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When I am at parties and various events, I always meet people who ask me what I do.Ai?? I meet a lot of smart people, and I also meet a lot of very stupid people.Ai?? Recently, I met someone who was both smart and stupid.
I met a young doctor who had gone to a top-tier high school in Los Angeles and then to Yale for college and then to a well-known medical school.Ai?? Suffice it is to say, this guy was really intelligent.Ai?? As I am about to show you, though, intelligent people are often the dumbest when it comes to understanding search engines.
Since graduating from medical school, he had been an eye doctor in a very populated and busy area of Los Angeles.Ai?? The man was arrogant, impressed with himself, and clearly believed that he was more intelligent than others.
ai???What do you do?ai??? he asked me.
Since I run 350 commerce-oriented websites, a yoga studio, a small law firm, and a few recruiting firms and do consulting and so forth, it is difficult for me to ever tell people what I do.Ai?? It takes me hours and people think that I am crazy and am not telling the truthai??i??because it is so strange.Ai?? Today, I got a call from a guy in Ghana who told me I was his favorite motivational writer and wanted to travel to the United States to meet me and have me consult for him about his life.
ai???I can pay you a lot of money,ai??? he told me.
Lately, I have just started telling people that I am in the search engine business.
ai???Oh, I tried using search engines for my business,ai??? the doctor told me.Ai?? ai???They do not work.ai???
ai???How do you know that they do not work?ai??? Ai??I asked him.
ai???Because we paid a search engine company to do some work on our site and get us ranked.Ai?? We paid the company $500 a month for three months and only got 5 patients from it.ai???
ai???How do you know you only got 5 patients?ai??? Ai??I asked him.
ai???Because I was smarter than the search engine company thought I was.Ai?? I used a special number only on my website so that I could track the calls.Ai?? Iai??i??m done with paying companies to help me with search engine rankings.ai???
The thing that I love about people who think they are smarter than others is that they simply do not think things through very well.
Take a look at the following image.
Understanding what is going on in this image is a key to understanding how Google operates and how you can start to rank high in the search engines.
To give you some insight into the power of this page, if this doctor truly took the time to understand what is going on here, he could very quickly probably double or even triple his income.Ai?? Instead, he brushes it off as something that is irrelevant to his businessai??i??despite having spent 7 years in medical school, done an internship and a residency, and invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in a fancy education.
Understanding this page is incredibly important for anyone who wants to be very successful table and chair rentals temple texas. in his business irrespective of who you are.
The keyword that the user types in is what generally determines the search results that he/she gets.Ai?? Understanding the keywords that the user is likely to type in to find a site is extremely important.Ai?? Some keywords are more important than others.
There are many tools for finding the most relevant keywords.Ai?? Virtually no keyword tool is going to give you completely accurate numbers, but you can get a rough approximation of the search volume for various keywords through all of them.Ai?? The tool that most search engine professionals use is the Google Keyword Tool: https://adwords.google.com/o/Targeting/Explorer?__c=1000000000&__u=1000000000&ideaRequestType=KEYWORD_IDEAS
This tool is used for researching keywords that a user is likely to search for when he/she is searching for a particular product or service.Ai?? This is a free tool and something that you should be using.
Important Take Away
Never trust numbers that you are given by Google in the search volumes that it gives you. Ai??These numbers are almost always far higher than the actual search volumes.Ai?? Many people feel that if they can get a #1 ranking for a high-volume keyword, they will get massive and tremendous amounts of traffic.Ai?? This is not necessarily the truth.Ai?? Google never gives people the real numbers because it considers its search volume to be competitive information and never wants you to completely understand what is going on.Ai?? Always bear in mind that the numbers that you are given are ai???estimatesai??? and approximations of the actual search volumes.
When someone is trying to rank for various terms, there are a couple of points to understand.
(1)Ai??Ai??Ai?? Broad Terms are Generally More Difficult to Rank For Than Narrow Terms
A ai???broad termai??? would simply be something like ai???eye doctor.ai???Ai?? This is a huge term and very broad.Ai?? There are probably tens of thousands of eye doctors in Los Angeles.Ai?? You can see here that the term ai???eye doctorai??? (represented by the number 1) gets approximately 823,000 local searches and over 1,200,000 searches per month.
Important Take Away
Google is smart enough to understand that if you are in Los Angeles and searching for an ai???eye doctor,ai??? you mean that you want one in Los Angeles.Ai?? It can tell where you are searching based on your computerai??i??s IP address.Ai?? Despite how smart Google is, more people tend to try and rank for broad search terms as opposed to more specific search terms.
