Number One on Google – How I Did It
Posted on September 6, 2013
Ooooh, I love it when a plan comes together! I’m now number one on Google for the keyword “social media management” in Google.ie. To get this ranking in less than two months with a brand new WordPress site is kinda sweet and I figured I might as well tell you exactly what I’ve done to get number one on Google.
As always, first things first. How did I spot that I was number one on Google? Well, I have an SEO routine and on a daily basis I monitor the progress of my keywords to try ascertain if what I’m doing is paying off. So, the first thing you’ve got to do to get to number one is form a routine. “But Rob, what routine?”, I hear you ask – read on.
Number One on Google – How I Did It
As part of my daily routine I do the following things. Some of them are more time consuming than others, some more boring than others but as I’ve mentioned time and time again, you’ve got to push yourself.
- Do keyword research to find some juicy keywords (juicy being high volume, low competition) and then iterate with the best keywords you find. Continually build your keyword list – you’ll find that it itself will become a source of content creation and give you ideas for blog posts.
- Write blog posts – lots of them, and with every post you write have it focused on one particular keyword. When you’re writing blog posts you are, to a degree, writing for two audiences. The first audience is your fellow man – who like to be entertained and enlightened in equal amounts. The second audience is Google, and if you want to get to number one in Google, you can’t forget to optimise your posts. On-site optimisation is the bedrock of any SEO success. At times Google can seem to be heartless but you still have to cater to it, one of the most demanding audiences going.
- Expand your social footprint and embrace the social media grind. As SEO and social continue to merge you’ve got to get yourself in the game. Just go for it. Don’t hum, don’t haw, just go for it….with this little caveat. Don’t go for it in the mindset that you’d imagine you should approach business in. You’ve got to give before you get. Turn your intuition upside-freaking-down and dip your toes well and truly into social media, or new media, or whatever they’re calling it these days. (Feel free to track me down – links are on the right hand side.)
- Leave blog comments on other peoples blogs that relate to your niche. When leaving comments, like I said before, don’t go on a spamathon-blog-comment-binge-fest but instead leave comments that you’d like to receive. And, when leaving comments, use the same e-mail address that is associated with your Google + property. I’m not entirely sure how or why but I think Google Plus is going to become more and more important to SEO going forward and the things you do across the social web using your Google + account the better.
- Go to forums, read blog posts about your niche, leave comments and interact. On some boards you can create a signature and have a link back to your site (you can even use anchor text for some of them, schwing). Don’t go to spammy forums though – go to reputable ones. With nearly everything you do online bear in mind that Google is watching. With the Penguin and Panda updates if you want to get to number one on Google the links coming back to your site have to be reputable, junk links begets junk rankings.
- Keep your SERPs neat and tidy. No one likes a messy house – especially Google. Pay attention to all alerts you get in Google Web Master Tools and redirect 404’s or fix whatever errors you have as and when they appear. And errors will occur, they always do, just don’t freak out and fix them – simples.
- Iterate and improve! Always be on the look out for new ways to improve your SEO efforts. Spend a part of your day studying, researching and understanding so that you can continue to iterate and improve.
Number One on Google – How I Did It
Woah boy, this post is getting long – if you’ve read down all this way then fair dues – push on! It’ll be worth it when you can capture a screen shot or two of your keywords ranking number one on Google.
The above 7 things form the basis of what I do every day (or, try to do every day, we’re all only human and clients work comes first but aim for every day!) and as the screen shots show they have thankfully paid off and I’m number one on Google for social media management. Do I think the above 7 things are enough for every site to get to number one? Being honest, no.
“it’s gotten a whole lot more holistic”
The Google game has changed. It’s no longer just about the backlinks or on-site SEO, it’s gotten a whole lot more holistic. Site speed, host location, host type – these things have now come into play.
Also, the platform you choose is key. From my point of view, if you want to build a site that will get organic web traffic and get to number one on Google then use WordPress. It will make the aforementioned daily routine a lot more efficient. The way WordPress stores data is very Google friendly and hence Google rewards it with higher rankings. I’m not saying that simply using WordPress is like sprinkling angel dust on your SEO mission, you’ll still have to embrace the grind, but if you were ever going to get there, you’ll get there quicker with WordPress.
Anyway, there you have it – pretty much all the things I’ve done on near daily basis to get to number one on Google. Now that I’m here it’s time to iterate – always iterate!
Leave a comment below if you’ve any tips or tricks on how you got to number one on Google – sharing is caring and all that good stuff.
Angie M Jordan
September 6, 2013 (2:15 am)
First off, congrats! That’s an excellent keyword to be found for and quite competitive. You bring up all great tips for getting better Google ranking. I like how you mention that it’s a daily routine, because SEO is a process and if you do the things you mentioned above daily then you will definitely see results. Great tips!
