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How to rank No. 1 on Google (and the other search engines)

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Presentation on theme: "How to rank No. 1 on Google (and the other search engines)"— Presentation transcript:

1 How to rank No. 1 on Google (and the other search engines)
Clayton Wehner - Blue Train Enterprises M: E:

2 A little history of Google…

3 Intro About me… Tell us a little bit about you: Your name
Your business Your website Your website traffic

4 Scope 1 – Search engines and Google 2 – Choosing the Right Keywords
3 - On-site Optimisation 4 – Getting Value from Links 5 – Content is king 6 – More things to do and not do

5 How this workshop works
I have structured content But happy to deviate where necessary Ask questions along the way Learn from one another Informal, interactive, fun

6 How does your website fare?

7 Search Engines and Google
Part 1

8 What is a search engine? A web search engine is a tool designed to search for information on the World Wide Web (Wikipedia) Search engines exist to deliver the best possible search results to the user, for any given keyword combination. Search engines use complex algorithms to index and rank web pages programmatically.

9 The big three search engines in Australia are…

10 About Google Brainchild of two college friends, Sergey Brin and Larry Page Their search engine was originally called BackRub In 1997 it became Google, a play on the word "googol," a mathematical term for the number represented by the numeral 1 followed by 100 zeros Google became the world’s biggest search index in June 2000 Google’s ascent as a ‘second mover’ was remarkable – it eclipsed the likes of AltaVista, Yahoo!, MSN, Lycos Today Google is a frontrunner in mapping and satellite technology, operating system software, office applications, mobile computing and much, much more

11 Why is it important to optimise for Google?
‘Build it and they will come’ doesn’t apply on the web There are many fancy websites on the web that never get seen! Launching a website is the easy part… The hard part is getting qualified traffic Need to satisfy two ‘audiences’: People or ‘real’ visitors Search engine ‘spiders’ or ‘robots’

12 Why is important to optimise for Google?
93% of consumers’ worldwide use search engines to locate web sites. (Forrester Research) 85% of qualified web traffic is driven through search engines. (WWW User Survey) 75% of search engine traffic never scroll past the first page of results. (WWW User Survey) Google is the number one website in Australia (Hitwise)

13 Don’t settle for second best…
The first result in Google gets as many visitors as position 2-4 combined The top spot drove 34.35% of all traffic in the sample, almost as much as the numbers 2 through 4 slots combined, and more than the numbers 5 through 20 (the end of page 2) put together." Result number 10 gets 143% more clicks than result number 11 The biggest jump, percentage-wise, is from the top of page 2 to the bottom of page 1. Going from the 11th spot to 10th sees a 143% jump in traffic. Chitika Report -

14 Organic vs Paid Google displays two types of results:
Organic results: these are unpaid listings that are ranked by importance/keyword relevance Paid results: these are pay-per-click listings that appear on the right hand margin and above the organic listings – anybody can bid to display their ad at the top of these listings Google users generally accord greater worth to the organic results Google employs over 200 algorithmic factors to determine where web pages rank in organic results

15 Paid Results Organic Results

16 Quick Quiz What do the following stand for? HTML URL RSS SEO SEM PPC

17 Questions? Search Engines and Google

18 Choosing the Right Keywords
Part 2

19 Are you in Google?
Displays a list of pages from your site that have been indexed by Google link: Displays a sample of external pages that link to your site cache: Displays the cached image of the website that is currently on file at Google. info: Displays information that Google currently holds about the website. related: Displays pages that are similar to your website. If you are not in Google, submit your site here:

20 Choosing the Right Keywords
A keyword combination is used to obtain search results from a search engine Web pages can be optimised for particular keyword combinations Before optimising a website, it is necessary to identify the best keywords to optimise for

21 Choosing the Right Keywords
Keywords are the combinations of words that searchers enter into search engines to find content It’s necessary to do some keyword analysis for your website… What is the volume of traffic for different keyword combination? Have other websites optimised for those keywords? Would it be hard to get a high ranking? Who sits in the No. 1 spot for those keywords? What keywords are my competitors targeting? What do the keywords say about the searcher’s intent/mindset? Surfers Researchers Buyers

22 Exercise What is the searcher’s intent/mindset if they were to use the following search terms? Hotels Cheap hotels Hotels in Sydney Last minute Sydney hotel deals Sydney serviced apartment deals Bed and breakfast on george street Sydney Grand Mercure hotel Darling Harbour Sydney

23 Exercise Pair up Imagine that you are in the market for something from your partner’s website and you’re ready to buy Write down three keyword phrases that you might enter into a search engine to find that product or service Then, write down three keyword phrases that you think somebody would enter into a search engine to find your own product or service Compare your keyword combinations

24 Google Keyword Suggestion Tool
Keyword tool Displays keyword combinations that advertisers bid on Level of competition for the keywords by advertisers Global/local monthly searches Traffic estimator Displays predicted volume of traffic for keyword combinations No. of searches, average cost per click, estimated clicks and costs

