“My Google Rankings STINK!”

I hear this comment from web site owners more than just about anything else.

It usually comes on the heels of the question, “How did TonerRefillKits.com get so many first place, first page listings in Google?”

Getting on page one of Google is easier than you think (or, at the worst, getting far, far better rankings on Google is a snap.)

The really simple answer starts with two simple questions:

1. What is your web site’s URL or domain (e.g. www.RZThompsonInc.com … I just made that up)

2. What are people most likely to search on that you feel should bring them to your site?  (if you never sat down and wrote out what these words or phrases are, now is the time…  this is CRUCIAL – Go wild.)

Think of all the ones you can.  Ask your friends, employees, relatives, customers what they would search on to find you because I guarantee you will be stunned to see them searching on stuff you think is “wrong” or on keywords and phrases you never would think of in a million years.

(And, that is where the “gold” is, if they are searching on stuff you didn’t even think of, how likely is it your web site was “speaking” to them or the damn search engines?)

If your domain/web site name doesn’t include any of the keywords or phrases you came up with as the answer to question number 2, you are already on your way to solving the problem. 

The more “keyword rich” your domain name/address (meaning your domain name contains the words people are searching on), the more likely Google will say, “Ah…  These folks must really be all about “keyword search phrase XYZ… why else would they name their web site with those words?”

Assuming you did your homework and actually thought about what words people would use to find your business, enter those terms in Google (the “800-pound gorilla” in the search engine world) and see if your web site is found.

As an example, let’s say you have a pool cleaning service and your current web site name is www.RZThompsonInc.com (I just made that up).

What would people who need pool cleaning in your town who you would like to do business with search on?

For people in our area, it’s likely they would search on something like “pool cleaning service Tavares FL” (our home town).  Here’s the link to that Google search http://www.google.com/search?q=pool+service+tavares+fl

If you click on that link, you will find the first page filled with listings that have domains/URLs which have nothing to do with pool cleaning service in Tavares, FL (when I last checked, only two are “real” web sites for “real” local businesses.)

For this example, you or your web master could put together a quick little web site with a single page for $50 or less with the following new (additional) domain: www.PoolCleaningServiceTavaresFL.com

Not only would Google be pleased with your “dead on” domain name for people seeking pool cleaning services in Tavares, FL), from a prospective customer’s point of view, they would look at a web site with that web address and with that title prominently displayed once they visited it, and get that same, “Ah, these are the people I am looking for to provide pool cleaning service in Tavares, FL!”

Within a matter of days you should find yourself ranked on the first page of Google for that search phrase (of course, if you are competing with people who have nailed that approach for a super, super competitive keyword, you will have to be a bit more specific, but the same recommendation  applies.)

That new $50 or less web site could “point” people to your existing web site and from this day forward, anyone who searched on “pool cleaning service Tavares FL” would find you at or near the top. 

(WordPress blogs are a great, fast way to put up a web site, by the way.)

Though you could consider making this your primary web site domain name, there is no need to do that.  You aren’t limited to doing that only for what you believe is the best search phrase.  You could establish multiple sites for other top/important search phrases (and with the help of your web master to make certain each single page web site is unique enough), all of those web sites could ultimately direct people to your main site (your “money site” as it is called).

Oh, and while you’re at it, if you haven’t yet signed up for Google Local Business listings  (now called Google Places), you absolutely have to do that!

http://www.Google.com/places

If this all sounds foreign to  you, don’t despair.  It isn’t rocket science and there are tons of people out there who can  help you with the nuts and bolts (and, we don’t provide that sort of service for people looking for it, so that wasn’t a thinly veiled business solicitation).

Until next time,

John Galt – “TheRefillMan”

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20 Responses to “My Google Rankings STINK!”

  1. Kent says:

    Hi John:

    Thanks for the blog. You mentioned that WordPress blogs are a great, fast way to put up a website. Can you explain this more? I’m not sure what this means.

