Monday, September 28, 2009

6 Ways to Get on Google's First Page

Screen shot of google search of Makovsky+CompanyThere’s nothing more Darwinian than the world of search engine results. If you can get on the first page, you’ll get the majority of the traffic. If you don’t, you won’t. Fortunately, there are some simple things you can do, even with an existing website, to improve your chances of appearing on that all-important first page.

To tell you what they are and how to accomplish them, I have asked our resident expert, Tim Kane, executive vice president and head of our Branding + Interactive Practice, to give you 6 ways that work. Here they are:

1. Define your position with keywords.
Too many companies define their brands with vague generalities like "trust" or "quality" or "results." They're nice thoughts, but you'll get much better results if you write a positioning line that incorporates terms that people might actually use to find you.

2. Post a site map.
Chances are, you've never really studied a site map; most people don't. But for a search engine, it's an important tool - one of the quickest ways to find content. So make sure your site has an up-to-date, test-based map that's directly linked to your Home page.

3. Learn how to add content yourself.
Search engines love new content. But if you have to rely on a web shop or your IT team to make updates, your content will never be as current as it needs to be. Learn how to work with your site's content management system; if you don't have one, get one.

4. Avoid Flashturbation.
You know those fancy Flash-animated intros? To a search engine, they’re just a jumble of code. Make sure your web designer incorporates text into your site’s flash elements. Or better still, use your precious online real estate for something more motivating.

5. Alt tag your pictures.
Drag your cursor over an image on a website. The text box that appears is called an “alt tag.” Search engines can’t read pictures, but they can read alt tags. So for every image on your site, generate an alt tag that describes it. Using key search terms, of course.

6. Track your traffic.
You need to track how many people are coming to your site and which pages they visit most often. Then you can expand the portion of your site that receives the most traffic. And attract even more attention. There are a lot of services that you can use, but start with Google Analytics; it's free.

Technorati Tags: Tim Kane, Google Analytics, Alt tag, President Obama, Alt tag, search engine, site map, keywords, Facebook, LinkedIn


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