By David Cross
This is the third and final part in our series on search engine optimization, or SEO. Last week we looked at how to develop your niche and the week before we discussed what to do with the traffic you drive.
Today we look at the mechanics of getting to #1 on Google and we begin with a question. Why do the search terms organic food consultant and home pet euthanasia in Portland both feature at #1 in Google?
Because I put them there.
Simon Wright (one of Europe’s top organic food consultants) and Dr. Lori Gibson (who runs a niche business providing in-home pet euthanasia in Portland, OR) attained their #1 Google rankings by developing their niche and creating content within that niche.
Both Simon and Lori win a lot of new clients, referrals and credibility (which research shows is implied by their top Google rankings) for their businesses, but it’s not difficult to achieve…it just takes time and focus.
You’d have to agree that both businesses operate within fairly tight niches and in those niche areas it takes only a handful of core content (perhaps 10-12 pages) and a few ongoing articles (in Simon’s case, he’s amassed a collection of articles on organic food production over the years in his archives).
Google gives credibility to websites that provide content within a niche and then ongoing “fresh” content within that niche. Simon does that very well. Lori owns a small niche currently and my advice to her is to create ongoing content at the site to secure her top placement over time and as her business gains competitors.
What Gives a Top Placement?
Let’s break-down these websites and see what gives them their current top placements.
At Lori’s website we see that her home page is very centered on one topic; home pet euthanasia in Portland, OR. The page headings, the title on the page (which appears at the very top of the web browser as “Home Pet Euthanasia, Portland, Oregon“) and the page content all contain search terms focus around that one niche area and are also, all helpful to people an provide a meaningful, useful and warm introduction to anyone considering at-home euthanasia for their companion animal.
The other pages at her website serve to further explain and expand on that one, core topic of in-home pet euthanasia (in Portland, OR). Everything Lori ever adds to that website should center around that one, niche “root” and all the branches that stem from that should expand upon and expound that niche topic. She may expand into content that provides, for example, helpful resources and information for pet owners coping with grief after losing their pet, or on frequently asked questions on pet euthanasia.
And every page on Loris website should consider the three steps we’ve discuss:
- Build and develop a niche
- Write content pertaining to that niche
- Convert the website traffic
At every page on Lori’s website she provides a phone number which is pretty much the conversion step she wishes to encourage.
Taking Simon’s website as our second example, we can see that the page title (in your web browser’s title bar) is Organic Food, Organic Food Consultant, Organic Food Manufacturing, Fairtrade Food and Drink – again, fits right into Simon’s business. All the content on that home page, the menu links at the left and especially all the additional content in Simon’s article archives cover his business niche extremely well.
Breaking the Rules at #1
There’s an interesting thing about both Simon’s and Lori’s websites. Neither Lori nor Simon lost any sleep or stressed-out about getting to #1 on Google, they simply worked the 3 steps nor strictly adhere to any of the accepted do this to get to #1 “rules” or “stuffed” their page or “meta tags” with keywords. If your business is within a small enough niche and you’ve developed that niche with a little forethought, simply creating web pages with a reasonable amount of content (350-500 words upward), using relevant keywords within page titles and on the page, can be enough to help create a good placement in Google, regardless of whether you even have many incoming links to the website.
This is not to say that one doesn’t need to pay attention to these factors at some point but in my experience, far too many businesses starting out worry about factors outwith their control such as number of incoming links to their website or what their competitors are doing and forget that the core of getting to a top spot on Google is creating useful content within a niche.
The factors influencing a top Google spot can always be improved upon but getting the core elements right – and these 2 websites provide excellent examples of that – ensure the best foundation to any concerted SEO effort.
I mentioned earlier, “Let’s break-down these websites and see what gives them their current top placements.” It’s important for us to consider that any website can both gain and lose a top spot on Google and that creating niche content that never changes may not be enough.
From my examples, Simon has kept a fairly fresh supply of niche content over the years but Lori does run the slight risk of being knocked-off her top spot should anyone else start creating similar niche content and keeping that content more regularly updated. She could post additional information about specific cases she attends, removing personal details, to keep a fresh supply of content at her site.
I’ll be sharing more about how to create your own top Google spot at our seminar this summer: