The Ultimate Guide to Ranking #1 on Google: SEO for Beginners

The Ultimate Guide to Ranking #1 on Google: SEO for Beginners

Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. My SEO Journey
  3. Step 1: Find Three Keywords
  4. Step 2: Create Epic Content
  5. Step 3: Keyword-Optimize Your Content
  6. Step 4: Optimize Your Content for Users
  7. Step 5: Build Backlinks
  8. Bonus Step: Use Unique Images
  9. Conclusion


In this article, I will guide you through the process of ranking on the first page of Google, step by step. I will share the exact formula I used to achieve top rankings for competitive keywords like link building tools, backlinks, and SEO checklists. As the founder of Backlinko, a trusted resource for marketers, I have gained extensive experience and success in the field of search engine optimization. So, if you want to rank number one in Google, keep reading to uncover actionable steps that can help you achieve your goal.

My SEO Journey

I have a confession to make – I used to hate SEO, mainly because my first website failed to rank no matter what I did. It was a frustrating experience, and I felt lost, following advice from so-called SEO experts like "create great content" or "add keywords to your page." While these tips can provide some benefit, they won't magically push your site to the top of Google's first page. Realizing this, I decided to conduct numerous SEO experiments, testing different strategies such as title tags, backlinks, anchor text, internal links, and more. Through years of trial and error, I gradually pieced together the puzzle of SEO and became an expert in the field. Today, I rank number one in Google for a wide range of competitive keywords, gaining recognition as the world's foremost expert on search engine optimization by "Success Magazine." Now, I'm excited to share the step-by-step process that can help you achieve similar success.

Step 1: Find Three Keywords

The first step towards ranking on the first page of Google is to find three keywords that you will create content around. These keywords should be carefully selected based on their relevance, search volume, and competition. To find great, low-competition keywords, you can use tools like AnswerThePublic, Reddit, and Exploding Topics. AnswerThePublic is a free tool that generates long tail keywords from questions people ask on forums, blogs, and social media. Long tail keywords are specific and less competitive, making them ideal for beginners. Reddit, on the other hand, provides insights into the discussions happening within your target audience. By analyzing topics on Reddit and combining them with AnswerThePublic, you can find long tail versions of these topics. Lastly, Exploding Topics allows you to discover trending topics in various industries, presenting opportunities for targeting keywords that are relatively new and less competitive. Once you have at least three keywords ready, it's time to move on to the next step.

Step 2: Create Epic Content

One of the most surprising findings in a study conducted by BuzzSumo is that a significant percentage of content online does not receive any shares or backlinks, indicating its lack of quality. To make your content stand out and attract backlinks, it needs to be epic – far beyond just good or great. While there is no formula for creating epic content, there are key factors that can increase the likelihood of people sharing and linking to your content. Firstly, aim for long-form content that provides in-depth information on the topic. According to the same study by BuzzSumo, long-form content receives 77% more backlinks than shorter articles. It shows that investing time and effort into creating comprehensive, detailed content pays off. Additionally, adding a hook to your content can make it more appealing to bloggers and journalists, increasing the chances of them linking to your content. A hook can be a standout statistic, a unique case study example, a rare interview, or any element that makes your content remarkable. By publishing epic content, you improve the likelihood of gaining backlinks and boosting your search engine rankings.

Step 3: Keyword-Optimize Your Content

The approach to on-page SEO has evolved over the years. It is no longer solely about keyword stuffing, but rather about providing context to Google regarding your page's topic. While using keywords strategically is still important, it is equally crucial to help Google understand the overall theme of your page. Including your target keyword in specific areas such as the title, meta description, headings, and within the content itself signals to Google that your page centers around that particular term. However, using Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords is also essential. LSI keywords are closely related terms or phrases that tend to show up in conjunction with your target keyword online. By incorporating LSI keywords naturally throughout your content, you give Google additional context and confirm that your page is genuinely relevant to the topic. You can find LSI keywords by searching for your target keyword and referring to the suggested keywords that appear at the bottom of the search results. Sprinkling in a few of these LSI keywords throughout your content further strengthens the relevance signals you send to Google.

