Ranking higher on Google organically for keywords related to your business and the services you provide can be a game-changer.

Ranking your website on the first page of Google can give you :

  • Free website traffic to your website each month
  • Good quality leads with people searching for your services
  • New clients without needing to pay for ads
  • Predictable results every month

So the big question is, how do you rank higher on Google?

Well, before you rank higher on Google, you need to make sure you can convert website visitors into leads automatically.

You can do this by using an automated appointment funnel.

This funnel is designed to automatically convert strangers into clients without any extra work on your end.

To learn how to create this funnel step by step, watch this free training here.

After watching the free training, keep reading the rest of this article to learn how to rank higher on Google.

How to rank on the first page of Google

It’s not enough to rank “higher” on Google. You need to rank on at least the first page. And more specifically, it’s better to rank within the first 5 positions of Google.

This is because over 80% of the traffic from Google searches will click on one of the websites in the top 5 positions.

So, even if you rank on page 1 (position 6) or page 2 on Google, it’s a good start, but you probably won’t see much difference in website traffic.

Many of my clients have made 7-8-figure yearly incomes directly from Search Engine Optimization (SEO). I started my journey in digital marketing over 10 years ago by building, growing and selling websites that ranked high on Google.

I did all this before I started my lead generation company.

And even today SEO lead generation is still one of my best and most profitable lead gen strategies.

Has SEO changed a lot in the last 10+ years?

SEO has changed a lot in recent years, but the main SEO principles still remain the same. They are:

  • Have an SEO-friendly website (all the techy stuff)
  • Create content that answers the search intent of users better than anyone else
  • Get other websites linking to your website

When it comes down to it, those are the three most important ranking factors with Google.

But chances are you didn’t click on this article to read a “brief overview” of how to rank on Google.

Instead, let’s dive deeper into the exact details of what you need to do to start seeing real tangible SEO results as quickly as possible.

How to rank higher on Google with SEO (a beginners guide)

The first step to creating a winning SEO strategy is to educate yourself on how SEO (Search Engine Optimization) works.

When it comes to SEO, contrary to popular belief, you do not need to be some kind of SEO genius to get results and understand how the Google algorithm works.

You just need to follow some simple SEO principles.

In this article, I will share with you 3 principles that will help you rank higher on Google (and other search engines) that will stand the test of time – regardless of any future changes in the Google algorithm.

See the video version of this article here:

Step 1. Have a search engine friendly website

Good SEO is a lot like building a house. Like any house, it needs to be built on strong foundations.

With SEO, your website is the foundation of your whole SEO strategy.

If you have a weak foundation it doesn’t matter what you do to the house, it won’t last very long. Similarly, having weak website SEO foundations will hurt the rest of your SEO effort.

On the other hand, building a house with strong foundations will be much easier to build a house that lasts a long time and looks great. And if you build a website with strong SEO foundations, it will help you get much better and quicker SEO results with everything else you do.

So, in other words, a good search engine friendly website will make it easier for you to be found by Google. A website that is not search engine friendly will make everything else you need to do to rank higher on Google much harder.

You need to keep many things in mind when building an SEO-friendly website.

Here is a simple checklist to make sure your website is as SEO friendly as possible – try to answer “yes” to as many of these as possible:

Is your website PageSpeed score fast?

A fast website is critical since the Google Core Web Vitals update. You can check its speed using the Google PageSpeed Score checker.

If you have a low score, you’ll need to fix it.

Is your website on WordPress? If so, this is the best WordPress plugin to increase your website speed. It’s the same one I use on this website, and it works perfectly.

It’s a little more expensive than other SEO site speed plugins, but it’s also easier to use and an all-in-one solution (which means you don’t need multiple plug-ins to do the same job, which is what you need with cheaper SEO alternative site speed plug-ins).

You install it on your WordPress website, and with the click of a button, your site speed will go from “poor” to “perfect” (or almost perfect) in a few minutes.

It really is incredible how well it works!

If you’re not using WordPress, you’ll need to check with your web developer or web host to see what you can do to increase your site speed if you have a low Google PageSpeed score.

