Optimize a Website for the Fastest Page One Results
Lesson #1: Start Out Right
I see a lot of websites come through that are not going to rank until changes are made. Not having a site that the search engines like holds up the progress of the position of the keywords and money can be wasted. I would love to see websites come through that are ready to go. Hence, I have decided to post some SEO lessons to help everyone interested in ranking on page one of the search engines.
Pick a niche that you like or know something about. You are going to be spending a lot of time on the site making it the best so Google will rank it on page one quickly with quality backlinking. http://wardzalamart.com/rj-packages/ If you pick a niche you are not really interested in, you will not want to work on it.
Lesson #2: Avoid Trademarks in Your Domain
I had a couple backlink orders come in that had trademarked company names in the domain name. You should never use a trademarked name in your domain name. If you have a question as to whether it is trademarked or not, contact the company. Also make sure that you read the terms of service (TOS) of any vendor you are an affiliate for. Some vendors will not allow you to use their product or company name in the domain.
A trademark can be a symbol, a word, or words legally registered or established by use as representing a company or product. There are times also that a person will consider their given name (first and last name) as their trademark. There are also times where the product name may not be legally registered as a trademark but the owner of the product or company may request that you not use it because it is well known and associated with the product or company.
The legal definition is “A trademark is any word, name, symbol, or design, or any combination thereof, used in commerce to identify and distinguish the goods of one manufacturer or seller from those of another and to indicate the source of the goods. See 15 U.S.C. § 1127.”
Companies take their trademarked names very seriously. Many companies have attorneys on retainer whose job it is to go out online and find trademark infringement. In the United States the laws are very clear against the use of someone else’s trademark.
If you decide to go ahead and use a trademarked name in the domain you risk receiving an email from a law firm demanding you take the site down. One of my customers received an email from the attorneys for Proactiv skin care products. My customer had the word ‘proactive’ in their domain names. The sites had nothing to do with the Proactiv product and he could have fought it in court if he wanted to. The costs of going to court and fighting it are very high and the site wasn’t bringing in enough money to cover the legal costs. I also know of someone who actually did fight it in court and won.
Rather than risk spending time and money and having to take your site down, I recommend you first check to see if the name is trademarked or if they consider it trademarked. If so, choose a relevant domain name without using the trademarked name.
Lesson #3: Keyword Research
Next step is Keyword research which is the most important task for you to do when doing online marketing. It is the foundation of IM and will determine whether you will be successful or not. Just like a brick and mortar building, if you don’t have a strong solid foundation the structure will eventually fall.
There are many factors in running a successful business online besides keyword research, but if you don’t take the time to do the research, you run a huge risk of never succeeding or just breaking even. Some people find keyword research time consuming and tedious and will skip over it, then wonder why this great website they built and invested in is not ranking or barely making any money.
There are a few tools online that you can use. Google has its adwords keyword planner that you can use to do keyword research. Another good tool is called Market Samurai. I was pleased to see that Market Samurai has a free 12 day trial. Moz has a good article: https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo/keyword-research
Lesson #4: Google Algorithms
Google is the top search engine currently and wants to remain that way. In order to do so it will only put what it believes to be the best 10 sites, out of the hundreds of thousands for each niche, on page one. That means you have to have a site that Google is going to like. Google has over 250 algorithms (most likely more) that is uses to determine if a site is worthy of page one. Google does not let us know what many of they are because they want an even playing field. After many years I have learned what it likes, doesn’t like, and I also keep up with algorithm changes and continue to monitor changes so I can let my customers know.
Speaking of changes; make sure that you have your keyword phrase in the title/permalink/paragraph headings. Google has made changes due to the majority of searches being made on Mobile searches. If you have a title/permalink/paragraph heading like “buy the best dog collars online right here right now” That is exactly what Google will rank. It used to be that if you had “best dog collars” in the content Google would rank that on page one with anchor text from quality backlinks. Now it is taking a few more backlinks to rank ‘best dog collars’ and instead, you will see your very long title ranking on page one sooner. So when you plan your title, permalink, H1 and paragraph headings make sure it is something that people will search for.
Lesson #5: Copied Content – Panda
Google has an algorithm called Panda. This bot checks for copied content.
Never copy content from someone else, the site will never rank and could get punished. You can also get slapped with a DCMA complaint if you copy and could get your site banned by Google.
