What is often repeated online as the most important to rank your website is not based on reality, but on what people want to or wish to be true.
I deal with the realities of how Google rank’s a website. When push comes to shove, there are 4 things that matter far more than everything else in most circumstances. Yes, there can definitely be exceptions, but even in those exceptions, these 4 factors play an important part.
Contact me if you’d like a free SEO analysis and recommendations.
Watch the video below for more details!
More about the Dallas SEO Geek:
I’m David Hood here, the Dallas SEO geek, and this video is about the top most important SEO factors. This will surprise you. If you’ve spent a lot of time reading content online about how to do SEO, you will be surprised by what I’m about to say. This is stuff that’s regurgitated online by bloggers. Google loves a lot of this, and even many authorities talk about this. There is a little bit of a grain of truth in that it is important, but it is not the whole reality, and it is not a good description of what really matters in SEO.
The saying is “Content is king”, just build great content, and people will come to your site, and you’ll rank, and you’ll naturally get traffic. While that can and does occur to a certain degree, that’s not entirely true. An analogy I like to give is: I’m in Dallas. I want to go to New York. I could walk to New York. I could definitely walk to New York. Is that incorrect? No, it’s not incorrect. I’m perfectly capable of walking to New York, but does that make sense? Is that going to be the best path for me? Maybe. Probably not. There are times in which walking is very useful, so I’m not saying that content is not useful or that it doesn’t have its place. But it is certainly not the most important factor.
Basically, I try to be objective about what should be and what reality is. It should be that you create great content, people come to you, but that’s not the reality. I see much lower content outranking higher quality content all day long. It happens all day, every day. This is what Google wants people to believe versus what Google actually uses to determine the rankings. They want people to just build the content and not worry about the SEO because they don’t want people trying to manipulate their results, by understanding what they really look at and what are the most important places that they’re going to give the most power to. I’m going to actually show you that in this video.
Number one is domain. This is tied with something else, but whatever your domain name is, that is by far going to be the most important other than this one other thing. Anything else beyond this one other thing that it’s tied with is very, very far behind. If you have Dallas Plumber dot com, it’s going to a whole lot easier for you to rank for Dallas Plumber dot com than Joes Services dot com. It’s going to be way easier. You’re going to need a whole lot less SEO elsewhere, so your domain name is very important. That’s why it’s good to, when someone calls me and they haven’t bought a domain name, that’s great. I love to hear that. A lot of people come to me, and they’ve already bought a domain, and sometimes they have a good one, and sometimes they’ve got a little bit more of an uphill battle.
This is such an easy decision early upfront. It doesn’t really take a lot of extra time to pick a better domain. To put at least part of your keyword in there, so if you’re Dallas Plumber, you don’t have to do Dallas Plumber dot com, you could have Joes Plumbing Services. That’s going to make it a whole lot better. Now if you’re only going to focus on Dallas, Joe’s Dallas Plumbing Services, that’s going to be even better. That’s going to help you rank a lot faster, especially right now. Domain is super powerful. It’s always been really powerful. You only get one domain. Google knows that, so it really tells them a lot about what’s going on on your site.
It feeds all of the content on your site or all what they expect your content to be. Google reads this data. Google is best at reading the text data in the most important limited spaces, and each site only gets one domain name. Sub-domain is part of the URL, and it’s not really part of the domain, so you get one domain. If you have search phrases or parts of search phrases in your domain, that’s going to give you a big, big boost.
The other tie for number one is what I would say “Anchor Texts / Links”. Links are very important. They’ve always been important for Google since their beginning. In fact, this is why their search results were better than the other ones. I don’t know if you were around searching Web Crawler in the mid to late nineties, but basically, a lot of things that ranked, they just put – let’s say they wanted to rank for Dallas Plumber, they would just have text that was the color of the background, the bottom of the page that said “Dallas Plumber” a thousand times. That would help them rank for it.
