How To Rank on Google’s First Page for Free
The question of ranking high on Google search and other search engines is probably the most asked question when it comes to internet marketing or simple website development. Back in 2008 I wrote a post on this blog; Dominate Google’s First Page for Free and although it got a lot of interest and 50 or so comments, the Internet has evolved a lot in the past 3 years and I feel it’s about time I updated the post with the new and the fresh. I am still an active member at The Wealthy Affiliate and many other Internet Marketing communities, I am growing my online business every day so I stay updated on what works and what doesn’t.
So… Google has been playing a lot with page rankings and its search algorithm. The most recent Google’s update targeted so called “link farms”. Link farms are basically networks of interlinked sites created by some questionable software and used to get backlinks and better ranking for your sites. Google cracked down on these “link farms” and a lot of useless websites went under, however some bigger sites (like Overstock and JCPenny) lost their rankings as well. The NYTimes even did an investigation on that and revealed the Black Hat SEO tactics that JCPenny used to get high rankings. Lesson #1; do not do any black hat funky business, Google will punish you.
Are you ready to get your site ranking high BY the Google’s rules? Here we go…
1. First of all, you need to do your keyword research. After going through a dozen of free and paid tools, I decided to stick with Google Adwords Keyword Tool (GAKT), it’s free and probably the most accurate. When using the tool, make sure to select the country and language you want to target. Since I do affiliate marketing and all my business is online, I just leave it as is; USA – English. On the left hand site, uncheck Broad and check [Exact]. If you want to rank on Google’s first page you need to know what to rank for!
Get a Good Domain Name
2. You need a keyword rich domain. It has been tested a million of times and the domain name that contains the keyword phrase usually ouranks the domains that do not contain the keyword phrase. Another text in Internet Marketing community has proved that .COM always gets the priority, then .ORG, then .NET and finally .INFO. The whole domain name discussion deserves it’s own blog post but you have just read the important part. Let’s say you have run a flower delivery business in Montreal called “Les Belles Roses”. Well guess what, people searching for flower delivery in Montreal don’t care how your store is called, and even though you might already have a site and a domain name with your company name , I will strongly suggest building a second one with the domain name such as “FlowerDeliveryMontreal.com” It has a much higher chance to rank high. I have been using GoDaddy.com to get domain names for the past 4 years and I highly recommend them. (Although I prefer Hostgator (use coupon code “EXTRAPAYCHECK” for 25% Discount!) when it comes to hosting).
Google has admitted that they give too much importance to exact match domains and they might correct is soon enough, however it works like a charm right now and I am sure it always will.
On page Search Engine Optimization
3. On page SEO. This is an important step that’s often overlooked by beginners. Search Engines need to know what your website is about in order to rank it properly. Although Google admitted they no longer care for “Keyword Meta Tags” – they still care for title meta tag and description meta tag. Yahoo and Bing still pay attention to your keyword meta tags, so do it! When you are on your website, click on View -> Page Source (in your browser) to see your keyword tags. I love WORDPRESS when it comes to building a new site since it makes it very easy to edit meta tags and many other things, search engines love wordpress as well. Recently I did a full write up with images and even a video; How to Build a WordPress Site, check it out. Search engines also love it when you have a “Privacy/Policy” and “Contact” pages on your site. Make those pages.
photo credits: www.rylanclayne.com/
4. Off page SEO. This part of search engine optimization is done outside of your website and it’s mostly about getting people to link to your site. In order to rank on Google’s first page you need to let Google see that you are popular. The more quality links there are pointing to your site – the more popular you are. It’s always better to get links from established websites with high PR and in the same industry as you, however, all links count as long as they are not spammy. You can contact the webmasters of these sites directly and ask them if they could add your link to their site, maybe do a link exchange or maybe even you can pay a small fee for that. When building backlinks, make sure to always use your keyword in anchor text. If I want this blog to rank for How to Rank High on Google, I would make that text into a clickable link, like so: How to Rank High on Google. It looks like a simple text but when you click on it you are taken to my site, that’s anchor text. Don’t forget to vary the anchor text a little from time to time so Google doesn’t see it as keyword spamming of some sort. Get some links with text “Click Here”, “Visit My Site” and your actual url; “www. your site .com”. Make it look natural and DON’T get too many backlinks too fast, Almighty Google doesn’t like that. Make the link building constant. Sometimes I also outsource a part of link building, I usually pay $20-$30 for 250 good quality, high PR backlinks.
