The secret to being first in Google search

It sounds difficult to achieve (Organically ranking in Google), but when you break it down into basics, it’s actually straightforward.

SEO Outline
SEO Outline

The secret to being ranked in the top 10 of Google search relies heavily on two things:

  1. Backlinks
  2. Word count

Now that you know the formula, what do you do with this new found information?!

First, you need to do a “related:” on google. This will show you your competition. If nothing shows up for your website, this means you are not on Google’s radar. You’ll need to go to Alexa’s “find similar sites” page.

From there you can pick competing websites. Crawl the sites with an SEO auditor (I use Ahrefs + Screaming Frog to accomplish this).

You will need to find the average words per page and the backlink URL ranking distribution. This will show you what content and backlinks you need to produce to be #1 in your niche compared to your competition.

This is easier to understand with real-world examples, so please follow the case study below.

SEO Analytics
SEO Analytics

Case Study: Local Gyms

I was recently tasked with auditing a local gym’s website.

I went to Google and searched “” and found its 5 main competitors. For privacy, I’m renaming them after their rank listing.

Domain Rank

Before starting the audit, I looked at the Ahrefs rank (AR), URL Rating (UR) & Domain Rating (DR).

domain rank
Domain Rank

Ahrefs Rank (AR) shows the target website’s position among all other sites in our database rated by the “strength” of their backlink profiles. The website with the most robust backlink profile is ranked #1

URL Rating (UR) shows the strength of the target URL’s backlink profile on a 100-point logarithmic scale (higher = stronger). Both internal and external links influence this metric.

Domain Rating (DR) shows the relative “backlink popularity” of the target website compared to all other sites in our database on a 100-point logarithmic scale (higher = stronger).

Correlating those metrics

SEO Planning
SEO Planning

Word Count

Average page word count (which corresponds with ranking)

Gym #1 – 585 words per page (53 pages)
Gym #2 – 396 words per page (390 pages)
Gym #3 – 347 words per page (820 pages)
Gym #4 – 218 words per page (9 pages)
Gym #5 – 117 words per page (1379 pages)

You might be asking yourself: Some of those lower ranking websites have more pages than the Gym in first-place, how can that be? Shouldn’t they be first? If you multiple Pages x Words, shouldn’t that make them first?

Short answer, No, not really! Content Scheduling, Over-optimization, Quality of content, and duplicate content play a huge role in those website rankings, as you can see above, average word count still plays the primary factor in PageRank.

I dug a little deeper and found Gym’s #2, #3, & #5 posted daily workout routines, where only ≤5% of the page’s content would change, giving them negative scores (duplicate content). A full content audit would reveal a lot more information I’m sure.

Back Linking

URL rating distribution
URL rating distribution

As you can see, Gym #1 has a DA 31-40 (DA = Domain Authority) backlink, setting it above the rest. As the backlinks fall, so does the ranking.

After reviewing the Backlinks, I noticed Gym #2, #3 have a looping backlink for their payment gateway, Google recognizes this and adjusts their ranking accordingly.

From that, you can make a strategy to outrank your competitors; with better backlinks & quality content.

How do you add backlinks? For local gyms, you can add a local listing with the help of Yelp, GoogleMyBusiness, Social media posts, Local Municipality websites, Attend local events, ask your local paper to write an article on your upcoming business… the key is to be active in your community.

Why tell us?

Why reveal your secret recipe to ranking in Google Search?

Just because you have a recipe, doesn’t make you a Chef!

Hire someone to do the heavy lifting. Me!

Find out how