Years ago, if someone had an auto dealership, he might try to rank for the term ai???cars.ai???Ai?? As you can imagine, this is an exceptionally competitive term.Ai?? Nevertheless, people do this all the time and want to rank for the most competitive terms imaginable. Ai??Terms like ai???insuranceai??? and ai???home loansai??? are fiercely competitive.Ai?? I am not saying that it is ever going to be impossible for you to rank for these terms, but it is much more difficult than ranking for terms with less search volume that everyone is trying to rank for.
(2)Ai??Ai??Ai?? Narrow Terms are [Generally] Easier to Rank For
Generally, you are going to be much better off with a narrow term.Ai?? On the diagram, I have highlighted the number ai???2.ai???Ai?? This search for ai???Lasik surgeonai??? Los Angeles is only getting 390 searches per month.Ai?? This is a much less competitive term.
Most businesses and individuals doing search engine work will generally go after very broad searches.Ai?? A job site will want to rank for the term ai???jobs.ai???Ai?? An insurance company will want to rank for the term ai???insurance.ai??? Ai??A lawyer will want to rank for the term ai???lawyer.ai???Ai?? Billions of dollars have been wasted by businesses going after terms that they are never going to rank for or that could cost them millions of dollars and potentially years to rank for.
When a business is doing SEO, it should always choose its targets carefully.Ai?? Businesses need to choose terms that are likely to give them the greatest impacts and rewards for their efforts.Ai?? If a company chooses the wrong term, it is likely to waste time, money, and resources.
Important Take Away
Businesses of any significance should almost never be involved in doing SEO on their own.Ai?? SEO should be done by professionals who have a good understanding of the keywords that should be targeted and who can take the time to get a good understanding of the business at issue before they start work on an SEO campaign.
Narrow and targeted search queries are generally referred to as ai???long-tailai??? searches.Ai?? These searches are longer, targeted searches that are not searched that often, but generally users will click and act on these searches if they find what they are looking for.Ai?? People searching for a copyright attorney in Downers Grove, Illinois, for example, are likely to be very excited if they see a search result at the top of the listings that displays a Downers Grove-based copyright attorney as opposed to a regular attorney.
The image above (from Wikipedia) discusses the concept of the ai???long tailai??? first coined by Chris Anderson, the Editor-in-Chief of Wired Magazine.Ai?? The long tail is defined by Anderson as follows:
The theory of the Long Tail is that our culture and economy is increasingly shifting away from a focus on a relatively small number of ai???hitsai??? (mainstream products and markets) at the head of the demand curve to a huge number of niches in the tail. Ai??As the costs of production and distribution fall, especially online, there is now less need to lump products and consumers into one-size-fits-all containers. Ai??In an era without the constraints of physical shelf space and other bottlenecks of distribution, narrowly targeted goods and services can be as economically attractive as mainstream fare.
Because the Internet is not a physical storefront with limited shelf space (like a bookstore), all manner of goods can be offered on the Internet as for example, at Amazon.com, which sells almost everything. Ai??In a typical bookstore, the most popular books would take up most of the shelf space and make up most of the sales (represented by the blue curve). Ai??In the online world, a greater proportion of sales can be made by ai???outliersai??? and more specific types of goods (represented by the red curve) because there is no limit on what can be sold.
The important point regarding long-tail searches is that in the aggregate, there are generally more long-tail searches than there are ai???major searches.ai???Ai?? Collectively, more people search for narrow search terms like ai???Customer Service job in Stockton, Californiaai??? than broad terms like ai???job.ai???
A site optimized for a variety of specific terms is also likely to do far better than one that is only trying to capture major terms.
I do not know much about the doctor whom I met at the party. Ai??I do not know if he is a Lasik surgeon or what type of work he does specifically.Ai?? If I were helping him promote his business, though, I would want to know everything that I could about what type of work he does so that I could help him rank most effectively for the type of business that he was seeking.
In the business of search engine optimization, it is extremely important that you select excellent and relevant keywords.Ai?? You need to understand what you should be ranking for specifically.
Iai??i??ve highlighted in yellow what Google states is the search volume for various terms that are likely to be relevant for the eye doctor whom I met.
