Getting to the top of Google or any other search engine involves having a strategy. Below are five simple steps to get the top rankings you desire.

1) Define your targets with keyword research
See my article on how to do keyword research. The main idea is to create a list of terms then check which are the most searched and most relevant terms for your business.

2) Determine competition levels for those targets
Knowing what people search is only half the battle. It doesn’t make sense to compete against high page rank sites that many have thousands of strong links pointing to them. Most companies just look at the number of sites that come up for a particular search. This is not the correct way of determining the level of competition. It is best to visit the top 10 ranked sites and check their: page rank, back links, pages, and look at the level of on page optimization. Once you get an understanding of how you site measures up against the competition then keyword selection becomes an easier process.

3) Build content and links to your content based on research 
With your list of best keywords to target now you just need to make your content reflect these keywords. See my SEO checklist for ways of best optimizing your site’s content. Also you need to build inbound links. Social media has made this process easier where you can get links for social sites like bookmarks and article sites. See my link building services if you want some help building links cheaply.

4) Check analytics for new keywords sources, bounce rates, traffic and conversion issues. 
I recommend that every client signs up for Google analytics. It is a good tool for web analytics and also ties into any Google Adwords campaign. With a good tool you can see your site from both the users and search engines perspective.

5) Repeat previous steps looking for more traffic sources, improving content, more links, and better ways to convert visitors.
SEO is an ongoing process. If you stop working on your site you’ll it will fade. The benefits of comtinuing the process are: a greater range of ranked terms, increased ranking, and happier visitors.

If you are still struggling with SEO after all of these steps, there is one more step you can try…

hire a SEO 

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