What business owner doesn’t want to see his or her website at the top of Google? We know that if we make it to the top, we can exponentially increase traffic and inquiries from prospective clients. In fact, many businesses that are lucky or skilled enough to be at the top of Google can barely handle all the business that Google is sending them.
So, the question is, how do you get there? How do you climb all the way to the top?
There is so much information about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) out there that it’s hard to focus and not feel overwhelmed. The goal of this article is to demystify SEO for you. I want to make the core of SEO crystal clear for you in easy-to-understand terms, so you’re no longer confused about SEO and you have a roadmap forward.
Part 1: Keyword Research
The first part of SEO involves choosing the right keywords for your campaign. If you choose the right keywords, the ones that your target audience is using when they search on Google, you are creating a strong, solid and sustainable foundation for your SEO campaign.
If you choose the wrong keywords, you’ll spend the next months wasting your time and money. So make sure you get this step right. Characteristics of good keywords include:
- Relevant to your offer
- High search volume
- Action-oriented (as opposed to research-oriented). A keyword like “computers” is most likely to get a lot of visits from people doing research. A keyword like “Dell X105 prices” is a lot more likely to bring you people ready to buy.
Part 2: On-Site Optimization
The second part of SEO involves optimizing your own site with the inclusion of the keywords you have decided to target. The following are some of the places on your website where you should put your keywords:
- Page titles
- Meta tags (not very important anymore, but it doesn’t take a long time and you will get a small gain)
- H tags (H1, H2, etc.)
- Your URLs
- The body copy
You also need to make sure your site is built right. Among other things, this means:
- Avoid frames
- Use DIVs instead of tables for layout
- Avoid 100% Flash sites
- Don’t put your text in images
- Make sure you structure your pages and folders right
- Use keyword-rich anchor text for your links
Eager for more Google SEO advice? Rocket to the top of Google with the Google Rocketship eBook Series, created by StartupNation and Zeke Camusio.
Part 3: Content Creation
Once you’ve optimized all the content on your site, it’s time to create new, robust, compelling content. Create amazing content so people tell their friends about it and their friends correspondingly link to your articles. The search engines feed on content and reward high quality links, so create as much relevant content as you can and make sure it’s of great quality.
And, don’t forget to include your keywords here and there whenever it makes sense.
Part 4: Link Building
The most important factor that determines which websites rank at the top of Google is inbound links (from outside of your own website). Make sure that:
- You get a lot of links from external sites (Easy, low-hanging fruit would be to get links from your business partners.)
- Those links contain your keywords in the anchor text
- You get as many links as possible from high-authority sites (you can check the PageRank of a site or its Compete.com ranking to make sure they are high-authority sites)
- You get as many links as possible from sites related to yours
- You get as many links as possible from blogs covering topics in which your target audience is interested
- (You link to your own pages from within your website using your keywords, too)
I hope you now have a much better idea of what SEO is and what it involves. I also hope you realize this is just SEO 101, and that there’s a lot more to SEO than this. I actually collaborated with StartupNation in creating the Google Rocketship eBook Series (3 eBooks in total), and encourage you to read the entire series to learn much, much further about how to get top rankings on the search engines.
Have fun optimizing your site, and I’ll see you at the top of Google!