I get asked this question a lot. There are many legal ways to speed up your placement in Google, and most are "common sense" things like keyword-rich content and title tags, but many are a little techy and may take a programmer to fix. Here are some things to do to help the bots along.
By the way, how long does it take to get to the top of Google? Anywhere between two weeks and several months, depending on your competition, market saturation and other factors. The truth is, Google takes longevity into account when ranking your website, so you'll have to be patient in some cases. Here are things to remember:1. Google indexing. Google has over 9 billion web pages (yes, with a 'b') to index every month. Even with their mighty super computers, it takes time. As little as a few days to as much as a month. Figure it'll be a month.
2. Directory Re-enforcement. Google checks your listing with almost 100 other systems online from DMOZ to Yellowbot.com. Make sure your webmaster is submitting your site monthly to at least these 100, more if they're able to - if you are Trig SEO client, we submit you to over 700 search engines, directories and advertising sites each month to keep your momentum going. After a few months, Google will have this verification process done, for the most part.
3. Local Listings on Yahoo, Google and Bing. Go to Google and search for your address, or business name and go to "maps" at the top menu. Once you find your Business Google listings, Claim it as the owner and complete as much information as you can, using relevant keywords. Repeat this procedure on Yahoo and Bing.
4. Nationwide SEO. Again, it greatly depends on your market and competition, but generally you'll start to populate in your local area first, then spread out as time goes on. The best thing to do is build natural backlinks from industry directories, blogs and forums that are listed on a national level. It takes time, but it is worth every minute.
5. Write in your website! I can't stress this enough. If you have a CMS site like ours, you should take the slow times and write in your blog about important questions and answers to relevant, common questions your clients ask you. If they're asking you, imagine how many people are asking Google the same thing?
6. Patience. You have to be very Zenful when waiting for your SEO to show real results. Yes, it is frustrating to change your site, spend time and money making it great, then waiting a month for Google to realize its greatness. Believe me, I get it. The really important thing to know is that is you build backlinks too quickly, Google may see it as 'unnatural growth' and send you to the back of the bus. They did it to JCPenny and a few other big names, they'll lose no sleep doing it to you.
To jump start your traffic, post ads on sites like Craigslist, Manta and others, join LinkedIn, get Facebook page and really put things in it like coupons or specials, and maybe even try a little Adwords. The more time that passes, the less of these other methods you'll have to do.
Common SEO issues
As of 2012, Google no longer looks at META Keyword tags. They are much more interested in your META Title and Description, and of course your body content. If you have control over your META code, you should make sure of a few things:
- Put major keywords in your Title, the first sentence of the Description, and the first sentence of the Body Content.
- Use your top 3 keywords in your Description tag twice and a few times in your body content.
- Do not spam keywords or make your SEO obvious. Write for human eyes, but keep Bots in mind.
- Remove your Keywords META tag.
- Build natural Backlinks!
Once you have your front page content and tags balanced, go to www.seoprofiler.com and run a top 10 optimizer on your site. This will compare your site to your top competitors and point out detailed issues you can fix.
Run a validator check on your site: http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=http://MYDOMAIN.com (replace MYDOMAIN with your site)
Now run a http://www.GTMetrix.com speed test and address any issues.
It is very important you create a Sitemap XML file and submit it to Google and Bing Sitemaps. Bing and Yahoo are the same, so you'll get both with one sitemap. If you have a CMS like Joomla or Wordpress, look for auto generated Sitemap extensions. Static HTML sites, just Google Search "free sitemap generators" and you can get one for free.