12 Steps to Complete Search Engine Domination – From Zero to Hero in Just 6 Months

What does it take to rank #1 in Google for a set of competitive keywords? In this article, I’ll lay out the exact methodology you can use to dominate many niches in the search engine rankings. SEO is a billion dollar industry and many online businesses live and die by organic search. It’s time you claim your piece of the pie.

Some industries are going to be more difficult to rank for than others and you’re always going to have to think creatively to get an edge over the other players in your field. However, the steps I outline below will help put you on the right track and give you a general plan of action. Read through it and diligently execute. I guarantee that in 6 months you’ll already be ahead of 90% of your competition.

So without further adieu, here’s your game plan to complete search engine domination.

1. Choose a niche – what do you like?

Many marketers run to the money in lucrative (and extremely competitive) industries like insurance, education, and finance. If you think you have what it takes to come out on top then by all means go for it. Otherwise it might be a good idea to narrow your focus and concentrate on an under-served market. There is plenty of money to be made in every legitimate niche imaginable. Just put in the hard work, sweat, and tears necessary for success into your project and you’ll reap the benefits of your labor 6 months down the line. Delayed gratification my friends… It’s just a matter of having direction, drive, and a little patience.

So with that said, some of the questions I ask myself when choosing a topic or niche include:

  • Am I passionate about it?
  • Do I know enough about it?
  • Is it worth my time and effort? (monetary and personal satisfaction)
  • What can I do differently that will give me a competitive edge?

Example: In this article, we’ll use basket weaving as an example. I don’t care much for the topic but I think it’s a good industry to use to get my points across.

2. Keyword research – keywords are everything

In SEO, keyword research is probably the one thing you cannot afford to mess up. Your sites can rank #1 in Google for terms that you think are best, but if no one is actually using them in their search queries you’re out of luck.

Make sure you don’t skimp out on this crucial step. Invest in the best keyword research tools available and spend time to learn the language of your potential customers.

I recommend scoping out competitor sites, reading industry blogs and forums, and scanning trade magazines for additional keyword ideas. You can never do enough research especially if you plan on domination.

Some of the keyword tools I use for SEO include Wordtracker, Keyword Discovery, Wordze, and the MSN Keyword Intelligence plugin for Excel 2007. Search for your top keywords using your tool of choice to determine which have the highest search frequency – taking into consideration variations and plural/singular forms.

Example: For our basket weaving example, we first need to learn more about the field to understand what people are searching for in the engines. A quick look at the basket weaving Wikipedia page gives us a plethora of useful information to get us started. For example, we now know that basket weaving is also called “basket making”, “basketry”, and “basketmaking”. We also know the different types of basketry including coiled, plaiting, twining, wicker, and splint. There’s Native American basket weaving, Indian, yada yada yada. You get the point.

After all of this research, we now have the background information necessary to create a core keyword list:

  • basket weaving
  • basetweaving
  • basket weaver
  • basketweaver
  • basket weavers
  • basketweavers
  • basketry
  • basket making
  • basketmaking

Which of these do we use to optimize our site?

Pop all of the selected keywords into a tool like Keyword Discovery and determine the relative search frequencies for each.

  • basket weaving – 1474
  • basket making – 466
  • basketry – 452
  • basket weavers – 82
  • basketmaking – 67
  • basket weaver – 32
  • basketweavers – 25
  • basketweaver – 5
  • basetweaving – 0

Ok great. So from that simple analysis it’s clear that “basket weaving” is by far the best keyword to optimize for. There are other factors to take into consideration when selecting keywords including the level of competition, regional language preferences, current keyword referrals, and site focus/purpose. For the sake of space and time we won’t go into those here but just know that there’s more to keyword selection than relative search frequency.

So there you have it. We have our main keyword: “basket weaving”.

3. Buy a domain – do it right the first time

Buying a domain name is kind of like getting a tattoo. It’s permanent and you can’t change it later on without leaving scars and going through a painful process. A domain name is the foundation of your site and will greatly affect whether or not you will see success in the search engine rankings.

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42 thoughts on “12 Steps to Complete Search Engine Domination – From Zero to Hero in Just 6 Months

  1. Hey all,
    Hopefully this is helpful in outlining the entire SEO process for independent webmasters. Leave a comment here if you have any questions or clarification.

