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On the First Page of Google? Now What?

This guest post is by Keith Bishop of Online Digital Junkie.

If your goal is to publish a lot of meaningless content that doesn’t get read, then you’re in the wrong place. On the other hand, if you desire your pages to engage and help the reader take some type of action based upon what they were searching for when they found your site, read on.

With time and proper SEO practices, visitors will likely show up on your site through search by using keywords that relate in some way to your page. With that said, it only makes sense that you should optimize your off-page content in a way that promises to alleviate whatever issue led the searcher to your door.

All you have to do is consider the impact of your keywords before you use them. This is very important because the keyword you choose is actually your first promise to your potential visitor. If I were going to rank something like “why is the sky blue,” I would want to make sure my page does a couple things right away so that they click my link.

Proper meta data

A good way to digest meta data is to view it as a miniature representation of your real page, sort of like a business card. It includes a title, description, and tags. Tags are not as important to search anymore so I will focus this article on just the title and description.

Meta title

The first thing that has to be done is to come up with your title. Meta titles are the text you see at the very top of the page, on the tabs, and beside the little logos known as favicons.

They are also the linkable text that you see in the search engine results page (SERP). This means that it is the first thing your potential visitor sees in regards to organic search traffic.

You might use something like; “have you ever wondered why the sky is blue?” Did you notice that the keyword is in the page title? This is important for search engines and visitors alike. Search engines and visitors use it to help determine what your page is about. It can push you rank higher and get more clicks because it is directly relevant to your chosen keyword.

Meta description

Another must-do is to clearly let the reader know that your page will solve their problem by explicitly stating that it will do so in the description.

This is the text portion that shows up in the search results. For those of you that are not familiar with this, it is the snippet or short paragraph you see directly under each link after you search for something in Google (or other engine).

If you do not manually set a meta description for your page, Google will just use some of the text from the first paragraph of your article and go with that. This is not advisable, because it technically qualifies as duplicate content.

It also does not convert as well, since your description is the second promise you are making to your potential visitor, and there is no need to have them read the first couple of sentences twice. Instead, you might use something like the following:

“This article is in response to people like you and Bob who want to know why the sky is blue. After much research and contemplation, you can now find the answer in this article by visiting my page.”

A description like this says, “hey you … yes, you in the green shirt. You have been wondering why the sky is blue, right? Awesome! You’re not alone. And I have spent a good deal of time finding the answer for you. Come on inside and instantly solve your problem right here on my site.”

Now you have clearly set the stage with some direct promises that show confidence in your ability to deliver a solution. It can help make a difference when your content is sitting in the fifth to eighth spot on page one of Google Search, which is where many of your articles will hover at.

Don’t just rank: close the deal

There is a definite difference between ranking a keyword and closing the deal on one.

Just make sure you don’t ask for anything until you have provided the reader with something valuable first. And what you are providing is always the answer to whatever problems the reader is facing, which led them to search with your keywords in the first place.

Keith Bishop is the founder/designer at Online Digital Junkie. He also co-manages an up and coming travel nurse blog with his wife Melissa.

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Comments

  1. jobin martin says:

    This post has made me a bit more seo literate, what I have been doing is just creating content, that too infrequently.I have been ignoring the meta description part all the time. .

    • People like John Chow always use these meta description clevarly by adding some attractive titles and meta description.

      Thesis can make this quite easy

  2. Faizan Elahi says:

    Very informative post. I am getting traffic from Google too, although I only started blogging regularly last month. This shows that SEO is very important for generating traffic for a blog and new blogs can also use it to their advantage,

  3. Dave B says:

    The article suggests that you “manually set a meta description for your page,” but doesn’t say how to do this. Is it as simple as making sure that the first sentence of your post addresses the reader’s question?

    • Keith says:

      If you are using a Content Management System (CMS), such as WordPress, you can install a SEO plugin that will provide you a place to enter the descriptions when you build your posts. If you have a hand coded site then you will need to manually enter the HTML code directly into the “” portion of your page.

      Here is an example:

      I hope that helps.

    • kalyan says:

      Hello Dave, if you are using WordPress, there are plugins to do such as All in SEO or Meta seo pack.But I guess you use blogspot sub-domain. I am afraid you can’t do with every article you write. You can set your meta description in blogspot sub-domain but that will remain static for all the posts, seriously not recommended at all unless you write same kind of content :P Better switch to wordpress and you will have more exposure to SEO.

  4. Wasim Ismail says:

    The Meta description & Title is an important part of your webpage, besides the search engines crawling it and using it as one of the many ranking factors, it is also what the users see when searching the web, and needs to be eye catching, and convincing enough for the users to click.
    The main task comes when the user actually clicks on your website, you now need to convert them, and as your said close the deal. If not than its worthless doing everything else.

  5. Now that I am finally getting a significant number of articles to rank on page one of Google I can see how important this can be. Just being that will garner you a certain amount of results but having the proper tags to make your results so much better. It is sort of like cleaning up after you’ve done a job. The little finishing touches put the shine and luster on a job well done.

  6. Tumbleweed says:

    I can’t agree more about the ‘ranking versus close the deal’ issue. If the traffic due to a high Google ranking does not result in revenue, ‘likes’, phone calls, or other business results, then, either the product/service price/offering being marketed must be altered or the wrong set of prospects are being targeted: new keywords must be chosen.

