How to Rank Your Website #1 on Google

Discussion in 'Internet Marketing' started by markdoyle, Sep 29, 2011.

  1. markdoyle

    markdoyle
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    Is your website coming up #1 on Google? If not, your customers can’t find you and you are leaving a lot of money on the table in lost sales.

    Here’s how you can rank your website at the top of Google, explained step-by-step.

    Step #1: Find Your Keywords
    Fact: you don’t know what people are typing into Google to find a company like yours. What you’d search for is not what they search for. So, you need to find out what keywords they’re using so you can optimize your website for them.

    These are the four criteria you need to use to decide what keywords are good and which ones aren’t:

    Search Volume. Use the Google Keyword Tool to find out how many people a month search for a given keyword. Make sure to select “Exact” instead of “Broad” on the left side of the screen to get more accurate results.
    Relevancy. This is the likelihood that someone searching for a particular keyword will buy your product. For example, if you own a BMW dealership in Omaha, NE, the keyword “buy BMW Omaha” is very relevant and “buy Audi in Miami” isn’t.
    Difficulty. Don’t discard a keyword just because it’s difficult. But if it’s difficult and not relevant, or difficult and has a very low search volume, then it’s not worth it. Use the SEOmoz Keyword Difficulty Tool to find out how difficult a keyword is.
    Ranking. Go after the low-hanging fruit first. If you’re ranking #8 for a keyword, a little extra optimization will put you in the top 3.

    Step #2: Perform a Competitive Analysis
    It’s always a good idea to see how you measure up against your competitors. The best way to do a quick and effective competitive analysis is to use Open Site Explorer. These are the metrics you should pay the most attention to:

    Domain Strength. This shows you how much Google trusts your domain vs. your competitors’ domains.
    Page Strength. This is the same as domain strength but at a page-level.
    mozRank. This is partially based on the number of inbound links you have. If you have fewer links than your competitors, you need to get more links.
    mozTrust. This shows the quality of inbound links. If your competitors are beating you here, you need to get high-quality links (more on this later in this article).
    Number of Links. This is the total number of inbounds links that you and your competitors have.
    Number of Domains Linking. Number of domains linking is different from number of links, because a website could be linking to you twice (that would be two links coming from one domain).
    Number of Pages Indexed by Google. This shows you how many pages you have and how many pages your competitors have. If you have fewer pages than them, you’ll need to create more content (i.e. start blogging).

    All these metrics should give you a pretty good idea of how competitive your industry is and how much of a gap there is between you and your competitors.

    Step #3: Optimize Your Site
    This post will show you how to optimize your site to rank #1 on Google.

    Step #4: Create Great Content
    This post will show you how to create great content and this one will show you how to effectively include keywords in your content.

    Step #5: Build Links
    Google sees links as votes. The more links you have, the better you’ll rank. These are the 10 laws of link building:

    Rule #1: The More, the Merrier
    You want to have as many links as possible.
    Rule #2: Links from Authoritative Sites Are More Valuable
    A link from CNN.com is worth more than a link from your cousin’s blog. Look for sites that have a Domain Authority of 55 or more. You can use the SEOMoz Toolbar to see the DA of a site.
    Rule #3: Topical Relationship Matters
    If you own a dog training website, a link from another dog training website is more valuable than a link from a music e-store.
    Rule #4: The Page the Link Is Pointing to Matters
    Don’t forget that search engines rank pages, not domains. Try to get links that point to the pages you want to rank. That’s a lot better than getting links that point to your home page only.
    Rule #5: Link Text is Everything
    If I wanted to rank at the top of Google for “Internet Marketing Agency”, a link like this Internet Marketing Agency would be a lot more valuable than one like this one: click here. In fact, I’d rather get 10 links with my keyword in them than 100 links with irrelevant link text. When two or more links point to the same URL, it’s the first link in the HTML code that counts.
    Rule #6: Context Matters
    The text surrounding a link matters. So does the location of the link on a page. A text link in the first paragraph is worth a lot more than a tiny link buried in the footer of the page.
    Rule #7: Internal Links Count
    I’m always shocked at how many people use “click here” or “read more” to link to other pages within their sites. You have full control over your website, so why not make those links keyword-rich? Use this tool to check for broken internal links: http://home.snafu.de/tilman/xenulink.html
    Rule #8: Not All Links Last Forever
    You should use this tool to measure how long your links are lasting: http://www.virante.com/seo-tools/link-atrophy-diagnosis-tool.php
    Rule #9: Make It Look Natural
    Dozens of new links built overnight pointing to the same page using the perfect anchor text doesn’t look natural. Mix it up. Link to the home page sometimes, use anchor texts like “click here” or “www.site.com” and make sure you don’t build too many links too fast.
    Rule #10: Beware of NoFollow Links
    “NoFollow” links don’t count. Read more about these links and use the SEOMoz Toolbar to detect nofollow links.

