So to recap, in the first part we discussed the four criteria google appears to use to rank pages. I say ‘appears’ because google keep information on this subkect understandably vague (otherwise everyone would know how to cheat!) However, this information is based on my own experiments and those of many others, google’s sketchy information on the subject and my own rudimentary knowledge of how to construct a search algorithm. The four criteria were:
- How closely your text matches the phrase searched for
- How often keywords from the phrase are repeated on the rest of your site
- How often keywords related to the phrase are repeated on the rest of your site
- How many other sites with related information link to you
So point 1 above, surprisingly, despite its simplicity, can be exploited quite effectively. Google’s Keyword Tool can tell you how many people are searching for any specific key phrase every month. At the same time, you can easily check out the competition (just do a google search…)
In this way you can create pages with titles and content designed to be found when people type these phrases. In the spirit of points 2 and 3 (see above) you can then create more content including those keywords and related keywords to bolster the general credibility of the site and get your specifically titled article up the rankings.
So to use our ‘breadmaking’ example from the previous article – let’s say you pick ‘how do I make rye sourdough‘ as your key phrase to target because there are 200 searches a month but not much competition. You could then do a whole load of other articles about rye, sourdough and how to make bread etc. This would hopefully give your site credibility with search engines and convince them that your excitingly specific answer is worth putting at the top of the rankings.
You may remember in part one, I noted that google pays more attention to words that are titles or menus (or better still in your url). You can use this to your advantage too! With our example of the breadmaking site, if your main menu is ‘Home’, ‘Blog’, ‘Forum’,’Links’ then you are perhaps being logical to the visitor but missing an opportunity to title it ‘Bread’, Rye’, ‘Flour’ etc and get brownie points from google and the other search engines.
Actually, from a visitor’s point of view, this is probably an improvement also because logical though the former categories may be, they do not directly speak of what the visitor is looking for.
Lastly, backlinks are important to convince google that people value what you are doing. A good way to start is by posting articles on a site like ezinearticle.com – that will immediately get you a relevant link. There are also friends’ sites and forums etc. Check this article of mine for a backlinking strategy in detail.
However, my experiments suggest that cleverly chosen keywords plus a mountain of supporting content is sufficient to get a lot of visitors from google. So you won’t have to worry too much about backlinks unless you’re up against some really serious competition.