June 24, 2008
Actually, let me rephrase that… Search engine optimization tricks have changed a lot over the years. But in truth, good solid SEO practices have remained stable and work better today than in years past. Why better? Because so many others keep trying to win with tricks that Google hates. This leaves you to reap the rewards of methods that Google loves!
The most important thing to realize is that Google, and other popular search engines place 90% and MORE of their ranking preferences on content and links. Keywords are still important, but only in the content of your pages; not in META tags like the old days.
It’s that simple. And just as simple is how to accomplish that top ranking…
1.) First you need to find the best keywords and place them just right in your page’s content.
2.) Next you need to find, get and manage great inbound links.
3.) Last, you need to closely monitor your progress (and your competition!)
Goal 1: Find the Best Keywords
Let’s use Google’s own keyword database to see what search terms are best to target. Go to https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal and enter any keyword or keyword phrase you think your future customers are looking for. Now get ready for a LOT of great results!
INSIDER TIP; Use specific and “long tail” keyword phrases whenever possible. One of my client’s is in national floral delivery. Here’s a real example of how my business partner and I put that business at number on Google with the perfect keywords…
The client had been paying per click for the term “flowers” and barely breaking even after spending tens of thousands of dollars per month in PPC costs. We not only gave him much better targetd keywords for his pay per click campaign, at one tenth the cost, but also made jim number one for his new primary keyword using the methods described later in this article. Before we go too deep however, let’s look at the new keywords and the logic used to get there…
Instead of just the word “flowers”, which has 233,000,000 competing pages on Google, we looked at what he really wanted to attract visits for. Although there are lots of possibilities, we will stick with just one example that saves him about $35,000 per month in PPC expenses and gives him another $100,000 per month in profit. We first evaluated “send flowers”, which has 1/10th the number of competing pages. Then we asked him to try “think like people speak” (I.E./ I’m “sending flowers” to my mom.) As it turns out, a lot more people are searching for “sending flowers” than are searching “send flowers” and “sending flowers” has less than 1% of the competing web pages as the search term he started with, “flowers”. Now that’s impressive!
Use this method of keyword determination (get exact and use longer keyord phrases when appropriate) and you have will have an instant advantage over about 99% of your competitors.
Once you have your keywords selected, take the top three or four and list them in order for best to second best and so on.
Goal 2: Develop the Best Possible Content
Content is King! The ability to create search engine friendly web content, optimized for real people, is the key to your success. Modern search engines (especially Google) can read a page just like any person would thanks to natural text algorithms. Now Google can tell in nanoseconds if your web pages were pages for real people or just to get better ranking. With the following tip, you can easily do both!
Step A.) Call a good friend and tell him or her what you want to tell your web visitors. Then immediately write it down as close as you can remember it. If you can record the conversation it’s even better.
Step B.) Now simply review your text and place your top keyword as close to the beginning of the opening sentence or two as possible. Then place your next most important keyword someplace else toward the beginning of that same first paragraph. Try to get your third keyword into the last sentence or two your first paragraph or at the beginning of your next paragraph if it fits better.
Step C.) Now place just one instance of each keyword in the next few paragraphs, anywhere they fit well. So if you have six more paragraphs before the final, each keyword should be three times total (once in paragraph 1, twice in the remaining 6 paragraphs with one mention of a single keyword in each paragraph.)
Step D.) For the last paragraph, do the opposite of what you did for the first paragraph and place your least important keyword toward the beginning of the paragraph and your most important toward the end. This shows the search engine consistency of topic.
Step E.) Last but not least, don’t repeat any keyword more than four times per page and always let the text flow naturally.
Part 3: Get Great Links and Monitor Your Site
Getting and maintaining high quality inbound links typically accounts for more than 75% of today’s search engine optimization success on Google. Getting these links is the crucial step that will get you over the top and keep you there! But you also need to monitor your progress and your site’s status (not just ranking but how search engines REALLY see it). This will tell you more than just where you are but also where you are likely to be. Back in the day we did all link work and monitoring by hand. And I can telly you that it took a long time (My business partner and I spent about sixteen hours each week, per site!) My advice to you is to do what we did and find a good SEO tool that does the heavy lifting and time consuming work for you. Buying the right product is easily the best money you’ll ever spend on your site’s marketing and publicity.
As for products, there are some good ones out there. I used one called WebPosition Pro for a couple years. I ended up switching to another called SEO Elite because it has automated linking, which is the most time-consuming aspect of my SEO efforts. However, both are fantastic products for tracking and reporting.
Number 1 Pick: SEO Elite
Cost = $167 (lifetime free upgrades and no annual fees)
Personal Results: 121 top 5 rankings on Google in 3 weeks; Mostly 1’s and 2’s
Favorite Features: Finds the best link partners, including special “Authority” link partners that count for more with Google; Automates link process; Provides great Site Monitoring
Comments: I bought SEO Elite in 2005 and have used every upgrade (all are free.) I got rid of my other products since this one did a better job for me and does not have any ongoing fees.
Number 2 Pick: WebPosition
Cost = $389 WebPosition Pro or $149 Standard (plus $99 per year subscription fees for either)
Personal Results: 44 top 5 rankings in Google in eight weeks; Mostly 3’s and 4’s.
Favorite Features: Site Monitoring; Great reporting; Site Critic
Comments: I stopped using WebPosition because there were no automated linking capabilities and did not want to continue paying the $99 per year in ongoing fees. I did however really like the reporting.
That’s about it. Now you’re ready. Good luck!
Scott Jason has been an SEO professional since 1999 and is the founder of BestSEOcopywriting.com. Over the past nine years he has worked with hundreds of clients he has secured thousands of top placements on Google, Yahoo, MSN and more.