    1. Hello Gyutae Park:

      Thank you for the extremely well written, insightful and generous information article you have posted here. I have one suggestion and that is, why not provide for an email transfer from this site or PDF format that can be downloaded? You should be writing blockbusters or stomething with the style of writing you have. Thank you so much again, your style and the info you provided is really great. Have a wonderful New Year. AJD

  2. “Buy Links” – I’m not too sure I would suggest that since the recent Google crack down on this practice.

    “Hot Girls Always Get Attention” – It would behoove you to actually look at your clients business before trying cheap tactics.

    “Buy #1 Ad Word – Even if you are #1 Organic” – Isn’t the point of organic SERP so you DON’T have to PPC.

    It sounds like a number of these suggestions are out of a marketing 101 class, not real world practicality.

  3. Judging from your comment, I don’t think you really “get” it. Everything I mentioned is what works for me, regardless of Google’s fuzzy rules.

    As for your comments:

    “I’m not too sure I would suggest that since the recent Google crack down on this practice.”
    Google cracks down on obvious and blatant link buying to manipulate rankings. Do it under the radar with relevant sites and you should be fine.

    “It would behoove you to actually look at your clients business before trying cheap tactics.”
    Obviously, there are reputation issues to take into consideration, but I was merely suggesting what works. You can always incorporate effective methods without risking your credibility – you just have to think outside the box.

    “Isn’t the point of organic SERP so you DON’T have to PPC.”
    No, a top organic listing and a top paid listing have a 1+1=3 effect. The more users see you, the more perceived authority, and the more likely they will click through to you site.

    Yes, some of these concepts are basic marketing, but it seems you don’t even have a strong grasp on that.

  4. Mmmmm let’s see, you said “…Do it under the radar”, so you know what the Google algorithm calls out for so you can fly under the radar. You must have an in-road with someone at Google who is sharing this proprietary information with you, and you alone.

    Putting a girl on your site is “thinking outside the box”? You must have a 1 pixel by 1 pixel box, so I guess this tactic is clearly thinking outside of it.

    Perhaps a quantitative statistical study of your click throughs comparing organic and PPC (on the same page) would hold more credence than your simple 1+1=3 notation.

    It seems you have taken these comments personally rather than the reciprocal tone in which they were intended. Telling someone they don’t have a “Grasp” on marketing simply for the fact they don’t agree with you is nothing short of you driving around in huge truck to make up for something else you are lacking in. Dangling participle intended!

  5. Ok, I’m sorry if I offended you, but I think you’re reading me wrong here.

    What does it matter whether or not I know a Google secret? By “under the radar” I meant buying links that Google, or anyone for that matter, cannot detect or identify as paid. If there was a relevant link inserted in context to a site’s content, how can anyone determine whether or not it was paid for? They can’t. No secrets necessary here…

    I did not say putting a girl on your site was thinking out of the box. I was referring to using creative and unconventional marketing techniques to promote a business – while avoiding credibility issues. THAT requires out of the box thinking to get ahead.

    Next, you say you want a “quantitative statistical study” but I was merely responding to your statement that you DON’T need PPC if you’re successful with organic search. This simply is not true. A significant percentage of users will click on paid listings vs natural listings. Having your site in both will increase traffic, spread exposure, and build authority. I would love to do a statistical study but can’t really release that information at this time.

    Again, sorry if it sounded like I was taking things personally. That is definitely not the case and I welcome all feedback and disagreement (although the truck thing was uncalled for).

  6. Gyutae, I hardly pro actively reached out in months. But since your article caught my attention by opening with niche areas and keyword research, I feel compelled to ask whether you’ve checked out HitTail yet. It helps you refine and zero in on your niche, and the perfect as-of-yet undominated keyword topics in your space.

  7. Thank you Gyutae for this informative post. Unfortunately, in lots of cases the various optimisations have to be adapted to an existing (and often ill-thought) website. Maybe the subject for a next post ? 😉

  8. I found very great tips here…Above are your secret in developing winningtheweb, right? I am so sure this will give great result to other sites.

  9. I think your tips are excellent. I am a newbie, but learning quickly by studying other people’s models of success. Where there is a success, there is a story and a lesson. My early observation is that most people ignore the obvious or most simple of tasks while continuing to look for the ‘secret’. I’d be willing to bet that if the majority of people followed your advice above, step by step, not missing a step, they’d be shocked at the results. Just my two cents…

  10. Hi,

    This is really a nice post for a blogger who is zero today to become as a Hero tomorrow. I am also do want to become as a Hero by following your strategies. Thanks for sharing!!!

