The Basics of getting a website to number 1 in Google

So you have seen all the adverts, read all the hype, maybe even meet someone whos number 1 in google and is happily gloating about it. You know you need to be there for your business to benefit and you have a website so whats next?

Time for a healthy dose of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), the thing that everyone wants and every man and his dog is trying to sell you and with everyone offering such a wide variety of things maybe its time you did a little research and understood just what SEO actually is, what it does and how it works.

I will endeavour to explain and clarify in laymans terms.

Your website is about a certain subject. Lets not say widgets, thats been done to death and is just plain annoying, lets try something a little more interesting… lets say “hand gliding”.

You run a small Hand Gliding company and you hire hand gliding equipment and arrange lessons for people and you want to make sure that you are in the Search engines and at number 1. Now most people will want to be number 1 for “hand gliding”, or at least they think they do but lets consider this for a minute.

The phrase “hand gliding” is very very generic. Of all the possible connotations of “hand gliding” you believe you should be number 1, in the world, for this phrase because you believe that anyone interested in hand gliding will go to a search engine and type “hand gliding”. This is essentially correct.

However…

My question is “Why would you want to be at nuymber 1 for this phrase?”

The typical Answer is ” Because I do hand gliding and people search for hand gliding and so I want them to find me and get all those nice visitors to my site who will hire my equipment and take my lessons, thus increasing my business revenue and make my site worthwhile”

Ok, thats a reasonable reply, but not realistic. After all people all over the world will be typing this phrase “hand gliding”. Thus people all over the world will be interested in “hand gliding” and want to find out more about it, they will not necessicarily want to hire equipment or take lessons or even be remotely interested in using your company or its services…YET.

Now say your company is based in France. In the Alps for example. Near Mont Blanc…
I have no idea if you can do hand gliding at Mont Blanc in the Alps but thats irrelevant for the sake of this example.

Anyway… so the question now is why would you want to be number 1 for “hand gliding” if its such a generic term and wont help your business… Well think like a searcher, what would you do?

Think “location”…

There is absolutely no point being interested in “hand gliding” and finding a company (your company) thats based in France, if you are in or going to Australia. so the next natural step in this case would be to add the location.

Lets say “hand gliding France”. Now the amount of searches done world wide will be much larger for “hand gliding” than for “hand gliding France” but at least its relevant to the person searching and more importantly its relevant to YOU and your business.

This phrase, “hand gliding France” would definately be of much more interest to you than the much more generic phrase “hand gliding” could ever be. Now for the sake of argument, lets say that France is a hugely popular place for hand gliding and the market is saturated with businesses all trying to be number 1 in google for the phrase “hand gliding France”.

What to do? Go up against already established businesses who have established themselves over time and wont be moved from their position easily, incurring alot of stress, expense and effort on your part that you do not necessicarily have to expend… of course not.

Start small, and start smart.

The idea is to go for the phrases that do not have many searches but are very specific. The advantage of this is that there is much less competition from other sites and even though the numbers of searchers is low, its dedicated and knowledgeable searchers, no time wasters, meaning less time wasted for you.

These people search for things like:

“hand gliding in the French Alps”
“hand gliding Mont Blanc”
“hand gliding in the Alps”
“hand gliding lessons in the French Alps”
“hand gliding equipment hire in the French Alps”

and so on and so on.

So where would you rather be?

Number one for “hand gliding” with 500 searches a day, all kinds of visits, lots of numbers to your site, really low conversions and bookings and alot of follow up and time wasted as well as lower service quality and more chance of burning a genuine enquiry…

or would you prefer 10 visits a day, 5 of which will actually make enqueries, 2 of which will make a purchase or book a lesson PER DAY.

Think about it and remeber the next time that someone says “Im number 1 in goggle for hand gliding” ask yourself just what this means to their business…

Of course there are always exceptions in business and indeed on the internet, but I hope the above has served its purpose of illustrating that you might think you know what you wnat but really its not what you actually need. As you develop and grow a business then of course things would develop in tandem and more phrases would be targetted and serviable as your company expands, but we all have to start somewhere!