Want to win in the business game these days? Then you’ve got to show up where it counts: online 😉

And what’s the key arena in this digital landscape? Search engines!

So, are you in the game?

If you’re scratching your head about how to get your business on the first page of Google, or just not sure why you should even care, you’ve hit the jackpot with this guide!

First page Google Gif

In this guide, our SEO agency in Montreal will cover:

  • The inner workings of search engines and their core objectives
  • Decoding the anatomy of Google’s first page
  • Why landing a first-page spot is a game-changer for your business
  • Securing a first-page spot via Google Ads
  • The roadmap to climbing Google’s ranks the organic way via SEO, covering:
    • Criteria used by search engines
    • Actionable steps to aim for the top spot

Ready to crack the code on Google and other search engines? Let’s get started.

How does Google (and other search engines) work?

To get your website to the top spot on Google, you first need to understand what Google is really looking for:

Goal of Google
Google’s mission cited directly from the company’s website

Google’s main goal is to maintain user trust.

Why does this matter? Because the user’s trust turns into dollars. In fact, more than 80% of Google’s revenue comes from Google ads.

So, how does Google win this trust? By giving you the best answers to your questions, whether it’s through paid ads or organic search results.

Google continues to focus on search engine innovation

Google isn’t resting on its laurels; it’s always tweaking things under the hood. Whether you’re searching for “how to bake a lemon cake” or need the weather forecast in your area, Google’s got you covered.

And it doesn’t matter if you’re on your phone, tablet, or even a smartwatch ⌚.

Heads up: Google’s even dabbling in AI-generated search results, according to their latest announcements:

Decoding Google’s organic ranking mechanisms

Google employs a multi-faceted approach to rank websites. It involves crawling websites open for indexing. From there, it’s a deep dive into a whole bunch of factors: the techy stuff behind your site, the quality of your content, and how reputable you are in the online world.

How Google ranks a website on the first page  "crawl" "index" "rank"

What are Google’s ranking criteria?

Rank first on Google doesn’t happen by chance! 

The search engine utilizes complex algorithms that consider hundreds of factors to rank search results. These criteria are continually updated—sometimes as often as 500 to 600 times a year.

Here’s a summary of these different Google SEO criteria and their weighting:

Google's ranking criteria to put you in the first page of Google

So what’s the secret sauce behind Google’s rankings? Meet the Googlebots—these clever algorithms are always on the hunt, sizing up how relevant each web page is for the keywords you’re searching for.

Once they’ve done their detective work, they give you a list known as the “Search Engine Results Page,” or SERP if you want to sound like a pro.

Quot- for Cassandre alberzard SEO strategist at Digitad "The more the algorithm finds a page relevant to a query, the more likely the content will appear in Google's top positions

Is my site indexed by Google?

Here’s a quick trick: type “site:yourdomain.com” into Google’s search bar, swapping “yourdomain.com” with your actual domain name.

SERP results on Google

See your pages popping up in the results? Awesome—you’re on Google’s radar 😃. They know you’re there and they’ll keep coming back to see what’s new.

Not showing up? No sweat. You can nudge Google to notice you with our step-by-step guide. 💡

For personalized SEO strategy support, explore our SEO pricing in Montreal options.

The anatomy of Google’s first page

Google’s first page? It’s like a buffet of different kinds of content. Let’s go over what you’ll usually find:

Sections of Google first page


Google Ads Advertising The top section generally displays 3 or 4 paid text ads. Google chooses these ads based on the keywords used in search queries (Google Ads advertising).
Local Map Pack (Google Maps preview) If Google thinks the user is searching for a nearby local business, it will add a “Local Map Pack”, which is an excerpt from Google Maps.
Organic results The main section is an “organic” (non-paid) list of web pages that are relevant to the keyword used in the search. This list is before, after, or around the local pack.

A classic example of Google’s first page:

Example of Google first page

Exploring Google’s diverse content formats

Google’s first page isn’t a one-size-fits-all deal. What shows up depends on a few things: what you’re searching for, what you probably want to know, and the nature of the content returned in the results.

