How to Rank on Page 1 of Google for a Competitive Keyword

August 15, 2016


how to rank on page 1 of google


Trying to figure out how to rank on page 1 of google can be a confusing experience.


From damaging black hat techniques to helpful but lacking white hat strategies you may have no clue where to look for a solid, proven resource to reach page 1 of the search giant.


Let’s cut through the noise with a helpful case study.


How to Rank on Page 1 of Google


My most recent post on Blogging From Paradise landed on page 1 (at position #3) for the competitive keyword:


“How to submit a guest post”.


Here’s the post:


How to Submit a Guest Post Successfully in 12 Steps


I want to share specifically how I did it so you can replicate my strategy to reap the sweet benefits of reaching page 1.


Benefits of Landing on Page 1 of Google


  • Drive targeted traffic to your blog
  • Attract passive traffic to your blog
  • Gain credibility
  • Improve your earnings potential (search traffic is interested traffic)


Let’s see how you too can write a post that reaches page 1 of Google for a highly competitive keyword.


A1: Spot Popularity (and Pain Points)


I spotted a strong positive reaction after sharing my Seen At page on Facebook.


Likes, Loves and Wows flooded into my Facebook profile like folks flood Taksim Square at night here in Istanbul.


I quickly figured out my readers wanted to know how to appear on such sites through guest posting and features.


Corinne Kerston confirmed my observation. She suggested I cover the topic. I answered with the blog post.


Observe popular:


  • Social media updates
  • Blog posts
  • Email newsletter updates


in your feed.


If readers dig what you have to offer simply record this demand. You just snagged a blog post idea.


Spot popular patterns to lay the foundation for a high ranking post on Google.


I also know bloggers tend to suffer through guest post rejections. Some never bother to submit a guest post in the first place.


With this popular pain point in mind I wrote the post while putting myself in my reader’s shoes.


Step into your reader’s being before writing any blog post (without demonically possessing them).


See the topic from your reader’s eyes to cultivate compassion and to write a winning post.


The winning combination of the 2 P’s – popularly and pain points – sets the table for a page 1 blog post.


1: Write a Resource


I wrote a thorough resource to reach page 1 of Google for a competitive keyword.


I made sure to cover every step I take before submitting a guest post to an authority blog.


Create a 1,000 to 3,000 word post rich with links, images and practical, step by step instruction to solve a pressing, popular problem suffered by your readership.


Don’t scrimp. Be thorough yet to the point.


No need to write a long, over the top, post that meanders like a mountain stream. Make your points. Exit stage left.


Go beyond “writing a blog post just to publish that post”. Publish an in demand resource by creating a meaty post engineered to solve a specific problem.


2: Use a Double Figure Number in Title


I used double figures in the title knowing that these posts typically rank well on Google.


People love big numbers. People love big promises.


Numbers add order to the mind. If you see “12 steps” in a title you know what to expect.


Blog post title examples include:


  • 11 Practical Tips for Increasing Blog Traffic
  • 10 Steps to Promote Your Blog through Social Media
  • 13 Tips for Building Your Email List


Go big or go home. If you want your blog to rank on page 1 of Google.


Buzzfeed does the big number title bit really well.


3: List Practical Tips


I visualized a virgin guest poster’s journey before writing the blog post to list the proper practical tips.


Before I suggested researching potential blogs I dove into the meat and potatoes of successful guest posting: writing 500 to 1,000 words daily.


If you can’t write well you won’t land guest posts on authority blogs. Plain and simple.


I then shared specifically what you should do, step by step, to create a manual for aspiring guest posters to follow.


List tips or steps starting with the first logical action. Think like a computer. Don’t leave anything out to create a helpful, practical, step by step tutorial that gets Google’s love.


4: Link to Valued Resources


I linked to 4 high profile blogging-themed blogs to help my readers with their guest posting due diligence campaign.


Getting clicks through each link did not hurt my post’s chance for reaching page 1 of the Big G.


