Today we will be discussing how to rank on page one of Google and in particular, how can you actually get to some of those coveted number one spots, there’s even spot zero, which we’ll talk about. And we’ll also talk a little bit about the Google three-pack which is the map listing. So I’ll give you a few details on those and I’m going to do a completely separate episode around citations and all of that good stuff because it’s a little bit of a different strategy.
We are still continuing this series of marketing a business from scratch, step by step by step by step. And now we’re getting more into the tactical stuff. You’ve got a website built, you’ve produced some videos, and in the last episode, you pick the keywords.
Keywords—that is one of the most important pieces to dominating Google. If you pick the wrong keywords, you might get a lot of website traffic but the traffic isn’t going to be the type of people that you’re looking for.
Before we dive into today, I just want to again remind you to make sure that you listen to the previous episode, and that you go after those keywords that make the most sense. Just because a particular keyword might be getting a lot of web search traffic, if it’s not a keyword that is going to help advance your business or not a keyword that’s going to drive targeted people to you, you really have to take a look and really consider if that particular keyword makes sense.
SEO or search engine optimization is simply the art of aiming to get your website ranking highly in the search engines. And the interesting thing is, it’s actually not overly challenging in the sense of what has to be done. But my disclaimer is that this is never a tactic that I ever advise any business owner to try and accomplish on their own. It really is a little bit of an art form in the sense that tactics are changing constantly. My thought, however, was to kind of give you a good framework, so that you’re able to better communicate with an agency and that you’re better able to understand the process so that you can be keeping them in check to make sure that they’re moving you in the right direction.
While I’m going to give you the tactics of this “how you can get your website ranking and page one of Google”, my expectation is that very few, if any of you that are listening, should be trying to do this on your own. This is one of those that, again, I always recommend outsourcing to an agency like ours or another agency of choice.
This continuation of marketing your business from scratch—child care center as the example—so I’m going to refocus on how you could get this new child care website ranking from scratch.
SEO has two different things:
- On-page or on-site search engine optimization
- Off-page or off-site search engine optimization
Let us discuss each type in detail.
ON-PAGE SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION
So on-page has everything to do with the content on your website, how you’re using the keywords, where they are being used, and a variety of other technical elements that are on your actual website. So after I built out my keywords, I’d have different things like preschool, preschool near me, daycare, childcare—I would have the list of all the different keywords. And what you’re going to do for on-page search engine optimization is you’re going to pair two or three keywords for all the different pages across your website.
Basically, your homepage is going to get two or three keywords—your “About Us” page, your “curriculum pages”, “contact us”, your “location” page, and all those different pages. The goal is that each of those pages, you’re going to try to get ranking on page one in Google for those two or three keywords.
With your homepage, that’s the one that you have to spend the most time thinking about because that will be the easiest page. When I say easy, easiest relative, but the easiest page to rank on page one of Google is through your homepage.
If you think that the best keywords are preschool, child care, daycare, or whatever the best couple of keywords are, you want to reserve those for the homepage. You’re going to place those different keywords throughout the content—I wanted you to write the content well before you did the keywords.
So with this, you’re now going to look at the content you drafted and you’re going to simply start to make some different tweaks, you’re going to tweak it so that if you use the content on the homepage that said, we’re a Buffalo-based child care center. The keyword that you’re now trying to aim for the homepage is preschool, you would simply modify it and say, we’re a Buffalo-based preschool.
You want to make sure that as you start to go through from an on-page search engine optimization standpoint, that the keywords are being used in the content. I mean, that’s about half the battle with on-page. You also want to make sure that there are all the different technical elements and again, this is where an agency would come in handy, but some of the most important is the title tag of each of your pages that they use the keywords. You have H1 tags or the headers.
If you had a section on the homepage and was called “about our center”, you might change that to say “about our preschool”. You’re working in those different keywords in those different headers—h1 tags, h2, and 123—it essentially means the size. So h1 has the most important impact all the way down accordingly.
The other thing with on-page is that you want to make sure that your website’s loading quickly. Speed is a huge ranking factor for Google—they want to make sure that they’re serving up really good user experience and a website that loads slowly is not a really good user experience. Now if you put yourself in the frame of mind or bucket of Google, Google wants to be an answer engine—they want you to be able to find the answer to everything that you’re looking for as fast as you possibly can so you never leave the search engine, they want you to be continuously loyal to them.
If you have answers on your web page, it’s going to be easier to get that content ranking. If your webpage has a lot of great content, it’ll be easier to get your site ranking, you need to make sure that you don’t just have 100 or 200 words across your website, they’ve got to have some pretty good meat in and really thought-through content.
So, that is the lion’s share of on-site search engine optimization, two to three keywords for each page, using those keywords in your content, and then more of the technical elements of title tags and meta tags—h1, h2, h3 type of tags. Then again, as always, you want to make sure your website is loading swiftly.
OFF-SITE SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION
The other element to search engine optimization is off-site, which largely has to do with links. It has to do with how many high-quality links are pointing back to your site. Now, the most important word when it comes to links is quality.
Way back when Google just wanted to see if your website had thousands of links, and these links are almost like a vote, so they figured, well, if this website has 1000 links pointing to them, and their competitor has 50 links, the one that has 1000 must be better, must be a better site because more people are linking to them. Well, unfortunately, marketers ruin everything and they were able to kind of gamify that which was pretty easy to build spammy links to kind of trick Google.
So now, it still is important to have lots of links, but the quality of those links is the most important element. You would want to make sure that if you were opening up this childcare center, you’d want to have links from reputable local places, linking back to your site.
You could have simple things like the Chamber of Commerce and the BBB. You could also link mom websites, bloggers, or parenting websites. You want to try and get as many of those to link to you as possible, as long as they’re not linked firms. And you want to have them linked to the different pages that are kind of scattered throughout your site. This should just be an ongoing thing where you’re just continuously getting those links on a regular basis. You can buy links, but that’s again, a bit more, kind of more on the side of having an agency and you get to know what you’re doing there. However, you can buy very high-quality links, some of these go for as much as $1,000 a link. But some of those links could be worth the equivalent of 1000 other kinds of regular links, for example. The linking factor, what I’ve always found is that content is what helps me drive links and that coveted spot zero in Google. That can be done by producing really great content that answers questions.
We are constantly looking at what are the different things that people are searching for. And if you write a really good blog post about it. Google might say, well, you’re really well written. And this is a really great blog post—that’s spot zero. Like if you google how to stop a child tantrum or something like that, and there’s a link to parents calm there in spot zero, the number one spot above the number one spot, those are coveted and those links then end up allowing you to get lots of other links back to your site, and your blog, as well.
So the way that you rank number one in Google, is by making sure your on-page optimization is dialed in, aligned with your keywords. And then you build a lot of very high-quality links in quantity and quality. That is the basics and the simple sauce.
Get out there, make a change, and take some action.