In some rare cases, you might even need to hire a web developer to help you with this (e.g., if you have a custom-built website that doesn’t work with other 3rd party plugins).

Is your website responsive and mobile-friendly?

Google wants to ensure that everyone visiting your website has a great experience. Nothing annoys website visitors more than a bad user experience.

Some website elements that can cause a bad user experience include:

  • Pop-ups
  • Too many ads
  • Text or images that are too small for mobile devices
  • Navigation menu or links that don’t work
  • A non-mobile-friendly website

If you install Google Search Console (it’s free!) on your website, you can see if your website is mobile-friendly or not, according to Google.

Are the pages, text, etc, crawlable by Google?

If Google can’t properly crawl your website, then it will never rank on Google.

There are two ways to see if your website can be crawled by Google.

FIRST: Go to Google.com and type in site:example.com and replace “example.com” with your own domain name. If you see lots of web pages show up, this means Google has found your website.

SECOND: Install Google Search Console, and Google will tell you if there are any pages it can’t crawl.

If Google isn’t crawling your website, you must ensure your website settings aren’t blocking search engines.

If your website is new, it can take time for Google to crawl it.

You can speed up the process by requesting that Google index your website by copying and pasting your website or web page URL in the “Inspect URL” section of the Google Search Console, as seen here:

Google search console inspect any URL

Then Google will allow you to click on a button that says “Request Indexing”.

Do you have an SSL certificate on your domain?

According to Google, having a secure website is now a ranking factor. You can check if your website has an SSL certificate by going to https://www.example.com and replacing example.com with your domain name.

If you can access your website on “https://” without any errors, then you have a secure website.

Most web hosts will give you an SSL certificate for free as part of your web hosting package.

However, it is wise to purchase an SSL certificate from authorized SSL providers. These entities offer low-priced or a cheap SSL certificate that can fit your budget. For better search engine rankings, an SSL certificate is pretty much a requirement nowadays.

Have you made sure your website doesn’t have duplicate content?

If you have multiple pages and articles on your website, some pages might be very similar or exactly the same. This is called “duplicate content.”

Duplicate content is bad because it can confuse Google about which web page to rank for a certain keyword.

Another way you could have duplicate content is by copying someone else’s content from a different website.

Google typically believes the first website they find with a certain article or content is the original. So, do your best not to copy the text on other websites that have been around longer than yours.

How can you fix duplicate content issues?

Installing Google Search Console on your website will tell you if you have any potential duplicate content errors.

Have you optimized the SEO Meta tags for each page on your website?

It’s important to optimize the meta title tag and meta description of each page on your website.

Here’s a quick tutorial on how to optimize your website meta tags.

It’s also important each page on your website has unique meta title tags and description tags.

It’s important to have a well-organized website structure.

For example, your most important pages (the ones that will likely convert visitors into sales) need to be linked to lots of other pages on your website.

The more internal links you have to a certain page on your website, the more Google PageRank is passed to that page.

The more PageRank a website has, the more important Google believes the page is.

Do you have a blog and/or lots of pages for your content?

Google uses something called “Topical Authority” to rank websites on Google. In other words, the more pages or articles you have on your website discussing a certain topic, the more likely Google will view your website as an expert.

Creating a few blog posts or articles on your website is never good enough to increase your SEO rankings.

You need to create enough content to achieve “Topical Authority”.

There’s no set rule on how many articles you need to achieve “topical authority” because it depends on your target keywords.

However, you can use Surfer SEO’s “Content Planner” feature to determine what content topics your website needs to cover to achieve “Topical Authority” on a certain subject.

In my experience, most keywords require at least 52 articles on a certain topic to achieve topical authority.

Broken links or error pages on your website will provide a bad user experience and will negatively affect your search engine rankings.

Therefore, ensuring your website has no errors is a good idea.

Google Search Console will tell you if your website has any broken links or error pages that you must fix.

Is your domain a good few years old?

Although this is a relatively small ranking factor, older domain names tend to rank higher than newer ones in general.

When you register a new domain name, you are put into the “Google Sandbox.” This is a period of time during which your website will not rank for anything until enough time has passed and you have built up enough trust with Google.