  • Wikipedia summaries
  • Google Shopping ads
  • Business profiles sourced from social media and Google My Business
  • Highlighted content previews (also known as optimized excerpts or featured snippets)
  • Rich results (annotations, image galleries, videos)
  • Suggested related searches
  • Latest news via Google News

In this guide, we’re going to focus on the big three result types you’ll see in our visual example. So, why are these formats the ones to watch?

Rank on the first page of Google. What are the benefits for your business?

Top  position concentrate two thirds of clicks

Landing a top spot on Google’s first page is like striking gold. Over 34% of all search clicks are funnelled to that prime position.

Here’s the deal: if you’re not on Google’s first page, you might as well be a ghost 👻.

Picture it like a shelf in a grocery store. If your site’s front and center, people are going to grab it. But if it’s up high, behind a bunch of other options? Yeah, you’re getting skipped.

Gif Google First Page

Get your website on first page of Google: a channel for visibility and qualified user acquisition

Why is indexing important to get your business on first page of Google

Why should you care about landing on Google’s first page? Getting your business on Google’s first page offers a lot of advantages:

  • Amplifies your website’s visibility
  • Attracts targeted traffic—people actively seeking solutions
  • Boosts user engagement with your content
  • Drives conversions, be it online sales or lead generation
  • You start looking like a big deal in your field
  • Fosters trust among your audience

By the numbers: what does first-page ranking truly mean?

Data reveals that the click-through rate (CTR) distribution varies across the 10 organic links on Google’s first page.

Google organic breakdown by position

Source : Backlinko

For instance, if 500 people search “Home Decor Store in Montreal” monthly, and you secure the top spot, you could attract 155 solution-seeking visitors to your business each month. Fall outside the top 5, and you’re looking at only 20 prospects—a 7x to 10x drop in potential revenue.

Now, magnify that gap over thousands of queries yearly, and the revenue impact is staggering.

The real opportunity of a top Google ranking for your company

Getting a spot on Google’s first page? That’s like hitting the business lottery. In local markets, it can even make you the go-to name in your field. Bottom line: showing up on that first SERP is a game-changer.

It’s such a big deal that there’s a whole industry—yep, we’re talking SEO—just to help businesses grab those golden spots. And guess what? It works.

Organic traffic on our website

Natural traffic to our website since the launch of our web marketing blog in April 2018

When it comes to paid search, click-through rates (CTRs) swing between 2% and 6%. And what you pay per click? That can be pennies or as much as 10 bucks, all depending on how tough the competition is.

So, you’re probably wondering, but how can I rank first on Google? What methods do I use?

Well, get ready, because we’re diving into that million-dollar question right now ⬇️

How to get your business on the first page of Google?

2 proven methods

There are two ways to get your website in first position on Google:

  • Using Google Ads (that’s your paid search, pay-per-click, or Search Engine Marketing)
  • By moving up the first Google page organically (yep, that’s SEO)

Though they’re different, both methods have a couple of things in common, like targeting the right keywords and nailing your titles. You can use them on their own or mix and match for extra punch.

Want quick results? Go for paid search!

When you launch a paid search campaign, your Google Ads can immediately appear at the top of search results for the keywords you’re targeting —no waiting required. This immediate visibility bypasses the need for search engine discovery and indexing associated with SEO.

Looking for long-term results? That’s SEO!

SEO is a marathon, not a sprint, usually taking a good 3 to 6 months to really kick in. But unlike paid ads, which go poof the minute you stop paying, SEO is the gift that keeps on giving. It’s all about:

  • Tweaking your content so it’s top-notch and on point
  • Making your site easy to get around
  • Speeding up load times for a better user experience
  • Sticking to the SEO rulebook

This long-haul approach pays off, winning over both Google and your visitors, and bringing in consistent traffic and sales.

Let’s dive deeper into both strategie

Next, we’ll delve into the specifics of each strategy so you can pick the best way to shoot for that top Google slot.

Top positions of Google

1. How to get your business on first page of Google with Google Ads

Want the fastest ticket to the top of Google’s first page? Say hello to Google Ads (formerly known as Google AdWords).

