The Holy Grail … or … The Quest for Google Ranking

So you want your business to come up on the first page of Google when searched? Improving your Google Search Ranking is accomplished through hard work and sometimes a monetary investment, depending on the route you choose to take.  Although there are several steps in accomplishing this goal; it is not actually a mythic quest.

There are two “routes”, the results of which show up in different parts of the Google search results page:  organic search results and paid search results.  Organic search results appear “naturally” or for free.  Paid search results are the result of using the paid Google AdWords service.  It is interesting to note that although people trust organic search more than paid search, they also feel that the combined high ranking of organic search and paid search indicates a more credible company.

7 Things You Can Do Right Away

1.  Identify the “keywords” or “key phrases” for your business or product.  Although Google is giving less importance to keywords now, they continue to have an impact on search results. Don’t dismiss them yet!  When deciding on Keywords, focus on words that would answer specific questions or problems that your target audience might have.  (For example, when searching for a Japanese Restaurant, someone might type: “Japanese Restaurant in Vancouver”, or  “best Japanese Food in Vancouver”, or “sushi Vancouver”.)

This list will serve a few different purposes.  Generate your key words by:

  • using the “source” of your competitors’ pages to see which key words they use
  • considering “long tail” keywords (description:
  • using Google Adwords, “Keyword Planner”  to generate effective key words

through your Google Adwords account (or create one) awhp_nelsontest3_nel_p&clickid

  • using Google Trends to compare keywords across different regions, categories, date, search channel (other Google search properties like web, news, image, product, etc.):

  • using Google Analytics to find your target keywords’  effectiveness, list of “long tail” keywords, number of keywords a page produces etc.

2.  Name your website (and/or business) carefully.  Make your domain name search friendly and use a keyword in it, if possible.  Read more here:

3.  Use good SEO (Search Engine Optimization) practices as you build your website; for example: always use “alt” tags with your images or photos.

4.  Add high quality content to your web site.  Use keywords when possible, but don’t force it.

5.  Create Social Media accounts for your business and integrate them with your website (using social media buttons on your site as well as linking back to your site from social media).

6. Add your business to Google Places.  Businesses listed in Google Places come up on the first page of a Google Search.

7.  Pay for the Google AdWords service upon launch of your website.  Usually there is a free $50 coupon provided by your web host when you start a new account.  Take advantage of it! The Google AdWords people will walk you through the steps.

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