicontentfy or Hemingway to check the readability and clarity of your content. You should also avoid using jargon, slang, or complex terms that may confuse voice assistants or users.
  • Target long-tail keyword phrases: You should focus on using long-tail keywords that reflect how people ask questions and express their intent in voice searches. You can use tools like AnswerThePublic or Ahrefs to find relevant long-tail keywords that match your topic and audience. You should also include modifiers, such as “best”, “how”, “where”, “near me”, etc., that can help you rank for more specific queries.
  • Improve the loading time of your website: You should make sure that your website loads fast and smoothly on mobile devices, as most voice searches are done on smartphones. You can use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix to measure and improve your site speed and performance. You should also optimize your images, videos, scripts, and other elements that may slow down your site.
  • Pay attention to mobile: You should ensure that your website is mobile-friendly and responsive, as voice search users expect a seamless and user-friendly experience on their devices. You can use tools like Google Mobile-Friendly Test or Bing Mobile Friendliness Test Tool to check and improve your site’s mobile compatibility. You should also consider using AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) to boost your site speed and visibility on mobile.
  • Leverage Google Business Profile: You should claim and optimize your Google Business Profile if you have a local business, as this can help you rank higher and provide more information for voice search users who are looking for nearby products or services. You can use tools like Google My Business or Moz Local to manage and update your profile with relevant details, such as name, address, phone number, hours, reviews, photos, etc.

What about keyword cannibalization?

Keyword cannibalization is an SEO issue that occurs when multiple pages on your website target the same or similar keywords and compete against each other for the same Google rankings. This can hurt your site’s organic performance, as it can confuse Google and users about which page is more relevant, authoritative, and useful for the query.

Some of the common causes of keyword cannibalization are:

  • Publishing similar pieces of content over time
  • Publishing a new version of a page without redirecting the old one
  • Creating different paths to the same product category
  • Optimizing similar pages for the same keyword
  • Not optimizing subcategory pages

To find, fix, and prevent keyword cannibalization, you need to audit your site and identify any pages that are competing for the same keywords. You can use tools like Semrush or Ahrefs to help you with this process. Then, you need to decide on the best strategy to resolve the issue, such as:

  • Merging the pages into one
  • Deleting or redirecting the pages
  • De-optimizing or re-optimizing the pages
  • Using canonical tags or noindex tags
  • Creating a clear site structure and hierarchy

How to structure link-building strategy

To structure your link-building strategy to optimize your content, you need to follow some steps that can help you identify, create, and promote link-worthy content that can attract and retain your audience. Some of the steps are:

  • Get to know your audience: You need to understand who your current and ideal audience is, what their needs and preferences are, and what kind of content they are looking for. You can use tools like Google Analytics, Semrush, or Surveys to gather data and insights about your audience1.
  • Make a list of sites that appeal to your audience: You need to research and find relevant and authoritative sites that your audience visits, trusts, and engages with. You can use tools like Ahrefs, Moz, or Majestic to discover and analyze potential link prospects.
  • Write great content: You need to create high-quality and original content that provides value, solves problems, answers questions, or entertains your audience. You can use tools like Yoast, Grammarly, or Hemingway to improve your content quality and readability1.
  • Match content to websites: You need to align your content with the sites that you want to get links from. You can use tools like BuzzSumo, SimilarWeb, or Semrush to find out what kind of content performs well on those sites and tailor your content accordingly1.
  • Reach out: You need to contact the site owners or editors and pitch your content in a personalized and persuasive way. You can use tools like Hunter, Mailshake, or Pitchbox to find email addresses, craft outreach emails, and track responses1.
  • Use social media: You need to leverage social media platforms to amplify your content reach and visibility. You can use tools like Buffer, Hootsuite, or CoSchedule to schedule, share, and monitor your social media posts

Link building is the process of acquiring hyperlinks (also known as “backlinks”) from other websites to your own. It is an essential aspect of SEO meant to improve your website’s search engine visibility and authority. Link building can help you:

  • Increase your organic traffic: Links from relevant and authoritative websites can signal to search engines that your website is trustworthy and valuable, and rank it higher for your target keywords.
  • Build your brand awareness: Links from popular and influential websites can expose your website to a larger and more relevant audience, and increase your brand recognition and reputation.
  • Establish your relationships: Links from reputable and niche-specific websites can help you build connections and partnerships with other webmasters, influencers, or experts in your industry.