Getting More Backlinks
5. Other people’s sites are not the only place to get links. You can build a Squidoo lens, a blogger blog, a Hubpage and my favorite – you can submit articles to article directories! A lot of detailed information on all of this is offered in my Google Domination post. I also started using an article marketing software to get results faster and easier. I am not sure how I ever lived without that software… Basically I write an original 400-500 word article, then I use the software to find synonyms for words and phrases within my article and let it re-write the article (it’s called article spinning), so within about 2 hours of work I end up with 500-1000 unique articles. I look through a few of them quickly and they usually read amazing well, just if I wrote each article individually. Then I let the software submit these articles to about 1,500 different article directories. I usually set it to submit 100 articles every 48 hours (question of not getting too many backlinks too fast). Now think about it, 1,500 submissions, each article gives me 2 links = 3,000 backlinks, build steadily during 30+ days. It looks rather natural to Google and the best part – it’s all AUTOMATED! The software I use for that only costs $100 – the best $100 I spent in a long time. You can find the software right here. (EDIT: I have written the full review about the software in this post)
Social Media Marketing
6. Facebook and Twitter are fun to connect with your friends, however the social networks are now starting to play a huge role when it comes to your site rankings. Google is giving more and more importance to these networks and it’s 100% understandable. If people tweet and facebook about you – you are popular. Now if you do a search on Google, you will see 10 organic search results and right underneath you will see a few more results from “People in your Social circle” who either Facebooked, Tweeted or Blogged on the subject of your search. Make a twitter account, build a Facebook Fan Page for your site and invite your friends to “Like” it. When you make an update on your site, tweet it, share it on FB! This takes a few minutes but it adds “popularity points” to your site. Add “SHARE” buttons on your site, so people could easily share your content on their favorite social networks and bookmarking sites. Remember, Social Media is not a trend – it’s here to stay. There are some AWESOME strategies where you could get TONS of people to Tweet/FB about your site, Flood Your Website With Free Targeted Traffic is one of the strategies.
Social Bookmarking is also very important, Reddit, Digg, StumbleUpon – these sites can bring loads of instant traffic, backlinks and once again, more “popularity points” in the eyes of Google. I give more details on the subject of social bookmarking right here; Social Bookmarking or Highway to Backlinks.
7. Videos are in right now. Actually VIDEO has been hot since 2006, when Youtube started getting popular. You need to do video marketing for your website for several reasons;
- People use Youtube as a search engine to get information, let them find your video and eventually visit your site.
- Folks don’t like to read as much as watch videos, make it easier for them to understand what your business is all about.
- Google often shows videos in its top search results – another way for you to get exposure.
You might think you don’t have the budget for making videos, the truth is – you don’t really need a budget. You can create a simple video using a webcam (if you need to film yourself). You can use a small camera to film your business, you can use Camtasia to capture your computer screen on video (if you need to) or you can make a simple slide show video. Just make a powerpoint presentation with some images, add text and preferably a voice over. That’s it, you’ve got yourself a video! The video needs to be online so people could watch it. I use a free service; TubeMogul this service submits your video to 15+ leading video services (Youtube, Myspace Video, Veoh, etc). A few clicks and your video is available on 10-20 different video sites, how cool is that? Now, add the video to your site, share it on Twitter, Facebook… you know the steps.
Whoa, what a long post! This might seem like a lot of complicated work but it really isn’t and it’s very beneficial for your site so DO IT ASAP! This is how to rank on Google’s first page
Comments? Questions? Don’t be shy, there is a comment option down below.
To Our Success,