    Now let’s talk about how you can get links. There are a few dozen different link building tactics. These are my favorite.

    From Sites that Link to Your Competitors

    Use the SEOMoz Link Intersect Tool to find out who’s linking to the 5 sites that are ranking first on Google for your keywords.
    Work on getting links from those sites too.
    If the site is a blog, offer a guest post.
    If the site is a forum, post an article.
    If the site has a Resources/Links section, try to get listed here.
    If the site is a directory or allows for websites to get listed on it, do that.
    If you contact a webmaster, find a broken link on their site and use this as a conversation opener. When they reply, offer them content. If they don’t have broken links, make a suggestion or give them a compliment on their site. Use the telephone, email and social networks to contact these webmasters. Use a CRM tool to follow up with them because starting a conversation by asking for a link isn’t very effective. You need to use common sense and relationship skills to understand what the webmaster wants and what his visitors want. Once you know what they want, you can give it to them.

    From Top Ranking Sites
    Find the top ranking sites for a given keywords and get links from them following the same principles explained in the previous tactic.

    Advanced Article Marketing

    Submit articles to EzineArticles.com
    Track a unique snippet of each article using Google Alerts.
    When you get an alert indicating that someone posted one of your articles on their site, take a look at their site and if it looks good (relevant or high PageRank or high traffic volume or high Alexa Rank or plenty of comments/retweets), offer them more content (maybe exclusive).The goal is always to control the anchor text on the links in the articles.

    Directories
    Get links from these directories:

    Premium directories
    Yahoo
    DMOZ
    Business.com
    BOTW
    BOTW blogs
    Gimpsy
    Skaffe
    WOW
    Aviva
    GoGuides
    StartingPoint
    WebBeacon
    JoeAnt
    Local directories
    Google Local
    Yahoo! Local
    Bing Local
    InfoUSA
    Yellow Pages
    Localeze
    Yelp
    UniversalBusinessListing.org
    Niche directories
    Search for [keyword] directory. For example, “car dealership directory” or “Omaha business directory”.
    Blog directories
    BOTW blogs
    BlogCatalog
    http://www.blog-search.com/
    http://www.blogarama.com/
    http://www.blogbunch.com/
    http://www.blogcatalog.com/
    http://www.blogcode.com/
    http://www.blogexplosion.com/
    http://www.blogflux.com/
    http://www.bloggernity.com/
    http://www.bloghop.com/
    http://www.bloghub.com/
    http://www.bloglisting.net/
    http://www.blogrankings.com/
    http://www.blogtoplist.com/
    http://www.britblog.com/
    http://findingblog.com/
    http://www.geekyspeaky.com/links/
    http://www.getblogs.com/
    http://www.globeofblogs.com/
    http://www.iblogbusiness.com/
    http://www.lsblogs.com/
    http://myblog2u.com/
    http://www.quickblogdirectory.com/
    http://sportsblogs.org/
    http://www.theweblogreview.com/index.php
    http://www.weblogalot.com/

    Guest Blogging
    Go to MyGuestBlog.com, the #1 guest blogging marketplace, and look for bloggers who need content. You’ll write content for them and in exchange they’ll link back to your site.

    OpenSiteExplorer Tool
    Use OpenSiteExplorer to see who’s linking to your competitors. Go after the same links. If someone is linking to one of your competitors, they’re very likely to link to you.