There are many link-building strategies that you can use to get more backlinks to your website. Some of the most common ones are:

  • Content marketing: You can create high-quality and original content that provides value, solves problems, or entertains your audience, and promote it to other websites that might be interested in linking to it.
  • Building useful tools: You can create free tools, calculators, widgets, or plugins that can help your audience achieve their goals, and offer them to other websites that might want to embed or feature them.
  • Email outreach: You can contact the owners or editors of other websites that are relevant to your niche, and pitch them your content, tool, or resource in a personalized and persuasive way.
  • Broken link building: You can find broken links on other websites that are related to your topic, create something similar to the broken resource, and ask the webmasters to replace the broken link with a link to your working resource.

Top 8 Link-Building Mistakes to Avoid in 2023:

When creating link building, you should avoid some common mistakes that can harm your SEO performance and reputation. Some of these mistakes are:

  • Ignoring user intent and on-page SEO: You should make sure that your content matches the search intent of your target audience and follows the best practices of on-page SEO, such as using relevant keywords, titles, headings, meta tags, and images.
  • Overusing exact anchor text: You should vary your anchor text and use natural and descriptive phrases that reflect the content of the linked page, rather than repeating the same keyword over and over.
  • Creating low-quality content: You should create high-quality content that provides value, solves problems, or entertains your audience, and avoid thin, duplicate, or spammy content that can hurt your credibility and trustworthiness.
  • Prioritizing quantity over quality: You should focus on getting links from relevant and authoritative websites that can boost your ranking and traffic, rather than chasing a high number of links from low-quality or irrelevant websites that can harm your SEO performance and reputation.
  • Purchasing links from low-quality sites: You should avoid buying links from shady or untrustworthy websites that can get you penalized by Google or damage your brand image. You should earn links organically through creating and promoting valuable content.
  • Failing to personalize your outreach: You should customize your outreach emails and messages to each website owner or editor that you contact, and show them why your content is relevant, useful, or interesting for them and their audience.
  • Not segmenting your outreach list: You should group your outreach prospects based on their niche, authority, location, or other criteria, and tailor your pitch accordingly. You should also prioritize the most promising prospects and follow up with them regularly.
  • Not having an elevator pitch for your content: You should have a clear and concise summary of what your content is about, what value it provides, and why it deserves a link. You should use this pitch in your outreach emails and messages to grab the attention of your prospects.

Buying links for SEO is a controversial and risky practice that can have positive or negative consequences for your website. Buying links means paying another website to link back to your site, usually with the intention of improving your organic rankings on Google. However, Google prohibits buying links and considers it a violation of its Webmaster Guidelines. If Google detects that you are buying links, it can penalize your site by lowering your rankings or removing your site from its index.

Therefore, buying links for SEO is not recommended unless you are aware of the risks and follow some best practices to avoid detection and ensure quality. Some of these best practices are:

  • Identify how many backlinks you need: You should do a thorough keyword research and competitor analysis to determine how many links you need to rank for your target keywords. You should also consider your existing backlink profile and avoid over-optimizing or creating unnatural link patterns.
  • Perform a link gap analysis: You should find out which websites are linking to your competitors but not to you, and target them as potential link prospects. You should also look for relevant and authoritative websites in your niche that can provide value to your audience.
  • Map out your anchor text: You should plan your anchor text strategy carefully and use a variety of natural and descriptive phrases that reflect the content of the linked page. You should avoid overusing exact match or keyword-rich anchor text that can trigger Google’s spam filters.
  • Establish your drip dates: You should schedule your link acquisition over time and avoid getting too many links at once. You should also vary the frequency and volume of your link building to create a natural link velocity.
  • Buy quality backlinks: You should only buy links from reputable and trustworthy websites that have high domain authority, relevance, traffic, and engagement. You should also check the quality of the content, the placement of the link, and the context of the link. You should avoid buying links from low-quality or irrelevant websites that can harm your SEO performance and reputation.
  • Don’t forget about your existing backlinks: You should monitor and maintain your existing backlinks and make sure they are still active, relevant, and valuable. You should also remove or disavow any toxic or spammy backlinks that can negatively affect your SEO performance.

