Google is by far the largest search engine on the planet. Though Bing and Yahoo have merged, they still haven’t made a dent in Google’s market share. If you want to get free traffic, optimizing your site for Google is the most important thing you can do.

By and large, what you do that benefits your Google ranking will also help you improve your rankings with other search engines.

Here are a few tips for optimizing your website for Google SEO.

==> Start with High Quality Content

The content in your website is like the engine of a sports car. It’s what truly matters. Having great artwork on a sports car is a nice touch, but without a good engine, it doesn’t matter.

Marketers who focus on things like link building or SEO tactics at the expense of content will inevitably lose out. Google is constantly updating their algorithm to separate the high quality content from the chaff.

==> Design Does Matter

In addition to creating high quality content, aim to create a high quality website overall.

Google knows that great websites have great design. Without getting too much into the technical details, Google has essentially trained a complex artificial intelligence robot to spot the difference between good design and poor design and reward good sites accordingly.

Hire a professional designer to do your site. Or, if you’re doing the site yourself, at the very least hire a designer to do your header or look over your site.

==> Build a Variety of Backlinks

Build backlinks to your site using a variety of different tactics and methods.

There is no “golden method” when it comes to link building. Sometimes getting one PR 5 link is what it takes to get to #1, at other times you need 200 PR 0 to PR 1 links.

The best way to take your site to the top is to throw in a mix of all different kinds of tactics.

  • Use traditional press to get high quality backlinks.
  • Do guest blogging on high PR related websites.
  • Use low quality backlink tactics like social bookmarking or article marketing.

Throw them all together and see what sticks.

When you get backlinks, optimize both your home page and subpages within your website.

==> Pay Attention to Internal Linking

Internal linking matters. It matters a great deal, in fact. Try to interlink all the pages on your website through a “related articles” section at the bottom of your post.

Silo your content so that different topics on your site are split into different “groups.” Grouping your articles is one of the proven methods of effectively passing link juice throughout a website.

These tips will help you get legitimately ranked in Google, which will help you rank in all the other search engines as well. Lay the groundwork and don’t take shortcuts with SEO. It’ll take a little while for your site to really get traction, but when it does, it’ll be unstoppable.