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How to Win Customers and Influence Google

Ranking on top of Google is hands-down the best thing you can do to reap thousands of quality targeted online customers ? for free. It's easier than most people think with the right tools and information. If you have about fifteen minutes I'd like to show you how I've done in more than 400 times ? And you can too.

As a search engine optimization (SEO) specialist, I've had the privilege of helping hundreds get to where they need to be on the world's best search engines. Now I'd like to help you do the same by sharing the simple three-step process that I personally use to get my client's site on top of Google, Yahoo and tons of others. It's very simple to duplicate the process and results usually show sooner than most people expect.

Anyway, here goes. Step 1: How to Find the Best Keywords Google gets more searches than any other search engine so let's peek into their database, shall we? Check out

com/select/KeywordToolExternal and type in any keyword or phrase you can think of that you believe your target audience is looking for. It will give you plenty of data on specific and similar/related keywords, and also provide "Additional Keywords to Consider" (at the bottom of the page). Here's a tip worth knowing; Try to use specific keyword phrases whenever possible. Let's say you have a web-page that deals with floral delivery. Instead of "flowers", which has 233,000,000 competing pages on Google, try "send flowers", which has 1/10th the number of competing pages.

Better still, think like people speak (I.E./ I'm sending flowers to my mom.

) As it turns out, a lot more people are searching for "sending flowers" than are searching "send flowers" and ? here's the best part ? "sending flowers" has less than 1% of the competing web-pages as the search term we started with, "flowers". Now that's impressive! You have an advantage over about 99.5% of your competitors with just that single tip. Ready for more? Step 2: How to Get Killer a Domain Name the Search Engines LOVE If you already have a domain name with a hosted website, you can skip this part.

However it's worth a look if you don't mind spending a few extra bucks and doubling your search engine real estate. Most search engines will give you major bonus points if you have your main keyword or keyword phrase in your domain name. It's even better if words in the phrase are each separated by a dash (-). Let's try to find a good one for our main keyword phrase "sending flowers." If you go to http://www.DomainsBot.

com and type in your keywords, you'll get plenty of choices. I'll cut to the chase and select "" A ".com" would have been better, but ".biz" is fine.

By the way, Google and a few other big search engines also consider when your domain name expires. The longer your domain name is "guaranteed" the better. I have found that a five year registration term, or longer, works great. And don't forget - If you setup this site and it ranks well, but you want your company's name as the domain, you can always just redirect that domain name and point it to this site. That way, when people type in your business domain name it will go to the right place.

It's like getting two for one, which is always nice. Step 3: How to Pick the Host with the Most Where you host your Web site can make a huge difference. Choose your web hosting company very carefully. Here are some tips: 3.1. Avoid free hosting.

Most search engines don't think that serious sites (i.e. those worth top ranking) would be hosted on freebies. 3.2.

Consider getting a private static IP address. Your hosting company should provide you with this number and you should be able to contact your site directly with it. Some of the major search engines don't like ever-changing (dynamic) IP addresses because of problems they've had in the past. 3.3. Avoid any companies that host banned Websites - like the Plague! Good examples are those owned by spammers and illegal activity sites (even online gambling in some instances).

Search engines might penalize or even ban your web for being associated with such sites. Try to find a hosting company with a "family friendly" policy, like Step 4: How to Get Great Links and Monitor Your Site Having quality inbound links can account for more than 75% of you search engine optimization success. Getting these links is the crucial step that will get you over the top.

Next you should carefully track your progress and be sure to know your site's status, which means how search engines see it from their perspective. This will tell you not just where you are ? but where you are likely to be. In the old days, we used to do all link work and monitoring by hand ? and it took a long time (I averaged about 16 hours per week ? per site!) My best advice to you - And what I did personally - Is to find a great SEO tool and let it do the hard work for you. If you get the right product, it's the best money you'll ever spend.

I explained early on that I'd show you how I got so many #1 rankings on Google and Yahoo, so here are the best two search engine optimization products I've used, with my Top Pick on top: #1 Pick: SEO Elite (free trial offered) Cost = $167 (lifetime free upgrades and no annual fees) Results: 121 top 5 rankings on Google in three weeks ? Mostly 1's and 2's. Top Features: Finds best link partners; Automates link process; Provides 100% Site Monitoring Comments: I bought it 2005 and have used every upgrade ? never spending another dime.

I retired my other three programs after using this for the first three months. #2 Pick: WebPosition http://www.webposition.

com (free trial offered) Cost = $149 SE or $389 Pro (plus $99 per year in subscription fees for either) Results: 44 top 5 rankings in Google in eight weeks ? Mostly 3's and 4's. Top Features: 100% Site Monitoring; Great reporting; Site Critic Please Note: No automated linking capabilities. Comments: I purchased the professional version and found it most useful for reporting (but still did linking manually) Step 5: How to get submitted to major search engines fast and free I use the Submit Express free submission service all the time. It's great.

They'll submit your site to 40 search engines instantly, at no cost -

Now you're ready! Just follow the steps and you can do this with no problem. I've been doing it for years and have helped hundreds do the same. Good luck!.

Michael Small, former Information Technology manager for Harvard University, is the founder of , a well-known free search engine optimization (SEO) site. Author of multiple SEO books including his most recen SEO Notebook ? , Mike can always be reached through

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