So one of the coolest things you could possibly do as an online marketer is to rank on the first page of Google for your intended keyword phrases.
Not saying it’s cool because your website is on the frontpage, but more because you ultimately can get your business or message in front of your target market.
And if you can do this, then it’s like giving your sales pitch to hundreds, if not thousands of people each and everyday, without having to talk to a single person, I mean like – whaaaaaaat?
Think of the applications of this … I mean really think about it.
It’s like having a saleforce without employing a single sales person.
So imagine sending out hundreds of sales people to bring you back customers, except instead of having people you have blog posts or pages.
So potentially this means that you’re influencing buying decisions each and everyday without speaking to a single person, and for peeps like me who are naturally introverted, this becomes a way to sell without having to awkwardly introduce yourself to 100’s of strangers.
But more importantly, you’re leveraging your business, because your content is doing the heavy lifting for you.
I don’t know about you, but that is some cool shit man.
You don’t think this works?
I know some folks will think that whilst this might be a nice idea, it doesn’t really work – does it?
And for those folks I say …
Think about this – you’re reading this page because I knew what you were going to search for, and therefore constructed my content around the keyword phrase that I knew you would type into the search engines, so that I ranked for that phrase and got my website in front of you.
How did I know what you were going to search for?
Well, I know how many searches on average per month are being typed into the search engines for a particular keyword phrase, and well, this month, you just happened to have typed in the phrase in to a search engine that I was targeting.
So no – I don’t have super powers or a Jedi mind trick to reveal, it’s just plan old fashion skill.
And the good thing about skill is that its teachable.
But not only that, I also understand what keywords are going to be bring me in sales, based on the intent of the keyword phrase a person used.
You see, based on the keyword phrase a person types into the search engines, you have a fair idea of the intention of the search, as in, are they just looking for information or have they made a decision to buy a product or service. From there, it’s a matter of selecting the keywords that fulfill your business objectives.
Before I go any further – I just want to back up the bus a little, because sometimes when I mention the phrase “keywords” I’m aware that a lot of people don’t really know what I’m talking about, and if that’s you, then you can learn more about keywords here – What Are Keywords & How Do You Use Them.
How to get on the first page of Google
So before you read any further, I recommend that you read my post above if you haven’t already, otherwise the information that follows might not make much sense.
Okay, so with that out of the way …
Getting ranked in Google is no easy feat, and a lot of people get it wrong, especially now, given the on going algorithmic updates from Google.
But essentially, it still comes down to two main things, onpage optmization and offpage optimization.
Onpage optimization you have full control over, but offpage optimization is a little different, as you’ll see in a minute.
What is onpage optimization?
There are certain tags on a page that the search engines evaluate to determine what your content is about. Since the search engines return results based on relevance, it does so by evaluating the phrases you use on your webpage.
Having said that, they also put more weight on specific tags in your content, because they know that a person naturally uses these tags to describe what it is they want to talk about. Tags like the title tag, the description tag, the h1 and h2 tag etc.
Therefore if you simply include your target keyword phrases in these tags, it will help Google determine relevance and rank your webpage accordingly.
However, this doesn’t mean that your webpage is going to rank on the first page of Google, because there’s one other factor to ranking as already mentioned – offpage optimization.
What is offpage optimization?
Simply put – backlinks.
What is a backlink?
A backlink in technical terms is a hyperlink from another website.
Search engines usually follow a hyperlink back to a website using algorithmic robots and then counts it as a vote – so to speak.
A backlink is like someone vouching for your content.
However, not all backlinks are created equal. Some backlinks like onpage tags hold more weight than others. You can almost liken it to getting and endorsement from people.
For example, if you get an endorsement from one of your friends then it’s not going to count as much as getting and endorsement from a celebrity like Oprah, or some one who has higher perceived social authority in your niche.
So getting a backlink from CNN.com is going to count more towards the authority of my website than getting a link from a blogger who no one knows.
Let’s put it altogether
So at this point I’ve mentioned the components needed to rank a webpage, now let’s look at how you can use this knowledge to determine whether you can out rank a certain page in the search engines for a given keyword phrase.
So given the above information you would want to type your keyword phrase into Google and examine the top ten results given that’s who you’re trying to out rank.
So first thing to do is examine the title of the webpage of the top ten results and see if the keyword phrase is included in it – so onpage optimization.
Next is to get an understanding of the backlink profile of each of the webpages.
Believe it or not there are keyword tools (software programs) that enable you to evaluate all of this data faster than you could possibly do it manually.
As you can see in the picture above Long Tail Pro shows the title tag, so you can see at a glance what webpages are optimized for the search engines and which ones aren’t. LTP also gives you the number of backlinks a webpage has under the heading “Page Links”. It shows the authority of the domain as well as the page authority of the webpage.
But then it goes a step further and based on all the onpage and offpage factors it evaluates an overall score known as the AKC (average keyword competitiveness) score that helps you to decide the likely hood of ranking on the first page.
The AKC value is a number from 0 – 100 where 0 is easiest to rank and 100 is the most difficult to rank.