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A quick review of the basics

A lot of webmasters spend time trying to find a way to trick Google into giving them a high ranking when they haven't even bother to cover the basics.

Take care of the basics and you will be ahead of 90% of your competition.

Here's a checklist of the 11 inside secrets of what it takes to rank high on Google.

  1. Your important keywords absolutely MUST be in your Title tag. (That is if you want them to rank high for them.)

  2. Don't use more than 83 characters (including spaces) in your title tag. That usually comes out to about 10 to 15 words. If you have more characters, there is no penalty it's just that Google won't count them as being in your title tag. Your Title tag is NOT the same as the headline on your page.

  3. Use a keyword density of about 1% to 2%. In the old days you could go up to 5% to 10%, but now that will usually hurt your rankings -- sometimes in a big way. The real key is to read the text out loud and see if it sounds natural. If a keyword sounds like it was just inserted for the search engines, omit it. Also, use keyword phrases instead of just keywords.

  4. Google now usually uses the Description tag for a description of your website in their search results. In other words, it's an ad for your site. Take the time to write a compelling description of your site that will make searchers want to click and go take a look at your website. Google only looks at approximately the first 150 characters in the description tag.

  5. The keyword tag is NOT indexed or counted by Google. Google doesn't even look at it. Use the keyword tag on every page only to remind yourself of what keywords you are trying to optimizing the page for.

  6. Google indexes all of the visible text on a page up about 100k. This is way more than you would ever be using anyway.

  7. Google counts "cat" and "Cat" as the same word. In other words, Google is NOT case sensitive.

  8. Very important: Google counts "dog" and "dogs" as two totally different words. Singular and plural versions of a word are different words. Google also counts "run" and "running" as different words.

  9. Keyword order is important. "Atlanta restaurants" is NOT the same as "restaurants Atlanta"

  10. A hyphen is the same as a space with Google. "Nashville-singers" is the same as Nashville singers"

  11. Google likes sites with a LOT of pages. A good goal would be to add one new page a week. Your site should have a minimum of 3 to 5 page. More pages would be much better. Link each one of them back to your home page.

The most important thing to remember about Google is to have as many incoming (on-topic) links as possible and use the important keyword phrases in the anchor text of the links.

Try to add at least one or more incoming links every week. (You won't even be listed on Google until you have at least one incoming link from another site that is already listed on Google.)

Bottom line: Follow the 11 simple rules above and you will soon see high rankings for all of your keywords.

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