Getting traffic from Google and other search engines may seem like a mystery, but the basics are actually pretty simple. Although we don’t know the exact formulas, or search engine algorithms, that Google uses, search engine optimization experts have come to understand the basic things that every website owner needs to do in order to rank well in the search engines.
1. What are you trying to rank for?
Before you decide your plan of attack, you need to analyze the competition so you can know whether it’s realistic to rank for a particular keyword phrase in the foreseeable future. Start off by thinking about keyword phrases that are relevant to your website, whether it has to do with weight loss, pets, or anything else under the sun. Take a look at the search volume and competition for the various keyword phrases so you can pick a search term that is reasonably easy to rank for. When analyzing competition, you want to take into consideration the number of links that a website has, as well as the domain age (how long the website has been around) and any brand names that may be involved.
2. Optimize your website for the appropriate keyword phrases.
This is a lot easier nowadays than it used to be. You can pretty much ignore concepts like “keyword density” or keyword stuffing. Just focus on getting the main keyword phrase in the first paragraph of the article or blog post and in the title tag for your webpage. Instead of using the same keyword phrase a dozen times throughout the article, the content should include related words and phrases or LSI words. Although there are tools available to help you achieve this, the truth is that a well-researched article should naturally include these related words and phrases. (For example, an article about adult diabetes written by an expert would naturally include words like insulin, glucose tolerance tests, and pancreas.)
3. Build external links to your website.
Simply put, the more inbound links you have for your website the better, all other things being equal, of course. You want to be careful about getting too many links too quickly, and you also want to avoid using automated software that is being cracked down upon by Google. Technically, Google is against any kind of link building, and we urge you to focus on producing high-quality content that can actually get other people to link to you naturally. In the real world, however, you’re going to have to promote your website in order to get things going. Just make sure to be reasonable and go after higher quality links like doing guest blogging for popular websites.
4. Always go for quality.
Don’t underestimate the importance of providing value on your website. It’s getting harder and harder to rank mediocre content over the long-term, and you want to have the best chance possible of ranking your website in Google for years to come. More importantly, however, you want to build a proper foundation so you’re not relying 100% on search engines. If you have something really valuable to offer, you can actually build multiple traffic sources like social media networks, guest blogging, and just plain old word-of-mouth.