Posted by admin on January 13, 2012 in Backlinks
, Website Development
Driving Targeted Traffic – The Basics of Google Web Search
Before you make your website live you should really plan on how you intend to drive targeted traffic to it. In fact before you register a domain name you should have an idea how traffic will find you. Google is the largest search engine on the internet with YouTube (also owned by Google) number 2. With that in mind, it makes sense to understand the basics of Google web search in order to best take advantage of the incredible traffic that search engines can bring you.
While no one knows for absolute certain just how Google’s algorithm works (anyone who says they do is not being completely truthful) there are basics that Google has made public and these basics are a good place to start.
Always keep in mind that Google’s mission in life is to return the most relevant links for any given search…and they do a pretty good job at it. When’s the last time you searched Google and had to go to page 2 to find what you wanted? What this means for the publisher though, is that to be competitive you have to appear on the first page of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). If you’re not on the first page you might as well be on page 200 for all the traffic that you will get. Get your piece of targeted traffic by finding and using the right keywords for your webpages.
Ranking on page one sounds extremely challenging or maybe even impossible for a new website to achieve but it isn’t. It certainly isn’t easy and it doesn’t happen overnight but if you follow the basics listed below and consistently add valuable content you will have an excellent shot at ranking for several keyword phrases.
The Basics Behind Google Web Search Ranking
In February of last year Google introduced what they call their “Panda” version of their algorithm which is designed to weed out content that Google deems to have little value to the searcher. Examples of this kind of content includes articles that are stuffed with keyword phrases and written to be read by search spiders rather than humans, short articles that are nothing but fluff and don’t offer any information to the reader and articles that are posted on what Google calls content farms just to get backlinks to a website.
We’ll get into what Google considers “value content” in a bit but let’s start at the beginning.
It all starts with keyword phrases
A keyword phrase is just another name for the search phrase that a person enters into the search engine and there are literally millions of them. Your first job is to identify the keyword phrases that are relevant to the topic of your website and to the individual pages you plan to post. Google provides a free tool to help you with that task called Google AdWords Keyword Tool. Using this tool you can determine what keywords appear in your competition’s websites and the number and competitiveness of individual keywords and phrases. As a new website it’s generally smart to select longer phrases that are not as competitive. There won’t be as many total searches but there will be fewer sites trying to rank for that particular phrase.
So how do you use these keywords?
- In your domain name. Rather than use the name of your company or even the name of your site, use a relevant keyword phrase instead. For example if you were an air conditioning service company called Smith’s HVAV you’d want your domain name to be a keyword phrase like airconditioingservice.com rather than SmithHVAC.com. By including the keyword in the domain you are telling Google what the site is about.
- In the page title. Each page title should include the keyword that the page is targeting. For example in this article the targeted keyword is “Google web search.”
- In the headline and sub headers. This is important both for readers and Google alike. Including the keyword, or a relevant keyword in the headlines and sub headers allows both to “scan” the page.
- In the body of the content. But don’t overdo it and use the phrases in a way that the language flows naturally.
Get your content indexed.
Just because you make a page live does not mean that Google will automatically index it right away. There is a way to hurry that process along and again it involves another free Google tool. This time it’s Webmaster Tools. Make sure your site generates a site map and then go to Webmaster Tools and request that Google reads it. This is one of the fastest ways of getting indexed.
Get backlinks to your page(s)
This is the tough one and the most important. Google rates you on value based on what other sites say about you. Backlinks usually take the form of “anchor text” that exists on somebody’s site that points back to a page on your site. Anchor text usually takes the form of a keyword phrase. Using our air conditioning example a good anchor text might be “air conditioning service” or air conditioning maintenance.” The most efficient way to get backlinks is through guest blogging but it can also be done through forums and social media.
So there you have the basics of Google web search. If you follow these tips you’ll be well on your way to getting a good ranking and turning your new website into a success.