Lesson #4

How & Why To Master Google™ Search Results

Why Your Web Site MUST Rank Highly In Google

OK, so now you’ve got a web site, properly constructed as a “Direct Response” web site, therefore all you have to do is publish it on the Internet and you’ll start to get tons of new customers each and every week, right?

No!, it's not quite that simple. (But it's not hard, either – just keep reading.)  You see, having a web site isn't going to help your business at all if it doesn't show up extremely high in Google's™ search results.  Anytime a person searches for something on Google™, Google™ will return a page with the top ten web sites they consider most relevant to the search term.  On the bottom of the page will be a link to the next page of the second ten most relevant sites, with a link to the third page, and then the fourth, and so on and so on.

For most searches, Google™ will find thousands (sometimes millions) of web sites that have something to do with that term.  If you're writing a research paper, or a master's thesis, that's great; you can keep digging through all of the links to find those hidden gems.

But guess what?  The average person who's looking for a carpet cleaner in Charleston, a wedding photographer in Boston, or an auto repair shop in Virginia Beach, isn't going to dig through pages and pages of Google's search results.  In fact, a vast majority of them aren't even going to look beyond the second page. 

There have been many studies of this very subject, and they all show the same result – the majority of people searching for a local business don't even look at the search results past the SECOND page. And of the small percentage of those  that do, some of them return to a first or second page listing to do business, because they figure that if the search engine listed them first, they must be better.

So, when someone does a Google™ search for a local business, if your web site isn't on the first one or two page of results, and preferably on the top page, the odds are very high that they're NOT going to click on your website to see what you have to offer. In fact, if you have not taken the proper steps to have your web site listed high in the search engine results, most people will NEVER even see your site.

Of course, this is nothing new – if you can find your Yellow Pages™, look up some businesses under headings like carpet cleaning, locksmith, plumber, etc., and see how many of them have names like A ABC Plumbing, AAA Locksmith, AAA Aaron Carpet Cleaning.  Why would a company choose names like that?  Because the Yellow Pages™ lists companies in alphabetical order, and it's simply a fact that most people tend to call the companies who are listed at the beginning of any heading. And that's still how it is today – you need to be at the top of Google's™ search results or you're going to be ignored.  (but, thankfully, Google™ doesn't care about alphabetical order, just content, coding, and relevance, so we can work our way to the top)

So, not only do you need a website, you MUST have a website that ranks high in Google™ if you're going to dominate your competition.  Otherwise, you're just wasting any money you spend on getting a web site put up.  How do you get your website ranked high in Google™?  Read the next section of this lesson to find out.

How To Get Your Local Business Website Ranked High In Google

You've seen why your auto repair shop simply must have a website to stay competitive in today's high tech world, and to capture your share of the immense profits waiting to be made.  And now you also know that simply putting up a website isn't enough; even having a properly structured “Direct Response” web site is not enough. Your company's website has got to show up very high in Google's™ search results, or you're just spinning your wheels and throwing money down the drain. So how do you get a website that's going to rank high in Google™?

Well, like I’ve said before, there’s thousands of people across the country, some sure to be even in your city, who can build a web site for you, but not only do the majority of them NOT know how to create a “Direct Response” web site, but a lot of them ALSO DON’T KNOW how to get your site to the top pages on Google™. If you choose to build your site yourself, at least you should learn what it takes to accomplish this, so you’ll end up with a web site that people will actually visit.

You see, as I've mentioned before, most web site designers have learned to make web sites that simply look attractive, and many of them are very good at doing that. They can build you an awesome looking website with all the latest bells and whistles, even if it's not a Direct Response web site. You'll be very impressed with the way it looks, and when you show it to your friends, they'll be even more impressed.  You'll definitely have one really cool website. BUT, and this is a VERY important “but”,  you won't get any customers. Why? if you're not listed high in Google's™ search results, no one who is searching for a local auto repair business will even see your site, so nothing else really matters, and even if you had a Direct Response web site, it would be wasted.

It’s not possible to get into minute detail on how to get your site to a top position in Google’s™ search results right now because that would take up too much space and time. I could literally write a book on the subject for you. What I am going to do for you though is to give you the basic information you need on order for you to get your site to a top position without having to rely on someone else like myself to do it for you.

There are TWO different categories of things you must do to get your site to a top position in the search engines, “onsite” strategies and “offsite” strategies. Remember, the search engines will rank their search results based on how “relevant” they think a particular site is to the keyword search term entered by the Internet user, so everything I’m going to tell you to do is focused on accomplishing that goal.

Onsite Strategies:
Before you do anything at all, you MUST do the proper keyword research. I’ve already discussed what this and how to do it in a previous lesson. It involves determining what phrases the public is using to find auto repair shops in your local area, and ranking the different phrases by their monthly search volume, the highest being at the top of your list. If you need a free, easy to use tool that will allow you to do this research, just send me an e-mal with your request and I’ll send you a link to the software.

After you have found your keywords, the FIRST thing that must then be done is to research what domain names are available that contain the keyword phrase you just discovered had the highest monthly search volume. Most major domain name sellers have an easy to use search tool on their site that will allow you to check that out. Then buy the best domain name available that contains your top searched keyword.