Just sign up on Google, pick your keywords, and place your “bid”—that’s how much you’re ready to pay per click. This is what they call “pay-per-click” or PPC.

Quote Google Ads: Google Ads offers instant visibilité, allowing your compagny to stand out in the digital world

Worried about going over budget? Set a daily cap, and Google will stop showing your ad when you hit the limit. For most businesses, Google Ads is a quick and budget-friendly way to grab that first-page spotlight.

But heads up: popular keywords cost more. For example, “Travel agency” will hit your wallet harder than “Luxury honeymoon packages in Bali.”

Why Invest in SEM for top Google positioning?

Instantly hit page one

Google Ads shoots you right to the top for hot keywords, no waiting. It’s a fast-pass for getting quality traffic to your site, especially if you’re in a hurry.

Full control over budget

Concerned about costs? Google Ads lets you control your spending down to the penny. You only pay when someone clicks, keeping your budget in check;

Precision targeting

Google Ads is like a sniper rifle for targeting. You can aim your ads at people who are super interested in what you’ve got. You can focus on:

  • Where they are (geographic location)
  • What language they speak
  • What device they’re using

Geo-targeting is one of the most effective targeting options in Google Ads. You can target the countries, regions, cities, and even zip codes that you are most interested in.

Google Ads can also be used at different stages of the buyer journey.

Direct keyword control and rapid campaign optimization

Paid search lets you dictate exactly which keywords will activate your ads. This can be fine-tuned at any time to align with evolving search behaviors or business objectives. Plus, you get instant data to make your ads even better.

How to get started with Google Ads?

If you’re thinking of running a few ads, you can totally do it yourself—if you know the ropes. Check out Google’s own tutorial for a quick start.

Here is a tutorial from Google on how to create your first Google Ads campaign.

And let’s bust a myth: Google Ads isn’t just about those clickable links. You’ve got a ton of different ad formats to play with.

Google Ads to rank first on Google

Take your Google Ads to the next level with Digitad

Maximizing the efficacy of your media spend? That’s where we come in.  As a distinguished PPC agency in Montreal, we’re all about getting you the best ROI.

Our team knows the ins and outs of Google Ads, and we’re ready to make your campaigns shine.

Not convinced? Compare us to the other agencies. We’re confident you’ll see why Digitad is your go-to for killer Google Ads.

2. How to get your business on first page of Google for free with SEO

Dream of a steady stream of leads landing on your site, and not paying a penny for ads? That’s not a fantasy. It’s called SEO, or Search Engine Optimization.

Definition of search engine optimization
Search Engine Optimization is a set of techniques designed to improve a website visibilité in organic search results on search engines

Going the SEO route? Strap in for the long haul. You’ll need a mix of patience, dedication, and solid strategy to hit that top spot. A successful organic search optimization strategy will require you to post quality content on a regular basis.

It will also require you to spend quite a bit of time on Google Analytics, tracking your performance, running tests, continuously improving, etc.

Here are the main steps involved in SEO:

1. Finding the right keywords

Start by figuring out the search terms you want to rank for. These are your keywords, and they can be single words or phrases. Like:

Here are some examples of keywords:

– “tenant laws”
– “hairstylist near me”
– “brunch Montreal”
– “air conditioning repair”
– “how to plug a leaky roof”
– “how to appear on the first position of Google”

Each page of your website should target a different set of keywords so that your pages do not compete with each other.

The best keywords for you? The ones your ideal customers use when looking for what you offer. They don’t have to be blockbuster terms. Sometimes, longer and more specific keywords—called “long-tail keywords”—are your best bet.

Usually, the longer and more specific a keyword is, the more clearly it conveys the user’s search intent, making it easier to target their needs with your content.

Types of keywords in SEO

For keyword hunting, Google’s  Keyword Planner is your friend. It will enable you to conduct a keyword study, which is an information gold mine that reveals the search behaviour of Internet users in your industry. This research is your SEO backbone, helping you tailor your content over time.

2. Place those keywords strategically

So, how do you wave at Google and say, “Hey, I’ve got the answer!”

