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Get Higher Google Rankings

Aug 17, 2007
Want to know what Google is looking for in a Web site and how to ensure that your Web site content is meeting the guidelines of Google? Visit www.google.com/webmasters/guidelines.html.

You may not be a Webmaster, but if you are writing the content for your Web site, you need this information. Let's take a look at three of the guidelines:

Clear Hierarchy and Text Links

(1) "Make a site with clear hierarchy and text links. Every page should be reachable from at least one static text link."

In other words, your site needs to be easy to navigate with one click and easy for visitors to figure out how to get to where they want to go. This is a combination of good writing and design.

When I am writing content for a site I always consider how the navigation is designed. Often times I am presented with a site with poor navigation design: you need two or more clicks to get where you want to go, there is no button to bring you back to the homepage or the navigation choices are confusing.

The best content in the world will not help a poorly designed site, you have to have good content and design.

Information-Rich Site

(2) "Create a useful, information-rich site and write pages that clearly and accurately describe your content. Make pages for users, not for search engines. Don't deceive your users, or present different content to search engines that you display to users."

Always keep in mind that it is people that buy your product or service, not search engines. The content you write needs to be interesting and informative. It does you no good to have a high search engine ranking if your visitors immediately leave your site because they lose interest.

You also want to bring visitors to your site who are interested in your specific product or service. You want to filter out people who would not be interested in what you have to offer.

Research has consistently shown that the more targeted your market, the greater the percentage of sales for your business. So, don't think in terms of bringing in as many people as possible. Think in terms of bringing in the people who might be buyers. That's how you get the money.

Create informative content that will answer your readers' questions about your product or service. Emphasize the benefits of what you offer. How do you stand out from the competition? Why should they purchase that widget you are selling?

Useful Search Phrases

(3) "Think about the words users would type to find your pages, and make sure that your site actually includes those words within it."

Start brainstorming and make a long list of all the phrases someone might use to find your Web site. Don't think in terms of only single words, use two to four word phrases. Using single words makes the search too broad. For instance, if you wanted to find information on business writing workshops in Orange County, you wouldn't want to type in writing. You would want to narrow your search by including the more descriptive phrase of business writing workshops. If you wanted to narrow it down even further you would include a geographic location like Orange County.

A good way to test out your keywords is to use the free program http://www.goodkeywords.com/. "Good Keywords makes use of various tools provided by search engines like the Overture Search Suggestion Tool, Search Engines Like Yahoo, Google, Teoma and other services like Alexa." Type in your keywords and the program will tell you the rankings of how people searched for those keywords. The newly released 2.0 version also has an easy meta tag creation tool. So, you can use the tool to create the keyword meta tags for your site.

If you are coming up with poor results with the keywords you have chosen, it is time to start asking other people what they would use to search for your site. The best person to ask is someone who is your target market. If you are targeting entrepreneurs, then go to a networking meeting of entrepreneurs and start asking questions. Tell them what you do and ask what words they would use to find you on the Web.

Sometimes what you think are the best keywords are actually not effective. Many times I have zero results for the words my clients think someone would use to search for their site. I then start researching the target audience to find the right words.

Follow the Leader

Google is the undisputed leader in Search Engines. The guidelines they've written are best practices that we should all be following to have a successful online presence.
About the Author
Michelle Howe, MBA, is an expert
in online copywriting. Visit her Web site at http://www.InternetWordMagic.com
for a FREE audio download of "Pay-Per-Click Success:
Attract More Customers in 30 Days or Less" and FREE
report, "The Five-Step Plan to Article Success."
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