Google search engine optimization (SEO) example – how I get half of my blog traffic

I’m getting good share of my traffic from natural searches on Google. Here you will find some insights on how I managed to do search engine optimization for my page and rank it very high in Google. Feel free to use them to improve your pages visibility and your understanding of how Google works.

In my blog among other things I do reviews of websites and pass my comments and ideas for improvement. I did review of Expedia website in article about best online flight booking website. It was about 2 weeks ago. Now (Aug-16) it’s on #4 place on Google for “best flight booking” search, #1 for “best booking engine” and in absolute top for many other related searches. Don’t be surprised when you see other results on Google at this very moment – Internet is ever changing. 🙂

As you may notice for many searches related to flight booking my pages appear very high. I have beaten sites like Expedia or Travelocity. Many companies pay big amount of money for search engine optimization to get to top spots or by buying these keywords. How could it possibly happen that I’m on top?

This post is not meant to be exhaustive explanation of Google PageRank mechanism and search engine optimization (SEO) – for this you can turn to some very good sources (I recommend TopRank blog or Pronet advertising primer).

Here is how it worked for me and advices on what Google checks:

  • Web domain of my blog – must be good
    My blog is within WordPress domain. The WordPress.com domain is well known for Google (many sites links here) and Google ranks it very high. The fact that I’m within this domain helps a lot already. Companies and people with their own domain need to work to gain high ranking for them.
  • Title of my page – must have your keywords
    My title says “the right web – webdesign and webmarketing » best online flight booking website?“. Such long title is not best but does the job here. However the most important is that it has all relevant keyword that I want Google to rank – “best”, “online”, “flight”, “booking”, “website”. Don’t overdo this – 4-6 keywords is fine 10+ might be not…
  • Page heading – must have your keywords
    Your keywords should be somewhere on the page in big letters – it should be header of the page. In most of blog templates – title is displayed in big letters. And that’s how it should be
  • Content of the page – must be relevant
    First of all – it must be relevant to the title and topic (here – to online flight booking). You must convince Google that your page is really about the keywords that you had in your title. Google checks this by looking whether these keywords appear on the page – not too often, not too rare. Best advice is – write good article on the topic and use keyword whenever it makes sense. No tricks here is good trick. 😉
    Tip – If you want to check how Google sees your page in relationship to your keywords – check out the Google “copy of the page“. All your keywords are nicely highlighted there.
  • Content of the page – make it short
    Keep your content short – this way it’s perceived as more relevant. Think about it – text of the article appears also on main page of my blog, yet the homepage doesn’t appear anywhere in the results of search for “flight booking”. Simply – it’s there among many other articles about many topics and it’s not seen by Google as that relevant. Thanks God we have permalink and each post in blog has it’s own page.
  • Links to the page – must have keywords in link name
    This is one of the most important elements. There must be links to your page from other pages. And it’s not only about quantity (number of these links) – it’s even more important to have quality there. Quality means – these links must contain your keywords in the text. See two examples:
    * Check out article about best online flight booking website
    * For information on online flight booking – check this article
    The first one rocks. The second is not really good. The second suggest that your article might be related to following keywords – “check” and “article” which confuses Google.
  • Links to the page – in blogs
    If you look at my blog you will see that each title of the page is link to the page with post. If I choose title well and have keywords there that I immediately have keywords also within link. Great! Make sure that you use template that uses titles of posts as links – not your name, not the date, not the word “permalink” – THE TITLE!!! Choose the template that has this or update your template.
  • Url address of your page – must have keywords
    The permalink to my post on best onlin flight booking website looks like this:
    https://rightweb.wordpress.com/2006/08/07/best-online-flight-booking-engine/
    You may notice that all the keywords are there in the url. Most of blogging sites automatically do it – just make sure that your title has them. If you do the url manually – make sure that it has all the right keywords.
  • Metatags
    Well – I know they are checked by Google but they don’t matter that much. Actually – I haven’t inserted them at all. Google checks first and foremost on what is visible to people. And that’s how it should be.

Most important
In the game of search engine optimization most important is to choose right keywords and then to stick to them – in title, copy, heading, url, links, everywhere. One extra tip – when you test various ideas of optimization you often think – has Google refreshed your page? Are they already taken into consideration. Well – it’s no brainer – just check Google “copy of your page“.

I’m still playing with search engine optimization for Google of the page and links around it – I hope it will results in even better placement. I’ll share the results of my tests as we go forward.

You may ask about quality of this traffic… Is it worth to optimize to get traffic that might be worthless. Well – indeed the traffic is coming from keywords not related to webdesign and webmarketing. However all titles of my pages state clearly what this blog is about so I hope interested people come.

You can read also my next post with update on my search engine optimization efforts and results.

I encourage you to also visit Ross Johnson blog where he is investigating how beeing on subdomain of the valued domain (like wordpress) is influencing Google results.

All your comments welcome! I hope my advices will help you improve your results. Share your ideas as well!

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12 comments so far

  1. writingenglish on

    Thank you for this informative post. I have been looking for ways to increase traffic to my business blog and your advice is so very welcome.

  2. pawel on

    Thanks for positive comment. Good luck in your efforts to increase traffic! 🙂

  3. newmw on

    Great post and indeed now I have my blog running for some time, I notice that a lot of my traffic is generated by Google search. Good tips!

  4. Dean on

    Thanks for the useful information. I’m sure a lot of bloggers will find this useful.

  5. pawel on

    Thanks for all your positive comments. It gives enthusiasm to write more and grow my blog. 🙂

  6. Ross Johnson on

    “The WordPress.com domain is well known for Google (many sites links here) and Google ranks it very high.”

    Actually google and other SE’s look at subdomains as a completely seperate domain and you don’t get any ranking benifit from having a “wordpress” or “blogspot” root. Otherwise it would be very easy to spam just by setting up a few blogging accounts that are little more than doorway pages.

  7. pawel on

    Hello Ross,

    I feel that the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Some time ago it was even common SEO technique to use subdomain to link to the main site so Google sees it as external links and values. However for some time already it’s ineffective. Google recognized the trick and doesn’t treat these as external…

    Best proof that this my blog is treated as part of WordPress is the result of my SEO. The post that scored so high on Google was actually 3rd on my site. Back then my blog was not linked from anywhere. Without “the power” of WordPress domain it wouldn’t have any chance to score anywhere as high.

    Thanks for your comment. I see you have really interesting and valuable blog with lots of good insight on SEO.

    — Pawel

  8. […] A few weeks ago I came across a post on dig discussing how the blogger gained high rankings in Google. The keyphrase in question was “Best Flight Booking” , claiming he beat out tons of online ticket vendors who pay thousands in SEO. While I agreed with most of the points, I came across one point that I really was quite unsure of. The author claimed that since he was using a “subdomain.wordpress.com” domain, that Google was giving his page added value because wordpress.com is known as an authoritative site. […]

  9. […] One of the ways I use my blog is to test various search optimization techniques. I’ve written successful post with review of expedia as flight booking website and optimized it to get high ranking. I got pretty high in some good keywords and was playing with it a bit. I’ve written two other posts about my experience there – you can see them here and here. […]

  10. rsbodapati on

    really interesting and valuable blog with lots of good insight on SEO.
    keep it up

  11. BloggerDude on

    I don’t know If I said it already but …I’m so glad I found this site…Keep up the good work I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say GREAT blog. Thanks, 🙂

    A definite great read….

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