As the web continues to evolve, so do the criteria that the engines use to determine which sites deserve the best rankings.
The web has grown into a thriving social community. Users seek interactions with each other. They care about what their friends are doing: what products they buy and what they would recommend. And as a result, so does Google.
Content will always be one of the most significant factors contributing to a website’s rankings. Even more important than good content however is how you get good websites and good people talking about it.
Put it this way:
Let’s say you are a new chef on the scene who is a whiz with chocolate cake. Your goal is to become the world’s greatest expert on all things chocolate cake.
How do you get your chocolate cake content to the top of Google?
In steps the social community.
More important than having great content about chocolate cake is having a community of trustworthy and diverse sources (all over the web) who are talking about it. That being said, here’s how to get to the top of the engines for all things chocolate cake:
- Your website’s domain name includes (in some form) the keywords (or a long-tail phrase of) chocolate cake (www.bestchocolatecake.com).
- On your website you continually post new, valuable content about chocolate cake (how to make it, where to buy your ingredients, how to best share it with friends, etc.). Throughout your website the content naturally discusses all things chocolate cake (using all of your related chocolate cake keywords in your in-text links on each page) providing your users (and the engines) with a clear path between and among the pages in your website that illustrate all of the things that you know about chocolate cake.
- You develop infographics and videos to help explain and add more value to your chocolate cake content. You use keywords to describe your infographics and you post your videos on YouTube (with your keywords in tact). On your website, you provide transcripts of your video dialogue alongside the embedded videos.
- You publicize your content through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs, etc.
- Now you’ve done your work. Your chocolate cake content and videos are so good that credible websites and people associated with those websites (reputable recipe sites, chef sites, restaurants, directories, food blogs, etc.) link to your website or blog talking about your prowess with chocolate cake. They all tell their friends about your chocolate cake website.
- On sites throughout the web (yelp.com, Google Places, etc.) those same credible people provide a review of your chocolate cake information. These reviews encourage other people (who don’t know anything about you being the chocolate cake master) to visit your website.
- Your chocolate cake articles get liked (Facebook) by all of your site visitors, friends and fans. Your chocolate cake content gets tweeted (and re-tweeted) by all of your dedicated chocolate cake followers (and, coming soon, your articles get the “+1” votes for Google’s sake).
- When people visit your website to learn more about chocolate cake they stay a while. They find lots of valuable information about chocolate cake and so your analytics reflect their desire to hang around. This tells the engines that you know what you are doing and vouches for your authority and value.
- If your business doesn’t just exist online, your contact page has an actual physical address. You have claimed your listing with Google Places, Bing and Yahoo to solidify your local presence.
- The process continues to repeat. Over time, your effort becomes less and less and your digital footprint naturally spreads. Before you know it, you dominate the phase “chocolate cake” and all longtails associated.
If you want your website to earn top 5 rankings in Google (or Bing), you need to get involved in your online community. You need to put yourself out there and give people (and other websites) a reason to talk about you (and your content).
You can work on your inbound marketing (linking sources) with the use of:
Remember that the engines are important, but so are your customers. Don’t just self promote. Offer enough value and provide such excellent products and services that users want to discuss it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and rate your business (or information) somewhere online. Then watch your website dominate the search results.