Well, Google’s algorithm came along and said, “We’re going to make this more of a popularity contest.” Essentially, people linking back to your site is a vote of confidence for your site. This is very important, and Google has stated that they’ve tested algorithms in-house without links, and the results are much worse. Links continue to be very important. There was a study recently, a “No, Duh” study; “Links Are Still Very Important”, yes, links are very important. They help build your authority. The exact way in which the links are built, which is anchor text, so in this case, “click here” would be the anchor text, also matters. If you have all “click here” anchor texts versus having a nice distribution and some of them maybe being “Dallas Plumber”, that’s going to help you rank for “Dallas Plumber”. It’s not that simple, but the anchor text is very important, and where the link’s coming from, what do those sites look like, how authoritative are those – going back to the vote of confidence, if Justin Bieber, Lebron James, and Barack Obama all say, “This restaurant is awesome,” then it’s going to be very popular, as it should be.
That’s how Google looks at it. Another example would be Lebron James recommending a basketball or basketball shoes, that’s even more important than say, like Justin Bieber recommending basketball shoes. That’s going to have even more of an effect, having Lebron James versus Justin Bieber. They’re still going to be important, and they’re still going to be helpful. That’s part of it. I can’t get too deep into it because it’s just a very deep rabbit hole. After this, there’s a deep chasm. If you get these first two things right, your domain and your anchor texts and links, you have a lot of things working for you. Sometimes you can rank just off that.
The next two things I’m going to show you are pretty easy. They’re also important, but they’re not as important. There’s a really deep chasm. What I want to comment on at this point – I haven’t talked about content. Content is below these in importance. Your domain name is more important than your content by and large. I’m going to talk about the exceptions to that in a minute. Tie for third, so the next two are tied, is the title of your page. Each page, you get one title. This has a huge effect on Google saying, “What is this page about?” You can have all the content in the world. If your page, let’s say is “Dallas Business Lawyer” at the title and then all your content is about cheeseburgers, well, that title is more important than the cheeseburgers, Google’s going to take more meaning out of that.
Again, I’m going to talk about the exceptions to that in a second. This is super important. This is why this is so easy to change because you have complete control over the title. It doesn’t take a whole lot of time to change usually. When I use WordPress, you just go and you edit the title, and it takes five seconds, so this is very important. Setting up your title right is very, very important. It’s not quite as important as your domain name and anchor texts and links, but it’s pretty close. Again, we’re way ahead of content. Far more important than the content on the page from an SEO ranking standpoint.
Next is URL. This is pretty simple. This includes your domain, but it also includes the full URL. Again, each page gets one URL, so Google puts a lot of importance on this. It’s very easy for them to read. They can read the text. While Google is getting more advanced at analyzing things and understanding things, it’s still software. It’s still a robot. It’s not conscious, and it reads text. When you give it the most important text in the most important places in the ways that it likes, it matters a whole lot. So, we’ve got domain, links and anchor texts, title, and URL. If you get these four things right, you’re going to rank, and yes, it helps to have good content, but it’s not the most important thing.
We haven’t even gotten to content because again, there’s a deep chasm. Anything else after this, there’s a very deep chasm. If you get those four things right, you’re going to rank pretty well. Now let’s talk about content for a second. So, where is it? I’d say it’s somewhere around 6, tied for 5th probably, something like that. Content does matter. It does help rank, but it matters most when Google starts ranking you and sending you visitors. In that Dallas Business Lawyer example, if it’s all about cheeseburgers, when it does rank, people are going to come to the site, and they’re going to immediately go back to the search results. In that case, you’re going to have a difficult continuing to rank. Obviously, you don’t want completely irrelevant content. Pretty obvious. Also, having a little bit of business lawyer content on your page within the content is going to help. A very small amount, especially compared to the other ones. It’s a deep chasm.