25 Google Insights for Search
Displays search query trends across the world

26 Keyword Advice Optimise each page for a different keyword combination (yep, every single page) Don’t choose single keywords – 3-5 word combinations are best Don’t choose generic keywords - be specific Don’t choose hotly-contested keywords Use geographic qualifiers – ie. Adelaide Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes Choose keywords that align with a ‘buying’ state of mind

27 Exercise Take a couple of minutes to come up with an appropriate keyword combination that you could optimise your home page for. Here are some combinations that I have used: Canberra jobs ( Australian online bookstore (Boomerang Books) Cheap books Australia (Boomerang Books) Cheap hotels Sydney (

28 Questions? Choosing the Right Keywords

29 On Site Optimisation Part 3

30 On Site Optimisation On-site factors play a big role in determining your search engine rankings These are the things that you can do yourself or that you can task your web developer to do on your behalf

31 Use of multimedia platforms
Be careful when using multimedia platforms, such as Flash, particularly as navigational elements Your website must be ‘spiderable’, otherwise it won’t get good search engine rankings Text-based navigation can be ‘spidered’; links embedded within a Flash element cannot. Be careful also with Javascript, DHTML or other graphical navigation elements If you use these, provide a text based navigation bar elsewhere on the page

32 On-site navigation Your navigation structure and accessibility is critical for search engine rankings – search engines need to be able to access your content in order to index it KISS principle Employ the 2 click rule (3 click rule at most) Use textual links from your home page Use a Sitemap which can be accessed from your home page Employ inline / contextual links – links within your page copy

33 The TITLE tag The singularly most important on-site factor!
If you do one thing to your site, then this should be it! This is what appears in the top bar in your browser Almost always the heading that Google chooses for its listings – therefore it needs to be enticing or contain a call-to-action

34 This is where the TITLE tag
appears in your browser



37 The TITLE tag Include your chosen keywords within the TITLE tag – preferably near the start of the tag Try to keep it to 70 characters Must be relevant to the page content Very important - each page should have a different TITLE tag

38 Exercise Open your own website in your browser
View the source code (View menu) What is your TITLE tag? Is it appropriate? Could it be better? What does your main competitor have as their home page TITLE tag? Is it better than yours?

39 Metadata Tags Search engines also use a series of metadata tags that reside in the header of the page to index websites These tags can’t be seen by human visitors to your website – but they’re still interrogated by the search engines

40 The DESCRIPTION tag A textual description of what the page is about
Regularly used in Google search results as the description of your site


42 The DESCRIPTION tag Include keywords close to the start of the tag, but don’t repeat more than 3 times Try to keep it to 150 characters Must be relevant to the page content Each page should have a different DESCRIPTION tag

43 The KEYWORD tag Less important than TITLE and DESCRIPTION, but still worth including Up to 10 individual words, separated by commas

44 Body Text Google loves original, high quality textual content
Body text is extremely important for search engine rankings because this is what human users come to see Keywords, synonyms and variations of the primary keyword combination should be included in the body text, but not so that it reads ‘artificially’. It should read naturally. More on textual content in Part 5…

45 Keywords in URLs URLs that contain keywords are better than those that don’t Quite easy to do if your website is static, a little more difficult for database-driven sites Don’t make the URLs too long because this will be seen as an attempt to manipulate the search results Good and bad:

46 Heading Tags Heading tags – eg. <h1>, <h2> - within the HTML identify headings within the page copy and break up the text They are used by search engines to determine page content Use keywords in these tags, but don’t overdo it.


48 Link Anchor Text The ‘anchor’ text contained within hyperlinks provides Google with an understanding of what the linked content is about Every hyperlink on your site should have descriptive anchor text, rather than ‘click here…’ Inline links or contextual links are best eg. Blue Train Enterprises offers a free white paper on how to optimise your website for the search engines

49 Image ALT Text There is the opportunity to specify ‘alternate’ text for every image on your website The ALT text is displayed if the image doesn’t load in the user’s browser It also can have a positive effect on your website rankings The ALT tag should describe the image Keep it short and to the point Don’t use ALT tags as a place to stuff keywords

50 A word on domain names… Domain names can assist search engine rankings too If you are thinking of changing names, or planning a new business, think carefully about the domain name you choose Best to have for Australian market, but if possible secure .com as well (very difficult these days) Try to keep it short, memorable Try to include keywords in the domain name Register the name for as long as possible

51 Customer Assurance Factors
It is recommended that your website contains: Business information – ABN, ACN, RBN Telephone number – 1300 adds credibility A physical address Information about your business – ‘about us’ Policies Privacy Security Terms of use / disclaimers A sitemap with links to major pages

52 Questions On Site Optimisation

53 Getting Value from Links
Part 4

54 Getting Value from Links
Links – both inbound and outbound – are important factors for Google when assessing a website’s importance

55 Inbound Links These are links on other websites that link to your site
Good quality inbound links serve as a ‘vote of confidence’ for your site – if a good site links to your site, then by association, your site must be good, too Try and get links from ‘authority’ websites to your site Thematically-linked sites High ranking and well-known sites Government ( sites – eg SA Central Educational institution ( sites It’s not the volume of inbound links that is important – it’s the quality

56 Inbound Links When requesting a link, try and engineer it so that your keywords are included in the anchor text – eg. Australian Online Bookstore, Boomerang Books instead of just Boomerang Books

57 Exercise Think of five websites that you could try and get an inbound link from: SA Central …. Think B2B partners, customers, local government, local media, chambers of commerce, industry associations, business enterprise centres (!), consumer websites…

58 Outbound Links There is evidence to suggest that your outbound links contribute to your rankings Only link to good quality, thematically-aligned content on third party websites Only link to sites that would be of interest to your audience Be aware that outbound links take visitors away from your site – and that is not necessarily what you want to do.

59 Caution… Reciprocal links – I’ll link to you, if you link to me
You can get some value from these only if the two sites are thematically aligned and are both high quality Most requests for reciprocal links should be deleted, particularly three-way link swaps Paid Links Google frowns upon paid links – the Google algorithm is sophisticated and can detect links which seek to artificially manipulate its rankings Link Farms & ‘Bad Neighbourhoods’ These are sites that allow you to post your link for free alongside thousands of other sites Being linked from these sites can damage your standing

60 Getting listed in Directories
Being listed in major directory-based websites can boost your rankings considerably – aka The Open Directory Project - a difficult one to get into - a very important one that will see your business plotted on Google Maps

61 Other ways to get Inbound Links
Articles / interviews published on other websites Press releases Forum posts Blog comments ‘Link bait’ – controversial is best!



64 Questions Getting Value from Links

65 Content is King Part 5

66 Content is King Ever heard the saying?
Search engines are simply a means to locate great content Does your site have great content? Or is it just static ‘brochure-ware’? Does your site ‘do’ anything else that will bring visitors back time and again?

67 Content is King Add content that people want to read and will pass on – top ten tips, ‘how to’ guides, free white papers Text should be in short sentences, compact paragraphs, be well punctuated, and contain headings to break up the text – time-poor people don’t read, they scan Pages should not scroll and scroll and scroll… One page per topic (optimised for that topic) and cross- link; granularity

68 Content is King Text should be written from a WIIFM (What’s in it for me?) perspective – no fluff, just tell the customer what they want to hear. Add content regularly via a content management system (CMS) or via regular HTML editing (if you are capable) If your site remains static, then it will lose its prominence in the search engines (and visitors won’t want to come back)

69 Add content regularly Some ideas for new content for your website:
Articles that are related to your product or services New product reviews or information Company activities Special offers or discounts Achievements and awards New staff profiles Case studies about your products or services Testimonials from customers ‘How to’ guides Observations and analysis about the market

70 Web 2.0 and Social Media Content
Search engines love Web 2.0 and social media content Web 2.0 is a term describing changing trends in the use of World Wide Web technology and web design that aims to enhance creativity, secure information sharing, collaboration and functionality of the web. Web 2.0 concepts have led to the development and evolution of web-based communities and its hosted services, such as social networking sites, video sharing sites, wikis, blogs, etc (Wikipedia)

71 Web 2.0 and Social Media Content
Blogs – Wordpress Online video - YouTube Micro-blogging - Twitter Social networking – Facebook, Linkedin Social bookmarking – Digg, Technorati, Delicious etc RSS Podcasts Google loves this content and you should employ it where appropriate See my other workshops for more info on Web 2.0, social media and blogging

72 Bookmarking / Tagging Sites
Consider implementing an AddThis or AddToAny button on your pages A simple piece of code that adds a button to your page:

73 Exercise Consider the different Web 2.0 content options – blogs, video, Facebook, Twitter, bookmarking / tagging Some (or all) might not be appropriate for your business How might some of these things help your business? Take 2 minutes to think about it

74 Questions Content is King

75 More things to do and not do
Part 6

76 More things that you should do…
Monitor your server statistics – unique visitors is the key metric to track (not ‘hits’) Set up Google Analytics on your site - Set up Google Webmaster Tools - Set up Google Alerts for your business - Try out Google Adwords pay per click advertising using a trial offer -

77 Other technical things to do…
Remove multiple ‘instances’ of your site with a Permanent 301 redirect to elminate dilution of your website standing Implement a robots.txt file Implement an XML sitemap Ensure that your pages load quickly by streamlining your code and optimising your images Ensure that your site’s server has close to 100% uptime – if it isn’t live when the spider arrives, your rankings may be affected Make your site W3C compliant –

78 What you should NEVER DO
Hidden text (eg white text on a white background) Keyword stuffing Display duplicate content Cloaking – displaying different content to visitors and spiders Use Flash alone Use Frames

79 A final thought If you employ one of the strategies mentioned in this presentation, you will get some benefit in the search engine results pages If you employ a couple, you will get much greater benefit If you employ all of them properly, then you will most likely go to the top of the results The little things count and, when you employ them together, they can make a big difference to your site performance

80 Final Questions? Thank you!

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