Google Gives You a Shot to Out-Rank Amazon and Walmart
(Even the Know-Nada Technophobe can learn this SEO Tip)
4 no-Geek-Speak Steps to take the DIY Marketer from Zero to Google-Beginner-Geek
By Drew Hudgins • Published Sun May 21 2017
In this post, you’ll find…
- A no-nerd explanation of Links, Backlinks, and the text that’s included inside of links… and
- why all that stuff is remotely important to you and your business
- One of the ways Google picks up the signal that you’re a brand too, just like Coke, Amazon or Apple
(the box where I give props)
Props goes to Debra Ann Matthews, Resumé Specialist, who gifted me with a backlink and allowed me to share this SEO lesson with the STBB readers.
“What chance to do I have of competing with Amazon or Wal-Mart for the top spots in Google?”
Most small business people don’t think they stand a chance to rank well in Google up against big brand names.
Google loves small business. That includes small towners—many independent retailers, service providers and local non-chain restaurants actually do have opportunities to out-rank the big dawgs.
All because Google loves brands.
Go ahead. Click it. (Click the word, “This” and see what happens).
You clicked it, didn’t you?
That’s natural. It was blue. It looked like something you’d click. We’re trained to use the internet like that.
Aside from all that, I told you too.
A link is something you click — and (with the exception of how I rigged the one above) a link usually takes you to a different page (I rigged it that way because I didn’t want you being whisked off to another page. We haven’t even gotten to the good stuff).
A link can be an image. But for the focus of our Google-likes-this lesson today, let’s just stick to words.
Links are made to be clicked.
What's a backlink?
…oooohhh, it’s just one of the most important things Google considers when it comes to showing your site to searchers.
A backlink is a link that lives out there on someone else’s site, that links (directs traffic) back to your site.
They’re like “votes” to Google.
Remember high school? Remember voting on class president and student council and all that?
Remember how it was just a popularity contest anyway?
But one vote still ranked as a single vote, no matter if it was from the band geek, the jock, the goth-girl trying to find herself through her art…
It didn’t matter. A vote was a vote.
Google recognizes “votes” a little differently.
See, there are some sites out there that are HUGE.
Easiest way to understand this: some comparisons.
A backlink that lives on a glossary page on your local insurance guy’s website with a bunch of boring insurance terms (a little vote) vs. a backlink that lived on Wikipedia page—also full of boring insurance terms (a huge vote).
A backlink on your lunch lady’s blog vs. Rachel Ray’s blog.
A backlink from your grannie’s Facebook profile vs. your grannie if her name is Arianna Huffington (founder of The Huffington Post).
The chart below should seal the deal on this.
a backlink on
your local insurance guy's glossary page
a backlink on
a page on Wikipedia
a backlink on
your lunch lady's blog
a backlink on
a Rachel Ray's blog
a backlink on
your grannie's blog
a backlink on
the Huffington Post
Next up, “anchor text”
What's Anchor Text? …… Better question: Why do you care?
“Anchor text” is simply “the words that are clickable.”
That’s it! Simple, huh?
Why such a weird term?
That “Anchor” term has roots in Latin and Greek.
Wait a second… I meant to say “Online and Geek” (seriously).
If you really care, you can learn more here, but come on, let’s keep going.
You got the important stuff; Anchor text is the word(s) within a link that you can click.
There. You’re all caught up on all the Geek-Speak you’ll need. Here’s today’s lesson for you and your small business.
Tell Google "I'm a brand"
Before we get dive into the real meat, I just gotta give you the disclaimer:
Disclaimers. You are entering the “No Magic Elixir Zone”
There is not a silver bullet trick. I’m not instructing you to go out there and do nuthin’ but this one-and-only technique. It’s just one of many “best practices” that will help you rank better—not a magic potion.
This article focuses on one. I want you to absorb it… not hit spray you with a dozen steps and have you leave without remembering a single one.
I aim for each lesson to be
- For the layperson (not over your head, or at least, broken down, step-by-step w/ minimal geek-speak)
How to elbow Google to say, "Hey! … Down here. I'm a brand."
As stated earlier, Google likes to serve up brands. Is it relatively easy to rank for your brand? Well, sure.
But we also want to show up at the top of the Google page for other words people are using.
The words you want people to associate with your brand.
There’s a lot of hand-in-hand stuff that goes into this but know this:
At least some of the links that live out there on sites (other than your own) should include exactly your brand.
I remember a hair stylist friend of mine claiming there was this website-design business that promised you’d show up in the top spot for your own brand name.
That’s not incredibly hard.
I’m talking about doing the things within your control to let Google in that you’re a brand and today’s way is:
Backlinks where the Anchor Text is an Exact Match of your brand.
In other words…
You know all the links that are on other sites? … the ones that link back to your site? … and the words that are the clickable within those links? … a fair amount of those links should include exactly the words of your brand.
Simple as that.
But the reality of what I often see is just a bunch of web addresses that toss visitors back to your site.
That’s okay. But it’s not the best. It’s not what I’m trying to teach you here:
it’ll count as an “okay” vote, but nuthin’ special: www.YourWebsite.com
better: [Exactly the Name of Your Business is the text that’s Linked]
nope: http://www.YourMisspelledWebsite.com (that goes to a dead page)
Let's wrap this up.
I know there are people out there still going ga-ga over “I gotta pick a business name that has keywords in it!“
I even noticed advice like that just now on the SBA’s website in preparing this article. I disagree with some of their reasons for suggesting this (“…picking a name rich in keywords“). If you want to, fine. For instance, a ton of lawn care peeps might pick something like LarrysLawnCarePros.com and that’s fine.
If that works, then by all means, get that domain.
But we gotta put this “I-must-pick-a-webaddress-that-has-keywords-in-it” myth to rest. There was a small window where that shortcut worked but now, what’s more important is that LarrysLawnCarePros.com would whisk web visitors straight to “the brand” of “Larry’s Lawn Care Pros.”
Google ranking is a Popularity Contest.
Having a backlink is great (it’s a popularity vote).
Having a backlink where the anchor text is your brand name is great for signaling Google that you’re a legit brand.
Having a backlink where the anchor text contains porn-related words is bad news.
Having a backlink where the link, itself, is simply your regular www.whatever.com web address is fine. It’s likely those kinds of links will be the easiest build up (it’s the way most people will link to you, by simply using the web address, itself).
Having a backlink from a big, awesome, authoritative website that a ton of people rely on is also great.
Having a backlink from a big, awesome, authoritative website that gets a ton of traffic—where the link’s anchor text is your brand name—is super great.
Having a backlink from a big, awesome, authoritative website that gets a ton of traffic—where the link’s anchor text are words related to your product/service—is also great.
To get great Google results, it’s all about diversification.
Stuff that’s engaging and keeps people on the page, sharing, “votes,” words, time, etc.
And just like a well-built home, the great news for a lot of small towners (not all, but many), is it’s completely reasonable to expect solid results so long as you adhere to solid “best practices” as you lay your site’s foundation.
It's Your Turn!
Wondering if some advice you got is an obsolete myth or legit?
Leave it in the comments!