Every client I work with, they all want the same thing in the end: to be number 1 in Google.
Sure, it sounds simple, but that’s usually far from the truth. For instance, it’s going to be way easier to rank for the keyword “Best Purple Monkey Pizza Salon” as opposed to “San Diego Hotel”. The more obscure and/or less competitive the keyword, the easier it is to rank higher. But more times than not, clients want to rank for the most common keyword phrases, which is hard, takes a lot of effort, and in some cases, is virtually impossible. But what exactly is SEO? Here’s how Wikipedia defines it:
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s “natural” or un-paid (“organic” or “algorithmic”) search results. In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, video search, academic search, news search and industry-specific vertical search engines.
With all of that said, there is one major tip you need to know:
1. Choose one main keyword that you will put all your effort towards.
Make it relevant to what you do, but make it at least three words, make it a buying keyword if you can, and don’t pick something too competitive. Everywhere someone links back to your site from theirs, try to make sure the link text is this keyword and not just random words or the actual url. Make this keyword part of your homepage title. Set this as the alt text and title text on images throughout your site (where it makes sense). Create several posts over time relating to this topic. Put this keyword in your site meta tags. Basically, make this keyword represent you and your business.
I’m assuming you already have a website, which more than likely means you already have a domain name. But if you don’t or you’re just learning how to start, try to pick a domain that is your keyword. I know I’m still talking about this keyword jazz, but it’s really important. In fact, I started a truck site over 18 months ago focusing on the keyword “mini truck scene”. I wanted to pick something cooler but I found out it wasn’t competitive and there were a decent amount of searches per month. So I searched to see if that exact domain was available, and it was. So I registered minitruckscene.com and it’s still going strong.
In fact, I bought the domain name, installed WordPress, setup a few plugins, and let it sit for a week with no real content. I checked to see if it was ranking at all for my keyword, thinking it would be around page 82 or something. And then I was amazed. It was ranking #1 already! Yes, the top listing on the first page. And this was with zero work. I have to attribute this to my second tip:
2. If at all possible, buy an exact match domain name for your keyword.
So if your keyword is “grow hot peppers”, you want to buy growhotpeppers.com. If that is taken, your next choice is growhotpeppers.net. If this is taken, my following choices would be in this order: growhotpeppers.org, grow-hotpeppers.com, and grow-hot-peppers.com. If none of those are available, I’d pick a new keyword. I really only try to buy .com extensions, but I have bought a .net that is doing ok. I’ve never bought a .org. I really try to avoid using a dash in a domain name for the simple fact that it will be harder for people to remember. If you went with grow-hot-peppers.com, a lot of people would probably type in growhotpeppers.com. And you better hope that domain is not being used or the site really sucks. That’s also another good point, if the .com is in use and the site is massive and is very successful, it’s going to be hard for you to make a better .net version of the site. hottesthotsauce.com was taken so I bought hottesthotsauce.net because I think I can outrank that site pretty easily. For that keyword, the .com wasn’t ranking anywhere in the first ten pages (it’s on page 5 right now). My site, with little work, is on page 7. But back on the hyphen/dash thing for a minute, to me, I think Google treats a dash like a space. So if you have a two-word keyword, and you have a dash in between those words, there should be no issue (although the non-dash version is better in my book). I’m actually working on ranking for a popular two-word keyword with a single dash domain name. The good thing is the exact match domain name is not being used. And those greedy bastards want like $12k for it. Hahaha, you’ll see me on the front page soon.
So you got your exact match name, you have a great keyword that has medium to low competition, what else can you do? How about being the first to talk about something in your niche. Have you ever searched for something and seen some of the first few results be from news sites? And they were published just minutes or hours ago? That’s because no one else is talking about it and the one person that did talk about it, their post spread quick through the social world. Now there is a lot of buzz about that topic. So…
3. Be the first to keep your audience informed of breaking news.
If there is something new going on in your industry or related to your niche, try and post up as soon as you hear of it. Talk about: new product manufacturers, peanut butter brands that are being recalled, accessories for a new cell phone before the phone even comes out, things that happen on live tv (if it’s live, anything can happen, be the first to let the world know), review a movie that just came out, etc. If it just happened, start typing and hit that Publish button ASAP! Get your time-sensitive content in front of people that are dying to read it. And you know what? If a big news story passes you by this time, have no fear, there is crazy news for every niche happening all day everyday. Infinite chances for success and tons of traffic!
And as mentioned, there is a free tool that can help you with all of your SEO adventures. I’ve paid for premium software, but honestly, I recommend the free Google Keyword Tool. I used it when I was first starting out, then I believed all the hype and bought some tools. They have a bunch of advanced tools that I didn’t really need or use, so I reverted to what was easier. With this tool, you can enter a keyword, search for related keywords, see how many searches they get, and also check to see how competitive they are. It’s real simple, check it out now!
I hope after reading this post, you learned something new that you’ll start implementing today. If not, stay tuned for more advanced SEO tips and tricks in future posts. Thanks again for stopping by Eight Deuce and be sure to leave your comment below if you have any questions or if you have some tips and tricks.