    SEOmoz Link Finder
    This tool will give you a list of sites that are likely to link to you.

    Business Partners
    Ask your vendors, business partners, friends and people you know to link to you.

    Events and Charities (PR Coverage)
    Organize several events and make sure bloggers know about it and write about it.

    Testimonials
    Offer testimonials every time you buy something online as long as they allow you to put a link to your site in the testimonial.

    Donations and Sponsorships
    Make a donation and ask them to put your site on the Supporters page. Become a sponsor and have them link to your site.

    Get More Links from Previous Linkers
    Keep a list of all the sites that linked to you in the past and send them more content so they keep linking to you.

    Content Distribution
    Every time you have a new article, post it to Ping.fm, OnlyWire, EzineArticles, forums, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Include a call to action inviting people to re-post those articles to their sites and link back to you.

    Blog Commenting
    Post relevant comments to blogs in your industry.

    Create the Updated Version of an Old Resource
    Search for something like “10 places to visit in 2006”, write the 2010 version, see who’s linking to the 2006 version and tell them you have a more updated version of the article they can link to.

    Look for Broken Links and Replace Them with Your Resources
    If you have a travel site, search for Travel Resources. You’ll find a lot of sites that list their favorite travel resources. Use this Firefox add-on http://www.kevinfreitas.net/extensions/linkchecker/ to highlight broken links on these resource pages. Contact the webmasters, let them know about the broken links and suggest that they put your site there to replace the broken link.

    Find other sites linking to that same resource and get those people to link to you instead (because your resource works and it’s not a broken link).

    How to find some of these resources:

    Your subject + [Calculator/Lifehack/Tip/Resource/List]
    Search on Delicious and run the broken link tool here!
    DMOZ/Yahoo/Niche directories
    Get a list of the sites on pages 5-20 of Google. Run them by OpenSiteExplorer.org. Click on Top Pages and look for 404 errors. Find sites linking to these pages and get them to link to you instead of to a broken link.

    Tools
    Create plenty of tools and quizzes. People will link to these tools. Also, give people badges to put on their sites.

    Some Very Important Link Building Tips:

    Webmasters get tons of emails every day. Be different: use the phone! It works great!
    This book will help you with your sales skills (after all, asking someone to link to you is selling.)
    When link requests come from a woman, they work a lot better. Use this piece of information to your advantage.
    Don’t put the title of “SEO Specialist” in your email signature. PR works a lot better.
    Make sure you send emails from the same domain you’re asking links for. If you’re an agency, ask your client to create an email account for you. Don’t use a Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo address.
    Approaching people effectively can be a big challenge. Read this blog post on how to approach people.

    Do You Have Any Questions? Post Them in the Comments Section Below and I’ll Make Sure to Answer Them.
     
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  2. daytrader

    daytrader
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    Is it worth to exchange links as many as we can even when its not related?
    An seo specilist recently sent me an email telling me to exchange links with me.
     
  3. patrick0001

    patrick0001
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    Irrelevant link back could produce high bounce rate, it is advise exchange with similar niche.
     
  4. kayeness2010

    kayeness2010
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    this is a comprehensive one, markdoyle, thanks! :)
     
  5. Joseph.Shivell

    Joseph.Shivell
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    This is misleading. Although the steps you give can get websites highly ranked, it may not make it to the #1 spot on Google.


     
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  6. MrPolarZero

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    Thanks for the informative post. This will really help many internet marketers.


    Don't exchange links with just anyone, make sure you have related site or keywords.
     
  7. Chris_Tax

    Chris_Tax
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    I want customers from my web site
    I do income taxes it is very short season and very local customer base
    Chris
     
  8. jason079

    jason079
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    Great post!
    Full of juicy information :)
     
  9. Ken Peterson

    Ken Peterson
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    Nice post, thanks for sharing lots of information.
     
  10. cesspadilla

    cesspadilla
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    Not all number one websites in Google are gaining a lot of money. Sometimes targeting the wrong keywords will make you number one for nothing.