Step 4: Optimize Your Content for Users

While backlinks remain crucial for SEO, Google also pays close attention to how users interact with your site in the search results. If users click on your site and quickly return to Google, it signals to the search engine that your content might not be satisfying users' needs, resulting in a potential rankings drop. To optimize your content for users and increase user engagement, you need to consider their preferences and behaviors. Begin by structuring your content in a way that provides actionable information as soon as possible. Long introductions or unnecessary explanations can cause users to bounce off your site. Instead, dive straight into the main content—whether it's step-by-step instructions, tips, recipes, or workout plans—so that users can immediately find what they are looking for. Additionally, the design of your website plays a significant role in user experience. Studies have shown that users heavily judge a site based on its design before evaluating the content. Therefore, invest in a clean and user-friendly design that enhances readability and navigation. With these optimizations in place, your content is more likely to captivate users and provide a favorable user experience, ultimately boosting your search rankings.

Step 5: Build Backlinks

Although backlinks are still a vital factor in SEO, simply having backlinks is not enough to rank on the first page of Google. Your backlink profile needs to be built on a foundation of high-quality content and optimization for users. Once you have established this foundation, you can focus on building backlinks to your content. One effective method is broken link building. This involves finding broken links on websites in your niche and offering your content as a replacement. By providing valuable content that fills the gap left by the broken link, you increase the chances of the website owner linking to your content instead. Tools like Check My Links can help you identify broken links on a page. However, personalization is key when reaching out to site owners or webmasters. Generic outreach emails are less likely to get a response compared to personalized emails that demonstrate a genuine interest in the website or content. By incorporating personalized insights or compliments about their work, you increase the chances of receiving a positive response and acquiring valuable backlinks.

Bonus Step: Use Unique Images

In addition to the previous steps, utilizing unique images in your content can have a direct impact on your rankings. According to a study conducted by Reboot Online, websites that use unique images tend to outrank those that rely on stock photos. Unique images provide originality and contribute to the overall quality of your content. Avoid using stock images that can be found on numerous other websites, as this can potentially hinder your rankings. Instead, opt for images you have personally taken, created, or captured from relevant sources. Incorporating unique images not only enhances the visual appeal of your content but also helps distinguish your website from competitors, leading to improved search engine rankings.


Ranking on the first page of Google requires a strategic and holistic approach to SEO. By following the step-by-step process outlined in this article, which includes finding valuable keywords, creating epic content, keyword optimization, user-centered optimization, and backlink building, you can significantly increase your chances of achieving a top-ranking position. Remember, SEO is an ongoing process that requires continuous effort, monitoring, and adaptation to the ever-changing algorithms and trends. Stay committed, invest time into creating quality content, and leverage effective SEO techniques to build a strong online presence and drive organic traffic to your website.


  • Step-by-step guide on ranking on the first page of Google
  • Importance of finding low-competition keywords
  • The significance of creating epic content that stands out
  • Proper keyword optimization techniques for improved visibility
  • Optimizing content for user experience and engagement
  • Effective strategies for building backlinks
  • The impact of using unique images to enhance rankings


Q: How long does it take to rank on the first page of Google? A: The time it takes to rank on the first page of Google varies depending on several factors, including the competitiveness of the keyword, the quality of your content, and the strength of your backlink profile. It can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months or even longer to achieve a top-ranking position.

Q: Are backlinks still important for SEO? A: Yes, backlinks remain a crucial factor in SEO. They serve as votes of confidence from other websites and can significantly impact your search engine rankings. However, it's important to focus on building high-quality backlinks from relevant and authoritative sources, rather than resorting to spammy or low-quality techniques.

Q: Can using unique images help improve rankings? A: Yes, utilizing unique images in your content can contribute to improved search engine rankings. Unique images provide originality and enhance the overall quality of your content, making it more likely to attract engagement and backlinks. Avoid using stock photos that can be found on multiple websites and strive to incorporate images that are exclusive to your content.


  • AnswerThePublic: [Website URL]
  • Reddit: [Website URL]
  • Exploding Topics: [Website URL]
  • BuzzSumo: [Website URL]
  • Check My Links: [Website URL]
  • Stock Photo Websites: [Website URL]

I am an ordinary seo worker. My job is seo writing. After contacting Proseoai, I became a professional seo user. I learned a lot about seo on Proseoai. And mastered the content of seo link building. Now, I am very confident in handling my seo work. Thanks to Proseoai, I would recommend it to everyone I know. — Jean

Browse More Content