    Thanks,

    Kent

    • TheRefillMan says:

      Hey, Kent:

      My pleasure. Thanks for the “thumbs up”!

      If it is alright with you, I will give your email address to our in-house geek (Murray) and he can tell you the value of WordPress.

      I was really late (as is obvious) to the WordPress/Blog “party”, but now I “get it”.

      Email me, if you would at “JGalt-at-TonerRefillKits.com” (yes, that is my real email address, but you have to put in the “@” sign to make it work) and I will put you two together.

      Thanks, again,

      John G. – “TheRefillMan”

    • Jim M says:

      Hi Kent,

      The great thing about WordPress is that it is easy to install, easy to configure, easy to modify, and easy to work with. Plus, Google seems to like blogs because the content gets updated. Google likes fresh content.

      You can have a basic WordPress site up and running within 30 minutes after your domain “goes live” (sometimes faster). You can then use free or paid themes to make it look nice. Finally, you can write a post or add a page. All in less than a couple of hours. Here is a quick sample of something I did for my Dad’s business (before and after). It was done using WordPress. Now all he has to do is maintain it.

      The best part is, you can add a lot of functionality to your site for FREE using “plugins.” These allow you to do things such as add contact forms, create links, and soooooo much more, but I don’t have the space for that.

      Additionally, it is easy to do the keyword optimization John mentioned. As he stated, “The more ‘keyword rich’ your domain name/address (meaning your domain name contains the words people are searching on), the more likely Google will say, ‘Ah… These folks must really be all about ‘keyword search phrase XYZ… why else would they name their web site with those words?’”

      The same applies for each page and post. WordPress makes this really easy to do for each post and page.

      I hope that helps. Please let me know if you have additional questions. I’d be glad to help.

      Jim M.

  2. SethKrieger says:

    Thanks for the idea!

    I would like to follow your blog. Could you perhaps make it easier by adding a subscribe/RSS widget? I know there are several such easily-added extensions available for WordPress.

    • TheRefillMan says:

      Thank you for the “thumbs up”!

      I have asked our in-house “geek” (and that is a good thing to be these days, “The geeks shall inherit the earth!”) to help in that regard.

      John G. – “TheRefillMan”

  3. bwoods says:

    John, I suggest that you replace that @ sign with something like (at) or spam harvesters will get your email address. Just give instructions to replace it with @ for those who don’t know.

    • TheRefillMan says:

      Thanks for the tip. I was too much of a dumbass to do that when I first put my email address on our web site years ago (never too late, though and I will ask Murray “The Geek” to do that, today).

      I literally get thousands of spam emails every day (and there is only so much Viagra one person can humanly consume!).

      Thanks, again, for the tip (and this is exactly what I am talking about, I hope people share their “good stuff”).

      John G. – “TheRefillMan”

  4. mpbelfiore says:

    Cool idea. I am interested in this phrase in your post: “make certain each single page web site is unique enough.” Are you saying that this technique isn’t effective if you just put up multiple copies of the same site under different domains? How about redirecting the traffic from your multiple domains to your main site?

    To your advice I would add that it’s important to make it crystal clear on your site what exactly it is you sell and how your products/services benefit your customers. Also clearly present the next step your prospective customers should take: is it to contact you for a quote? Place an order? Ask for more info?

    Finally, I’d love to see a post from you on the best way to add key terms to a website (not just in the domain name) to increase its chances of being found in a search.

    Cheers,
    -=Michael

    • Jim M says:

      I would add that it’s important to make it crystal clear on your site what exactly it is you sell and how your products/services benefit your customers.

      Great advice. It is always nice when I can find what I want without having to hunt for it.

      Are you saying that this technique isn’t effective if you just put up multiple copies of the same site under different domains?

      Google gives a duplicate content penalty. It frowns upon multiple sites that look the same.

      How about redirecting the traffic from your multiple domains to your main site?

