I was speaking to an accountant in Guelph yesterday and he had some very interesting questions which I want to share with you. Long story short I was asking what he wanted to rank for in Google. He said something I hear quite a bit, which was he wanted to rank for everything. Sure he would love to rank number 1 in Google for “accountant in Guelph”, but why not rank for that AND “doctor Guelph”, “football Guelph”? I politely told him that he wasn’t a doctor and assumed he didn’t have a football team so why would he want to rank for such irrelevant search queries? His answer was he wants to rank for everything because everyone needs an accountant, and if they land on his website by accident they might spark an interest and give him a call. It’s great in theory, but unfortunately it doesn’t work that way, and nor should it.
Can you imagine how bad the Internet would be if you ended up on an accountant’s page every time you were looking for football scores? Chances are if you’re looking for Grease tickets and the first result in Google is a bricklaying website you would get fairly frustrated! Would this suddenly make you want to refurbish your pavement? Probably not, which is why Google doesn’t want you to rank for things you have no right ranking for.
10 years ago when I started out in the SEO industry it was that simple, you could stuff a few words into your meta tags and a few days later you would be ranking. Have a hairdresser’s website and want to rank for cheap holidays? No problem! These were back in the days when Yahoo, Lycos, and Alta Vista were the biggest search engines in the world. Then Google came along, gave relevant search results, eliminated keyword stuffing from their algorithm and started giving relevant search results.
If by some miracle you are ranking for things you shouldn’t be because you have created a few low quality articles that you outsourced to India then beware of your bounce rate. You can be sure that if people are visiting your website and clicking the back button as soon as they land on your page then you are going to suffer from bad rankings. I have seen this happen first hand, so I am speaking from experience; trust me when I say that a websites bounce rate is probably the most important thing you can monitor. If people are bouncing on your website then you really need to have a long hard look at your site. There are no shortcuts to high rankings. Create good, high quality, relevant articles, build back links the right way and over time you can expect great rankings.
Things to Avoid
- – Site scrappers that rip off other peoples content and surrounds in with their ad. If you are a site scrapper then expect to be penalised.
- – Content that has bad English. Indicated that the content was done by an unauthoritative figure, and could suggest link farming.
- – Content that is low quality, short, has bad structure and looks like it came from a link farm.
- – Keyword stuffing. Google will either ignore it or penalise you. Don’t risk it.
- – If you are after 10 keywords then create 10 articles. 1 article isn’t going to rank well for 10 things. If it means that much to you then you will make the time.
Relevant, high quality content never goes out of date. Remember that.