I also linked to an older, well-read post on Blogging From Paradise as well as a recent guest post of mine on Shout Me Loud in addition to mentioning my running guest post gig on Blogging Tips.


Link to valuable resources to add credibility to the blog post.


Share your blogging platform with niche heavyweights to gain the trust of your audience and Google.


Google sees your blog like a spider web. Linking out to trusted, valued sites ensures readers can navigate from your blog seamlessly to the next blog, giving users an enriched, fulfilled experience. Each trusted outbound blog link is similar to a strong spider web strand, spanning out into the internet.


The strand won’t break if users travel from your blog to another trusted blog.


If however you linked to a low quality site the strand breaks as the user clicks the link to move forward, damaging the integrity of the web (spider and internet both) and hurting your chances of ranking high on search engines.


Google likes strong web strands and will give you good rank if you persistently link out to respected, relevant, trusted sources.


5: Post Pictures


I posted pictures to add eye candy to the post.


People love pictures. Images add flavor to words (that’s me by Taksim Square).


Blogging From Paradise Ryan Biddulph Taksim Square


Pictures break up the monotony of words.


Add 3 to 4 relevant, eye-catching images to complement your blog post.


6: Speed Up Your Site


I’ve no doubts that my new, dramatically faster site design contributed to ranking #3 on page 1 for a competitive keyword.


Google favors fast-loading sites versus bloated behemoths.


Consider cutting site bloat by redesigning your blog. Trim non-relevant posts and pages.


Streamline your blog by deleting non essential elements.


Look around Blogging From Paradise for ideas to create a lean, mean, fast blog.


Bonus Tip: Google gives greater weight to mobile-friendly sites these days because everybody and their brother seems to cruise the web on an iPhone or tablet.


My site had some mobile issues as we worked through the theme redesign but still reached rank #3 on Page 1.


Google now says my blog is fully responsive on mobile devices.


7: Get “All Green’s” with Yoast Plug In


Like a dingbat I resisted using Yoast for a long time.


I finally woke up last month after ranking on page 1 of Google – rank #2 – for the keywords:


  • “Marketing your blog the right way”
  • “Time management tips for bloggers”


I followed Yoast’s suggestions to get “green” checkmarks for SEO.




Green ratings mean the post is good to go for SEO optimizing factors like:


  • choosing a focus keyword
  • Including the focus keyword in the meta description
  • Including the focus keyword in the title
  • Positioning the focus keyword in H2 tags


You don’t need to get a “green” rating for every factor; just get the “green” ranking collectively for the SEO category.


I also scored green for readability factors, including breaking up paragraphs into bite-sized, easy to scan pieces and using active voice frequently throughout the post.


Download the Yoast plug in today to get your SEO game in order.


8: Share on Multiple Platforms


I shared the blog post on a variety of social media and bookmarking sites.


Doing so sent a loud and clear signal to Google: this resource-style, SEO-optimized content is gaining clicks through a wide range of sources.


Share your blog post on:


  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google Plus
  • Relevant Facebook Groups
  • Relevant Facebook Communities
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Relevant Pinterest Boards
  • Biz Sugar
  • Growth Hackers
  • Inbound Dot Org
  • Digg
  • Triberr


Be thorough.


Leverage your blog post through social media and bookmarking sites to get Google juice.


9: Tag Influential Bloggers Featured in Post


My influential blogger buddies played a big part in this case study post reaching page 1 of Google.


I can only reach my email list subscribers, 44,000 Twitter followers, 5,000 Facebook friends and 3,000 G Plus users.


Influential bloggers spread my reach into the hundreds of thousands of people from a “blogging tips” hungry audience.


Only a small percentage of those people clicked on the link but the number satisfied Google.


Build bonds with respected bloggers from your niche.


Tweet top bloggers. Facebook Share their posts. G Plus share their posts. Tag them. Email asking how you can help them.


Every bond I’ve built with a blogging big dawg started with a social media tag or personalized email.


