Do you want to get the first page on Google? If you have a web page or blog, you likely already are the first page for some searches. With a bit of SEO, you can gain the first page on more searches. And it’s simple.
The first and most obvious step is to think about what words or phrases you want to be the first page on.
Once you have that list, determine how many people are searching for those terms. To check how popular a search is you will need a tool. I use Wordtracker (there is a free online version). The higher the number, the more popular the search. No point in trying to optimize for a word or phrase that is rarely searched.
There is also no point in trying to optimize for a word that is too popular because getting a high ranking there will be almost impossible.
Think about “long tail”
Think about how people will search. People often search with a question. EG where do I find X? Or where do I find Y in Canada? The longer the string, the less competition you will have for it so the easier you will get ranked.
So make the list of phrases you want to “own” and ones that are realistic to “own”.
Now it is simple. Just put these words and phrases in your titles, picture descriptions, videos and in your text. The titles are the most important. That is why a blog called “Shrimp Fish Soup Recipes” will get good Google juice on all 4 words. So searching “Shrimp soup” will get the first page. Or “fish soup recipes” or “Shrimp recipes” etc.
Yes, you want to repeat your words and phrases often in the text. This said – write naturally. Never let SEO be a substitute for good content.
So you do this and you still are not the first page. That is because you do not have enough credibility with Google. You need another free tool to check this. I use a free Firefox plugin called search status. It gives me both the PageRank and the Alexa rating of any web page. Higher PageRank numbers are better. High credibility is your ultimate goal as that is what gets you ranked first and Alexa tells you traffic (a lower number is better)
How do you increase your PageRank?
It is all about quality inbound links. You want people with a high credibility (PageRank 4+) to link to you – eg Wall St Journal would be great. More is better and link rank is almost logarithmic so a PageRank of 6 is worth 10 times one of 5 etc.
This said, for you to get a link from an 8 rated site like pornstars.com would not increase your rank in the business genre. Sites are ranked for relevance.
The best inbound links are contextual. So someone blogging and saying I heard time management guru John Doe speak and hotlinking from “Time management guru” is great for John Doe. Second best, hotlink from “John Doe”. Third is just having a link on a blogroll without any context.
You get a higher rank if you update your content regularly. That is why having a blog on your site is a good way to increase your ranking.
Moderate cross-linking within your material will also increase your rank and clarify for Google what it is that you do.
3 ways to get links to your site:
1 – Ask politely. You might not always get a link but it never hurts to ask.
2 – Comment on other relevant blogs (and have your PageRank on so you ignore low PageRank and high Alexa). Note that most comments in themselves do not constitute a link. But being out there gets people to look at you. You need people to look at your stuff for them to be inspired to link to it.
3 – Have good material. People link to quality. But of course, they have to see it so promote your content:
Have your URL on all your print material, cards, letterhead, email sig file, etc
Write guest articles and blogs in the right (high traffic) places (check the Alexa).
PR – get written about
Contribute to other sites. EG write reviews on Amazon, join the conversations.
And a word of warning. Never play games (like buying links).
In the end, it is about having good quality material. And being out there so people look at your material. People link to quality without you asking as long as they know about it.