First of all, it is not your 'website' that is presented in Google but your 'web pages' are. So each page can be presented on a different Google position (and you need to optimize each page separately).
When we search for 'lotus webdav' our Lotus WebDAV product page is presented on the first position on the first page and our homepage is presented second:
Besides this your web pages are presented on different positions for each keyword and or key phrase a person can fill in in the Google search bar.
Search for 'restore folders' and our Restore Folders product page is positioned as fourth:
And when we just add an extra letter 'lotus notes restore folders' we are presented on the third position:
So just saying that your website has to be on the first page and preferably on the first position is pointless.
Start with a keyword investigation. What search words and or phrases will people type in the Google search bar to find your product? You will get a very long list. Use free tools like for example Adwords or a paid tool like WebCEO to make this list even longer and determine how often these keywords are searched each month and how much competition there is for these keywords.
Position 4 for a keyword (restore folders) that is often searched for and has much competition is way more important than a keyword (lotus notes restore folders) that is positioned on the first position, but has less searches each month and less competition.
Try to find keywords and keyphrases that are often searched, usually this are general keyword, but with not much competition. These keywords are often hard to rank on the first page, so for each separate web page try to create a mix of keywords that are general and more explicit to your product and or service (usually keywords with multiple words). For explicit keywords it is easier to rank on the first page and if people do find your website they are highly aimed and chances are high they will convert to customers. While for general keywords it is difficult to rank on the first page and if people visit your web page chances are low that your product or service is exactly what they are looking for.
When the keywords you want people find your web pages for are clear, you have to optimize each web page separately for these keywords. On page and off page. On page is for example that you need to add keywords in your titles, in your image tags, in your content, etc. Off page is for example links to your website (very important!).
Google looks at the amount of links to your website from other websites and how important these websites are. So a link from a webpage about cars to your Restore Folders page is not valuable, while a link from the IBM website to our Restore Folders page is very valuable. Posting on link farms (or buyng links) is therefore useless and can even harm your positions in Google! Also important is the PageRank of the page that links to your page. PageRank is a 'number' that indicates how important Google think the web page is. The Google search bar has 7/10 our homepage ranks 3/10. Note that when you change the web page, this ranking can change.
Keep in mind that Google not only look at how your web pages are optimized for the keywords, very important is the content on your website. This has to be unique and updated on a regular basis. Google will always show the web page that best suites the search phrase on top. So even a page with a higher PageRank can be presented below a page with a lower PageRank if the content on that page is more applicable to the search phrase:
Keep in mind that you can position this week on the first page, next week you can be on the second page (your competition is also changing their web pages and Google demands change constantly). If you do not up date your website and keep track of your keywords (keyword investigation, optimize pages again) your rankings will drop.
And also very important to keep in mind: your web pages can be presented on the first page in Google, but if people do not click your website or do visit your website but don't take action (purchase, contact, etc), you are doing it wrong. So don't optimize for search engines only but also keep the human visitors in mind!!
Hopefully this article gives you more insite in how you have to think about positioning in Google. Feel free to contact me if you have questions or need advice. I can always take a free look at your website and send you an offer with an optimization advice.
If you need help with your website, feel free to take a look at our Search Engine Optimization web page or check out our Shazzoo Web Content Manager.
Written by: Kim van den Berg