One of the first things we often hear from new web design clients is, “I want to be on the first page of Google search results”, or some other similar statement. Getting your website to show up in Google’s first page can be challenging, to say the least, but certainly not impossible. There are many techniques you must use in order to appease the Googlebot.

To achieve a high Google Page Rank, there are some basic SEO principles that you have to follow, as we’ll explain below.

I want to be on the first page of Google search results.

CODE QUALITY

You may not even realize it, but there are widely-recognized standards for website development. These standards act as the guide to developing the underlying code for your website. If followed, your site will benefit greatly because search bots tend to favor those who follow standards. We strive to achieve standards with each and every client. For more information, visit the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) website.

KEYWORDS

What terms will people use to find you? This is important, because you can’t just blindly setup a website and expect Google to magically rank you on the first page. You have to consider the intent of your website and what customers might search for when looking for the type of services, products or information you provide. Then, you have to consider how much competition you may have for any keyword phrase you might want to use. You can choose keywords that are common in your industry, creating lots of search competition and thus making it difficult to achieve a high search result. Or you could use keywords that are not so common, targeting a smaller group of consumers but possibly ranking higher in search results.

You also need to consider how you use your keywords. You need to utilize them well on your website, but without giving search bots the impression that you are using them to spam your own website.

CONTENT IS KING

This is probably one of the hardest things to accomplish. Having unique content on your website can bring you more traffic simply because it cannot be found anywhere else. Utilizing your chosen keywords in your content can also help, as long as you don’t overuse them. Unique content gives you an edge because search bots will recognize that and index your website accordingly.

INCOMING LINKS

How many other sites link to you? How well do those sites rank with the search engines? Good links to your site can be helpful — or not. Sites with good rankings that link to you will help your ranking, but low-ranking sites can actually bring you down. It’s a good idea to get listed on directories and other sites that are popular and already have high rankings. Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to be listed on as many websites as possible, just be careful about who you are linked from.

DOMAIN AGE

The age of your domain is actually very important. If your domain has been around for 6 months or more, this helps the search engines feel better about you. Domains that have been around for years will have even more trust. This also means that you will likely have achieved more incoming links from other websites, which also scores trust points.

SUMMARY

Google and other search engines can be picky about who gets good page ranking and who does not. They have algorithms that specifically look for things that can help or hinder your ranking in search results. These algorithms are intended to maintain quality search results by giving high marks to sites that have integrity and scoring low marks to those who might try to cheat. But it all starts with you and how you decide to build your website. We are happy to do our part in providing a quality website product to help you achieve your search engine dreams.

Courtesy of Wendell.