Google’s search algorithm is fairly complicated. Gone are the days when you could manipulate search engine results for your own ends with a series of quick and dirty techniques (as many companies did). Nowadays, Google is much smarter and fairer in how it ranks certain sites, and will actually punish bad practice. Unfortunately, its algorithm is also a carefully guarded secret – no one knows exactly how it works except for Google engineers. But certain principles are known – mainly through trial and error – that SEO experts can use to help your site rank better on web searches. Let’s say you want to rank for the term ‘computer repairs Norwich’. How might you go about it?
‘Computer repairs Norwich’ isn’t a grammatically correct phrase – it’s not one you would use in normal conversation. However, it is the typical kind of phrase that people type into Google – short, descriptive and lacking unnecessary terms. A little keyword research, courtesy of Google’s free AdWords keyword tool, shows how popular this and a few other phrases are. There are around 110 monthly searches for that term, 140 for ‘computer repair Norwich’, but only 22 for ‘Norwich computer repairs’. In any SEO campaign, you’d do well to target several such terms.
However, you will ideally achieve a broad, natural-looking profile of links across the web – this is particularly important if you are trying to rank for a very competitive keyword. If there are many companies trying to attract the search traffic for ‘computer repairs Norwich’, you may need to rethink your strategy – perhaps looking for different keywords, or finding a wider range of sites to link from. That may mean looking further afield than article directories. You might be able to link from relevant blogs, online directories and other companies with guest posts, and there are also Press Release sites that can help for news articles. Lastly, you need to keep creating new links over the long term (the ‘maintenance’ phase), otherwise your site will slip back down the rankings.