How Do You Get on the First Page of a Google Search?

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When they want to find something, most people won’t bother going through pages and pages of search results, so how do you get on the first page of a Google search and get them to find you?

It seems like such a simple question, but the answer isn’t cut and dried.

First, let’s look at just what’s on the first page of a Google search.

Paid Ads

Google Paid Ad results shown after searching for "groceries near me". Instacart ad.


Google places paid ads at the very top of the page. Usually, there can be up to four ads listed, and each one is clearly marked as an *Ad*.

The advertiser pays Google each time someone clicks on the link in the ad to visit the associated website or when they call the number listed in the ad.

You get in the paid ads section by paying for one of these ads. The price depends on the demand, and the competition for the specific keywords you're looking to get visibility on. Think of it like an auction, whoever is willing to pay the most wins the prize. 

Local Businesses/Map

search map results for "groceries near me"

The local business/map section doesn’t show up on the results page for every search. For example, if someone is searching for an apple pie recipe, they probably aren’t looking for a local business that they can physically visit to get the recipe. It’s not relevant, so Google doesn’t show the map.

But if someone is searching for something that a local business can provide — either goods or services — the map section is shown along with a few local businesses matching the search.

You get in the local businesses/map section by having a Google Business Profile (it’s free) and keeping it updated.

Organic Results

Most people will scroll past the paid ads and even the map in favor of the non-paid organic search results. In fact, statistics from BrightEdge Research show that organic search gets 53% of the trackable web traffic while paid ads get about 15%.

There are usually only about 10 organic search results listed on the first page of a Google search, so the competition can be fierce. The amount of competition depends on the keywords you’re trying to rank well for. (Keywords are the words that someone types into the search bar when looking for products, services, or information.)

You can’t pay to get on the first page of organic results, but there are ways to optimize your website so that Google recognizes it as being relevant to what someone is searching for and awards it prime ranking. This practice is called Search Engine Optimization, or SEO.

Organic Search Results for query "groceries near me" 1. Yelp. 2. Vons 3.


The advice Google gives for ranking well in the search results is to “give visitors the information they’re looking for” by providing “high-quality content on your pages.” And yet, while content is certainly important, there’s a lot more to effective SEO than just publishing well-written words and pretty images.

In order to get on the first page of a Google search, your content needs to satisfy the user’s specific search intent. In other words, it needs to be relevant … and the algorithm must be able to identify its relevance.   

There are also technical aspects of SEO — like loading speed, mobile optimization, and security — that you must pay attention to if you’re going to get Google’s attention.

Implementing an SEO strategy and getting on the coveted first page of a Google search takes knowledge and skill. It doesn’t happen overnight, but it does happen if you do it right.

We’re Here to Help

At WorldLight Media, we have what it takes to help our clients get on the first page of a Google search. We’re here for you if you need help.

Contact us today to start the conversation.


Want to learn more about SEO?

out some of our other posts:

SEO Myths to Fix for Better Search Engine Rankings

Quick Fixes that Boost SEO

8 Ways to Improve Your SEO Ranking

How to Avoid Negative SEO 

Writing SEO Content


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