Ensure your website is indexed by Google and follow the technical SEO best practices

how to check if a website is indexed by Google?

There are several ways to check if a website is indexed by Google, such as:

  • Using the site: query operator on Google. For example, if you want to check if is indexed, you can type on Google and see the list of pages that are indexed.
  • Using the URL Inspection Tool on Google Search Console. This tool allows you to enter a URL and see its status in the Google index, as well as any issues or errors that might prevent it from being indexed.
  • Using the Page Indexing report on Google Search Console. This report shows you how many pages of your site are indexed by Google, as well as how many pages are excluded or have errors.
  • Using a third-party tool like Google Index CheckerLinkody, or Onely. These tools allow you to enter multiple URLs or domains and check their indexing status on Google
How long does it take for Google to index a new website?

There is no definitive answer to how long it takes for Google to index a new website, as it depends on many factors, such as the quality, relevance, and popularity of your site, the frequency and speed of your updates, the structure and navigation of your site, and the technical aspects of your site (such as sitemap, robots.txt, HTTPS, etc.).

However, some sources provide some rough estimates based on their experience or research. For example:

  • According to SEOSLY, it can take anywhere from 4 days to 4 weeks for your site to be crawled and indexed by Google.
  • According to Marketkeep, the same range applies, but they also mention that Google’s index is handled by its search algorithm and bots such as the Googlebot.
  • According to The Leverage Way, this range is fairly broad and has been challenged by those who claim to have indexed sites in less than 4 days. They also suggest some tips to speed up the indexing process, such as submitting your sitemap to Google Search Console, creating social media profiles, and building backlinks.
  • According to Search Engine Journal, John Mueller (a Google Webmaster Trends Analyst) says it can take anywhere from several hours to several weeks for a page to be indexed. He suspects that the best content is picked up and indexed within about a week. They also provide some research data on how long it took for different types of pages to be indexed by Google.
  • According to Conductor, the indexing speed can vary depending on the size of your website. They provide some estimates based on their analysis of over 100 websites. For example, they say it can take 3–4 weeks for websites with less than 500 pages, 2–3 months for websites with 500 to 25,000 pages, and 4–12 months for websites with more than 25,000 pages.
Can I request Google to index my site faster?

Yes, you can request Google to index your site faster by using some of the methods listed below:

  • Create and submit a sitemap to the Google Search Console. A sitemap is a file that tells Google about the structure and content of your site, and helps them discover and crawl your pages more efficiently1.
  • Use the URL Inspection Tool in Google Search Console to check if a particular page is indexed. If not, you can request Google to index your page right from the Search Console.
  • Use the Fetch as Google tool in Google Search Console to submit a URL to Google’s crawl queue. This tool allows you to see how Google renders your page and request indexing for it.
  • Build high-quality backlinks from other reputable sites to your site. Backlinks are links from other websites that point to your site, and they help Google discover and index your pages faster, as well as improve your ranking and authority.
  • Share your site or pages on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Social media can help you generate traffic and exposure for your site, as well as attract Google’s attention and encourage them to index your pages faster.
  • Update your site or pages with fresh and relevant content regularly. Google likes sites that are updated frequently and provide value to users, so adding new or updated content can help you get indexed faster and rank higher.
What is the difference between indexing and crawling?

The difference between indexing and crawling is that:

  • Crawling is the process of discovering and analyzing the content and code of web pages by using automated programs called crawlers or spiders. Crawlers follow the links on web pages to find more pages and content on the web.
  • Indexing is the process of storing, organizing, and ranking the content and information found during the crawling process in a huge database called the index. The index is used to provide relevant and fast results to users’ queries

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