    You shouldn't be avoiding nofollow links. Yes it doesn't pass any link juice and pr to the linking website but it promotes traffic and it makes links more natural.

    Directories have no value now or whatsoever in SEO. Although it still counts as backlinks.

    I hope you're not referring to emails. Well if you put it that way then you're already spamming them. You can just make a newsletter so that every one that would love to hear from you will automatically get an email that you posted a new article rather than sending them when they're not really that interested.

    PR? As in Page Rank?
     
  11. gaurav467

    gaurav467
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    great post ..............thanks for share
     
  12. khaleel

    khaleel
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    Shouldn't this be in the article section?
     
  13. Chris_Tax

    Chris_Tax
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    It is amazing this works. I did it with help of my brother
    What do you charge a Mom and Pop business for this service?

    Chris
     
  14. stellaandreapark

    stellaandreapark
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    Maybe he has something more in mind :D
     
  15. Joseph.Shivell

    Joseph.Shivell
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    The good thing about getting highly ranked on Google is that if you keep going, you will remain ranked. So, even though people may only use your service from, for example, January through mid-April, you can keep your efforts going and still be ranked next January when they need your services again. The bad thing is if you stop, because no one one is looking for your service, you'll have to start all over again. The more your site bounces, the harder it will be to get back up. As an alternative, you can run a PPC campaign for the few months that people are looking for your service, and you can stop and start each season.

    For any ethical SEO provider, the size of your business doesn't matter. The important things are the competitiveness of the type of business, the number of phrases you pursue, and the competitiveness of those phrases. For companies that provide a custom quote for each client, they will also consider how much work needs to be done for On-Page Optimization. In your case, income tax preparation is a very competitive business, and your phrases will be very competitive. You can reduce the competitiveness of your phrases by adding a location to the phrases, and going for local phrases, i.e, "phoenix income tax preparation".
     
  16. joydanny

    joydanny
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    It is worthless to exchange link to those website which is not related to your business and if you do it then it creates a doubt of spam.
     
  17. jerxe

    jerxe
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    Thank you Zeke for the huge tutorial, noobs start reading before starting your website promotion, because from this complex tutorial you will learn more than others have learned in years.
     
  18. Shahrier

    Shahrier
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    Although some parts are partly faulty, this is a good article. Thanks for share.
     
  19. James.Anderson7

    James.Anderson7
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    Here's the intro to another fantastic article I found. Great read with detailed info.

    ---

    While there are some components of online marketing that are pretty well agreed upon, there are other strategies and tactics that serve varying degrees of priority and usage. Some online marketing firms emphasize mobile media and mobile marketing, insisting that it is the wave of the future, and most consumers make purchases from mobile devices on the fly. Others insist that social media is currently the most important element of online marketing, because of the enormity of online trend and the availability of self-identified, micro-targeted audiences.

    So, which strategies are best, then? What marketing priorities should you focus upon? What approach is best for an online business or ecommerce site, and what should take a benchwarmer seat?

    There are plenty of online marketing strategy “packages,” so to speak, and a lot of it will depend upon business industry, competition, the size and complexity of the website, current visibility/SERP ranking, and plenty of other factors. As a business webmaster or website owner, there is no possible way for you to learn all of the inside tricks of the trade that marketing professionals know from years of experience. However, it is possible to cover some of the basics of online marketing strategies and tools.

    Online marketing basics can be outlined as such:

    1. Keyword research, on-site content/web development/SEO

    2. Link-building strategies

    3. Organic and paid marketing strategies/SEM/PPC

    4. Social media strategies

    5. Mobile strategies (optional/conditional)

    * not all campaigns include – or even currently need to include – mobile strategies.

    Keep reading on best online marketing strategies.
     
  20. sebastian

    sebastian
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    I agree with haleymcadams1, keyword selection is CRUCIAL you have to choose keywords that hungry buyers are using to search for your product or service.
    You need to target those people that are searching with their credit card in hand and not those that are just browsing for information or worse still people who want to sell YOU stuff. Its pretty rough when your site ranks for a bunch of keywords that just dont perform despite the fact that Google said they had a very high search volume.
    Only choose keywords with a high commercial intent
     

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