September 6, 2013 (2:19 am)
Cheers Angie, appreciate the comment. And ye, SEO is all about the routine, and constantly trying to improve and re-iterate..way I see it, if I don’t do it and try get a better ranking – someone else will..
September 6, 2013 (8:54 am)
Excellent case study, and well done! This strategy is really achievable for most small business owners who can spend just a couple of hours per week on their own SEO. Just genuine, real, backlinks that Google would love. Great work, I love to hear about someone doing their own SEO successfully (and I’m going to share this blog in my Facebook group too)
September 6, 2013 (11:56 am)
Hi Claire – cheers for the comment and sharing with your FB group – appreciated :) It’s all about doing a little, a lot..Rob
September 6, 2013 (3:07 pm)
Well done Rob not bad in 2 months!
I wanted yo point out something I realised when I found my self at #1 on Google for “Nav Calculator” searches.
When I tested the search logged out from Google or on a different pc I wasn’t #1
But also when I search Google.com instead of Google.ie my rank dropped too.
Then one day in Asia I tried again and my #1 spot was now on the second page!
Please don’t let this take away from great advice for SEO but as an extra check worth doing.
Every time you search for your keywords and click your link it gets promoted slightly so repeatedly doing this can be self fulfilling and effective for your locale.
September 6, 2013 (4:41 pm)
Hi Damien, cheers for the comment my good man..Ah, nav calculators – flash backs to my fund accounting days, could have been a lot handier with your calculator probably…
But ye, now we’re getting into the good stuff re Google and rankings. You’re bang on that there are differences between Google.ie and .com and admittedly it’s easier to rank in the .ie compared to the .com but milestones on route to the ultimate success..
To check my rankings I use SEO Ranking which gives a pretty unbiased result set – the top image in the post is a screen shot from that tool. The 2nd screen shot is like double verification because like you said – rankings are personalised and can sometimes flatter only to deceive.. The overlap of S + YW (Search + Your World) is going to shake up the SERP even more as we’ll see more and more content that has been +1’d by friends and what have you.. There’ll be lots of people in the number one spot on Google then.. I also came across a stat a while back, and if memory serves, it’s like between 8% – 13% of Google search results that is straight unbiased search, ie, no news articles, no rich snippets, no images of the author which is crazy if you think about it..
You’re also right about which link gets clicked in the SERP. If Google sees that the top result gets nothing but bounces or has a low click through rate then it’ll drop it…ergo, search until you find me, click through and stay for more than 10 seconds ;) Rob
September 6, 2013 (3:42 pm)
Interesting post, especially the parts about blog comments and forum links, I was reading how these were becoming less important, so very interesting to note that these worked. I’m guessing your were very specific/selective on where you posted these? Good article.
September 6, 2013 (4:48 pm)
Hi Phil, thanks for the comment and delighted to hear you thought it was a good article..
Yes, it is true that the value of forum links and blog comment links have diminished however doing these things regularly can help oil the other parts of your SEO machine whilst en route to the number one spot on Google. For example, reading other blogs will help you find people in your niche to stalk on social media, it may give you ideas for your own blog content and it can serve as part of your continuous study – lots of bloggers out there with lots of good info.. So, whilst I can’t attribute a particular weighting to blog comments/forum comments or say that it accounted for X % of my SEO that got me to number one on Google I can say that it sure didn’t harm the efforts.
Your guess is correct though and an important point. DON’T leave comments on spammy websites. Take a few minutes to check the blog homepage and see what PR it has. Check to see if links or dofollow or no follow. If the blog triggers any of your antivirus things for malware/spyware/etc then don’t even think about leaving a comment. Everything you do online has to be done with the mindset of “If Matt Cutts were to see me doing this, what would he say?”.. Cheers, Rob
September 6, 2013 (6:53 pm)
Congrats on your Serp Result.
Your website has a bit of a “Moz” feel to it :)
I need to learn how to properly clean up my Serps, as an early stage (ok, still haven’t left the station , SEO !)
And finally, you may want to explain a bit more about the “Angel Dust” comment. Cool for any middle aged person of agricultural persuasion in places like Longford, but outside of that, the uber city folks may not get the whole point here on the white power situation …. it’s all good.
Peace Out, l8rs
September 6, 2013 (7:46 pm)
Hi John, cheers for the comment.. Never thought the site had a Moz feel but I’ll gladly take that hehe.. Tidying up SERPs is best started in the early stages – form the right habits from the get go.. I’ll do a post on SERP tidy up at a later stage..
