Social media is key to driving traffic to your travel blog, but search engines are another incredible tool for generating visitors. Google is the largest search engine on the internet, receiving more than three billion search queries every single day. Everyone wants to be on the first page of Google search results (or at least that should be your goal), but they’re not always sure how to improve their Google page rank.
Google will never share their secret formula (and it apparently changes all the time), but they’re more than willing to give you a few clues. If you’re looking to improve your page rank you need to know a little bit about search engine optimization (SEO), and this is a great place to start. I ran into this video a while back and thought it would be good to share it with you. This is Google’s Matt Cutts sharing five basic, common sense SEO tips that can get you on the first page of Google search results:
Here is a quick recap with some helpful links and other tools that can help improve your Google ranking:
– Think about what people are going to type to find your travel blog, and then make sure those keywords are all over your page. If you want to appear in a search result for “Costa Rica beach vacation,” make sure those exact words are utilized on your pages. You can actually find out exactly what people are searching for by using the Google AdWords Keyword Tool. We use this tool all the time (click here to learn how to use it), because it’s free and it really works!
– Title tags matter! That’s the very first impression people have of your travel blog in a Google search. Don’t waste your time with keywords tag (Google hasn’t used those in years), but you should definitely utilize meta tags. You want to pay special attention to the description tag (a short summary of what your site is all about), because it’s the first thing people will read when they find you on a Google search.
– Links are important to improving your Google page rank. The more people who link to your travel blog, the higher you’re going to be ranked in search results. The easiest place to begin is simply starting a blog (especially if you have a static website). That will help with keywords and it should also generate links from other websites. There are other great social bookmarking websites that you can use to post your links. Delicious and StumbleUpon are great places to start.
– One of the biggest misconceptions is that you can pay to improve Google page rank. There is no truth to that. You don’t have to pay Google a penny to appear on the first page of their search results. Buying advertising on Google doesn’t help either. You’ll be ranked the same if you advertise with Google or not. In other words, don’t waste your money.
– Google refreshes its index every month, so your site will be found quickly. There are ways to hurry the process though. The first step you can take is inserting your URLs here –> http://google.com/addurl.html. It’s really important to share your root URL (e.g. catchthewinds.com) once your travel website or blog goes “live.” You should also check out the Google Webmaster tool. This allows you to submit a sitemap (basically a list of all the URLs, images, etc., on your site) to Google. You should start to appear in search results in days — not months — if you use these tools.
I really hope this gives you a better understanding of how to improve your Google page rank. Once you grasp these simple concepts, you can start to dig deeper into search engine optimization. You have to do some extra work to make sure you appear in search results, but it’s totally worth it if you want extra visitors. It’s amazing how much organic traffic we get from search engines.
Do you have any simple tips to help improve Google page rank? The more we share — the more likely we can all reach our blogging goals. Please feel free to leave a comment below or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. You can also find us on Pinterest and YouTube. Don’t forget to also check out http://catchthewinds.com for more social media and travel tips!