It all starts with keywords, or rather, keyword phrases. There are two basic types of keyword phrases, short-tail and long-tail. No, we don't have any pets online. Basically, a short-tail keyword is a one or two word phrase that people might search for in order to find a product or service. Brand names are usually short-tail keywords. Very generic or broad niches are short-tail keywords. Examples would be Nike, Amazon, Netflix, Diabetes, Internet Marketing, and Star Wars. These are all very short and very generic. While the company names are specific, what the user is looking for beyond just the company website is anyone's guess. Depending on the keyword and the amount of search traffic it gets, the competition for these, both organically and with PPC, can be very high.
Long-tail keywords is where we're going to focus our efforts. Sometimes these are referred to as "low hanging fruit," because they are generally easier to rank for in Google. The drawback, however, is that long-tail keywords do not usually have anywhere near the amount of traffic that a short-tail keyword would have in the search results. Search traffic equates to real website traffic, especially for those sites "lucky" enough to get placed on the first page of Google's search results. The top three search results are the most highly coveted positions for any search term, as these will receive the vast majority of the traffic from a given search engine.
The other issue at play is the competition. How many websites are actually competing for the search term you are targeting? As I mentioned earlier, with short-term keywords there is usually a lot more competition vs long-tail keywords. You used to be able to find out exactly how many websites are competing for your *exact* keyword phrase by including your phrase in quotation marks in the search bar when you enter it. However, the number the search engines give you now is inflated with similar sites, etc., and no longer accurately represents the numbers of sites matching any given phrase exactly. This is where some outside help comes in, but more about that in a minute.
The next step of getting ranked on Google is to create a page targeting your selected keyword phrase to the T ... from page title, h1 tag within the page itself, and including the keyword phrase in the fist paragraph and probably once or twice more throughout the page, depending on length. It should be used naturally, though, not forced. Remember, if you're looking to do something with the page you're creating, you'll want people to be able to read it, not just search engine robots, right? Also, images should be used. Use an image with the keyword phrase in the name of the image, if possible. Be sure and assign alt tag description to the image as well, and once again ensure your keyword in is there, exactly as it appears everywhere else.
Last, but certainly not least, is ensuring that you get your site's new page indexed quickly by Google. You can do this through the new Search Console. Once you sign in, look down the menu for fetch. You'll want to fetch your new page's URL. Once Google confirms that it is there, you'll have the option to submit the page for indexing. There's no guarantees on how long it will take, etc., but I can tell you that it can happen real quick. I created a brand spanking new page from scratch, and was able to lock in the number one spot on Google for my selected keyword phrase in just under 15 minutes. No, that's not an exaggeration. That's a fact, Jack.
How to Rank on Google
Now I hear the experts out there saying there's no way that is possible or questioning my non-use of backlinks, etc. First, get your panties out of a wad. No one said backlinks were not useful. In fact, I suspect that in order to keep my number one spot, I will need some backlinks, pronto. But, the point is that backlinks are not required in order to rank on Google. Now you're probably saying that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. I'm with you on that. However, I'm not ready to reveal my page and targeted keywords just yet. I need them produce some traffic/sales results first before I throw the niche to the wolves (not that YOU are a wolf, but the internet is full of them, you know). However, if all goes well, this page will serve as an example as well. If you havaen't notices, there is a theme on this page, and one that I hope will rank high on Google in short order.
I mentioned earlier that there were some outside tools needed for the keyword research. This is true. You can use Google's keyword tool within Adwords to get search volumes and ideas for related search terms (starting with short-tail and generating long-tail ideas). However, you won't be able to get competition numbers, nor a good idea of how difficult it to rank on Google. For this, I recommend an online tool called Jaaxy. It's a great keyword tool that will provide invaluable insight, help you find new long-tail keywords to target, and grade the competition for you (red, yellow, green light). It's a simple, yet powerful tool that I think every internet marketer should have in their arsenal. Sign up doesn't require a credit card. You get 30 free searches to see how it works and start kicking butt on your keyword research. Check it out by clicking on the image below.