Why being on Google’s first page is not enough?

Vishnu Goyal

“How can we get this in top 3 on Google?”

“I got my page ranked on first page of Google but I’m not able to get it on #1 rank.” 

“Good it’s ranking on first page but can we get it on #1 rank in Google?”

I often get these and similar questions from my amazing clients.

While I have not been able to get them #1 for all the queries, I have definitely helped them get #1 to #3 spots for many. 


Let me show you.

But before that, let me share with you some exciting stuff on how being #1 and in top 3 on Google compares to being in just top 10

This week, I was looking for a customer service software to implement on our company site. And like any normal person would do, I Googled it! 

Hey Google “Best customer service tools”

What I saw?

Well, as usual, top 10 search results on Google. I snapped. Here

Best customer service tools – Google Search.

Help Scout is ranking #1.

Zendesk #4.

Hootsuite #8. 

But all three brands on page one.

“Customer service tools” and related keywords have a global search volume of about 7,000 per month, as per Ahrefs data

Customer service tools – Keyword Data in Ahrefs

Based on SISTRIX research, here are the number of clicks each position gets per 1000 searches:

  • Position 1: 285 clicks
  • Position 2: 157 clicks
  • Position 3: 110 clicks
  • Position 4: 80 clicks
  • Position 5: 72 clicks
  • Position 6: 51 clicks
  • Position 7: 40 clicks
  • Position 8: 32 clicks
  • Position 9: 28 clicks
  • Position 10: 25 clicks
Google CTR per ranking chart by SISTRIX.

Now, using this calculation, let’s see how much traffic each of these great brands might be getting from the search query bucket “customer service tools”

Help Scout (holding rank #1) – 7,000 search volume * 28.5% CTR = 1995 clicks per month

Zendesk (holding rank #4) – 7,000 search volume * 8% CTR = 560 clicks per month

Hootsuite (holding rank #8) – 7,000 search volume * 3.2% CTR = 224 clicks per month

While all these three brands are ranking on page one of Google for “customer service tools” keywords, the number of clicks each one of them is getting varies widely based on their rankings on Google’s first page.

Help Scout is getting 9X more clicks than Hootsuite and 3.5X more clicks than Zendesk. 

If you see, when your page is ranking on page one, even one or two points up and down in rankings can create a huge boost or downfall to your traffic. 

That’s why just being on Google’s first page is not enough!

Once a page is ranking on first page, next you should aim to improve its rankings from being in top 10 to top 3 and then on #1 rank! 

Even one point jump can 2X the traffic from that page for you. Sounds damn good, right?

Now, the question is how you can do it?

It’s not rocket science. It’s just SEO science!

Okay, enough kidding.

Let me show you how, tag along

→ Go to your Google Search Console account and filter top queries ranking below #11 in your target location. You can also use Ahrefs or SEMrush. Export the list.

Top Queries filtered by position in Google Search Console.

→ Once you have position #1 to #10 keywords list ready in a sheet, exclude keywords ranking #1 using filter. 

Now pay attention to which queries are most important to your business. You don’t have unlimited team, time and resources to optimize every keyword. Pick only ones that are most important to your business and lead generation. 

→ Now make a separate view of all the queries you have handpicked to optimize.

→ Next, map URLs of pages that are ranking for all those shortlisted queries. You need to use SEMrush or Ahrefs data for that.

→ Now, make a Pivot view of URLs and associated keywords for each URL. Pivot will make it easy for you to see all keywords ranking for each URL in one place.

→ Then, map your team to:

  • Optimize on-page text content and media;
  • Update meta titles and meta description;
  • Build internal links to those pages using keywords as anchor text;
  • Resubmit updated page to Google Search Console for faster indexing; and
  • Build external links using targeted keywords as anchor text.

Once you follow these steps, you will see positions improve and traffic booming from queries that were ranking on page #1 but were stuck in position #2 to #10. 

That’s all for this one.

BTW, do you make special efforts to improve the position of queries that are ranking on #1 page but not on #1 rank in Google? I’d love to know.