Google’s like a librarian. It scans the web, making a giant list of pages in its “index.” When someone searches, Google digs through this index for the best answer.

Your job? Make your site easy for Google to find and understand. Here’s how:

SEO Element Optimization Strategy

Characteristics or Metrics

SEO Title (Meta Title) Place your primary keyword upfront. 60-65 characters
Meta Description Incorporate primary and secondary keywords. 130-155 characters
Page’s URL Eliminate superfluous words and include main keywords.  Eliminate useless articles like ‘the’, ‘a’, ‘an’.
Content (Length and Density) Aim for at least 300 words with a keyword density of 0.5% to 2%. At least 300 words
Headings (H1, H2, H3, etc.) Main keyword in H1. Use either main or secondary keywords in H2s and H3s.
Internal Links Include logical internal links with descriptive anchor text. Avoid links to words like ‘here’, ‘see’, ‘click’. “contact our furnishings expert”
External Links Cite at least one high-quality external source. Government, reputable blog, newspaper, etc.
Image Optimization Add main and additional keywords in the alt attributes or alt text. N/A
Structured Data Use extensions like Rich Snippets on WordPress or add directly into your page’s code. N/A
Featured Snippets Include questions in subheadings and answer them directly using numbered lists. N/A

Hold up—these nuggets of wisdom aren’t just for blog posts. They’re your all-in-one toolkit for any kind of content: service pages, blog posts, you name it.

Craving for More? Up your content game

Want the deep dive on crafting killer content? Check out our ultimate guide to content writing. Trust us, we’ve been at this for years and our content consistently hits the top spots.


The fine art of keyword balance: stay natural, stay relevant

Look, Google’s no fool. Stuffing your content with keywords like a Thanksgiving turkey? That’s a one-way ticket to the bottom of the search results. The key (see what I did there?) is to weave those keywords in naturally, like a pro.

The golden rule: quality over quantity

Want that coveted spot on Google’s first page? Ditch the keyword confetti. Instead, serve up content that’s not just readable but irresistibly engaging and packed with value. Give your audience what they’re actually looking for, and you won’t just rank—you’ll dominate.

Meme useful content SEO "When you try to convince Google to put you in first position"

3. Optimize your website’s technical elements

Before diving in, ensure your site is:

  • Mobile-responsive, given the surge in mobile search
  • User-friendly with intuitive navigation and clear CTAs
  • Fast-loading to reduce bounce rates

Here are some technical SEO basics to check before you get started ⬇️

Mobile accessibility

Is your website easily accessible on all devices?

Let’s get straight to the point: If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re already behind. With the lion’s share of searches happening on mobile devices, Google places a premium on mobile-responsive design.

That’s why Google favors mobile-friendly websites. However, if you don’t have an adaptive website, you can make modifications to ensure an optimal experience for the mobile user.

Optimized user experience

Does your website offer a pleasant user experience?

An intuitive site structure with crystal-clear calls to action (CTAs) isn’t just good UX—it’s good SEO. Google’s got its eye on how long users stay on your site. The longer, the better. So, make your website a place people want to hang around.

A website with:

  • intuitive navigation
  • clear calls to action
  • answers to your visitors’ most immediate questions

Makes users want to stay longer and come back later – which Google will notice 👀. This will make it want to rank you higher!

The need for speed

Remember the last time you sat around waiting for a website to load? Neither do I. Speed is a ranking factor.

If your website is too slow, your bounce rate will rise, as potential customers leave your website and Google’s first page moves away for you.

Check your website’s speed in your Google Search Console (a very important SEO tool!) or on the public Google Pagespeed Insights.

In short, you’ll need a responsive, fast-loading site!

Don’t heritage to call our SEO agency in Montreal if you need help with technical SEO, we master it 😉.

4. The power of local SEO

Did you know Google Maps often grabs the top spots in search results? Use this to your advantage.

Create a Google Business Profile

Google Business Profile (previously Google My Business) is one of the most powerful tools for local business owners. Creating a Google Business Profile is a quick and easy way to get your business on the first page of Google for location-based searches.

It’s important to claim and verify your listing to ensure that you can monitor, maintain, and optimize your Google Business profile.