Be proactive. Help an influencer today to form a lasting friendship beneficial to both parties.


10: Ask Readers to Share Across Networks


4 days after publishing this post it’s generated 119 social media shares.


Google seems to favor social media popular blog posts.


Explicitly ask readers to share the post across their networks on Twitter, Facebook, G Plus and LinkedIn.


If your readers prefer sites like Pinterest or Reddit ask for shares on these sites.


As for social bookmarking tools I use the SumoMe app to show off my Twitter shares.


Tap into the power of your network. Boost your blog post traffic. Gain social proof.


11: Include Proof of Authority


I featured a post image of where I’ve been featured via guest posts or interviews.


Readers immediately saw proof of authority as I published guest posts on 14 of those influential, respected blogs.


Show proof of your claim. Maybe you haven’t landed guest posts on Pro Blogger or Blogging Tips but you probably have an achievement or two to share with your readers so brag a bit to add credibility to the blog post.


If you’re a new blogger learn the fundamentals of blogging, implement your newfound knowledge and achieve things you can then write about through your blog.


Don’t let anybody tell you that reaching page 1 of Google for a competitive keyword is impossible.


You may not top Google every time out but with practice you can reach page 1 and gain credibility for your blog and brand.


Are you struggling with your blogging efforts?


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Please share this post on Twitter, Facebook, G Plus and LinkedIn if you found it valuable.


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Ryan Biddulph

Ryan Biddulph is a blogger, author and world traveler who's been featured on Richard Branson's Virgin Blog, Forbes, Fox News, Entrepreneur, Positively Positive, Life Hack, John Chow Dot Com and Neil Patel Dot Com. He can help you become a full time blogger with this eBook.
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  1. Dhrubo that’s great bro.

  2. Thanks Ryan for your sharing.

    This is the ultimate post and nothing to add here. You just made a beginner walk flawlessly. All your mentioned points are highly effective but learning all these techniques need years of experience and skill for smooth progress. I believe this right pathway will give me a solid boost to grab some quality traffic for my site.

  3. Awesome Dheeraj go for it bro.


  4. Thanks for Sharing this Article.

    I’ve started implementing these Tips, hope I’ll Rank on First Page of Google.

  5. Cool P! Thanks for reading 🙂


  6. Prajapati Says:

    Nicely presented information in this post, I prefer to read this kind of stuff. The quality of content is fine and the conclusion is good. Thanks for the post.

  7. Hi Nick,

    This is definitely not untrue 😉 Thanks for reading!


  8. Nick Carter Says:

    Content one of the most critical factors when we speaking about how to improve google ranking but not the only we all know that Google rank pages based on e=over 200 factors.

  9. Gaurav sounds good! Always my pleasure 🙂

  10. Gaurav Jain Says:

    Hello Ryan,
    I will surely look into these tips and see how fast can I get the desired results. Thanks for visiting and commenting on my blog, I really appreciate it brother.
    Thanks again!

  11. Hi Gaurav,

    I hear you bro. Sometimes it seems like an imagined force field resides on page 2 or 3, not allowing our blogs past a certain point 😉

    Dive in to these tips and see how things shake out for you.

    Happy blogging and welcome to the blogging club!


  12. Gaurav Jain Says:

    Hello Ryan,

    Thanks for the post buddy. Being a newbie to the blogging world the challenge I am facing is my blog pages get stuck on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th pages of Google search. I am sure your suggestions will certainly help me in improving my page rank.

    Thanks Again!

  13. Hi Shameem,

    Cool! Glad the post is still doing OK on da Big G.

    I hope to return 1 day. In the US for a while now. But I need to consume the awesome sweets you shared with me 😉


  14. Shameem Says:

    Good piece of content how to optimize our post to get reach the page 1 of Google its awesome.I saw you’re post is ranking and result still stable seems moreover I agree with your points about social shares using influencers which gives more boost for our post keep rocking and when is your next visit to Chennai ?