      My understanding is that if it is done correctly, this could help your rankings in the search engines. If your other sites are original content and the direction is one way to your main site, it may give you link juice. If done incorrectly, it can count against you because the search engines may interpret it as link spam.

  5. sjmilldr says:

    Sounds like an interesting/fun challenge. Makes me wish I has a web site with something for sale on it!

  6. pmkidder says:

    You should make all your pages different. Google is smart enough to tell when two websites are the same and will ignore both of them.

    • TheRefillMan says:

      Hello, PMKidder:

      Thank you for the input.

      Actually, what Google is doing these days is deciding for you what web site is the most important (in their eyes.)

      There is no penalty for having duplicate content (even if the two sites are identical).

      But (and this is a really important but that supports exactly what you are saying…), if you have two identical sites, only one will be indexed and the other (or others) ignored.

      Just to be clear, if you are going to put up multiple “mini” sites, make each one significantly different and then only focus on one aspect of your business for each.

      So, as an example, we sell complete toner cartridges as well as compatible toner cartridges.

      If we were to develop a new web site that solely revolves around complete toner cartridges (with no mention of our refill kits), it would be a viable additional site that Google wouldn’t ignore.

      If, on the other hand, we grabbed another domain and left everything else the same, that new knock-off would simply not appear (or most likely would not appear) in their rankings.

      My biggest advice before people start making multiple sites is to make their “money site” (their main business site) “Sing” before they worry about anything else.

      Again, I really appreciate the input and welcome further thoughts.

      John G. – “TheRefillMan”

      • Jim M says:

        But (and this is a really important but that supports exactly what you are saying…), if you have two identical sites, only one will be indexed and the other (or others) ignored.

        I think you said it better than I did above. What I meant by Google frowns on multiple sites that look the same is what you wrote here. The other sites may not get indexed and may not be of much value.

        Great point John.

  7. graylocks says:

    Thanks so much for the Google Places tip! I had no idea it existed.

    • TheRefillMan says:

      My pleasure!

      That is exactly what I am hoping will happen with the stuff we share (and we are learning more stuff all the time.)

      Though getting ahead of myself quite a few weeks, if you have something that really should be geo-targeted, look into Facebook advertising because you can really geo-target down to a pretty granular level.

      Thanks, again, for the post and welcome aboard!

      John G. – “TheRefillMan”

  8. Francois Koutchouk says:

    In addition to mpbelfiore’s questions:
    - Reading on the web it seems that Google doesn’t care if the domain is .US versus .COM. Those are less expensive to register. Can you confirm that your strategy of a descriptive name also works with a .US domain?
    - How should that new domain be configured to “trigger” Google searches? Domain forwarding? A copy of all the pages? A single web page with a link users click on? A single web page with an automatic redirection?
    Thank you for this great idea of sharing knowledge, John.

    • TheRefillMan says:

      Hi, Francois (spelled your name wrong the first time I posted this)!

      Thanks for the post.

      I have heard mixed reviews on the .US domains.

      I have definitely seen and heard that .NET and .ORG work as well (and for .ORG better than) as .COM domains.

      One of the people I was tangentially “introduced” to is a guy who has PCs in a network around the country (all on different IP addresses).

      He has those things running day and night to ferret out “Google anomalies” and statistics.

      He has set up tons of competing web sites for keywords where people didn’t grab the .NET and .ORG versions (being careful not to “cybersquat on someone’s intellectual property, like no “CocaCola.org”.

      He then sells the traffic from those domains to people who are either the .COM holders (or actually sells the domain outright after he tweaks it for traffic.)

      Again, though, I find myself getting caught up in the “let’s create a bunch of other domains”, first, when our current web site blows (and that is currently being addressed.)

      I think there is far more potential for better results by concentrating on the main site, first, then branching out.

      I would love to hear what other people have to say, too!

      John G. – “TheRefillMan”

      • TheRefillMan says:

        Hello, again, Francois…

        I don’t profess to be “THE” expert on this stuff, only someone who has hit my head against the wall and kept on going.