You can speed up the time it takes to get out of the Google sandbox by creating high-quality content on your website over time.

Have you optimized your images, headings and other on-site features?

It’s a good idea to ensure your images have alt tags, use various headings in your web pages and blog posts (h2, h3, h4, etc.), and include other on-site features such as Schema if possible.

All this extra information tells Google what your website is about and helps Google understand how the information on different pages on your website is structured.

Top tip: To ensure your website is SEO-friendly, install the Google Search Console. It’s free and it will tell you if there are any errors or things that could be affecting your rankings negatively.

Step 2. Create content that matches the search intent

A big mistake business owners make with SEO is to create content for the sake of creating content because other experts say you need to create content!

Add content to blog

Yes, content is important. But content alone is not enough to rank higher on Google!

You need to create content that:

  • Is searched by potential clients
  • Has low search competition
  • Has a high search volume

Otherwise, creating random content is unlikely to yield SEO results.

If you don’t see any SEO results, you could burn out and give up on your SEO strategy.

Answer questions in your content

The best questions that potential customers search have low competition and a high (or at least decent) amount of search volume are likely to be questions that your potential clients ask (or have asked you in the past).

So, next time you’re on a sales call, pay careful attention to what questions they ask.

Any questions they ask are likely being asked by other prospects similar to them.

And if there are people asking questions, chances are high they are also searching for the answers to many of these questions on Google

If you can answer these questions, you’ll likely attract the exact type of clients your business wants.

Remember: you don’t just want to rank higher for different keywords. You actually want to get more CLIENTS from your content. Otherwise, what’s the point? Traffic doesn’t pay the bills; sales do.

So, when you create high-quality content, you must focus on creating content that your potential clients are searching for on Google.

Target long-tail keywords

If you try to target one or two phrase keywords (e.g., “social media”), it will be much harder to rank because there will be more competition. On top of that, the conversion rate will be lower.

For example, if we rank for “social media,” it doesn’t necessarily mean people will be searching to hire a social media agency or consultant. Maybe they are a competitor or a student researching a school project on “social media.”

Whereas if we ranked for “lead generation social media packages” (which we are currently ranked #1 for), even though fewer people might search for it, those who do search for it are likely looking to buy lead generation social media services.

Remember, the more specific you are on Google, the easier it is to rank for that search term, and the better your conversion rate will be.

Ranking for keywords with more than 3 words are called the “longtail keywords”.

And you’re probably reading this article right NOW because of a long-tail keyword phrase you type into Google… Which is further proof this strategy works!

Try to rank for as many “longtail keywords” as possible in your business by creating content for every phrase someone looking for your services might type in Google.

Focus on one topic at a time

Because Google uses something called “Topical Authority” to rank websites, you must focus on one topic at a time until you achieve “Authority status” in Google’s eyes.

If you jump around creating content for different topics, it will take you much longer to rank for any of those keywords.

Instead, focus on creating content around one topic first.

Example topic: Lead Generation

  • Content supporting this topic could be:
  • How do you generate leads on Google searches?
  • Best lead generation strategies?
  • How does lead generation work?
  • Etc

There are hundreds of potential topics around the main topic of “Lead Generation”.

So, in your business, focus on answering questions from one topic at a time.

If you need help with doing this, you can use the “Content Planner” tool from SurferSEO. I use this for my own business (and for clients too).

Optimize content for lead generation

Once you create content, you also want to optimize your content for leads.

How do you do that?

You need links in your article telling people to go to your lead gen funnel.

For example, I have links in all of my blogs saying: if you want to learn how to get 10, 15, 30 or more predictable appointments each month with your ideal clients, click here to watch a free training that explains how to do this.

Having links to your funnel means you’re not creating content for anything—you’re creating content that generates leads!

Link building is essential to rank higher on Google.


Google uses a “voting system” in which the higher a website ranks, the more backlinks it has from other websites.

Each backlink from another website is sort of like a “vote”. The more votes (or backlinks) a website has, the higher it ranks on Google.

And it’s not just the amount of “votes” (or links) that helps you rank higher on Google. It’s also the quality of those votes (or links).

For example, if you got a link from the BBC going back to your website, it would be worth a lot more than a link from a small blog that no one has heard about.

Why? The BBC has a lot more authority—and many websites also talk about and link back to it.

A link from a website on the same topic as yours will be worth more than a link from another website that is completely unrelated to your website.

In fact, I recommend not trying to get links from other websites if the sites are unrelated to yours.

In short, if you want to rank higher on Google, you need to have a link-building strategy so that other blogs, websites, social media channels, etc are all talking about you (also known as citations) and linking back to your website.

You can build quality backlinks to your website by getting a link from a website that doesn’t give out links to anyone.

These could be websites that are clients, suppliers or strategic partners.

If you have a business relationship with anyone else with a website, reach out to them and ask if you can write a guest blog with a link back to your website. Obviously, though, make sure their website topic is related to your website’s topic; otherwise, the link will be largely pointless.

If you don’t know any websites you can contact to get a link, your only option is to reach out to website owners you’ve heard of in your industry and start building relationships with them.

A good way to start is to buy anything they sell (this is a great way to get on their radar) and then reach out to them asking if they would be open to you writing a guest blog on their site to benefit their visitors.

Link-building outreach is hard work, but you don’t need a lot of backlinks to start ranking higher on Google.

Even just a handful of extra links from good quality websites can help you get better SEO results.

Technically yes. Google does not want you to build links to your website. They want websites to gain links organically or naturally without any effort on your end.

However, the reality is, that many of your competitors are building backlinks. So, if you don’t have a proactive backlink strategy, it will be hard to rank on Google (especially if you’re targeting competitive search terms).

You should be careful with backlinks and only get a link from a high-quality website.

If a website lets ANYONE have a link from them (e.g., they let anyone write guest posts), then most likely this is a BAD quality website, and I recommend you avoid it.

Google not only looks at the amount of links you have, but it looks at the anchor text of each link. The anchor text of a link is the text that appears on a hyperlink.

For example, if I link to my SEO lead generation course, the anchor text in that link says “SEO lead generation course”.

This is much better than having a link that says “click here”.

A link that says “SEO lead generation course” tells Google the page it’s linking to is about an SEO lead generation course.

It’s a good idea to have descriptive internal links to different pages on your website. However, don’t repeat the same anchor text repeatedly.

Using different text variations when building internal links on your website is better (and more natural in Google’s eyes).

If you use the same text each time, it could actually harm your SEO rankings.

So, like most things in life, just be balanced, and you should be fine.

If you want to completely follow Google’s rules and not actively seek links from other sites, you can get backlinks the 100% natural way.

Here’s how:

  • Create high-quality content – if you create good content that provides value to people, other websites will link to it and share it.
  • Promote your content on social media – If you create content but no one knows it exists, you won’t get many links back to it. By using social media to share your content with other bloggers, influencers, website owners, etc, you can increase the number of people who share and link back to your content
  • Create stats-based articles—A good link-building strategy is to get links to your website by providing statistics. Even if you are not the original source of the statistics, that’s okay. If you research, find the statistics from a bunch of other sources, and compile the information together in one easy-to-read article, chances are high that you will get other websites linking back to your website as the “source.”

The quality of links is extremely important. Some websites will allow you to “buy links” from directories, dodgy websites or websites built solely to manipulate the search results. 

Don’t do this! 

Not only is it against Google’s rules, but if you get caught, it can do more damage than good and potentially even completely penalize you from Google’s search engine.

If you’ve already done this, you may wish to consider “disavowing” those links in your Google search console, just in case Google later penalizes you manually.

SEO Results: Be patient and reap the rewards

If you’re looking to learn how to rank higher on Google, remember that SEO is a long-term game.

Although targeting long-tail keywords can yield short-term SEO results, the best results will come in the long term (after you’ve created enough content to achieve topical authority).

It’s also a good idea to track your SEO results over time by using free tools such as Google Analytics and Google Search Console.

As you see your search traffic increase in Google Analytics, you’ll be motivated to keep going and get even better results.

If you’d like to learn more about generating leads and high-quality appointments with Google, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Facebook, watch my free Masterclass training by clicking here.