Over 80 percent of Internet users use Google to find products and services on the world wide web. It stands to reason that if you want to generate more qualified sales leads you need to rank on the first or second page within the search engines results pages on Google.
As Google gets more and more sophisticated with each algorithm update, search engine optimisation methods have to change to keep getting good results.
Here is a list of ten important tactics that you can use to improve your Google rankings.
Use the right keyword phrase The most important factor in getting quality web traffic is to optimize your web pages for the correct keyword phrase. Getting the most sales is often a balance between search volume for key words and level of competition. Use the Overture keyword tool and Google Adwords tool to research and identify your best keyword phrases. Look for keyword phrases that have high search volume, but low competition. It also pays to see what key words your successful competitors are optimising for.
Put your key word phrase in your title tag Forget about putting your company name in the title tag (unless it is a valuable part of the key words), it’s a waste of words and will not help you rank in the search engines. The first three of four words in your title tag should be the key word phrase you are trying to optimize for. Try to limit your total character count to 60 characters.
Write a compelling description tag Title tags are for search engines, description tags are for people. Spend time researching and writing a description tag that compels the reader to click on your listing. Come up with a great offer, use action words. Use shock and awe. Use anything that will get them to click.
Use H1 tags An often neglected search engine optimisation technique is to put your keyword phrase in H1 tags on your page. This tells Google that the following text is about your keyword phrase. Google weights H1 tags nearly as highly as title tags. This tip alone can drastically improve your Google. Similarly, the use of bold and strong html tags can emphasize a key word phrase within the paragraph text where it may not be appropriate to use H1 or H2 tags.
Get the right keyword ratio Aim for a keyword density of around 3-5% of the page contents. Try to work your key word phrase into the page so that it reads naturally. This may take some research and analysis of successful web sites. Remember to use headings and sub-headings that include your key words.
Use alt tags and description tags on images Key words used image file names, alt tags and description tags add to the key word density of any web page. They doesn’t make a huge difference, but every little bit helps. In some product classes a Google image search may lead web surfers to your web site.
Get quality one-way incoming links through article marketing and directory submissions As far as Google is concerned; link exchanges are just about dead. They can help to get your web site spidered and indexed more quickly, but these days they add very little in terms of Google search engine rankings unless the link is on a trusted site and that site has excellent page rank. Wikipedia and DMOZ are examples of such trusted sites.
A more effective approach is to write interesting and informative articles and submit them to article directories. Make sure that you use the author bio/resource box to maximum advantage by using your key word phrase in the link anchor text, AND, by pointing the anchor text to the correct page. Your home page may not be the best choice of pages for your selected key phrase. This will also ensure that more pages than just your home page gets indexed.
Use Social book marking If you have something newsworthy, humorous, quirky, unique or shocking to say, submit a link to your web page to sites like digg.com or redit.com. These up and coming web 2.0 power houses can create a buzz overnight driving thousands of interested visitors to your web site.
Note, just because you build it doesn’t mean they will come. If it’s boring link it will quickly get buried by newer and more interesting stories. But what the hell, it’s free to submit links to these sites and you never know your luck.
Record a podcast Google loves podcasts … it just loves them. Get yourself a decent microphone and some podcasting software like Audacity and go for it. Once you have an interesting and tightly edited podcast, put it on your web site and submit it to all the major podcasting directories like iTunes and Podomatic.
Sign up for Google Adwords Although Google will deny it, anecdotal evidence suggests that Goggle favors Adwords customers over non-Adwords customers. This is true for new web sites that often take months to get spidered and indexed by Google. I have seen brand new sites get spidered, indexed and listed in the search engine results pages in as little as a 12 hours.
It doesn’t have to cost a lot either. You can set up a low budget campaign of 50 cents to one dollar a day and still get favorable treatment.
John Hacking is Product Manager for an SEO Brisbane company.