When you are running a website, it is absolutely critical for you to get to the top of Google when people search for either you, your business, or whatever industry you are in. Although sometimes it is incredibly difficult to get to the first page of Google (just TRY starting a weight loss website, that is an incredibly crowded market), if you are in a market that is less competitive, or you simply just want to get your own name/business name to the top of Google, then you definitely have hope. Getting to the top of Google takes a great deal of patience, time, and most importantly, a thorough understanding how Search Engine Optimization actually works.
I have taken a couple websites to the top of Google, including a personal website as well as a blog designed for a specific music niche. The result? Greater monetization and an incredibly high number of unique visitors, much higher than if I did not get onto Google. So, here are my top ten tips for getting your website to the top of the search engines.
10. Choose A Name That People Would Already Search On Google
Pat Flynn, the author of the incredibly successful blogging and website-monetizing themed website “Smart Passive Income,” decided to create a niche website in a market he had absolutely no previous experience in. The niche he decided to go into was “security guard training,” a market that, although competitive, is definitely less competitive than many broader markets, such as general weight loss and “building muscles mad quickly.” His goal for this website was simple; he wanted to see if he could get to the top of Google as well as successfully monetize his website.
So what did he do? Well, a lot of things…getting to the top of google takes much more than just naming your website something clever that people in a certain niche would already be naturally inclined to search. However, he did start off by choosing a great name for his security guard training-themed website. The domain “www.securityguardtraining.com” was already taken, so he thought of something exceptionally clever: he added the letters “hq” to the end of the phrase “securityguardtraining.” The letters “hq,” which stands for “headquarters,” makes a lot of sense in the context of training security guards.
If you type security guard training into Google, Pat Flynn’s website is now #1 – and he had absolutely no idea about anything security guard training before making his website.
9. Create Backlinks
Google will index your website based on a number of factors, among them being how popular your website is. To judge popularity, the google bots find out how many websites your personal website is backlinked to.
So how do you create backlinks? There are a number of good options for creating backlinks to your website, but my biggest suggestions would to place links to your site onto as many of your public social media pages as possible (including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube). Additionally, I would get commenting on forums and blogs – do NOT write spammy comments (like “hey I have the best strategy go to my website here); rather, provide insightful comments that are pertinent to the forum and article you are reading, and leave your URL at the end of your message. You are creating backlinks as you do this.
Additionally, if you can get backlinks, articles about you, and shout-outs from other bloggers onto well-trafficked blogs, you are in excellent shape. Linking your website to another website, especially if that website is positively promoting your website, is one of the most effective ways to not only get traffic, but to get to the top of search engines.
8. If Possible, Choose to Go Into a Niche Business
If you are trying to start a website that profiles the top sports players in the world, good luck getting ahead of ESPN, Bleacher Report, Sports Illustrated, SB Nation, Grantland, and a number of the biggest sports publications in the entire world on Google…these guys pay massive amounts of money to keep their businesses at the top of the search engines.
If you choose to distill a bit more than just “general professional sports,” to “professional soccer players,” now you are heading in the right direction. Especially in the US, soccer is less popular than football, hockey, basketball, and of course baseball, so you may have some luck getting into the top 5-10 pages of Google with a professional soccer themed website. Still, you have tons of competition from many other major websites.
So what if you distill even more, and decide to talk about a specific aspect of soccer…maybe soccer equipment? Now you’re getting warm, and if you have a website that is all about soccer equipment, you might be able to get to the top of Google.
But just go one…step…further…
What if you had a website that was all about soccer cleats, specifically designed for men? Now we are talking about an incredible niche business that would be less of a daunting task than getting a “general sports coverage” website onto the top of Google. If you take that website idea from me, by the way, I ask for a 10% royalty on all your earnings :).
7. Constantly Post New Content
Google frequently determines website relevance by the amount of content that is consistently put onto the website. So, get off your tookus and start writing! Websites of all kinds typically are always benefitting from blogs; blogs are a very personable way to reach an audience, and are a good way of establishing authority on a topic. These days, almost everything people read on the website is usually some type of blogging – Twitter, Facebook, and just about every social media website can be considered blogging. Also, anything that has comments in it is almost always a blog-styled post.
If you aren’t good at writing, considering hiring college interns to write for you, or simply start writing – you can’t become a good writer without trying to write again and again.
6. Keep Your Website Running Up 99.9% of the Time.
Downtime is an inevitable circumstance in the world of maintaining websites, as there will always be technical issues when it comes to all things electronic, gadgets, and unfortunately, even web servers. However, do whatever you can to find a reliable, awesome web hosting service that maintains a guaranteed 99.9% uptime. I can thoroughly recommend BlueHost and WPEngine as being two of the top web hosting services available – BlueHost is great for beginner websites, but WPEngine is the creme de la creme of hosting professional WordPress-based websites, like this one!