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

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

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

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  1. How to rank No. 1 on Google (and the other search engines) Clayton Wehner - Blue Train Enterprises M: 0438 925 613 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 • SERPs

  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 • • Displays a sample of external pages that link to your site • • Displays the cached image of the website that is currently on file at Google. • • Displays information that Google currently holds about the website. • • 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

  35. 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

  36. 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?

  37. 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

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

  39. 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

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

  41. 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…

  42. 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: • •

  43. 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.

  44. 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

  45. 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

  46. 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