Hehe, apologies for my colloquialisms but, I guess what I meant with angel dust was that simply using WordPress as a platform for your site is not going to guarantee success – there is no silver bullet.
I do think using WordPress gives your site the best chance at getting to number on Google though. When harnessed, the SEO benefits of the WordPress platform has an affect akin to angel dust. I remember doing SEO work for other non WordPress sites and can say hands down WordPress is the platform to use to get to number one on Google. Rob
September 10, 2013 (7:50 am)
I’m implementing almost everything you mentioned above and wow! You got to page 1 without any long tail before or after your keyword.
Well I’ve got dozens of question for you :)
1. Do you use USA only or you use all locations on google keyword planner?
2. How long did it take you to get to page 1 for that keyword. Weeks? A month?
3. What’s the monthly search range of keywords you go for. Well mine is 1000 – 5000 and it’s working great for me.
Now talking about your tips, I’m a blog commenting and guest posting addict but I gave up forums sometime ago, I guess I’ll have to think twice.
I guess this is the first or second time dropping a comment on your blog. I fell in love with it on first sight :) I’m over to your older posts and I hope they help me.
September 10, 2013 (12:25 pm)
Hi Gilbert, thanks for the comment. I’ll try answer your questions for you now.
1) No, I don’t use USA in the keyword planner, I use Ireland as that’s my primary market. (Well, I used Ireland in the keyword research tool, I haven’t found Ireland in the keyword planner yet so use UK as it’s closest)
2) I launched this site around the 15th of July.
3) In and around the figures you mentioned, a touch above maybe..
I think some forum comments with anchor text backlinks in your sig can be beneficial. Again, forums that require X amount of posts before you get a sig are generally better as that system ensures that no spam links get littered all over the site which, should in theory, mean your link is in the right kind of company in the eyes of Google. Best of luck with all Gilbert and hope you enjoy some of my other posts.
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November 28, 2013 (11:02 pm)
hey i was doing some white hat tactics to get my website a little higher in google search rankings and the pages have been banned i think :(… how long before these will be relisted or have you heard of anything like this happening before?
P.s. it was keywords the same colour font as the background which i have removed now but the website hasnt returned to google search results
November 28, 2013 (11:13 pm)
Hey John – I don’t think hiding your keywords by giving them the same colour as your background would classify as white hat tactics I’m afraid, so removing them was a good idea. It’s possible that that may have caused a penalty.
Also, I just checked your domain and I see it’s just over 6 weeks old so that could be causing the fluctuations – not uncommon for sites to bob up and down in the early days but not certain if that’s the cause.
Check your Google Web Master Tools to see if you have received any notifications there..If you want ping me an e-mail and we can take it from there. Rob
Stace Ace Flick
December 8, 2013 (12:43 am)
Loving the tips Rob,
Video video video .. It’s one if the easiest things to rank nowadays and with Google owning Youtube this is a sure thing to throw into the mix of SEO .. oh .. HANGOUTs as well, these are even easier than regular video to rank. For anyone who’s reading this go try this out. Find a keyword with Web 2.0 properties on the 1st page of Google. Then create a Hangout with the title optimized for that keyword, just watch how fast it will get ranked. Your talking hours .. Hangouts ROCK ..
December 8, 2013 (1:26 pm)
Thanks for reading Stace.. I haven’t actually dipped my toes into Hangouts yet but it is well and truly on my to do list, shall probably grace the G+ silver screen before year end hehe.. Will see how the Hangout ranks then..Rob
January 13, 2014 (5:19 am)
Great post !! Came here at first through Themeforest .. Since then following this blog ..
Great content !!
Congrats on going to the top !! Great blog !!
January 14, 2014 (10:12 pm)
Thanking you Ramnath, hope you continue to follow and find the blog useful…and there is always another peak on the horizon :)
James Z Dooley
February 21, 2014 (8:22 am)
This has been one of the most informative and open blogs I have read for a long time. Thanks a lot Robert mate. I will add you on google plus now to my circles and also try to connect on social platforms. I have a few questions for you which i will probably email through if thats ok??
February 21, 2014 (1:34 pm)
Hi James, cheers for reading the post and glad you find it useful.. Please do track me down on social media and ye, by all means, ping me an e-mail and we’ll take it from there :)
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March 18, 2016 (10:46 am)
Very helpful and well done.I too have a routine and it’s a never ending learning curve. Great to hear tips from a success story like yourself especially the bit about Webmaster tools and 404s. It’s amazing how far back Google remembers old pages. I’m not at no 1 due to stiff competition in my niche but I’m hitting the top 5 and top 3 some days but using the same methods my other site is no1 constantly. Since the last Algorithm update search results seem to change daily and even within a day. Always learning.
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