October 13, 2008
I got into SEO back in 1998. Back in the day, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) was much simpler than it is today. Most tricks like blatant keyword spamming and hidden key phrases worked like a champ. Even better, little tricks like these were usually OK to use. Not anymore.
In fact, most old-school tricks don’t work today and many can get your pages banned. This is great news for you. Over the next few minutes I’ll show you how to make Google absolutely LOVE your web pages and help you jump to the top!
Here is what you need to know… Google places about 90% of its ranking priorities on content and links. Keywords are still important, but only in your pages’ content (not the META Tags.)
Sounds simple, right? Definitely! And it really is. First you find the best keywords and place them just right in your web page text. Next you get great inbound links. Then finally, you monitor your progress closely (and competition’s progress.)
Step 1: Find the Best Keywords
Go to https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal and type in any keyword or phrase you think your target audience is looking for.
Tip: Use specific keyword phrases whenever possible. If you have a Web page dealing with floral delivery, think beyond just the word “flowers”, with its 257,000,000 competing pages on Google and try “sending flowers”, which has fewer than one percent the number of competing pages (at 1,940,000 pages) but plenty of people searching for it each month (“flowers” = 24,900,000 searches last month while “sending flowers” had 9,400,000.) Think about it for a minute… You can compete against less than less than 1% of the pages for about 40% of the possible targeted visitors. Now that’s impressive! You have a huge advantage over 99.5% of your competition with just that single tip.
Now list the top three keywords and keyword phases in order from best to second best and so on. You’ll need this for your content.
Step 2: Develop Killer Content
Content is your most important on page optimization resource. Don’t ever forget that. It is what Google bases your ranking on, AFTER linking that is. Developing search engine friendly, “people optimized” content is vital to your success. Google can read a Web page just like a person does, thanks to natural text algorithms. And they can tell if you are writing your pages for real people or just trying to get higher ranking. Relax. With this tip, you will do both!
First, grab a pen and pad and call a friend. Tell him all about your product or service. You’re talking to a friend so be natural and let it flow. Forget grammar.
Now end the call and write it all down. Write it word for word, as close as you can remember it. If you can record the call, that’s even better.
Next, go through your newly developed page content and fit your top keyword somewhere near the beginning of the first sentence. Now try to find a natural place to insert your number two keyword; hopefully also in the first paragraph. If possible, try to get your third keyword somewhere in the second paragraph.
Now place each of your three keywords in the next three paragraphs; one keyword per paragraph. Just work it in naturally. If it doesn’t fit, don’t force it.
Avoid repeating any given keyword more than four times per page and mix it up a little. Use one of the keywords a little more or less than the others so it does not create a visible pattern.
When you get to your final paragraph at the bottom of the page, be sure to use your most important keyword in the latter half.
Step 3: Get Great Links and Monitor Your Progress
Today, quality inbound links typically account for more than 85% of your Google ranking success. Getting the best possible links is the critical step that will put your Web pages over the top. But don’t stop there! Finding and landing these links is an ongoing task that needs to happen every couple weeks, at the least. Once you are on the right track you need to monitor your progress and your site’s status (how any given search engine actually sees it). This will tell you not just where you are, but also where you are most likely to be. Years ago we had to do all link work and monitoring by hand, and it took a long time. I averaged about 16 hours per week for each site! My advice is to find a good SEO tool and let it do that work for you. If you get hold of the right product, it’s the best money you’ll ever spend.
I used WebPosition for almost three years but switched to another with automated linking, which I personally find the most time consuming part of any SEO project. Both are excellent products for tracking and reporting however (Please note that Google has since banned Web Position due to abuse but it still works great on other search engines and has very nice reporting features and worth considering if you own an SEO company with many clients.)
#1 Pick: http://www.SeoEliteWeb.com
Cost = $167 (actual cost: lifetime free upgrades and no annual fees)
Personal Results: 121 top 5 rankings on Google in 3 weeks; Mostly 1’s and 2’s.
Top Features: Finds best link partners; Automates the link building process; Provides great Site Monitoring on the major search engines including Google.
Comments: The linking alone was enough reason for me to buy it but I have since learned it does a whole lot more. I’m on version 4 after purchasing version 2 in 2005 and getting the free updates since.
#2 Pick: http://www.webposition.com
Cost = $389 WebPosition Pro or $149 Standard (actual cost: add $99 per year subscription fees for either)
Personal Results: 44 top 5 rankings in Google in 8 weeks; Mostly 3’s and 4’s.
Top Features: Site Monitoring; Excellent reporting (but now banned on Google); Site Critic
Comments: I stopped using this one because there were no automated linking capabilities. I did however enjoy the reporting. If you own an SEO company the reporting is great to have but be advised that Google has banned the use of this product against their site and blocks it.
Now you are ready to take on the best of Google and win. Good luck!
Michael Small is the founder of the free SEO site http://www.SEOpartner.com and author of numerous search engine optimization books including the SEO Notebook, available at http://www.theSeoNotebook.com