by Neil Anuskiewicz
Here are some of the things that I did to get our website to the first page in Google search results for keywords that matter to us. I followed basic "white-hat" (ethical) techniques to get us there. It required consistent effort to achieve results. I hope you benefit from these ideas.


Write Compelling Content
There is no point in doing Search Engine Optimization if your website is not well designed and, more importantly, does not have good content. You should use keywords and phrases in your content, but do not overdo it to the point where it seems unnatural to the reader. If you sell something, you must have compelling offers to keep visitors' interest.
Get Text Link-Backs
Once you have designed a compelling website with solid content, it is time to build incoming links to it. Do this by getting links back to your site on other relevant sites.
The best way to get link-backs is to establish relationships with website owners and bloggers in your industry, and ask them to publish a text link to your site. Be sure to focus on sites that have a reasonably high PageRank on Google.
They are likely to publish your link if you explain to them how your site is relevant to the topic of their site or blog. In addition, they are much more likely to publish your link if they view you as a contributor to the online community and not out purely for self-promotion. Remember, you are optimizing keywords and phrases so people can find you using search engines. Use text links that include the keywords and phrases you want to optimize.

Publish Articles

No matter what you do for a living, you likely have knowledge that would be beneficial to other people. Share your knowledge by writing articles and publishing them on sites related to your industry, or in publications that are read by the customers you want to attract.
Many online publications allow you to include a brief bio at the end of your article. This is your opportunity to say something about yourself and your company, and include a text link or two. Some publications only allow a one-line bio, while others allow several lines. You would most likely not want to include one to three text links in your bio.

Submit Press Releases

When you have something to announce, take the opportunity to issue a press release. If you have press contacts, you can submit your press release directly to editors and reporters who may write a story based on it. Keep in mind that business reporters generally want measurable results when writing about a case study.
Alternatively, use a paid service that will post your press release online with text links. Press releases submitted through these services can produce both SEO benefits and direct click-throughs to your site.
Blog
Search engines love fresh content. If you have not done so yet, start a blog. Services such as blogger.com make it easy to start your own blog within minutes.

Experiment

Try using all or some of these tactics to boost your site rankings; it certainly worked for us. It may take a few tests to find the exact right combination of channels, words and links, but a higher search ranking will make it well worth your effort.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
image of Ann Handley

Ann Handley is a Wall Street Journal bestselling author who speaks worldwide about how businesses can escape marketing mediocrity to ignite tangible results. She is the Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs, a LinkedIn Influencer, a keynote speaker, dog person, and writer.