Every website owner wants to appear on the front page of Google, so here’s a handy ten step guide to achieving Listing Nirvana:
1) Be Owner of your Domain – none of this freebie rubbish. If you want a decent listing, you need to be hosted on a proper server with a proper domain name. The most it will cost you is £100 a year, so get rid of that freebie ISP web space now, OK?
2) Redirection? Indirection – not only do redirects and splash pages annoy your visitors, but they annoy the search engines too. At best they’ll make the robot spider ignore you, at worst, they’ll get you banned. GET RID OF THEM.
3) Text, Text, Text. Yes, your fully Flashed up site, or your fantastic front page graphic looks great. Really great. Just a shame no-one is going to see it, don’t you think? Google can’t index it properly, so what’s the point? Your pages need text, so get writing.
4) Great navigation – we all know that men don’t like to ask for directions, right? Then I’m guessing Google is a guy, because neither does he. Help the little guy out by making sure that your navigation is clear and obvious, and there are no scary dead ends (he’s not much good at 3 point turns, either)
5) Titles are King – just like those poor people that buy a Lordship, each page of your site is yearning for a title. And not just any title, oh no. Does the front page of your site actually WANT to be called “Home Page”? Of course not!! He wants to be called something grand and important, and above all, useful. So think about the titles of each of your pages – they’re more important than you think.
6) META is Better – OK, some people say that META tags are old news and don’t count anymore. Well, I’m saying that they’re wrong. So there. Include a META description and keywords tag in every page of your site. Why? Because I tell you to, that’s why!
7) Be Intent on Content – ok, ok, some short sighted readers could read that as saying ‘be incontinent’, but I’m sticking with it. This is probably one of the most important things I’m going to say to you, so come closer… no, closer… IF THE PHRASES YOU WANT TO BE HIGH FOR AREN’T IN YOUR CONTENT, YOU WON’T GET LISTED FOR THEM!!!!. Ahem…. sorry, got a bit carried away there. But it’s true.
8) The Links Effect – this is no revelation, we’ve known for ages that links to your site help drive you up the listings. So off you all went, and signed up to a million link sites, swapped links furiously, and then wondered why it did you no good. It’s simple; a good linking campaign is like great sex. You take it slowly, make sure it’s focused on great results, and choose your partners wisely. Jumping on anyone and everyone is rarely satisfactory. Qualities, not quantity, remember?
9) Map it out – are you using Google Sitemaps yet? No? Why on earth not? Oh, because no-one has told you about them? That’s because people like me want to keep the information to themselves. Google sitemaps is a Google run project that allows you to find out so much about how Google sees your site. There’s a whole article on sitemaps on its way so I won’t say anything else here but go to http://sitemap.google.com and sign up.
10) Track and Change – so you want to be in Google, but you’re not using Google Analytics? You want to be in Google but you’re not tracking your listings, changing and tweaking your pages regularly and testing the results? Then you don’t want to be in Google that much, now do you?
So there you go, ten steps to Google Heaven.
So, right now, what are you thinking?
* “Wow, what a great article, that’s really helped me!”
* “That’s rubbish, it’s no different to any other article I’ve read on the subject”
* “But how does it relate to MY website, it’s too vague”
The chances are you’re thinking either number 2 or 3, or a combination of the two (of course, some of you will be still be wondering how I managed to relate a linking campaign to sex, but that’s because I have a certain type of audience…)
Let me tell you this – if you follow all of the steps above and work out how to make them fit your website, you WILL get better listings in Google. I guarantee it. If you don’t, I’ll give you your money back. OK, OK, I know its cost you nothing, but you get the picture.
But if that’s not enough for you, if you want more, and to have the whole process personalised for YOUR website, with step by step guides, screenshots, examples and advice, then I can do that too.
For a Google Marketing plan focused 100% on YOUR website, complete with a money back guarantee, visit www.nikkipilkington.com/google-marketing-plan.html
Nikki Pilkington is owner of Milton Keynes based Internet Marketing Company Nikki Pilkington .com, and writes articles, hints and tips to help people looking to promote their website for free, as well as running paid e-marketing campaigns. For more of her articles visit http://www.nikkipilkington.com and sign up to the newsletter.