Lesson #6: Quality Original Content
Google is loving content right now and is ranking authority sites quickly. You will want to create pages (not posts) of 800 to 1,000 words of quality original content. Each page should focus on one keyword. Put your keyword in the first 25 words and last 25 words of the content and bold them. Bolding makes the search engine bots take notice. It lets them know what keywords you want to rank the page for. You don’t have to but everything that you do to make your site stand out from the competition helps. Keep the keyword density at 1% to 2% this includes the content, the 4y’s (the keyword in the description, H1, meta keywords, and the title) and any tags if you have them (you won’t have tags if you have pages). Use variations of your keyword on each page of content so you can backlink those and rank those on page one also. Silo the pages so that Google and your visitors can navigate you site easily. Start out with no less than 10 pages of quality original content. Check your competition on page one and see how many pages of content they have. Continue to add pages of content. Not only will this help with rankings it will also net you more money as you will have more keywords on page one for your visitors to find.
Note: I know the pages vs posts statement is controversial for some people but years of successful experience in getting keywords to page one have taught me Google takes pages seriously. It considers it more than just a communications blog, but a serious business site. Check out your niche and see how many sites have pages on page one compared to posts. There are a few niches where Google will rank sites on page one that are all blogs.
Lesson #7: Above and Below the Fold
When you are putting together your content and adding your affiliate links, keep in mind that Google has an algorithm that checks your pages to see if you have any ads above or at the top of the content. Google surveys users and found that many affiliate sites that Google was putting on page one 1) didn’t have quality content 2) were spammy because of all the ads and 3) were of little use to the visitor as far as answering their question and/or need.
Because of this Google created the Above-the-Fold algorithm. The bot checks for affiliate links and ads at the top of the page vs quality original content that would be useful to the visitors. If you put ads at the top of your pages Google will not rank the associated keywords on page one. And if the website is full of all kinds of ads and affiliate links most likely none of your keywords are ever going to be on page one.
Does this algorithm make it more difficult for affiliate marketers to get a high CTR (click through rate)? Yes. So what you must do is put the affiliate links and ads further down on the page and have quality original compelling content at the top of the page. In Lesson #1 I talked about having original content and later a few posts down I talked about heatmaps and eye tracking. You will want to review that.
In order to get your potential customer continuing to read your site down to the affiliate link (the solution to their problem) the first sentence should have your highest trafficked keyword in the first few words. I usually tell my customers to put the keyword in the first 25 words but if you can get it closer to the first three words this would be ideal. The keyword should be in bold. Your first sentence/paragraph has to be compelling so the visitor will continue to read down to the affiliate ad or links, so you must evoke an emotion. Know who your audience is and know what questions/problems they are having.
A question in the first sentence is usually a good way to grab their attention but sometimes a question is out of the question because of the nature of the site, so make it a statement but make sure that sentence brings up an emotion or problem they are having.
There is a lot involved with website conversion because it is all about human psychology. I only scrape the surface in my two videos but these are an excellent start. I did these a while back but they are still relevant today. Please note that my website is mentioned on them. BTF members should only order from the BTF link for the backlink packages. Ordering the products off my website will cost you more.
Lesson #8: Website Conversion
So now you have built your site, studied how to market online, optimized it for conversion, backlinked properly, and have some keywords on page one. But.. you aren’t making any sales or making just a few and are frustrated and wonder why?
CTR (click through rate) to a vendor site is, on average, 1% to 2% for small business sites. CTR is when the visitor to your site clicks through to the vendor site through your affiliate link.
With the average CTR being 1% to 2% that means that if your keyword only receives a small amount of traffic then there may be only a few people a month clicking through to your vendor’s site.
The average sales conversion rate on the vendor site, once the visitor arrives there, is 1% to 1.5% and that is if that sales page is good and converts. So now you are only getting 1% to 1.5% of the 1% to 2% of the traffic coming to your site.
But it doesn’t stop there. The position of your keyword on page one also comes into play. Depending on the position, the traffic the keyword gets diminishes the further down page one it is. So you are not receiving the full number of visitors that your keyword research showed that keyword gets..
Here is a click distribution study that I found online years ago and it is still relevant today:
Total: 95.91% of all clicks occur on Page #1 of SERPs
Position #1: gets 45.46% of that 95.91% of the search traffic
Position #2: 15.69% of all clicks
Position #3: 10.09% of all clicks
Position #4: 5.49% of all clicks
Position #5: 5.00% of all clicks
Position #6: 3.94% of all clicks
Position #7: 2.51% of all clicks
Position #8: 2.94% of all clicks
Position #9: 1.97% of all clicks
2.71% of all clicks
Let’s say you have one keyword on page one and it is in position 1 and getting 200 organic visitors a day with a CTR of 1% to 2%. You will be getting 1 to 2 click throughs to the vendor’s site a day.