What is important to understand, though, is that this doctor could do a variety of things.Ai?? He might do Lasik eye surgery, or he might do a special type of cataract surgeryai??i??you do not know.Ai?? Whatever keywords he focuses on are going to be the things that he is likely to rank for.
(1)Ai??Ai??Ai?? Look at What Your Competitors are Doing
In most industries, you are going to come up against established competitors that know what they are doing with keyword selection.Ai?? Never underestimate the importance of keyword selectionai??i??if you get this wrong, your efforts on search engine optimization will be in vain.
The great thing about learning about keywords is that in most industries, your competitors have probably already figured out what the most profitable niches and keywords are.Ai?? All you need to do is spend a minute or two figuring out what your competitors are doing and then go after whatever it is that they are doing.
To find out what your competitors believe are important keywords, simply do a search for your main term.Ai?? I live in Malibu and given the fact that plastic surgery seems to be extremely popular here, I did this search and got the following results:
To be truly good at keyword selection, you need to learn how to read search results.Ai?? There is not a lot to learn, and the process is pretty easy.
When you see search results, there is always going to be a blue line at the top of each search result.
This blue line is known as the ai???meta title tag.ai???Ai?? This is a term that the people writing the website put in when they wrote the website.Ai?? This is something that is part of any website and one of the most important components of good SEO.
If you right-click your mouse and click ai???view source,ai??? you can easily see the code of a website and where the title tag has been coded in.Ai?? Here is the title tag for this site in the code of the home page:
You can also see the meta title tag in your browser above the URL:
Meta title tags matter so much because to search engines, meta title tags describe websites.Ai?? Just as a store has a sign in front of it, or a magazine has a title for each story, the title tag functions as something that makes the search engines aware of what the site is about.
In the case of an extremely competitive term like ai???plastic surgeon Los Angeles,ai??? you can rest assured that the plastic surgeons whom you are finding on the first page probably spent hundreds of thousands of dollars (if not millions) studying and figuring out what works and what does not when it comes to the ai???meta title tag.ai???Ai?? The meta title tag is one of the most important aspects of SEO and needs to be thought out and done well.
Important Take Away
It is not necessary that you understand meta title tags in great depth at this point, but you do need to know the basics about them to know something about SEO.
When you are analyzing any competitorai??i??s site, it is always important that you carefully review the meta title tag.Ai?? I have no interest in getting overly technical here, but it is important that you see where the meta title is located and where it shows up.
Most SEOs will tell you that the ideal length for a title tag is around 70 characters.Ai?? Generally, you are also advised to put your keywords towards the beginning of the title tag to generate the maximum number of clicks possible (people will generally click on the term that they believe is the most important).
Here, notice that most of the meta title tags contain the term ai???Beverly Hills.ai???
Los Angeles is a huge metropolis with millions of people and tons of different cities and areas.Ai?? In contrast, Beverly Hills is a relatively small suburb of Los Angeles.Ai?? You can rest assured that there are plastic surgeons all over Los Angeles, but for some reason, the term ai???Beverly Hillsai??? is something that seems very popular.
Now, I am not saying that there are not more plastic surgeons in Beverly Hills than in other areas of Los Angeles.Ai?? What I am saying is that the word ai???Beverly Hillsai??? associated with plastic surgery is something that plastic surgeons seem to believe is very importantai??i??and if they believe this and have spent money on this, the chances are that they are right.
If I were a plastic surgeon in any area of Los Angeles, I would optimize my site for the word ai???Beverly Hillsai???ai??i??even if I were not in Beverly Hills.Ai?? I know from looking at the results of my search and this subject matter that these plastic surgeons have probably spent a great deal of money optimizing their sites for search engines, so I would always make sure that I use the term ai???Beverly Hillsai??? in everything that I do.
Another good way of understanding keywords that are important to your competitors is by using services out there that monitor your competition.Ai?? One service that you can use is Alexaai??i??a free service owned by Amazon.com.
The top-ranked site for the search term ai???plastic surgeon Los Angelesai??? was MarinaPlasticSurgery.com.Ai?? Here is what I got when I entered this information in Alexa:
Alexa can show you what terms are important and delivering traffic to the business.Ai?? Here, I have put arrows towards the terms that a plastic surgeon uses in an attempt to capture traffic.
(1)Ai??Ai??Ai?? Look at Suggested Keywords
This is one of the most overlooked aspects of SEO.Ai?? When you are looking for keywords, Google also will suggest various keywords that you can use in its search results.
In the example below, I have highlighted keyword suggestions that Google has in response to my search for a Los Angeles eye doctor:
These are all important keywords that are being searched, and if you included on one or more of these on the pages (and meta title tags) of your site, your site would be likely to get traffic.
This is something that I am not interested in going into a lot of detail with you about right now.Ai?? What is important to understand about these advertisements, though, is that (1) they are competing with the organic (i.e., ai???naturalai???) listings for search engine traffic and (2) they can be used for testing which keywords convert.
(1)Ai??Ai??Ai?? Google Ads Compete With Organic Traffic
Organic searches get more clicks than paid searches; however, all searches are not the same.Ai?? For example, searches with high commercial intent (i.e., searches where a user is looking to purchase somethingai??i??ai???buy a subzero ice makerai???) typically receive far more paid clicks than searches where this is not the case (i.e., ai???longest river in South Americaai???).
Advertisements are what give Google money and are the key to its business.Ai?? Google wants to have as many advertisements on its website as possible to make as much money as possible.Ai?? However, Google also does not want to detract too much from the user experience. Ai??Therefore, it also needs to provide a good user experience (or else people will not use its site).
Important Take Away
Google is about the user experience.Ai?? Google wants to provide users the best experience possible so that they do not use other search engines.Ai?? If Google is giving people irrelevant results then they are going to be unlikely to come back and use the site.Ai?? Therefore, the site aims to provide the best user experience to people all the time.
If you think Google deploys a lot of science and technology in the work that it does to decide what goes on page 1 of the search results, you would be amazed at how much science and technology it employs in the work that it does to display advertisements.
You do not need to understand a lot about advertisements at this point because I am not attempting to teach you about ads here. Ai??What you do need to understand is the space on the page where you are competing for attention.Ai?? The more commercial intent that your term has, the more you will be competing with Google.
(2)Ai??Ai??Ai?? Google Ads Can Be Used to Test Which Keywords Convert
I do almost no Google pay per click (PPC).Ai?? I do some advertisements sponsoring my brand names (which helps with branding); however, beyond that I do not do much at all.
Using Google PPC does have some advantages, though.Ai?? By using Google PPC, you can see which terms drive the most visitors and sales to your site.Ai?? When you have a good understanding of the keywords that perform the best for you, you can then concentrate on developing your site (and pages of your site) around the most profitable keywords.
Top 3 Organic Listings
The top 3 organic listings are where you want to be.
Ranking on the first page of Google is extremely important.Ai?? Irrespective of what your product is, if you rank on the first page of Google, you will get good exposure.
One of the most important things about search is being in the top 10.Ai?? Consider the results of this recent report from Optify:
As you can see here, almost 60% of all clicks go to those who are in the top 3 search results (while the #1 result gets almost 3 times as many clicks as the #2 spot).
We are going to spend a lot of time dissecting sites and going into a lot of detail to show you what makes a top-ranked site.Ai?? At the outset, it is important to understand that top-ranked sites stand to make their businesses a great deal of money.
How did the above sites get into the top 3?Ai?? The most important factors that influence where a given site is likely to fall in the search engines are as follows:
(1)Ai??Ai??Ai?? The Sites You Are Competing With.Ai?? Every site out there in the market is competing with you.Ai?? How well you do SEO is only in direct proportion to how competitive your market is.Ai?? Here are a few basic but important points to understand:
In SEO, you can absolutely excel in small markets and niches because there is hardly any competition.Ai?? Competition is the name of the game.Ai?? How well your competition does SEO generally determines how successful your own SEO efforts will be.
In order to get the highest rankings, you simply need to be the least imperfect.
The reason that I run so many websites is that I want to enter certain spaces with sites where there is very little competition because I can better compete in spaces with little competition.Ai?? You need to choose your battles in the search engine game.Ai?? If you want to sell fly swatters in Bismark, North Dakota, on the web, the smartest thing you could possibly do would be to have a website called ai???BismarkFlySwatters.com.ai???Ai?? The more focused you are as compared to your competition, the better off you will be.
In the SEO game, the competition is not there to help you.Ai?? The competition wants to be above you because so much money is involved.Ai?? You need to ensure that your site is optimized to the maximum extent possible to rank as highly as possible.
If you are in a market that suddenly becomes very competitive and big players move in, you could suddenly find your rankings hurt very badly.Ai?? For example, for the longest time, one of the sites that I ran ranked #1 for a term with a huge search volume.Ai?? Then, a huge, multinational corporation got into the space and my site fell to #2 in the rankings.
