Updated April 8th, 2017
Since 2008, I have been working to understand SEO and how to rank on the first page of google with free methods.
When I was just starting out, my husband Joe was in Iraq. I was doing everything I could to keep my mind off him being gone and I poured myself into learning everything about online marketing that I could.
As I was learning, I saw that SEO was the real way to passive and residual income. I knew that if I could get my websites ranked for “buyer” terms and terms closer to the end of the purchasing cycle, I would be golden.
When you are trying to rank your search terms on google’s first page, you have to remember that you cannot fool google. How do people try to fool google? By keyword stuffing and writing low-quality content that targets only the search engines.
Keyword Stuffing – the practice of loading a webpage with keywords or numbers in an attempt to manipulate a site’s ranking in Google search results.
Keyword stuffing means repeating the same keyword over and over again hoping it will trick google to put you at the top of the first page even if your content is not that great.
Instead of trying to trick google with the latest gimmick, the best thing you can do is focus on providing massive value to your readers.
The more value you provide to your users, the better and I will explain why.
Google wants to provide the best search results to its users. They want to make sure they are the go-to search engine. They do this by putting the best results with the best solution at the top of the page.
When people start reading your content through your self-promotion (like posting on LinkedIN, google plus, twitter, etc) google pays attention to how long each visitor stays on the site. If people are coming to the site and bouncing right off, that signals that your content is low value and google will not rank you on the first page.
As you can see, it is wise to create great content that will cause people to spend more time on your site reading and learning more about the topic.
Building Powerful Links to Get onto Google’s First Page
If you think you’re going to get on google’s first page without building any links, you are being very optimistic. Unless you are trying to rank a very long tail keyword that hardly anyone knows about, that is just not going to happen.
Think of links like votes. Each link gives a little bit of pull for your website and shows google that someone thinks it is important. “Back in the day” every link used to be counted equally but now every link that you get is different.
If that is true, then what kind of links do you want to be building?
The most powerful kind of links are links from authority sites like news website and sites that have a lot of amazing content like webmd.
The goal is to get your website to be an authority site so it can start ranking even when it does not have a lot of links pointing to the post but that is later down the road.
When you are building links you can point to your content from different blogs that you might have on sites such as wordpress.com but if you want to create even more powerful links at a faster pace, you can write to people who are linking to your competitors content and see if they would link to yours. You just want to make sure that your content is better than theirs.
You simply find the email of the webmaster and send them a note something like this:
I saw your content on (xyz topic) and thought it was great. I see that you link to (post xyz) and I thought you may find my piece of content useful to your readers if you want to link to it, here is the URL: (url).
Thanks for your time!
Yup, it is just that simple. What is the worst thing they can do? Write back and say that you are a horrible person? Threaten to revoke your internet access? lol Don’t be afraid of rejection. Even if you get 1 out of 10 links that you ask for, that can really help your rankings!
Write “Linkable” and Likable Content
What kind of content do you want to link to on your website? What kind of content do you want to like on facebook?
For most of us, it is content that is extremely valuable or sometimes funny. Let’s go with the valuable one though. We share content because we want our friends to get value out of it and usually we share it instead of writing it because it is super long and in depth. If there is a quote or something, we can just write it in our status and give credit to the person that said it. On the other hand, if it is a super long and valuable post then we are going to share it.
If you look at this graph from BuzzSumo & OkDork you’ll see what content length you need to focus on.
Think this looks like a lot of work? Well, the truth is that it is work and you are going to have to put some time and effort into it but if you know that you have a great message that can help people, why not put your heart into it and get it out there?
Creating long-form content does not have to be hard if you’ve done your research and know your content.
Some of the powerful types of long-form content are lists and how-tos. Creating lists is pretty simple since you can have one topic but then put a bunch of things together into one epic blog post.
Maybe you make a blog post about the top 100 cookie recipes if you are in the food world or if you are in the world of sports you could put your top 100 picks for players. Whatever it is, if you make a list of 100 and you have at least 100 words of great content, you are going to have a nice blog post going on there.
How-tos are great because you will be able to go in depth on the topic and show people in the ins and outs or dos and don’ts of a topic. This can take quite a bit so your blog post will be pretty long.
When you are writing a how-to blog post, you should use photos to explain and go in depth in a way that is easy to understand. Always keep in mind that most of your readers are not at all knowledgeable on the topic you are writing about.
Another thing to think about is that your blog post never has to be “done”. You can continue to add to your content over time and make it even bigger and better. When it comes to things like this, they are always updating so updating your post just makes sense.
The things that I did in 2008 and how to rank on the first page of good with free methods back then just don’t work anymore. If you are reading outdated information about search engine optimization and search engine marketing, you are probably doing things all wrong for what works today.