Search engine optimization has changed a lot
over the years. What worked a few short years ago can get your site
banned from Google today.
Actually, let me rephrase that... Search engine optimization tricks
have changed a lot over the years. But in truth, good solid SEO
practices have remained stable and work better today than in years
past. Why better? Because so many others keep trying to win with tricks
that Google hates. This leaves you to reap the rewards of methods that
The most important thing to realize is that Google, and other popular
search engines place 90% and MORE of their ranking preferences on
content and links. Keywords are still important, but only in the
content of your pages; not in META tags like the old days.
It's that simple. And just as simple is how to accomplish that top ranking...
1.) First you need to find the best keywords and place them just right in your page's content.
2.) Next you need to find, get and manage great inbound links.
3.) Last, you need to closely monitor your progress (and your competition!)
Goal 1: Find the Best Keywords
Let's use Google's own keyword database to see what search terms are best to target. Go to
and enter any keyword or keyword phrase you think your future customers
are looking for. Now get ready for a LOT of great results!
INSIDER TIP; Use specific and "long tail" keyword phrases whenever
possible. One of my client's is in national floral delivery. Here's a
real example of how my business partner and I put that business at
number on Google with the perfect keywords...
The client had been paying per click for the term "flowers" and barely
breaking even after spending tens of thousands of dollars per month in
PPC costs. We not only gave him much better targetd keywords for his
pay per click campaign, at one tenth the cost, but also made jim number
one for his new primary keyword using the methods described later in
this article. Before we go too deep however, let's look at the new
keywords and the logic used to get there...
Instead of just the word "flowers", which has 233,000,000 competing
pages on Google, we looked at what he really wanted to attract visits
for. Although there are lots of possibilities, we will stick with just
one example that saves him about $35,000 per month in PPC expenses and
gives him another $100,000 per month in profit. We first evaluated
"send flowers", which has 1/10th the number of competing pages. Then we
asked him to try "think like people speak" (I.E./ I'm "sending flowers"
to my mom.) As it turns out, a lot more people are searching for
"sending flowers" than are searching "send flowers" and "sending
flowers" has less than 1% of the competing web pages as the search term
he started with, "flowers". Now that's impressive!
Use this method of keyword determination (get exact and use longer
keyord phrases when appropriate) and you have will have an instant
advantage over about 99% of your competitors.
Once you have your keywords selected, take the top three or four and list them in order for best to second best and so on.
Goal 2: Develop the Best Possible Content
Content is King! The ability to create search engine friendly web
content, optimized for real people, is the key to your success. Modern
search engines (especially Google) can read a page just like any person
would thanks to natural text algorithms. Now Google can tell in
nanoseconds if your web pages were pages for real people or just to get
better ranking. With the following tip, you can easily do both!
Step A.) Call a good friend and tell him or her what you want to tell
your web visitors. Then immediately write it down as close as you can
remember it. If you can record the conversation it's even better.
Step B.) Now simply review your text and place your top keyword as
close to the beginning of the opening sentence or two as possible. Then
place your next most important keyword someplace else toward the
beginning of that same first paragraph. Try to get your third keyword
into the last sentence or two your first paragraph or at the beginning
of your next paragraph if it fits better.
Step C.) Now place just one instance of each keyword in the next few
paragraphs, anywhere they fit well. So if you have six more paragraphs
before the final, each keyword should be three times total (once in
paragraph 1, twice in the remaining 6 paragraphs with one mention of a
single keyword in each paragraph.)
Step D.) For the last paragraph, do the opposite of what you did for
the first paragraph and place your least important keyword toward the
beginning of the paragraph and your most important toward the end. This
shows the search engine consistency of topic.
Step E.) Last but not least, don't repeat any keyword more than four times per page and always let the text flow naturally.
Part 3: Get Great Links and Monitor Your Site
Getting and maintaining high quality inbound links typically accounts
for more than 75% of today's search engine optimization success on
Google. Getting these links is the crucial step that will get you over
the top and keep you there! But you also need to monitor your progress
and your site's status (not just ranking but how search engines REALLY
see it). This will tell you more than just where you are but also where
you are likely to be. Back in the day we did all link work and
monitoring by hand. And I can telly you that it took a long time (My
business partner and I spent about sixteen hours each week, per site!)
My advice to you is to do what we did and find a good SEO tool that
does the heavy lifting and time consuming work for you. Buying the
right product is easily the best money you'll ever spend on your site's
marketing and publicity.
As for products, there are some good ones out there. I used one called
WebPosition Pro for a couple years. I ended up switching to another
called SEO Elite because it has automated linking, which is the most
time-consuming aspect of my SEO efforts. However, both are fantastic
products for tracking and reporting.
Number 1 Pick: SEO Elite
Cost = $167 (lifetime free upgrades and no annual fees)
Personal Results: 121 top 5 rankings on Google in 3 weeks; Mostly 1's and 2's
Favorite Features: Finds the best link partners, including special
"Authority" link partners that count for more with Google; Automates
link process; Provides great Site Monitoring
Comments: I bought SEO Elite in 2005 and have used every upgrade (all
are free.) I got rid of my other products since this one did a better
job for me and does not have any ongoing fees.
Number 2 Pick: WebPosition
Cost = $389 WebPosition Pro or $149 Standard (plus $99 per year subscription fees for either)
Personal Results: 44 top 5 rankings in Google in eight weeks; Mostly 3's and 4's.
Favorite Features: Site Monitoring; Great reporting; Site Critic
Comments: I stopped using WebPosition because there were no automated
linking capabilities and did not want to continue paying the $99 per
year in ongoing fees. I did however really like the reporting.
That's about it. Now you're ready. Good luck!
About the Author
Scott Jason has been an SEO professional since 1999 and is the founder of
. Over the past nine years he has worked with hundreds of clients he
has secured thousands of top placements on Google, Yahoo, MSN and more.