Your rankings will be determined in large part by with whom you are competing.Ai?? The stronger the competition in your ai???nicheai??? is, the more difficult it will be for you to rank.
When I am counseling businesses on search-engine-related matters, one of the most important points that I am constantly stressing is that you need to choose your battles very wisely.Ai?? Depending on what you want to rank for, it is going to be either very difficult or easy depending on whom you are competing with.
(2)Ai??Ai??Ai?? The Search Engines.Ai?? The search engines will never be completely understood.Ai?? You cannot understand them.Ai?? The Google algorithm, for example, changes every 12 hours.Ai?? Even Google does not understand its own algorithm.Ai?? Google has over 100 teams working on various features of its search engine and is constantly running thousands of tests at any given time.
Each of these components has multiple algorithms operating within them to display certain results above others.
The people who tend to best understand Google are ai???spammers.ai???Ai?? These are people who figure out weaknesses in Googleai??i??s armor and look for ways to rank in a way that does not show users the results that Google believes they want to see.Ai?? You do not need to worry about tricking Google because there really are no tricks.Ai?? Google is simply looking to display the highest quality results for each search query.
How does Google know what quality is?Ai?? There is a ton of things at work here, and Google considers lots of things that prove that your site is a reputable one.Ai?? Some of these are as follows:
There are hundreds of factors I could go through with you, but these are among the most important.Ai?? All you need to do in order to rank high is be the ai???least imperfectai??? with respect to what Google is looking for.
Google takes the work that it does extremely seriously.Ai?? Google spends approximately 60% of its revenue on maintaining its index.Ai?? Further, while Yahoo may not be as powerful and profitable as Google, the company still makes $1 billion a month in profit.
The search engines are simply statistically based engines.Ai?? They weed out ai???spammersai??? and bad sites and try and present people the best results possible.
The only way to be the best is to attempt to rank the highest that you can for as many variables that are used in the search engine algorithm as possible.
(3)Ai??Ai??Ai?? Your Own Site.Ai?? The third and final factor that determines how your site is likely to rank is your own site.Ai?? The things that you do with your own site will determine how well it ranks.Ai?? There are so many factors involved that it would be impossible to list them all.
Here are some factors listed by a search engine blogger, Ann Smarty:
Domain: 13 factors
Server-side: 2 factors
Architecture: 8 factors
Internal Cross Linking: 5 factors
Website factors: 7 factors
Page-specific factors: 9 factors
Keywords usage andAi??keyword prominence: 13 factors
Outbound links: 8 factors
Backlink profile: 15 factors
Each Separate Backlink: 6 factors
Visitor Profile and Behavior: 6 factors
Penalties, Filters, and Manipulation: 12 factors
More Factors (6):
You should not let any of this confuse you at this point.Ai?? What is important to understand is that the things that you do with your site are going to have a massive impact on what happens with your rankings.Ai?? None of this should overwhelm you at this point.Ai?? generic cialis drugs. Just understand that what happens on your site and what you are doing will have an impact on your rankings.
This is all the information that is important for you to understand and something that we will cover in due timeai??i??when you are ready.Ai?? For now, just understand that this information is important.
Many people believe that Local is the future of search.Ai?? With Local, Google employs a variety of factors to place (and rank) local businesses in the search results.
There are a few very key points to understand about Google Local results:
First, most businesses need to create accounts with Google in order to get listed there.Ai?? You also need to make sure that you describe (i.e., list) your business in the correct way. Ai??Google may call you or may send you a postcard.
Second, ranking high on Google Local is a lot like getting a top rank in Google.Ai?? Factors like ai???inbound linksai??? are of considerable importance in this. Ai??Right now, Google refers to this as ai???citationsai???ai??i??and the sites with the most citations typically rank the highest.
From a marketing standpoint, because Google Local has been given such massive prominence by the search engines, you cannot ignore it.Ai?? Every local business should be doing consistent SEO for local listings because of its prominence on the search results.
These are the major components of page 1 of Google Search that you need to understand and what is involved in getting there in the first place.Ai?? Fortunes are made and lost on the basis of your ability to get listed here.
This is a general and very ai???surfaceai??? explanation of what is happening on page 1 of Google.Ai?? If you understand this information, though, the odds are good that you understand more than 99% of all people who do SEO-related work.Ai?? You need to understand this page to compete in the search engine space.Google+