  11. Great post – lots of good tips! I didn’t know there was so much to learn for search engine optimization.


  12. That’s an incredible post Gyutae! I think it would have been nice a little more detail in the link building phase, but I’m sure that space constraints are more the cause there.

  13. Interesting article – it was a good read.

    I’d like to disagree with a point (at least to question it)….

    You say not to register a domain with a hyphen, I have several and they perform exceptionally well in the search engines and make good money (which is the point of having them)… so why not use basket-weaving.com in your example – if it were available.
    Sure it’s a bit more tricky if you want to tell someone your URL over the phone… but why would you want to if you are #1 on Google? and the traffic is rolling in. People click LINKS when they are on the web.. and generally they click what they see – they don’t care if there is a hyphen or not – do they??

    anyway… nice article – will bookmark it :)

  14. This as well thought out article. Although, each website owner will decide which techniques will be in their best interest to use.

    I would like to add that each web based business should conduct a business plan prior to starting anything. The reason a business plan is useful, is because it becomes a blueprint and business outline. It also will provide the information about products and services for the keyword analysis including a cash flow forecast.

    You may find many additional products or services as well as additional markets from results of the keywords analysis.

    I must also add that this is a time consuming process. It takes time to perform an extensive keyword analysis. It takes time to fully optimize a web page. It takes time to hunt down links and submissions. Results do not happen overnight.

    A website is a living on line document that requires regular updates, additions and care. Adding content, images, video, animation, blogs or whatever the new web based products that come along demand time.

    So invest your time wisely when optimizing your website.

    Good job Gyutae

  15. Hi

    Can I suggest http://www.01webdirectory, to be listed at http://www.searchenginejournal.com/12-steps-to-complete-search-engine-domination-from-zero-to-hero-in-just-6-months/6745/?

    Though 01webdirectory.com is a general we directory, it has a few unique features such as –

    1. Category Information Page: A unique, original category summary page for each category – Ex: http://www.01webdirectory.com/communications_networking_info.htm

    2. Article on Demand: A webmaster along with listing the website, can also request a custom written article for his/her website. Ex: http://www.01webdirectory.com/language-school-boston.htm The articles thus requested are listed here – http://www.01webdirectory.com/articlelist.asp

    3. Unique relevant graphic on each category of the directory
    4. Apart from Google Adsense, no advertisements.
    5. No run-of-site links.
    6. Dmoz and Yahoo directory listed.
    7. Both Free Listing and Paid Listing options available.
    8. One time listing fee for paid listings.
    9. Online Since 2003

    I hope, the addition of our directory will help make your website more comprehensive along with making 01webdirectory.com more visible.

    Have a great Day

    Best Regards,

  16. Great Article man, it covers everything to be a successful blogger. I think it is batter to have marketing strategy ready before you start building your site or blog. One should know that what he is going to build, for whom he is building it and how he is going to connect with those people or how he is going to attract targeted audience.

  17. Hi,

    Liked your blog for the passion shown. Considering your youth, you are sure to be a hero sooner than later, if not right now. But please revise your copy.

    For instance, “So without further adieu, here’s your game plan to complete search engine domination…,” must have been penned in a rush. Without much ado, let me wish you well before bidding adieu.
    Hailing a `hero,’
    Srirama (murthy@ecomzera.com)

  18. Hi,

    Liked your blog for the passion shown. Considering your youth, you are sure to be a hero sooner than later, if not right now. But please revise your copy.

    For instance, “So without further adieu, here’s your game plan to complete search engine domination…,” must have been penned in a rush. Without much ado, let me wish you well before bidding adieu.
    Hailing a `hero,’
    Srirama (murthy@ecomzera.com)

  19. “Create authority articles” is the way of the future. Google will love a bit of “infomercial” in every website, and I think corporate blogs will be the leading path for every website.

  20. very detailed, thank you. And it points out that nothing is magic, it’s all about labour ;o)
    I probably chosed the wrong name for my domain… but i am working on the rest not to make other mistakes

  21. A great & detailed approach by Gyutae Park. This would really help to new web players and will provide an idea about how search engine marketing works!

  22. Thank you so much, I’m doing well with SEO and this is exactly the reason why money is coming in. I’m concentrating on new clickbank launches like Traffic Ultimatum and if you can dominate the search engine and get top positions, you’re really performing well- thanks so much and keep up the good work,