Building a Good Listing with Google in 1 Year

Related Articles

There have been a lot of myths behind getting a good listing within the Google search engine. Forget about using all those software based tools which submits your sites to thousands of search engines. If you want your site to get noticed, just simply follow these steps and I guarantee you, your ranking will become higher.

Step 1: Choosing the right domain name

Branding your site can be a very important factor in Google's placement of your site. It seems that branding is a big thing now for Google. For example you want something like "singerdesign.com" instead of "webdesign.com".

People remember names much more these days, such as "Coke" and "Pepsi" - this same method of brand recognition can be applied to domain names.

The 3 main criteria for choosing a domain name include:

  1. Make it easy to remember
  2. Make it easy to type and spell
  3. Make sure it doesn't sound like any foreign words

When it comes to branding we can all learn from Google. Google has just been voted "brand of the year" beating Apple and Coke. Not bad for a search engine.

A lot of the time people may try and "guess" your URL address if they are not sure of it. This can only reinforce the above point - how branding can be important to your domain name and business.

So when choosing your domain name make sure you follow the above guidelines and if possible register the name of your company and all the associated main brands.

Step 2: Planning your site before it's built

Just like a building has blueprints before its built, so to should your website. Make sure everything is outlined first - What pages your going to include, what goes where and so on.

Another good idea is to plan your content for the site beforehand. The majority of people using the web are searching for information. A site which has good quality content (a page which has real content and not just links, crap...) will always get a better listing with google.

Step 3 - Designing your site with the search engines in mind

In order to get a successful result within Google you also need to make sure your webpage is coded correctly. The following is a break down structure of all the elements Google will look for in your site:

Your page title (Counts for 10 points)

Always list your services first then your company name. 99% of the time when people do a search they look for a service first then a company. Replicate this in your page title. For example, if you have a look at the title of this site it reads 'Graphic and Web Design Sydney :: Singer Design'. This is the correct format.

Your html code should end up looking like this:
<title>Graphic and Web Design Sydney :: Singer Design</title>

Meta keywords (Counts for 5 points)

The most valuable feature of using a Meta tag is the ability to offer the web sites owner some control in how their webpage is described in search engines. Meta tags usually sits underneath your 'page title' in the code.

Your html code should look something like this:
<META name="keywords" content="a, list, of, keywords">

The Overture website has a very useful suggestion tool for keywords

Domain name (Counts for 3 points)

See step 1 for more info.

Beginning of a sentence (Counts for 1.5 points)

Make sure the majority of the text placed on your site is in actual html text (like this text here) instead of a picture text. Alot of graphic designers make the mistake of preparing the text as an image then placing it inside the webpage.

Alt tag (Counts for 5 points)

The alt tag is the type of text that you get when you rollover an image. This helps search engines understand what the 'image' is. Using 'Alt tags' potentially increases the validity of your page because the textual words reoccur, and frankly, it makes managing your files much easier.

If you follow the above ways to 'prepare' your site for Google then you will surely be on your way to the top.

Step 4 - Content is king

The title in this step should say enough. Google loves content, all search engines love content. The more pages you have in your site the better ranking you will get. There is a rule around that says to build one page a day. If you follow this then you will have 365 pages in your site in 1 year.

Try and aim for between 200-500 words per page. If your not sure what content to put in your site then have a look at what convent is going into your competitors webpages.

Make sure that the content you build is 'quality' stuff. Write content that is relevant to your site. For example our company - Singer Design - specialises in web and graphic design - we write content that is relevant to our site.

Visitors come to your website for content and it is always a good idea to update often and add to existing content.

Step 5 - The world of linking

A friend of mine who works as an internet marketing manager for a big finance company in Australia, once told me...that when it came to placing links to other websites on your site - it was a stupid mistake to do. He justified this by saying 'why on earth would you want people to leave your site?'

When he first told me this I agreed with him - why would you want to send people away from your site? After giving it more though and doing some research of my own, I came back with this response:

Having a links section can be very important in the internet. First of all, if people are visiting your links section, then there's a good chance they are already on their way out.