Google business profile example

How to rank first on google my business?

Optimize your Google Business Profile

Avoid just creating a listing and hoping it shows up eventually. Google My Business strives to provide consumers with as much information about a business as possible, before they even encounter it. Optimize your Google Business listing for maximum visibility. Here’s how to do it:

  • Fill out every section—don’t skimp on details
  • Keep your information up-to-date
  • Reviews are gold; encourage satisfied customers to leave them
  • Photos aren’t just worth a thousand words—they’re worth higher rankings
  • Leverage your My Business account to publish news, offers, and updates
  • List your products and services. All of them

Product Google business profile

List your business in other directories

Don’t just rely on Google; platforms like Yelp also carry weight in Google’s eyes.

First, Yelp has high organic traffic and is widely trusted by Google, meaning your company’s Yelp page may very well appear on the first page of Google for relevant searches.

Second, a strong listing with positive reviews improves your overall online presence. Online reviews and quality links from other trusted sites send signals to Google’s ranking algorithm.

As with your Google Business profile listing, make sure all of your listings are complete and accurate, consistent across platforms, up-to-date, and that you are collecting and responding to reviews. Don’t forget to add photos!

The impact of backlinks

Backlinks to rank first on Google

Quality backlinks are like a vote of confidence from the web community. The better the backlink, the more Google trusts you.

A quality backlink originates from a high-domain-authority website, and it’s an element that could tip the scales in favor of your website over your competitors.

Acquiring quality backlinks requires time and good backlinks tools, but it will act as a differentiating factor between two competing sites with similar content.

How to get quality backlinks?

Think mutual benefit. Guest posting is an excellent strategy here. By offering quality content to other industry websites, you can earn a valuable backlink in return.

So… a single article can get you a quality link. If you optimize your content creation processes (for example, with AI tools, or always writing long-form list-style blog posts with the same structure), guest posts could produce great results.

Of course, you should take the time to review sites in your industry, select high-authority websites, and make sure the type of content you’re comfortable creating can make for a relevant guest post.

Ready to get your business on the first page of Google?

Quote- from Cassandre alberzard SEO strategist at Digitad "Getting on the first page of Google takes perseverance and determination, but it's the first step towards your compagny's digitad success.

So, you see, landing on Google’s first page isn’t a fairytale. It’s a perfectly attainable goal, even for small businesses.

All it requires is a meticulously crafted strategy and some hands-on effort.

By mastering these essential steps and techniques, you elevate your online visibility, effectively putting your brand under the limelight it rightfully deserves.

Need a strategic partner? Choose Digitad!

Intrigued by the potential of being on Google’s first page? Reach out to us at Digitad. We’re experts at creating custom plans designed to launch your brand to the top of the digital world.

Frequently asked questions about Google first page

Securing the top spot on Google isn’t just about visibility; it’s a hallmark of your brand’s excellence and authority. When you’re number one, your content isn’t just clicked—it’s trusted. This trust converts into more clicks, more engagement, and more opportunities for your business to grow.

Ready to take your brand to the top? Let’s talk.

Why navigate the complex world of SEO alone when expert guidance is just a click away? Contact our Montreal-based SEO specialists for bespoke strategies that will shoot your business to the apex of Google rankings.

Climbing to Google’s summit isn’t a sprint; it’s a strategic marathon that hinges on multiple factors. Your keyword competitiveness, content quality, and SEO acumen are the key players in this intricate game.

The patience play in SEO: a game-changer

Though the journey may stretch from a few weeks to several months, patience isn’t just required—it’s rewarded. The transformative impact on your online visibility and business metrics makes the wait a worthy investment.

According to our data, our clients typically see their pages ascend to enviable positions within a 3 to 6-month timeframe.

SEO can considerably increase your chances of ranking first on Google, but nothing is guaranteed.

Google employs a complex algorithm with over 500 factors to determine your site’s rank, and here’s the kicker—these factors are continually evolving 😊.

To decide who will rank first, Google uses a complex algorithm that takes many factors into account, including

  • content relevance and quality (On-site SEO)
  • website structure (Technical SEO)
  • number and quality of incoming links (Off-Site SEO)

The algorithm analyzes the relevance of your content to users’ queries. Its aim is to present them with the BEST possible content!

