Getting ranked on the first page of Google and if at all possible, in position 1 should be the goal of every online marketer. The problem is there are so many factors to consider sometimes it seems almost impossible and it can become quite frustrating to say the least.
Did you know Google for instance, have 187 registered different factors that they use to evaluate a website ranking and these are of course a closely guarded secret.
We know Search engines also constantly change and modify these ranking factors, the biggest change being with the recent Google Panda review which saw sweeping changes to the way Google decided rank.
How do I get my website on the first page of Google? is the million pound ( I am in the UK ) question I get asked more than any other and whilst it is a constantly changing playing field, some solid basics should always be applied and adhered to when building a website.
This is the foundation to build upon and if you achieve these basic steps you will have taken 90% of the guesswork and hope from the equation, it is then simply a case of scaling up the back linking and creating an ever increasing social media footprint so here are my Top 6 must do tips to get you on the way to page 1 in Google.
Sounds simple enough and everyone and their grandma has heard how important keyword research is but many do it completely wrong, they either make the mistake of targeting a low competition keyword that has no traffic or go the opposite way and try to take on the world with a keyword that will never get to page 5 never mind page 1.
Use the keyword tools available, Google have a perfectly good free tool and this will give you all of the data you need, only focus on “exact match” results and you can expect to get around 37% of these searches for a position 1 listing, anything below the top 3 other than for a seriously competitive keyword is almost a waste of time.
Forget using complicated tools especially when starting out, use this common sense approach because post Panda it is far easier to get in amongst the top 3 results providing your website is fully optimised because the competition may not be now.
Look at the page rank and authority of the top 5 sites, if you find PR 6 authority sites with thousands of indexed pages and tens of thousands of back links don’t even consider the fight, plenty more fish in the sea, carry on with your search until you find a reasonable keyword with sufficient search volume and competitors you think you can out perform and you have your main keyword to rank for.
Use the “related searches” at the bottom of the search listings in Google to find related keywords (LSI Keywords) which of course you will be adding in to your content and using as the main keyword for additional pages/posts. I would normally aim to gather around 10 – 12 keywords at this stage.
Once you have your main keyword go to Godaddy or the domain registrar you use and do a search for your keyword, it will probably not be available as a .com but this is the only extension you should consider unless you are ranking local sites in which case your national extension is fine.
If the .com is not available try to add a letter to the end of it, Google doesn’t recognize this letter and passes full rank to the domain name in the URL.
This is massively important and far more so than most people imagine. Never consider adding anything other than high quality content that is 100% original, if you are not the writing type it is fine to buy articles but please ensure you have seen examples of the work and that they supply a Copyscape passed proof of the article.
Copyscape is a website that checks for duplicate content, it offers a limited free service but if you buy significant amounts of articles the paid version is not that expensive and well worth the cost for the peace of mind.
Make sure you have the keyword in the title and the H1 and H2 tags. Keyword density is not given the importance it was before Panda but it doesn’t do any harm to get it in where ever possible providing it is in the flow of the article.
Use as many of the additional keywords you have found in the context of the article but be very careful not to over do it which will result in content of low quality.
A good internal link structure adds authority to a website, Wikipedia is a great example, it has a vast internal linking structure which adds to the general high ranking of the majority of its keywords.
Always use anchor text links and only link if the keyword is relevant to the linked post. Link 2-3 times per post and highlight the keyword, use images and video where ever possible and ensure you add your keyword in to the ALT tag.
External links should be to related authority sites wherever possible and the link should be “no follow”, if you cant find a related high authority site to link out to use Google or Google Webmaster and the Wickipedia page of the actual keyword.
This is a topic we can spend days and days discussing, for the purposes of this post lets highlight best practice. Be relevant, a link from a related website is a stronger vote than from a non related website.
Look for Quality, it is far more important to get quality over quantity, 1 .edu PR6 back link is worth more than 1000 profile links obtained from automated software so be selective. Build at the same pace, some webmasters say you can build links too quickly and new sites will get penalized.
All I can use is my own experience and in my opinion, providing you build at a constant rate and you maintain that rate you will be fine, if you start at a rate of 100 links per day (which many advise is far too many for a new website) but maintain that rate there is nothing unnatural and therefore nothing to flag to the search engines, if on the other hand you don’t do much, or no link building for a couple of weeks then decide to blast some paid back links in a couple of days then stop again, it will look unnatural and therefore you will run the risk of getting penalised (sandboxed).
Be diverse, if you are building 100 links per day make sure you have a good cross section of links,Directory submissions, Press releases, blog comments, bookmarks,web 2.0, articles submissions, forum posts, social media likes etc all add up to a very natural development and if you can get this part right you will skyrocket the rankings, it is not about building thousands of worthless links, it is about being relevant, providing quality which gives you authority which in turn provides ranking results.
Last but not least, Google is using social proof more and more to add to its ranking algorithm, its recent Google+ launch demonstrates its intentions and the bigger your social footprint is the more success you will get.
Who you follow, who is following you is more and more important. Spending time developing this area of your business is vitally important and it is something I am actively working on, I have never been into Facebook and I have 12000 Twitter followers I don’t really interact with that much so the next few weeks will see me launching my new Facebook page and setting up my new Google+ site.
I really like the idea of Google + and it provides a much better solution than Facebook for me from a business point of view but that is just my opinion, as always I would love to get your own feedback on this or anything else.
There are of course many more factors to take in to consideration but this is the core of what is needed from a basic level to get you up and running and in with a shout of that coveted page 1 listing.
I am in the process of completing a follow up to my Rapid Ranking Formula which is a detailed step by step guide to build a brand new website in a competitive niche (3600 exact match searches per month) and get it ranked on to the first page of Google. I have some really great feedback from my training but the one point over any others was providing a step by step training guide which can be followed by anyone in an hour or so a day to get a website ranked.
I am sure this new report will make a massive difference to many who just need a guide to follow to get up and running, it can be a daunting task knowing where to start so hopefully this will help all of you in this position. Take heart that we have all been in this position at some stage and taking action every day and applying methods you learn along the way is the only way to make any progress, it is not going to be an overnight success and you will not make thousands of pounds per day when you are starting off like a lot of other marketers claim, get the basics right and build on that, be passionate and stay focused, it really is only a matter of time before the penny finally drops and you get that a ha moment and you will be on your way.
For my subscribers who got my Rapid Ranking Formula, I appreciate this content is almost all covered in the report but I have had many requests to provide a basic guideline to set up a website so I thought I would provide a blog post, on the positive side, it does help to remind yourself of the basics because we do tend to miss out some fundamentals that may just make a difference.