From the Vault: How to list in the Top 10 on Google

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Bamboo keyboard and mouseFrom the Vault

KND has been publishing articles to help businesses with the Internet since computers were made of wood, although some were more helpful than others. We thought it would be interesting to look back through some of the more popular articles to see how technology or our thinking has changed… or not.

How to list in the Top 10 on Google

We have posted several articles over the years on improving your Google rankings, the first was May 2006 – SEO Simplified. It’s been one of the hottest topics on the web as businesses are shifting their advertising dollar online.

In 2006 a search for ‘SEO’ (Search Engine Optimisation) returned 166,000,000 results. Now it returns 955,000,000.

Revisiting the advice we gave back then, we find ourselves surprisingly reassured that we were on the right track, and would largely give the same advice today, if asked. It’s just about using focused keywords across every aspect of your site.

There are a few additional comments we would make though:

Social media

Since we wrote that first article in 2006, social media has gone through the roof. Quite apart from its effectiveness as a marketing channel on its own, a good presence on social media sites will also increase links to your website, which in turn will increase your search engine rankings for particular keywords and phrases.

Video

Video has only increased in importance in the last 5 years. Here are a few mind-blowing stats from http://www.youtube.com/t/press_statistics

  • More than 13 million hours of video were uploaded during 2010 and 48 hours of video are uploaded every minute, resulting in nearly 8 years of content uploaded every day
  • 150 years of YouTube video are watched every day on Facebook (up 2.5x year/year) and every minute more than 500 tweets contain YouTube links (up 3x year/year)

Google now owns YouTube and treats your video metadata (video title, descriptions, links and tags) the same as your web content in order to rank the videos in search results.

YouTube SEO Tips

  • Make sure you have clear links or references to your website, both in the meta and within the video itself
  • Use the same keywords you have focused on in your site.
  • Avoid very broad terms in an attempt to attract viewers. Your video will just get lost in the noise. Focus!
  • Keep you videos short and to the point. Our attention spans are getting

Engaging content, served regularly

See our recent post – Fresh is Best – for information on how the Google algorithm now assesses content. The more frequently you publish interesting and useful information (not information copied from another website), the higher Google will rank pages on your site for relevant terms. The optimal article length is about 600 words.

Critical SEO Tips

  1. Domain Name. Try to include your product name in the URL, although it’s not always possible.
  2. Page Names. Always re-write your URLs if you use a CMS.
    1. E.g. www.knd.com.au/seo-simplified is far more effective than www.knd.com.au/?page_id=4
    2. See previous article – Choosing a Domain Name
  3. Page Title. This appears in the very top of your browser. It also appears in blue in the Google results. This one is vital. Keep it to about 6 words and make sure they are your key terms.
  4. Page Description. This is the black text in Google results. It needs to be keyword focused, but also read as good sales copy. Keep it under 25.
  5. Headings. Try to make these words match the keywords in items 1-4. Use subheadings as well. This not only helps Google summarise what is on your web page, but it makes your content easier for your users to scan.
  6. The first couple of paragraphs on the page. Don’t waffle, and try to replicate the keyword focus you have used in the other elements of your site.
  7. Internal links. This – ‘Product Catalogue’ is better than this – ‘Click here to see our Product Catalogue’.
  8. Image names. This will appear in Google images – ‘noosa-resort.jpg’. This will not – ‘img123.jpg’.
  9. Inbound links. Google looks at how many people are linking to you to assess your importance/popularity on the web. You can build these links by setting up social media channels, listing on directories and making sure that every mention of you on the web has a link back to your site.

These 9 points seem simple, but if everything lines up, you will see a marked improvement in your Google rankings.

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