Cracking the Code of Google Ads: a balancing Act

While Google Ads serves as a speedy avenue to claim your spot in the search results, it’s crucial to grasp that this isn’t a guaranteed golden ticket. You’re stepping into a battleground, where an intricate blend of variables govern your ad’s final resting place.

The Three Pillars of Ad Placement: Bid, Quality, and Relevance

  1. Your bid: This is the monetary muscle you flex—the sum you’re open to parting with for every click. While a hefty bid can boost your ad’s position, money alone doesn’t dictate your rank.
  2. Ad quality: Here, Google scrutinizes your ad’s credentials—its relevance to the query, the landing page it leads to, and its click-through rates. This scrutiny culminates in your Quality Score, a vital metric that sways both your ad’s positioning and its cost-per-click (CPC).
  3. Keyword relevance: The relevance of your ad to the targeted keyword is non-negotiable. An ad centered around ‘luxury watches’ will flounder if it shows up for ‘budget watches.’ Google’s mission to deliver highly relevant content to users extends to its ad placements.

The Balancing Equation

Your ad’s coveted spot isn’t just a monetary transaction; it’s an equation balancing your bid and Quality Score. This ensures that you can’t simply outbid competitors to claim the top spot. You must also deliver tangible value via high-caliber, laser-focused ads. The game isn’t just about outspending—it’s about outsmarting and outperforming.

Local SEO optimizes your online presence to attract more customers from local searches.

By having an optimized Google Business Profile, you can appear in local search results and potentially reach the first page of Google for local queries.

No, the composition of Google’s first page is not static; it varies for each user based on several key factors, such as:

  • User’s geographical location
  • Search History
  • Personal Settings

Not necessarily. Content quality is far more important than quantity.

It’s better to have well-written, relevant, SEO-optimized content than lots of content with no added value.

You can use position tracking tools to check where your site appears in the search results for certain keywords, such as SEM Rush (pay-per-click package).

Google Search Console can also provide you with information on your website’s performance and positions.

Social media can indirectly boost your Google ranking. Though not a direct ranking factor, they amplify your content’s visibility, potentially increasing backlinks—a crucial element for Google rankings.

Ranking first on Google indicates that your website appears at the top of search results for a specific keyword.

This prime visibility can result in elevated click-through rates and potentially increased conversions.

Yes, it’s entirely possible to reach the top position on Google thanks to SEO.

This involves optimizing your site and its content for search engines by focusing on aspects such as:

  • content quality
  • keyword optimization
  • site structure
  • building backlinks

Being in first position on Google can have a significant impact on your web traffic. 17% of users click on the first result they see.

Being in first position can therefore lead to a significant increase in traffic to your site.

Maintaining top position on Google requires an ongoing SEO strategy.

This includes regular creation of high-quality content, ongoing optimization of your site, and building quality backlinks.

To maintain your top position on Google, update your blog posts regularly.

Multiple factors can lead to the loss of your top position on Google, including algorithm changes, heightened competition for your keywords, or a decline in your content’s quality or relevance.

This could also be related to punitive measures, such as a Google penalty for dubious SEO practices.

To secure a first-place listing on Google and show up in search results, adhere to these crucial steps:

  1. Begin by crafting a high-quality website featuring relevant, original content
  2. Optimize your pages by incorporating pertinent keywords into titles, meta tags, and the content itself
  3. Ensure your site is well-organized and user-friendly. Then, submit your site to Google either through their site submission tool or by generating an XML sitemap file
  4. Lastly, cultivate high-quality backlinks from other relevant websites to elevate your online authority

Exercise patience, as SEO is a long-term endeavour. Yet, with consistent and strategic action, your likelihood of ranking first on Google will increase.

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Alexandre is co-founder of Intégral, a collective of 4 agencies specialized in digital marketing in Montreal and Paris. A former strategy consultant, he made a U-turn in 2017 to become a digital expert. He now has expertise in web strategy, content marketing and dad jokes.

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