By the way, since this domain name is not likely to be one that you will want to put on your business card, advertisements, or elsewhere, you can simply purchase a different domain name more to your liking and simply “forwarded” it to the keyword-relevant domain name.

Now we can get on to what you must do when constructing your main or home page for your web site. The top two or three keywords should be entered into the “meta tags” for your page, and the top keyword should be used in the page title and page description. Please be aware that your “page title” and “page description” are what the Internet user will see as your search results listing, and therefore they must ALSO be crafted with the best marketing impact possible, as they will essentially be your “sales pitch” that will go a long way in convincing the searcher to clink on your web site listing to view it.

The top keyword should also be used in your page headline, and throughout the text on the page, as long as it is not gratuitous, and actually lends itself to being used. Google™ will significantly penalize you in its search engine results if it concludes that you are engaged in “keyword stuffing”. You should NEVER exceed a keyword density of more than 3% and even 3% is kind of pushing the envelope.

The other top keywords should also be sued sparingly throughout the text, as well as words that the search engine can conclude are related to the actual keywords you’re targeting, so that it will not appear as though you’ve simply “stuffed” your web page with a certain keyword, or keywords.

Other strategies such as keyword links from the page you’re creating to another page on your site, and keyword based descriptions of any photos or other graphic images you include on the page, can also be used to improve your search engine ranking.

One VERY important aspect of setting up your web site for top search engine ranking is to include a “site map”. This is a page specifically for the purpose of linking to ALL of the pages on your web site, and is formatted to make it simple for the search engine “spiders” that visit your web site to investigate and record its contents, and to be able to easily navigate your site and report on it in the best possible light.

Don’t worry that you don’t know how to do this. If you want, I’ll provide you with a FREE software tool that will create a “site map” page for you automatically. Just drop me an e-mail with your request, and I’ll send you a link to the free software.

Offsite Strategies:
The main offsite strategy involves getting links from various other web sites and blogs to point back to your web site. Remember what the search engines are looking for, it’s “relevant content” for the keyword being searched.

When the search engines see links from other locations on the Internet pointing back to your site, especially if they’re coming from sites with related content, or sites that rank high in the search engine themselves, they assume that your content MUST be of high quality and relevant to the keyword being searched. Those links are interpreted by the search engines as similar to “recommendations”. The more links you have like that the better, and the higher you’ll rank in the search engine results.

So how do you get these links? Well before I explain that, let me tell you what you should NEVER do. You should never make reciprocal linking arrangements with another site, where you link to their site and they link to yours, because the search will see that and significantly discount the value of those links.

You should also never purchase links from another site. It’s not that there is anything wrong with doing that, and it will definitely benefit you, but such paid links are usually very expensive and can end up costing you a fortune in you want a bunch of them. Why pay for something when, with a little time and effort, you can get the same or better results free of cost?

There are several ways to get these links pointing back to your web site. First, you can write short articles, about 500 words or so, and submit them free of charge to any number of Article Directories. These are sites that post huge numbers of articles from various people on a multitude of topics. These articles are available to any web site owner or news letter publisher who wants to use them for content on their site or in their newsletter, and as part of the agreement with the Article Directory, they have to leave your name and link to your web site intact at the bottom of the article.

Even if no one chooses to use your article, you will still derive great benefit from having the article posted on the Article Directory with the link pointing back to your site. If you wish to submit articles to Article Directories to improve your search engine results, just ask me and I’ll e-mail you a free list of all the top Article Directory web sites. 

You can also create links back to your site by “book-marking” it on various sites set up for that purpose, such as digg.com, technorati.com, stumbleupon.com, and many, many others. Most of these sites have a very high “Page Rank” with Google™, and therefore links from them carry a lot of authority, and that translates into better search engine listings for you.  If you want to set up links from these types of sites back to your own, just let me know and I’ll send you a free list of the top ones to use.

You can also get links back to your site by posting responses on blogs with your web site address as part of your closing signature. Of course, you will need to find blog topics that are relevant to auto repair, because it would be silly to post a response to something not related to auto repair, then leave an auto repair web site as part of your signature.

So, there is no ONE thing that is the magic bullet that will get you to the top of the search engines, you need to utilize as many strategies as necessary to accomplish your goal. When I do work for my clients, I guarantee them that I’ll get their web site listed on the first or second page of Google™, or I’ll refund their money, but you can do this on your own if you’ll just expend a little time and effort to achieve your objective. The results will definitely be worth it.

Do you understand everything that was discussed in his lesson?
Do you have any questions about the information just covered?

If you have any questions about what we’ve covered so far, other Internet marketing questions, or just about marketing in general, I’m always available to you to answer a question or to help you understand something more completely, so don’t hesitate to ask for my help. And it’s free. My e-mail address is, gordon(at)auto-repair-marketing.com. (PLEASE NOTE: In order to protect the e-mail address from "harvesting" by spammers, it has purposely not been made into a "live" link.  Please therefore copy and paste the address into your "Send to" box in your e-mail, and replace "(at)" with "@". Thank you.)

Copyright 2009, Gordon Roberts. All legal rights reserved.

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