Once these visitors click through to the vendor’s sales page with the average sales conversion rate of 1% to 1.5% you will be getting not even a sale a month: 2 CTR visitors/day x 30 days, 60 CTR visitors to the vendors page a month, 1% x 60 = .6 sales a month to 1.5% X 60 = .9 sales a month
So what can you do to increase your sales? You will want a lot of traffic coming to your site. Do your keyword research and find out what keywords are getting the traffic. Are people searching “how do I get my dog to stop barking at the neighbors” or “stop dog from barking”. Use a combination of high competitive keywords and moderate to low. Create pages focusing on the trafficked keywords, make the Title and your permalinks for your pages the keywords. Properly backlink the pages and keywords to get them high up on page one. Layout your site/pages properly so Google likes it. Pick out a great vendor with a great sales page. If you are an Amazon affiliate choose products that will sell and also not expire any time soon. You will need to optimize your site for conversion to give you more opportunity for sales. Study sales techniques. There are a ton of articles on how to market online. You can also so some A/B testing to see what converts the best. The more incentive you give your visitors to click through to the vendor site, the more opportunity you have to receive a sale.
If you are doing paid traffic the same conversion rules apply. You want those high CTR and sales conversion rates.
I have had sites with CTR rates of 40% and higher with sales of 15%. That is because I studied conversion, did my keyword research, chose a good vendor with an excellent sales page that converted really well, had a lot of quality pages, and ranked a lot of trafficked keywords for that site on page one of the search engines. This should be your goal also. Not all vendors will convert like that, even really good ones. But strive for high CTR and sales conversion.
Here are couple videos I made a while back on Website Conversion:
Lesson #9: Legal Aspects of Your Site
So far I have talked about having lots of original quality content and how Google is loving it, not copying anyone else’s work, using pages not posts, keyword density, silo-ing your pages, the importance of choosing and taking your time finding the right vendor product and page, the above-the-fold Google algorithm, page layout for conversion and conversion.
Now I am going to talk about the legal aspects of doing business in the United States. This includes any site that will get marketing and selling products in the US.
So now you have your site built that is SEO’d, with lots of pages of quality original content and the affiliate links in the proper area of the pages and have constructed your content with your keywords in the proper places and you know your audience so you are addressing their needs. The site looks great and Google is going to love it.
Now you need to understand there are many laws in every country regarding doing business online. If you are going to be marketing and selling products in the United States, even if you live outside of the country, you need to be aware of the laws you need to follow.
There are certain pages that you will need for your website in order to comply.
Compensation Disclosure: this is a legal statement regarding notification that your receive compensation from items ordered on the site.
Medical Disclaimer: this is a legal statement letting your visitors know that you are not a medical professional and information on your site is for information purposes and you are not responsible for any outcome from anything you are recommending. You only need this one if you are in the medical/supplement niche.
A Contact Page: though not always necessary it is a good idea to have one.
If you are a an RJ Gold affiliate then your compensation disclosure should be at the very top and in a different color. I have a list of rules for this disclosure. If you would like a copy email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
For other sites you can put the links to these pages in the footer and make them noindex/nofollow.
For the proper wording of your Legal Pages you can use the plugin WP Legal Pages. Customize them to fit your site and information.
Lesson #10: The Patent Algorithm
Google has many patents. Google created the “Patent algorithm” in an effort to spot search rank manipulation–essentially trying to spot and penalize sites it sees as cheating.
Because of the Google Penguin update coming soon I thought it would be a good idea to talk about the Google Patent algorithm. I call it that. Google never announced it or even said it existed but I found the patent online. It uses a series of steps to ferret out sites and flag/tank those websites it feels are manipulating positions of the keywords.
It is human nature to panic when things change, especially when it involves income. In IM things change all the time. In the case of the recent Penguin update it is not a good idea to panic. If you lost backlinks because of the update, you lost positions of your keywords. Your instinct might be to slam the keywords with backlinks to get your positions back. Don’t do that! You will want to drip feed them and drip feed the proper ones.
Google analyzes backlinks through Penguin by checking to see if the backlinks are spammy and then deindexes any it feels that are. Through the patent algorithm, Google manipulates the positions of the keywords, dropping them down, in order to trick the webmaster into sending more backlinks in order to bring them back up. It pays attention to the backlink velocity. The algorithm is quite controversial. Google fluctuates the search rank of many websites. It causes keywords to be down 5 to 7 days then brings them back up.
If the webmaster sends a ton of backlinks to the site during the time they have dropped, Google considers this as taking “unfair advantage” and flags the site and keeps an eye on it. Later after the keywords are back up for a while Google will drop the keywords down in position again and if the webmaster responds by sending a bunch of backlinks to the site again it will punish or tank the site.
This algorithm also checks the second tier backlink velocity.
You always want to avoid high backlink velocity but especially during times that keywords are dropping off in position. Rules to follow: Don’t panic. Make everything look natural. Drip feed your backlinks.
You can read the patent here: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Pars … N/08244722