Here are the basic guidelines for getting your site to rank well in Google. Consider it SEO 101 — the most important things you need to know. Once you’ve mastered SEO 101 you’ll be well on your way.
- Read Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and if you don’t understand something, ask a question in the Google Webmaster Help Forum.
- Make your website the best site there is on whatever it is you’re talking about. If you want to be #1 in Google you need to deserve to be #1. Think of information you could put on your site that would make other people want to tell their friends about without you having to ask them and put that information on your site. For example, write a blog which discusses industry news, allow people to upload photos to your site, start a forum where people can talk about your service or product, or put together a collection of amusing YouTube videos which are related to your industry. Think about it this way, if your site has the same information as every other site, why should you rank above them?
- Use Google’s Keyword Tool to get an overview of what words and phrases people are using to find your products or services.
- Choose the two keywords you think will work best for you and then edit the homepage of your site so it is clear to Google that your website is closely related to those words by doing the following:
- Change the page title so that the important keywords are in it.
- Write a meta description that uses the keywords and, more importantly, is a sales pitch for your business. Google uses the meta description you write as a summary of your site in its results.
- Make sure the main heading on the page is in a <h1> tag and make sure it has the keywords in it.
- Use the keywords in the text on the page.
- If there is no text on the page, add some, but make it visible to anyone who sees the site.
- Make sure every other page has relevant keywords in the title, meta description, headings and content.
- Make sure you have a text link to each page in the site.
- Find online directories which list businesses in your geographical area and directories which list businesses in your industry and submit your site to them.
- Ask business partners and friends which have websites that are similar to yours to link to you and offer to link back to them in return.
- Create a Google Webmaster Tools account so you can let Google communicate with you and see what Google thinks of your site.
- Write down a list of website URLs that are competing with you and then search for them in Yahoo’s site explorer tool and check the ‘inlinks’ to see who is linking to them. Write a personal note to those people and ask them to link to you. If you think your visitors would be interested in the sites, offer to link to them as well.
- Don’t try and ‘out-smart’ Google. Any trick you can think of has been done before and you’ll end up getting your site black-listed.
There are plenty of other things you can do, but if you cover these SEO 101 basics your site is pretty much guaranteed to rank well.