Eight Steps to Number One on Google We are all aware the Internet is constantly changing and staying up to date on the latest developments is extremely important if you want your business to do well online. The fundamentals of search engine optimization don’t change and if you pay attention to these tried and true rules you can be extremely successful online. The following are eight elements for you to take into consideration whenever you add any new content to your site. If you address each of these elements your search positioning will consistently improve, as will the quality of visitors coming to your site. Let’s face it … You don’t just want traffic; you want relevant traffic that is looking to buy. The following is a list of things you need to focus on so your website will appear at the top of the search results in the most relevant of searches. Page Title Your page title is one of the first things the search engine spiders view. This title tells the search engines what your page is about. You should NOT simply repeat the keywords over and over in this title. You should limit this title to 8-10 words and it should make sense to the visitor. Don’t simply write anything for the spiders. If you do it will lead to a bad user experience and your visitor won’t return. URL The URL that displays in the address bar of your browser should also contain the keyword focus of the page. The best way to include the keywords is to separate them with hyphens (-). If you don’t the search engine spiders will view all the words as one big word. Meta Data The meta keywords and meta description are not given as much importance by the search engines as they used to. You should still take the time to create a meta description which includes your keywords of focus for each individual page. Make sure this description makes sense and contains at least one use of the keyword phrase you are focusing on. Also include your keyword phrase in the meta keywords but don’t stuff it in over and over. Limit your meta keywords to 8-10 keywords. Headings and Sub Headings Headings and sub headings are very similar to chapters of a book. They describe what it is you’ll be reading in the coming pages. With your website you should use H1 tags with your keyword of focus on the page. If you have multiple, related keywords of focus for that page, you can use additional H2, H3, and H4 tags as sub headings. Remember, your visitors will be reading these headings so they need to make sense while still including your keywords. Text Based Navigation Search engines cannot read images or flash. It is best to use text based navigation which includes the keywords you are focusing on for the page that link is leading to. This will let the search engines know what the page it is linking to is about, and will act as a “vote of confidence” for that keyword. It will also create an excellent user experience since the visitor will know exactly what they are going to see once they click the link. Avoid text based navigation that simply says “About us” and change it to “About Your Company.” There are millions of other companies that are doing it wrong and competing for the phrase “About us.” It is much easier to win for the phrase “About Your Company.” Image Alt Text Search engines cannot read images, but they can read the alternative text in your images. If you add this, the spiders know what your image is. If you include the keywords you are focusing on as alternative text for your images, you’ll be letting the spiders know what relevance the image has and it will be yet one more instance of proper keyword usage. Many companies skip this, so if you pay attention, you’ll be further ahead. Body Copy When writing the copy for your page it is important to include your keywords in the copy. Each page of your website should contain between 250 and 600 words and you should include your keyword phrase at least 4-5 times. If adding it that many times lessens the quality of your copy and you believe it will lessen the value your visitor will give to it. DON’T do it! Your objective should be to create an excellent user experience and provide value to your visitor. Build Links The phrase from the movie Field of Dreams, “Build it and they will come,” doesn’t apply to the web. Once you’ve built your website and have paid attention to all of the elements above, you need to generate awareness and gain inbound links. Search engines look at these inbound links as “votes of confidence” for your site. If those links are coming from relevant sites which have a high page rank, they will be viewed as highly credible “votes” by the search engine algorithms and you will see an increase in your position. If you use these eight steps as a template to refer to when creating each page on your website, you will find yourself rapidly moving up through the ranks of the search results and the quality of your traffic will soar. This all leads to much higher conversion rates, and huge increases in your online revenue. If this article has left you with any questions you can simply go to our “Ask the Web Marketing Expert” page and submit your question. We’ll answer it right away and we might even write a future article fully addressing your inquiry.