Seems like everyone wants to start appearing on page 1 of the Google search engine results pages (SERPs)…. I wish it was that easy! So I put together a presentation to help my clients and I'm hoping that others will find it helpful as well.
Keyword Research: One of our clients just launched a very successful book (firechiefbook.com) but guess what's going to happen if he tries to compete for the keyword "book"? He's going to get slammed by the likes of Amazon and Barnes and Noble, to name just a few. So the general idea is to get specific - go "long tail" ("long tail" refers to the tail of keywords that will appear in your landing page's URL). So instead of "book" we looked at "fire fighting books and publications", or "fire rescue books"… and groups of words like that. It's OK to get a little specific since more and more people are doing so with their searches in Google. In the presentation I talk about how to find the balance between keywords that are often searched for but don't have as much competition from other web sites - just trying to be smart about it….
Landing Page: Use those juicy keywords and put together some good content so that other relevant web sites will want to link to you. We saw firechiefbook.com getting links from other fire fighting publications, various fire fighting agencies and their sites as well as other authors - all of which makes sense since they're relevant to what firechiefbook is about. Sounds simple doesn't it? Too many people get derailed from this idea with spam from link farms and promises of getting their sites to jump in rankings by blasting their page(s) via spam - definitely NOT a good idea. Again, be smart about it and keep it relevant.
Get Inbound Links: This may take some time and ultimately the majority of your effort but you need to show the search engines that your site's followers are linking to your content. Since the 2 way links (reciprocal links) are the easiest way to garner links you'll probably start there, but understand that you want those 1 way links since they're deemed the most valuable by the search engines (each link to your landing page is like a vote….) However, you can't just set your links and forget them, especially those reciprocal links because a lot of folks will give you the link back to your page and then after a week or 2 quietly turn the link off… giving them that valuable 1 way link and leaving you out to dry.