Thursday, June 28, 2007

Getting High Rankings in Google

Dear Girl Geek,

I want you to optimize my website, so I will get high rankings in Google. How would you go about doing that?


Hi Larry,
My understanding is that you want your site to come up on the first page of organic search engine results on your desired keywords. The goal would be to have that happen on Google primarily, but also track rankings on Yahoo and MSN - the other main search engines. In addition, to get immediate traffic to your site you want to set up a PPC program through Google, which you may or may not want to continue once your site is ranking well in the organic results.

Note: Well established, relevant, busy sites with lots of links pointing to them get highly ranked in Google. So the strategy would be to draw alot of targetted traffic to your site via quality inbound links and referrals from search engines, social networking sites, blog postings, classified ads, and referral sites (such as Psychology Today, professional organizations, and educational sites). The site would be optimized for your desired keywords. The final strategy is to add fresh content to the site at least once a month to give search engines something new to rank and keep people interested in coming back to your site.

Here's what I'd need from you
1. Login information for your site, so we can upload changes and add a contact form

2. the age of your site - new sites take longer to get well ranked

3. a list of DESIRED keywords that you want your site to rank well on. You mentioned using WordTracker, so I'd like that list and any additional keywords you think someone looking for your services might use.

4. A list of any of the social networking sites your listed on, i.e. LinkedIn, Ryze, Zoom, Squidoo, Zandz, Digg, Merchant Circle, etc.

5. A list of all the domain names you have pointing to your site

6, a description of your detailed as you can, i.e., age, location, income, educational status, race, marital status, etc.

7. a list of links from any educational institutions you have been or are affiliated with, so we can ask them to link to your site

8. a list of professional organizations you are affiliated with for the same purpose.

In preparation for SEO and PPC set up, what I'd do is

1. Do a brief review of the site to make sure it's search engine ready and all browser compliant, i.e. check to make sure there's no funky code, no slow loading times and that the internal navigation is set up properly and the outbound links are relevant

2. run an inbound links report on your site and those of your 2 top competitors on each of your desired keywords, to generate a list of websites from which we can request links to your site.

3. create an xml site map for your site, so that all your internal pages can get indexed by the search engines

4. Set up Google Analytics and conversion tracking on your site, so we can monitor the progress and outcome of the SEO and PPC efforts

5. run a baseline ranking report for your desired keywords to see where you already rank in Google, Yahoo, MSN. I'd make a list of the top ranking sites on those keywords for later use in setting up the PPC program.

Setting up a PPC program

I usually have people start with Google AdWords because that's the search engine most 70% of people use.

For PPC, I'd
1. create a campaign structure by logical groupings, such as by topic or service specialty

2. create a list of phrase match, geo-targeted keywords with a traffic report and minimum bid recommedations. You can establish a monthlybudget that you want to spend. I can generate a recommended budget based on getting the most views possible.

3. Write a minimum of 2 ads per ad group with alternative wording, using your most important keyword in the ad title and body.

4. create a local business ad for each ad group, such that your ad appears with GoogleMaps attached, so people can see where you are located

5. add conversion tracking to see how well each keyword performs

6. set up regular reports to see how ad groups are performing

Ongoing SEO strategies

1. continue to slowly add relevant inboung links with high PageRank. If you add links too fast, Google gets suspicious.

2. add fresh content to your site regularly, probably via a blog. Google owns and so considers it a prime link into your site, especially if you continue to let them host it remotely.

3. post your site on local online classifieds, like Craigslist.

4. post your site on social networking sites

5. suggest you start posting comments to relevant blogs of possible referral sources. I can do some research and suggest some of those.

6. submit your site to specialty search engines or vortals, where applicable

Thanks for asking!

Annette Vaillancourt
Girl Geek Web Designs: Custom Web Design and SEO for Small Businesses on a Budget
Call for a Free Initial Consultation

No comments: