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Let’s pretend you have a hardware store in Hood River, Oregon.  Here’s what you need to do to rank well on Google.  And let’s begin by admitting that if you’re not on the first one or two pages of Google, you’re effectively invisible.

Here are the steps:

1. Determine what keywords or keyphrases are important to you

Everything flows from this.  If someone is looking for what you sell, what will they search for in Google?  This is the single most important question.  Develop a comprehensive list and rank them in terms of importance to your business.  Something like this:

  1. Hardware Store Hood River
  2. Lumber Hood River
  3. Flooring Hood River
  4. Plumbing Hood River

2. Develop content for each of these keyphrases

You need to devote one or more pages to each of the four phrases listed above.  The content needs to be filled with relevant content.

If then, you wonder why when you search for chainsaws Hood River you’re nowhere to be found, you need to ask yourself if you have copious amounts of information about chainsaws.  How much is copious?  Well, see who’s #1 for that search phrase, and assume that you need more content than that. 

Developing this content may or may not be something your web master can do for you.

3. Tie things together

This means making sure that the page title, the page heading, text links to the page, and content all include the keyword or keyphrase that this page is optimized for.  Different pages should be optimized for different keywords. 

The next step is to read the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Checklist.