SEO Ranking Formula – 3x5xSEO

SEO Ranking Formula Index Card

SEO Ranking Formula on a 3×5 Index Card

Is a picture worth a thousand words? Maybe. Is a picture worth higher search engine ranking? Yes!

This is the first index card published, but there will be many more. At least one a week. I’ve been using index cards and sticky notes for years to make things clearer for myself and clients. If an idea can be boiled down into a 3×5 card, it is much easier to understand.

SERP Rankings

Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) are the pages that display in Yahoo!, Bing and Google when you type in a search page. The Google SERP for San Diego Emergency Pest Control is shown below.

Google SERPs Page

The paid ads or PPC (pay per click)  ads are displayed as the top three results in the center column and along the right side. These are ads you must bid for to have them displayed for your page. It can be very expensive. What we are after are the natural or organic listings. These are the listings you don’t pay for and are the result of solid SEO strategies.

Pages x Links = Search Engine Rankings

Let’ expand the formula a bit.

Good quality relevant pages x good quality relevant links = search engine rankings

Google grants “authority” to good content pages and good quality relevant links (or votes) is how these pages gain authority. When a site has many, sometimes thousands of authority pages, it becomes an authority site – think CNN or ESPN.  You want your pages to become authority pages. To do that you make sure your content is high quality and links into that page are from the highest authority pages possible.

Look at the left side of the formula above. Good quality relevant pages could be from your site or from another web property that you don’t own. From your own site, think about where you might sell blue widgets, red widgets and green widgets. You have multiple pages on your site about these widgets. Each of those pages should link to each other and to any new widgets page you create. That is the first source of links – your own internal links from your relevant pages.

After you make sure you are linking from your relevant internal pages, find the highest authority external pages to get links. It’s probably not going to be CNN, but it could be a link from another widget site, a widget industry directory and so on. These should be your first choice. You can also create Hub Pages, Squidoo Pages and other content sites. These sites are consider authority sites by search engines. We’ll talk more about content sites later. Create these sites and then link to the relevant pages on your site.

Writing articles targeted to the same content as your specific pages will be enough to rank on the first page, or even number one for low competition keyword phrases.

Ranking Formula Strategy

If you have a blog, you can create more pages on your site easily and quickly. That should be a big part of your strategy. Each of those blog posts is a page and a link from that page will help other pages. Don’t say the same thing over and over. Vary the content so that it is unique within your site. Building more pages is critical because it’s self-reinforcing. As your pages and site gain authority, it raises your site’s power to rank for existing and new search terms.

Build links to all your site pages. Articles, Authority Sites, Guest Blog Posts, Blog Commenting and many other techniques are available. Video sites such as YouTube and Viddler can also be useful in building links. Links will also come to you if you create great content that others remark on. We’ll cover more on link building later, but understand for now that links are critical to your site’s rankings.

I see linking, both internally and externally, as the biggest weakness of most small business sites that are not ranking well for their targeted keywords.

Summary

There you have it. Create lots of unique targeted relevant pages. Link to those pages from other pages on your site and build external links from other sites. Do this and you’ll see great results.

If Do It Yourself SEO is not in your plans, or you need some basic consulting or training, just give Michael a call at 386-295-2049 or go to the contact page to send a message by email.

What the H is Internet Marketing?

Really, Are You Marketing The Internet?

Do you do magazine marketing when you advertise in magazines? Do you do newspaper marketing when you advertise in Newspapers? No, you market your business. If you sell homes, you market homes and your real estate business. You market and advertise homes and real estate marketing because you sell homes and real estate.

Distinctions Are Important

Okay, so what’s the big deal? First, I’m going to raise some eyebrows, but if you focus on internet marketing, you are going to waste time and money. If you focus on marketing your business and your products and services using the internet, you are going to make better choices. This distinction is very important.

Think of a small business owner who knows he must improve her online marketing results. She is in the retail flowers business and is not getting the results she needs from her marketing on the internet. She is at a critical point. When she sits down at her computer to begin her search to improve her marketing, what will she type into the Google search box?

If she types “flower shop internet marketing” rather than internet marketing, she is on her way to a better result. Note: make sure to use quotation marks in your searches. There are 11,800 results for “flower shop internet marketing” and 5,070,000 results without the quotation marks. You will get better and more specific results using the quotation marks.

Get Targeted

Get targeted early in your marketing campaigns using the internet. If you want to learn internet marketing, that’s one thing. If you want to market your products and services using the internet, here are the things you need to target:

  • What are you selling in terms of products and services?
  • What are the benefits of your products and services?
  • How do you want people to feel about your company and your products?
  • Who are your ideal customers? Create multiple customer personas if you have more than one customer type.
  • How do you build your web presence to reflect your business purpose, style and unique qualities?
  • How will marketing on the internet affect your current marketing?
  • How will current marketing affect your marketing on the internet?

