March 19, 2008
Search engine optimization has been around almost as long as search engines have. It probably started about five minutes after someone realized there was money to be made on the Web, but only if your site could be found easily enough.
The reason for optimizing a Web page is the same today as it was a decade ago but the methods have changed quite a bit. Actually the methods seem to change every few months but a lot of this is just hype and fads. The three things that will get you to number 1 on Google are the same today as they were in 1998; keywords, content and links. And the thing that keeps you at the top is constant monitoring.
Keywords are easy to find with the right tool. But please don’t go buying any fancy keyword software just yet. We’ll use Google’s free keyword research tool in just a minute and that’s more than good enough to do the trick. Before we do that though there’s one very important thing to consider; good keywords are only half the battle. We want to find the best keywords with the least competition.
Part 1: Find 3 Great Keywords
These are the Big 3 considerations in selecting the best keywords: The most descriptive keyword…With the most searches performed…And the least competing Web pages is the one you want.
Go to https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal and type any keyword or phrase you believe your future visitors are looking for. You can use the three boxes with blue fill to determine how much that term is searched as well as its bidding competition. But don’t stop there! Once you find a great keyword go to Goggle and run a search on it. See how many pages you get for matches by checking the right hand side of the blue bar on top (Results 1 – 10 of about 3,300,000 for…)
Now do this twice more so you have a total of three great keywords and/or phrases. Then write them down and rate them 1 through 3, with 1 being most important.
Part 2: Use the Content Formula
Create your page content by writing ten or more paragraphs. Each paragraph can be just a few sentences long or longer if you’d like. Write your page content as close to how you would speak it in normal conversation as possible. Google and all the best engines use a natural text algorithm (NTA) that sees through Spammy text in a heartbeat. Here’s the formula…
Paragraph 1: Make this paragraph one of the longest and use each of your top three keywords one time. Use your number 1 keyword as close to the first word as possible. Use the number two keyword somewhere in the second sentence if possible but no later than the third sentence. Now use your number 3 keyword anywhere after number 2.
Paragraph 2: Use your number 1 keyword one time within the first one third of the paragraph text. If your paragraph is 100 words long, make sure the keyword is placed within the first 33 words, the closer to the beginning the better.
Paragraphs 3 and 4: Do the same as above using your number 2 keyword in paragraph three and number 3 keyword in paragraph four.
Paragraphs 5 through 9: Now mix things up a bit and use one or more keywords anywhere in each paragraph. Just do not use any single keyword more than three times total before you reach your final paragraph.
Paragraph 10: In your very last paragraph we will do exactly the same as we did in the first paragraph, but in reverse. Start it with your least important keyword and end with your most important.
This formula works extremely well. With the right links you can dominate Google in no time!
Part 3: Get Great Links
If you want to understand just how important linking is for Google, it will help you to know that Google itself was invented by a Ph.D. student as part of his dissertation project. The idea behind that project was to determine and rate information on the Web by its link value. Twelve years and one name change later, this is still Google’s main focus.
There are entire books dedicated to getting good links for Google rankling so I’m not gong to try to reinvent the wheel here. I’ll just offer a few tips that I wish someone had offered me when I was learning all of this.
Tip 1: Try to get as many “Authority Links” as possible. These are links that Google and other important engines feel are the highest valued. The short definition is these are the links that come up on top of Google for your keyword and who link out appropriately (doesn’t have too many outbound links on a gape, don’t sell links, etc.)
Tip 2: Constantly monitor the sites you link to and immediately remove any that get “gray barred” by Google (meaning banned for doing something wrong.) If you have the Google Toolbar you will actually see a gray bar replacing Google Page Rank on banned sites.
Tip 3: Text links work best. Links from banners or images are typically counted as advertisements and their credibility as links are discounted by Google and many other top search engines.
Tip 4: If possible, arrange to have the link to your site as a text link using keyword anchor text. So if a page’s main keyword phrase is “home construction”, this means that the words “home construction” would be the clickable link that leads straight to your home page. To the user, the words “home construction” would likely be marked somehow such as blue and underlined.
Tip 5: If it makes financial sense, buy software to manage your linking campaign for you. There are some good ones out there, so look around and find one you really like. A good product will save you dozens of hours of initial work and many hours each month in monitoring. Just be sure it can identify “Authority Links” so you can target only the best. If it can also automatically check all of your site rankings, and your competitors rankings, that’s even better. I’ve used SEO Elite (www.SEOeliteWeb.com) for years and would not trade it for a free full time employee.
Part 4: Monitor Your Progress (and that of your competition!)
You can monitor all of your keywords by simply typing them in each search engine and then finding your pages. Then repeat this for your main competitors to see how your site compares. However, if you find a good combination SEO software product that does this in addition to linking, that’s even better.
That’s it. You know all you need to grab the number one spot on Google so go and get it – Good luck!
Mike Small has been an SEO consultant since 1998 and is the host of popular SEO blog http://www.SEOpartner.com.