By Titus Hoskins (c) 2007
Most webmasters go totally "gaga" for top 10 rankings in Google. And for good reason, Google is the most dominant search engine on the net and will deliver the largest amount of traffíc.
More importantly, those same webmasters will also inform you, getting top 10 rankings in Google often means your site will prove profitable. Mainly because obtaining targeted traffíc is usually your first obstacle in creating a viable online business. In other words, if you get top ten listings in Google for good searchable keywords, it is almost impossible not to earn money.
How To Proceed?
First, you must know the rudimentary basics of how keywords work. Keywords and keyword phrases are the exact words someone types into a search engine to find what they're looking for online. If you have a site on "dog training" then your goal is to get a top 10 ranking for the keywords "dog training".
Now if no one searches for "dog training" it would be a useless keyword, you would get no traffíc no matter how perfectly your site is optimized for that keyword.
How Do You Know If A Keyword Is Good?
To find out, you have to do some keyword research on your particular keywords. Many professional online marketers use keyword research software like Brad Callen's Keyword Elite. However, you can also use the keyword suggestion tools supplied by Google Adwords or Overture. Try here: http://www.digitalpoint.com
Now if you chëck "dog training", you will find it receives around 4,469 searches each day. That's a lot of traffíc but you must realize that it may be too good, or rather too competitive for your purposes, especially if you have a new site.
Biggest Mistake When Choosing Keywords
The most common mistake most novice webmasters make is targeting keywords which are too competitive. You simply will not be able to compete or place for extremely competitive keywords. Well established sites and businesses with very deep pockets have the resources to completely dominate those keywords.
While it is not entirely futile nor a waste of time to concentrate your efforts on highly competitive keywords, you will have better success if you target low to medium competitive keywords.
Long Tail Keyword Marketing
Besides online marketers have discovered that longer keyword phrases are usually the most lucrative. These phrases deliver traffíc which is better targeted and more likely to convert into a sale. "Dog hunting training" which gets around 100 searches a day will be more targeted than the general term "dog training" and if you have a site devoted to training hunting dogs then this keyword phrase may convert better for you.
Always keep this "Long Tail" keyword strategy in the back of your mind as you implement the following steps to achieve your own Top 10 Rankings in Google.
1. Make A Master Keyword Líst
Your first step is to make a master líst of the keywords you wish to target. Obviously these should be closely related to the theme of your site. Chëck the keyword competition by seeing how many sites are listed in Google for that keyword. Webmasters should also chëck the Google PageRank of the sites that hold the top 10 positions. If all those sites are PR6 and above it may be hard to get ranked high for your keywords.
2. Choose Related Keywords
Once you have your master líst of keywords, find long tail related keywords to target. Again, chëck out the competition and daily searches made for each chosen keyword.
3. Use Quality Content For Your Keywords
Creating quality content should always be your main goal. Write for actual visitors who will see and read your content. First and foremost you must have good useful content that your visitors will use themselves and recommend to their friends or colleagues. Tie this quality content in with your chosen keywords. Use one keyword phrase per page.
4. Keyword In Domain Name, Title and URLs
Having your keyword in your domain name will score big points from search engines. Plus, each page of content should contain your keywords in the title & meta tags for that page. Most experts also suggest you have your keyword in the URL and use hyphens to separate your keywords. Although the author has gotten good results by using an underscore and htm in URLs.
5. Do On Page Optimization
Keyword ratio is a much discussed topic by SEO experts and many suggest you should have your keyword in the H1 or headline title of your page. Sprinkle your keyword and variations of it throughout your page. Don't over do it but make sure the robot/spiders will clearly discover what your page is about. Many webmasters make sure they include their main keyword in the first and last 25 words on their pages.
6. Use Traffíc Modules
One technique that works extremely well in Google is clustering a closely related topic or subject into a distinct separate section on your site. For example, if you have a marketing site, you could create a whole section on article marketing where you would have 50 to 100 keyworded pages all relating to your subject. Writing articles, formatting articles, submitting articles, article software... place a keyword linked menu on each page to connect all your pages together.
Keep in mind, your main objective is to supply quality information to your visitors. One reason Google may favor this type of structure is because they want quality content returned in their SERPs.
7. Try Article Marketing
Article marketing is writing short informative articles on keyword topics related to your sites. You then submit these helpful keyworded articles to ezine directories on the web. When your articles are picked up by related sites, you receive quality One-Way links. The higher the quality of your article, the more links you will receive.
Another ranking tactic to use: If you're just starting out your site will probably have a low PR rank and you will find it hard to rank for even modest keywords. That's why it's useful to take advantage of the higher PageRank of the major ezine directories. Your keyworded articles on these high PR sites will get picked up by Google and displayed in the top 10 rankings. Now the displayed URL will be the article directory site but the links in the resource box will be pointing back to your site. Over time this article marketing technique will raise your own site's rankings for those keywords. Simple but effective.
8. Anchor Text And One Way Links
Off page optimization is important in obtaining high rankings in Google. Getting quality One-Way links is very important. Anchor Text simply refers to "the underlined clicked on words" in your links. Most webmasters include their keywords in their anchor text as this tells the search engines exactly what the links are about.
9. Tags, Blogging And Web 2.0
Take advantage of Web 2.0 by using blogs, RSS feeds and the social bookmarking sites like Reddit and Digg. Try AddThis.com for a simple social bookmarking system. At the very least your site should have a blog and RSS feed attached to it as this is an effective way of boosting your keyword rankings.
Tags have become very important for getting higher rankings. Keep in mind, in free blogging software such as WordPress, categories will automatically be seen as tags. Blogger, which is owned by Google, now has a form where you put your keywords (tags) for each post you make.
10. PPC vs Organic Search
Of course, one of the fastest ways to get your links displayed on Google is to pay for them by using Google Adwords. Your ad and links will sit side by side with the organic link results. In Pay Per Clíck advertising you bid or pay so much per clíck for your keywords and you only pay when someone clicks your links. But smart marketers also know since you're getting millíons of impressions advertising your products, acquiring name recognition and branding through PPC advertising can be a major side-benefit.
However, most webmasters would say that organic links (SERPS) will return better traffíc than paid links or advertising. In most cases, this may be true because Google's organic rankings are becoming more respected and more trusted by users. They simply carry more weíght with surfers.
This makes it even more beneficial to obtain top 10 rankings for your keywords in Google. Depending on the competitiveness of your chosen keywords reaching the first page listing or even the favored number one spot is well within any webmaster's reach. Just go for it. The rewards are well worth your efforts.
About The Author
The author is a full-time online marketer who contributes his high rankings in Google as the major source of his online income. For the latest web marketing tools try: MarketingToolGuide.com . For the latest Internet Marketing Strategies go to: BizwareMagic.com . Titus Hoskins. This article may be freely distributed if this resource box stays attached.