Getting on page 1 of search engines

What is SEO?

Getting on page 1 of search engines – and staying there!

Where’s the best place to hide a body? On Page 2 of Google!

OK, not the funniest joke, but absolutely true in terms of your website – you’re either on page 1 or you’re not going to be found. But getting on page 1, and staying there, takes work.

A lot of this is done with good SEO (search engine optimisation), but here are some important techniques you can use:

Know the difference between white hat and black hat strategies

White hat strategies mean using the tools that we are legitimately allowed to use, whereas black hat strategies are techniques that deliberately do not follow search engine company terms. Instead, they use manipulation to get higher search engine rankings. The problem is, every 6 to 12 months, what was acceptable can become disallowed, or at least no longer as effective, so what was white hat can become black hat, and this can see your website being de-indexed (removed from search engine databases) entirely.

Keep your content fresh

Designing a website, putting it out on the internet then doing nothing with it for extended periods isn’t the best strategy. Search engines love updated content, but at this point they aren’t very smart, so simply logging in, making one minor change like an additional space at the end of a paragraph then saving the page means it has a new ‘modified’ date – search engines then think the site is actively monitored and updated and you get a better search engine position.

Don’t think about optimising a site – optimise each page

Search engines show links to specific pages, so don’t aim to get your entire site indexed for a single search term. It’s the individual page that needs to be optimised for a particular keyword or keyphrase.

Think small, at least to begin with

Take this example – you have a new website for real estate, and you want to come up on Page 1 if someone types ‘real estate’. That’s just not going to happen. You are competing with much larger websites that have been online for years, and there’s no way a search engine will give you a place on page 1 for such an ‘open’ keyphrase. So start small – ‘buying a house in Mt Albert’ or ‘Selling a property in Riccarton’ is more likely to get you on page 1. It’s true that you will have fewer people looking for these search terms, but coming up on page 1 for something specific is better than not appearing at all for something more general.

Get friends, family and anyone else to visit your site – BUT FOLLOW THESE STEPS!

Asking people to visit your site so your traffic increases is important – more traffic means that search engines think they must be missing out on something, and start indexing your site. However, there are some VERY IMPORTANT caveats here. Here are two scenarios:

Bob visits ‘’. The site loads, Bob thinks he’s helped you get more traffic and after a few seconds he closes the window and gets on with his day.

Maria visits ‘’. The site loads, Maria waits for a few seconds then clicks a link from the menu on your website to go to another page. Maria then leaves the window open and gets on with her day.

In scenario 1, Bob has just caused you to drop in the search engine rankings. Why? He went to your site, didn’t interact with it and then left. Search engines then assume that was a bad result – the visitor clearly didn’t get what they wanted – and you get penalised. This is called a ‘bounce’. Statistically, you’re looking to get a bounce rate of no more than about 35% – that is, 1 out of 3 visitors didn’t stay, but 2 out of 3 did.

In scenario 2, search engines think your site was a goood result – Maria clicked a link, stayed on the page and is likely to have found what she wanted. That makes you a good result, and up you go.


The more links that are on the internet that point back to your website, the better. There used to be a time when you could ‘trade’ with other websites – they put your link on their site, and you put their link on yours – but this has become less common these days (link farms were the problem here, where you could pay a company to put your website link on hundreds of other sites – this has now become a black hat technique).

However, there are still LOTS of opportunities for backlinks. Facebook and other sociial media is often the easiest – put a link in your bio or about page on your social media and you have a backlink! You can also put yoour website URL in a review. As a purely random example (cough…), if you used a company to create your website and they ask you to write a review, writing something like ‘XYZ company but my new website and I love it!’ gives you another boost. Another simple way to get a good backlink is to create a free Google My Business listing – that’s the thing you often see on the right hand side of search pages on Google with a map, some photos and other information about a local company.

Getting on page 1 of search engines takes time, but with the right plan you can get considerably more visitors to your site!