You get the idea. Notice none of these questions are really about “internet marketing.” They’re about your business. If you don’t answer these questions and others that are important to your business, you are ripe for the hype and hucksters. You should not begin building your website or begin SEO (search engine optimization) before answering these questions.

Internet Hype and Hucksters

I Made $123, 817 from My Kitchen Table Last Month – for $29.95, I’ll show you how. Well, if they make that kind of money, it was probably $29.95 at a time. Claims like this are out there when you start investigating internet marketing. This may be a bit exaggerated, but only a bit. It may come in different forms, but you can bet the hypsters and hucksters have targeted you in some way.

Here’s my claim: I switched my real estate marketing from print media and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to natural or organic search (“free results”) on Google, Yahoo! and Bing. I increased my company sales by 400% over 2-1/2 years. I dropped my advertising budget from $50,000 per year to $5,000 a year. It took six months to get good results, a year to recover the cost up to that point and two years to realize great results.

How did I do it? A lot of research, testing and hard work. I spent a lot time and money learning marketing on the internet and SEO. Much of what I tested did not work. Enough of what I tested worked to make the effort successful. So, I built a model. Then, I tested the model on other sites to make sure it worked. It does and that’s why I’ve started this site and the business that goes with it.

What My Journey Can Mean For You

You’re focused on your business and its success. That’s where I started when necessity caused me to jump into marketing my real estate business on the internet. You can leverage my investment in developing that working model. First, come back here often. Sign up for email updates in the box at the top of the right column, or, subscribe to my RSS feed if you use an RSS Reader. Over time, you’ll learn what you need to do it yourself or hire someone to help you market your business using the internet.

If you are ready to get started, call me at 386-295-2049 or use the contact page and we can discuss the options.

 

Google Fires a Shot Over The Bow for SEO Content?

Does Google Have Your Attention Yet?

Google’s Panda update changed 11% of its search results. Some big sites, like EzineArticles.com and HowTo.com were affected. Bad news for them, but good news for you and me.

Quality SEO Content

Quality content is about both search engine optimization and customers. It was only a short time ago that copied (scraped) content and shallow, rather stupid content, could rank in Google. Now Google has fired a shot over the bow with Panda. They are not at full war yet.

Google’s goal is to provide the best search results for visitors. This is not out of the goodness of the hearts. No, it’s because Google sells advertising (AdWords), and if the content they send people to view is poor, it reflects on Google and no ads are clicked. No ads clicked means no revenue.

They are aggressively targeting poor content. Their mission is to kill it by removing it from their search results. With the hundreds of Phds and other smart people working there, they will get there eventually.

Google Bing and Yahoo! Mission

The big three search engines are advertising platforms. That’s how they make their money. It is and will always be about the money. Google has about 65% of search traffic, but Bing has been gaining recently. Yahoo! is now using the Bing search engine, so the results will be almost identical. Many SEO “experts” say to ignore Bing and Yahoo! and just focus on Google. I’m not willing to leave 3-4 out of every 10 searchers out.

Google has fired its shot, but Bing and Yahoo! will be right behind. The quality of your content matters and will matter more in the future.

What Does Good Content Mean?

Don’t take my word for it. Google has published explicit guidance. Now I don’t believe that Google can check for all these things today for every site, but I believe they will continue to working on it and get closer every day. Here’s part of what Google says:

  • Would you trust the information presented in this article?
  • Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?
  • Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?
  • Would you be comfortable giving your credit card information to this site?
  • Are the topics driven by genuine interests of readers of the site, or does the site generate content by attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines
  • Does the page provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?
  • How much quality control is done on content?
  • Was the article edited well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
  • Would users complain when they see pages from this site?

These are the highlights, but there’s more. Read the post at Google’s WebMasterCentral –> What counts as a high-quality site?

Future Proofing Your Website

None of my websites have suffered from any of the Google updates in the past two years. I have written close to a thousand posts and articles in that time. All my content is original and will stay that way. I take the time and effort to assure that content is useful to the visitors searching for the keyword terms targeted by the page.

Yes, I target specific keywords, but I make sure the content matches the keywords and is useful to the visitor.

To future proof your site; make sure you SEO content is of the highest possible quality for visitors. Visitors will be happy and so will Google and the other search engines.

Why Search Engine Optimization?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the fuel for you website. Imagine having your Ferrari sitting in your garage. You have it, but no one knows it. You need fuel to drive it around town so people know. It’s the same with your website. You may have the greatest information, the best products, the best deals – but if no one knows, they won’t visit.