(As reported on Axandra.com’s Weekly SEO News, September 23, 2008)
A number 1 ranking in Google’s search results for the right keyword can mean a lot of visitors and a lot of sales. That’s why so many people want to be on Google’s first result page.
Unfortunately, many people still don’t know what it takes to convince Google that your website is more relevant than the millions of other websites on the Internet. There are four simple rules that will help you to get your website on Google’s first result page:
Rule #1: Don’t try to fool Google:
Google wants to return the most relevant web pages for a search query. They want to provide the best answer to a search query.
If you try to get a high ranking for a keyword for which your web page isn’t really relevant then you won’t get good results. Actually, you might be accused of spamming. If your website consists just of ads and affiliate links then it will be extremely difficult to get good rankings.
Make sure that your web pages will answer the questions of people who search for your keyword. The better your web pages match the interest of the web searchers the better rankings you will get. It takes some time to create good content but it will pay off in the long run.
Rule #2: Your web pages must show Google that they are relevant:
A website about used car parts cannot get high rankings for a keyword such as “brain surgery”. A high ranking for the keyword “used car parts” would be very beneficial to that site.
The problem is that Google must be able to find out that your web page is relevant for the keyword “used car parts”. For that reason, you have to optimize your web pages. Optimizing your web pages simply means that you make it easy for Google to find out what your website is about.
When Google visits your web pages, it will analyze the following elements of your web pages:
- The URL structure
- The title tag and the meta tags
- The body text
- Headline tags
- Image alt attributes
- Your site architecture and the internal linking structure of your site
- The outbound links
- Many other factors in the HTML code of your web pages
Each element can contain your keyword and show Google that your website is relevant for that keyword. This doesn’t mean that you can simply insert your keyword in these tags and that’s it.
You can also over-optimize a website and that can get your website banned from Google’s search results. It’s important that you optimize the right elements and that you insert your keywords in the right frequency. Analyzing dozens of web page elements can be very time consuming. IBP’s top 10 optimizer can help you to do this quickly and easily.
Rule #3: Other websites must confirm that your web pages are relevant:
In addition to optimized web page content, Google heavily relies on the links from other websites to your site. Basically, the other websites have to confirm that your website is relevant for a special keyword.
The more websites link to your website, the more visible it will be to Google. The more other websites use a special keyword as the linked text in the links to your website, the more important is your website for that keyword.
A web page that has been optimized for the keyword “used cars” can also get high rankings for the keyword “pre-owned cars” if enough websites link with that text to the page.
It is also important that the other web pages are related your site. If a website that is about vintage cars links to your “used car parts” website then this will have a bigger effect on your search engine rankings than a link from a candy shop website.
A link from a web page that only links to car related web pages is also more valuable than a link from a web page that links to all kind of pages. Getting the right links is crucial if you want to get on Google’s first result page. IBP’s link builder helps you to get these links.
Rule #4: Your website must have a clean history:
The age of your domain and its history will also be considered by Google. A domain name that has been around for a long time will get high rankings more easily.
However, if your domain name has been used by spammers before, you might still suffer from the ranking penalties that have been applied to the previous content.
If you follow the rules above and change your web pages accordingly, your website will get top rankings on Google. It cannot be done over night but it’s definitely something that can be done within a few weeks if you do the right things.