  7. Mike says:

    I agree. Getting people engaged first is essential then build up into getting them to buy something is good. Otherwise it isn’t worth much anymore.

  8. Jovie Onyema says:

    Yes….specific descriptions speak straight to the visitor! Good points

  9. Cole Perkins says:

    I just started my site and I recently customized my Meta descritptions and Meta titles. I agree, it is very important.

  10. These should be among the first steps to anyone setting up a blog or website. It’s certainly beneficial and a must to grab the attention of those using the search engine. However, I was under the impression that most search engines do not rank based on meta data anymore. Is that correct?

  11. The description meta is a real ‘hmmm what should I put here?’ for me so now based on your advice I’m gonna start being a bit more “HEY YOU” in future, genius, why didn’t I do this before!
    Thanks for the top tips mate :)
    Warren UK

  12. Jon Cooper says:

    Broken links galore! Every link to Keith’s website and blog are broken. Better fix those 3 :) (Thank me later!)

  13. I agree that so many people are focused on getting to the top of google, they forget about the main task at hand – provide valuable content that keeps readers happy they found your blog, and even better, keeps them coming back :)

  14. Steven Fogg says:

    Couldn’t agree more, however I find if I write to a formula I loose the personality in what I write.

  15. James Greg says:

    I think I need to put a little focus on the meta area too. Recently all my focus revolved around creating content but ignoring the meta tags. I think I could really put this post to work for my blog.

  16. danny says:

    I think I need to put a little focus on the meta area too. Recently all my focus revolved around creating content but ignoring the meta tags. I think I could really put this post to work for my blog.

  17. naijadotcom says:

    I nevre would have imagined that one would still need to do alot of work after getting to the first page of goggle,This post is an eye opener and one i have learnt a great deal from.

  18. Drewry says:

    this post is definitely food for thought, Darren. What a lot of people don’t know is that publishing meaningful content will not only help them to potentially accomplish page one of Google virtually every time they publish new content, but, those people who acknowledge them on page one of Google will continually come back to see what new content they have in the long run. If there is anything valuable I have learned today, it is to create meaningful engaging and compelling content, so that it would be educational, as well as encouraging to the reader. And hopefully, my content will encourage others to come back to my site on a regular basis :-)

  19. kishore says:

    Most useful post for me.

    First i saw the title on the home page of the blog and thought like “what can and what we have to do after getting our site on the first page of google results, getting our site on the first page is enough”. After reading the post, I am feeling that I have read a most useful post today, in fact this month.

    One of site always be on first results page but the thing is that I have noticed that google shows the description of different part of my post which is not totally related to the query, it is due to that i haven’t used the meta description at all till now.

    Many thanks to Keith Bishop for posting and it is little bit disappointing to read such post after publishing almost 500 posts on one of my famous blog.

  20. Guy Hogan says:

    A concise post with very useful information. You can’t beat it with a stick!

  21. Josh Sarz says:

    I agree, meta data really is important, especially since it’s what people see in the SERPS.

  22. Worli says:

    For new blogs its really important that you shoot some quick post to get in notice of search engine. No matter how good the post is or how well you optimize it. Unless there is some good backlinks there wont be any traffic from Google. Its sad but true.

  23. very useful content. I could learn what i needed, from this. Thanks for sharing:)

  24. Interesting, but I wonder if one of my article is already ranking higher, then I would rather build some authority around it to ensure that it stays there uninhibited.

    P.S. Check the two links to your own site’s, they are not linked properly.

  25. With so many using blogger or wordpress I felt is necessary to create my own cms [complete website] from scratch so I would not have to rely on anyone for plugins. It has really made things move a lot quicker than I expected and gave me a edge as far as upgrading or making changes to fit what I offer.

    Great post BTW. Since Google is no longer using keywords as a metric, and yahoo is using BING, I indeed agree title and description are the most important part of a website second to content.

  26. Can you tell me how to add meta description in blogger?

  27. I’ve followed your tips, even if I don’t rank on the 1st page, in hopes that I will for some keywords very soon.

  28. Great post Keith. So many people don’t realise how powerful these two little fields are!

    They are essentially front page ads for your website and while it’s important to use your keywords so you actually get matched up with searches, you also have to appeal to the person behind the keyboard!

    And that person is the most motivated shopper you can find because they are actively looking for a solution to their problem… scrolling down the list of search results…. waiting to something that peaks their interest.

    I thought it was also worth mentioning that search engines only publish 60 chars of the title tag and 160 of the description tag — so out the good stuff up front and get some personality into those characters!

  29. Emma says:

    I am just starting to see how important the right meta tags can be. I think it’s also important to do plenty of research and choose the right keywords. Thanks for the article.

  30. Freddyjr says:

    Great tips!! I’m a newbie in Internet Marketing and I own couple of blogs. I gotta say this page has provided me with a lot of helpful information! I love this site man! Thank you very much Darren!!

    I’m following now and hope to see more great posts like this one!

    Amazing work!

  31. The last two posts of yours that I have read have provided me with more info on optimizing my site in one day than I have come across in the last year!! I did find that I was on the right track, but was missing a few key elements that would start to make my site a little more polished.
    Thank you for all of your wisdom!! Love it!