        I wouldn’t worry as much about the cost to register a domain as I would about the bigger picture.

        By that I mean, saving a few bucks on a lukewarm domain will pale by comparison with a great domain (that you might actually have to outright buy.)

        Even if I had the option to pick up the same domain as a .COM vs. a .US, I would opt for the .COM, first (especially if my budget was limited.)

        If I could afford to do both, I would.

        The key thing to remember is Google loves relevance and a “meaningful” user experience so a simple redirection won’t cut it.

        Take the time to make the domain name and title very keyword specific.

        Then, take the time to make the domain content rich (even a really good article about the keywords in question is a great start).

        You could then have a few links to other sites (all of which stink by comparison) with your link to your main “money site” as the first one (where we presume you have taken the time to “do it up right”).

        Not to belabor the point, but if your current main site isn’t “dead on”, do the bulk of the work on that one, first, because all of the extra work on other sites will only serve (if you are lucky) to bring traffic to your preferred site and if it stinks (or could be far better), you put the proverbial “cart before the horse”.

        John G. – “TheRefillMan”

  9. mpbelfiore says:

    Hey John, I followed your suggestion.

    As in your example, my main website name (www.belfioreandkagan.com) says nothing about the services I provide. So I went out and created http://www.newyorkmarketingwriter.com using WordPress (thanks for that idea too).

    Would love your feedback on it if you get a chance (and anyone else’s). Is this what you had in mind? Also happy to eyeball anyone else’s sub-sites created with John’s ideas in mind and give them my two cents.

    Cheers,
    -=Michael

    • TheRefillMan says:

      Hey, Michael!

      Good job. That is exactly what I was referring to.

      Though there are no guarantees in the world of Google, the keyword-rich domain name and “dead on” title tag is as close as it gets.

      In that regard, I would change your title tag to “New York marketing writer” since it isn’t likely most people would search on the “newyorkmarketingwriter.com” (without at least entering spaces and not using the dot com).

      I also would change your type face on your blog page (and/or change the character spacing) so it is easier to read (the grey Newyorkmarketingwriter.com is hard to read).

      As a quick start, do what I do. Whenever I provide our URL I use upper and lower case to make it easier to read:

      http://www.TonerRefillKits.com

      vs.

      http://www.tonerrefillkits.com

      The eye/brain picks out the complete words far more easily if you give it clues (like the capital letters to show the start of the word and the beginning of the next).

      WP really has a bunch of advantages (and I am only just now learning many of them, myself, so will share more as I go along.)

      Another thought… Come up with a sub-head to go under the New York Marketing Writer heading that tells me what I can expect:

      New York Marketing Writer

      Turning Mere Words into More Sales (or something like that, you get the idea)

      Here is one other quick tip before I run… Constantly updating content will make Google see that your stuff is fresh, frequently updated, worthy of watching, etc.

      And, that’s another feature of WP, when you post it automatically tells the search engines you have added content.

      Don’t agonize over the posts, just keep them fresh and like Jim said in his reply to another reader, make the story/post at least one hundred words.

      As for topics, take 10 or 15 minutes to write out the stuff you have gone over with every prospective client for years when you tell them what is important, what needs to be done, key concepts, “must do’s”, “never do’s”, words to avoid, words that sell, etc.

      Then, set aside an entire day (or at least an afternoon or morning), write up a ton of them while you are at it and then release the posts every day or two (there are even automatic schedulers I have read about that will do that for you, though I haven’t used them and don’t have any specifically to recommend).

      One last thing (then I really have to run) see if that name is available on Twitter and then whenever you make a blog post, send a quick Twitter “tweet” saying, “Just added the 9 words you must never use in your marketing!”

      Once you get it down to a routine (as I am working on doing for our stuff), it gets easier/quicker to do.

      Good job!

      John G. – “TheRefillMan”

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