Secondly, if you exchange links with other websites on a similar theme to yours, it will bring you even more traffic. It's a case of: 'I'll scratch your back, if you scratch mine.'

Exchanging links usually work in this fashion - You email the owner of the website you wish to have your link placed upon and ask them if they would like to swap links with you. It's a fairly simple process.

Try and build up a list of sites which have a similar theme to your website. Try and choose good quality websites to approach.

The more links that people have going to your website, the better listing you will get with Google.

Step 6 - Content is king: Again and again

When it comes to getting that number 1 spot in Google it does help if you have good - quality content. Which is why I am repeating Step 4 to stress how important this is:

The title in this step should say enough. Google loves content, all search engines love content. The more pages you have in your site the better ranking you will get. There is a rule around that says to build one page a day. If you follow this then you will have 365 pages in your site in 1 year.

Try and aim for between 200-500 words per page. If your not sure what content to put in your site then have a look at what content is going into your competitors webpages.

Make sure that the content you build is 'quality' stuff. Write content that is relevant to your site. For example our company - Singer Design - specialises in web and graphic design - we write content that is relevant to our site.

Visitors come to your website for content and it is always a good idea to update often and add to existing content.

Step 7 - Analysing your web stats

We learn from our mistakes, well most of us do. Being able to track down who's coming to our site, where they are coming from can be very helpful. For example: You just recently swapped links with some websites. Now you can see if this is working or not. Is it bringing more people? Which websites are they coming from?

If your hosting provider doesn't provide you with webstats, then hassle them to install this free webstats program: Webalizer

Look for keywords people are using to get to your site from search engines. See any similar combinations? Listen and study your web logs closely, they can be very useful indeed.

Step 8 - Word of mouthing

Yes, it's called "word of mouth". In these internet-savy times you hardy hear those words any more. The old fashion way of talking can help your website gain more traffic.

Join forums that relate to your website. From these you can get advice and tips from other people who may be able to help you.

According to new research by Interactive Solutions, shows that word of mouthing is far more important than search engines or links attracting users. Furthermore, 98% of users said they would recommend a site they know.

Step 9 - Submitting your site to Google

Google has been known to be the most important crawler-based search engine. This is due to alot of major search engines being powered by Google such as Yahoo and AOL Search. Plus many people goto Google to search.

When submitting your page to Google you only need to submit the index page and Google should crawl and find the rest of your site.

When you have your site ready for submission to Google click here and the link will take you to Google's Add url page.

It is also a good idea to submit your site to the Open Directory section inside Google. The OD is a human edited directory which is free to submit to. The most important thing that the OD considers is if the website offer's unique content for the topic or category. It usually takes up to 4-6 weeks to get listed in the OD.

Websites may also be rejected by the category editor without explanation, so make sure you choose the correct category for your site.

Step 10 - Measuring your success

The last step in this article is the one where you can sit back and enjoy your benefits. By now if you complete the other 9 steps you should have a very good listing. There are a number of ways to see if all that hard work has finally paid off. These include:

Submission checks

Come back 6 months later after submitting your site to Google. Has it been included? If not resubmit your link. Try listing in those free business directories to.

Page Rank toolbar

To get an idea of your site's 'page rank' - you can download the 'Google Toolbar'. Once installed, you can see how your site is ranked within Google, as well as other sites. It is strongly recommended to install this toolbar if you are serious about your search positioning.

Google search

Ah yes, the old fashion way of doing things. Do a search with Google for specific keywords relating to your website. Write down what page and listing you get on. Then keep a record on a monthly basis to see if your position in the search results is improving.

Webstats

Keep checking your webstats to see if your gaining more traffic. You should also be able to see 'keywords' from search engines where people are finding your site. Basically if you see a sudden height in numbers coming to your site - work out where they are coming from to see if its all been worth it!

Getting a good listing within Google isn't easy, it takes time and effort just like most things. But if read carefully and practice what I've said then you should be number in no time. Remember if it wasn't for search engines then how would people really find our sites?


Publication Date: Friday 26th September, 2003
Author: Josh Singer View profile

Related Articles