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Six Steps to Google Heaven

Jan 16, 2008
We all want our web pages to be listed in the top results for Google. So how do you do it?

Ask this question of most search engine experts and you'll probably get a very long answer. It isn't an exact science because we are all trying to guess what how Google ranks sites.

However there are six really simple steps that you can take that will improve your site for Google and help boost you up the rankings.

Step One: Are you using your Title tags properly?

These are the tags that you put at the start of your html code.

These tags are read by Google when it looks at your site and it uses this information to decide what each of your pages is about. You should make sure that you have a different title tag for every page and that it describes your page using the keywords for that page. Avoid titles like Home Page etc.

Step Two: Use Description meta tags.

As with the title tag, you should be using the description meta tag.

Search engines read this tag in the same way they read the title tag and they use the information to decide what you pages are about. So use a different one for each page and include the keywords to that page.

Also it's usually both the title tag and the description tag that are displayed when Google lists your page in its search results. So make sure they are also enticing to click on!

Step Three: Think about your internal linking.

Make sure you have a good linking structure within your site for the Google to follow as it crawls your site to index it.

Linking text within the main content of your web pages to other pages in your site is a good way to help Google. Don't just rely on your menus to help Google find its way around.

Check for broken links in your site. There are lots of programs, many free, that will check your site and report any broken links.

Step Four: Use different keywords for each of your pages.

Google indexes pages not web sites so you don't need to use the same keyword on every page to optimise for that keyword.

Target each page with a single keyword and make sure you use that through the page. I mentioned using it in title and description tags earlier. You should also try to use your keywords in some of the headings on your site. Make sure you are using the H1, H2 codes for headings.

You should also use the keyword for the page as the linking text from other pages back to the page.

Step Five: Less is not always good.

Make sure you have a content rich site. By that I mean lots of words!

Make sure your words are relevant for the topic of your web page. Don't forget that your web page needs to be readable by your human visitor not just Google.

Images are fine to break up a page and convey meaning to your human visitor, but Google doesn't see them. If you do use images, make sure you use the alt tag. Google will read these and use the words to help index the web page. However make sure the alt tag describes the picture. Don't just stuff it with keywords. Using the alt tag is important for addressing web site accessibility which is now a legal requirement in many countries.

Step Six: Play it straight.

Don't try to trick Google. Avoid techniques like cloaking, keyword stuffing, hidden text or any of the other tricks meant to fool Google because I can assure you they will not work.

They are unethical and frankly unnecessary. If you have a site with a good link structure, full of relevant content you will be rewarded by Google.

I hope you follow through on all of these steps. In themselves they won't get you top ranking but if you don't follow them you have no chance of a good ranking at all.
About the Author
Vernon Riley is a founder of KKSmarts. Their website contains many free Website Promotion guides and their popular free SEO training course.
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