This is really important to understand. A lot of people, their plans for SEOs – “Let’s build a bunch of great content!” or I’ve had someone say, “Look, I’m making a ton of great blog posts. I showed rank.” Should is not really a useful word in this circumstance. It’s really just not a useful word in general, but I want to look at what really works. What really moves the needle on helping you rank for search phrases that are going to drive your target market to your website, so you can sell to more people. Focusing exclusively on great content is not the way to go. It’s just not the way to go. It’s part of the plan. You’re sending people there, yeah, you want to have a high conversion rate, that’s a little bit more [inaudible 00:10:02], so you want people to convert.
Again, if you’ve got a Dallas business page, and you are ranking, you do really great in the first 4, but you’ve still got a page about cheeseburgers, you know you’re not going to convert. People aren’t going to call you, but you’re still probably going to rank pretty decently, even if with really, really irrelevant content. Content has more to do with conversion, so this actually simplifies the content. You build the pages with the proper titles and URLs for the search phrases you want to rank for, and then you build content on those pages that basically, all you have to do is think about, “This is the person I’m trying to attract, how do I speak to them? How do I sell to them? What kind of copyrighting would I do if I’m trying to sell to them?” and answer their questions. That’s really all you have to do. It’s pretty simple.
You don’t have to worry about keywords. You don’t have to worry about putting the certain keywords in there. It can help, but by and large, it’s not really the main purpose of it, and it can be taken care of in other ways. You can always add it later, so that means your content is more about conversion. It also means you don’t just blog mindlessly about what’s on the top of your head everyday in your market. Again, that can help, and you can get natural links from content, you can rank just from content, it’s just much, much less likely. It misses a lot of the easy, low-hanging fruit of understanding that 3 of the 4 things I listed, domain, title, and URL; you have complete control over those. The linking is a lot harder, but those other 3, you have a lot of control, and it’s not that hard. Not putting any time into thinking about from an SEO standpoint domain-
So, where does that leave us? Quick review. Content is king – no, not really. When it comes to ranking your website on Google, not really. When it comes to converting, sure, it’s really important, but when it comes to getting Google to rank you in its search engine, content is not king. Especially if you have a new site. If you have no rankings anywhere, then this is of very little importance. Yeah, if you’re ranking number 1 for something, and you’re getting a lot of traffic already, then tweaking your content or improving it or creating great content is going to help you more. There’s already people seeing it, Google is sending visitors to you already, so they’re getting engagement data from you. But without engagement data, content does very, very little for you. Pick a good domain that has as many keywords as you can reasonable put in there without clashing with your brand. Do high-quality link building with someone who really knows that because this is pretty complicated stuff.
This is such easy stuff. This is no-brainer stuff. Set up the right titles and URLs. An implication of these is also how you interlink and what pages you put up that I haven’t really mentioned here, but then there’s a deep chasm. Don’t worry, if you’re just starting out your site, don’t worry about creating the best content ever. Don’t say, “Okay, I’m going to hire this guy who charges me $100 in art, but he’s a great writer, and I’m going to spend $10,000 on content. We’ve got this long-term plan. We’re just going to turn-out 100 articles, 100 blog posts, and see where we rank.” There’s no plan with the blog posts, even if you have a plan for these – “These are the keywords we’re going to target. We’re going to shoot out a bunch of blog posts.” You’re still missing a lot of the opportunity there, so if you’re about to decide on creating a domain, this is the best time to call me.
Go ahead and contact me, and I could help you with that. Even if you have picked that, we can still work on the other 3 or the 4. You’ve got what you’ve got, and you move forward the best you’ve got there. Then we can talk a little bit more about content and where it really matters and how to work it best because I do create what I think is high-quality content, for example, this video. I do believe in high-quality content. It’s not about, “You don’t ever have to create high-quality content,” it really makes a difference when it comes to converting. And you can get natural links and natural traffic in other ways, but you better believe that it’s not the reason why I’m ranking. I could put 20 times the amount of high-quality videos that I put out now, and if that’s all I focused, and I didn’t focus on the other stuff, I would not be ranking.
It would be very unlikely, so give me a call if you want a free analysis on your business. Shoot me an email, and we’ll get started. Thanks for watching, and have a great day! Bye.