The first secret was to do with your title tag, the positioning and density of the keywords within that title tag can greatly affect your ranking. However this second secret has been proven to be the single most powerful tool for high rankings.
A few years ago in the property boom there was fierce competition for keywords such as Spanish Properties, Morocco Properties, etc. Whilst working on some optimisation for an estate agent we came across a phenomenon. A competitor was ranking first on loads of incredibly popular keywords without even having those keywords mentioned on the page. I started looking into this, I checked the source code and did some tricks in google.
What I discovered was this, (secret number two):
High quality links to your website can amazingly boost your rankings
These sites did not have a lot of content, they didn't have many keywords but they did have thousands of sites linking to them. It is these links that make all the difference.
Google has a way of ranking links and their relevance to your site, so a link from a well-ranked website which is relevant to your business has much more authority than your sisters personal website.
If you are an estate agent and you get a link to your site placed on another estate agent site in Spain, and this site ranks well in Google then that is like a qualified vote for your site.
It is well known that links from popular sites like Delicious, Digg, etc are also valuable.
Links from government and education websites are particularly valuable, especially if they end in .gov or .edu
You can check the links to your site by simply searching in Google using link:www.yourwebsite.com - You can also check your competitors links too!
You can get high quality links by simply contacting the website owners and asking them. The problem is they will want something in return and that is normally a link from your site to theirs. This is no good. Google can see that and will recognise it as a traded link rather than a real recommendation.
In order to get sites to link to yours you need to have good, compelling information or services that people are happy to recommend. Many sites use a free widget, or some unique information or a guide or a white paper. There are many ways to do this and I will go into detail in another email series. You can also pay for someone to submit your links and articles to a large number of websites for you.
So to recap:
Use your title tag to its full power
Get high quality one-way links to your site
We all know that ranking well on Google can completely change your business. Many companies rely on Google for most of their leads and sales. I run a website for one particular client who does no offline marketing at all; all sales come from being well ranked on the search engines.
But this can be incredibly frustrating as you are competing with the whole world, and that sounds daunting...
Many of my clients ask me:
How can I beat my competitor on Google?
What can I do to go up the rankings?
Unfortunately there is no single easy trick that will boost your rankings, but there are some secrets that can definitely improve your rankings and these are easy to implement. It's just a matter of knowing what to do or ask your designer to do.
Ok, let's get into the secrets:
Your title tag is incredibly powerful. You need to know how to use it.
Every page on your website has what is known as a title tag, this is a small tag within the code of the page that tells Google and visitors what this page is about. Imagine if you had to organise the world's data, you need some kind of tagging system, your title tag is the starting point.
So what do I put in my title tag?
This is where the secret lies; most companies will do the following:
* ABC Company Ltd - Shoes and slippers for adults
* ABC Company Ltd - Homepage
* Welcome to ABC Company Ltd
All the above are examples of what NOT to do.
Google spiders will use the first words in your title tag to identify what your website is about. The closer the right keywords are to the start of the title tag the more relevant they are.
If you are selling shoes like the ABC Company above, then your title should be something like:
* Shoes, Slippers, High heels, trainers for adults from ABC Company
However you can still improve on this.
Here are 3 examples of title tags:
1. Gibraltar Accountants at GibAccountants.com
2. Gibraltar Accountants
3. GibAccountants.com - Gibraltar Accountants and Auditors
Which one do you think would rank best for the search "Gibraltar accountants"?
Well it would be number 2. Although all three include the keywords number 2 is more focussed. This means that the keyword density is higher. The more words in the title tag the more diluted the keywords become.
This is great if you know the exact keyword you are optimising for but you can also use variants and different spellings to your advantage:
Gibraltar Accountants - Accountancy in Gib
It is important to have 10 words or less in the title tag, but at the same time, you can use other keywords that help support the main keywords which are at the beginning of the title tag.
So whenever possible ensure the following:
1. each page in your site must have a specific title tag
2. that title tag should be focussed on the keywords
3. the keywords should be first and as undiluted as possible
This little known secret can make a huge difference to your websites rankings and its overall success on Google and the other search engines.
After years of optimising websites and learning the ins and outs, we have released an email series of 3 little know secrets for ranking well in Google and the other search engines. We will now be publishing them on this blog one item per week.
The basic secrets are:
1. The power of the title tag - you need to know how to use it correctly
2. High quality incoming links - links can be a huge deciding factor in your ranking
3. Link text - the actual text you use in your links is extremely important