Google is the goliath in the internet search engine industry, it accounts for the largest amount of search volumes. It has become a verb for looking things up online.
It is crucial for any business in any industry to have a good ranking in Google. It is crucial because people often discover a site through a search engine and in this case Google. If you are not in the first page of search listings, chances are people will not find your site and absolutely they will never get the chance to purchase your product or click on your ad.
So how do you get to the top?
One thing is for sure, link spamming and get listed quick schemes are definitely not the way. Sure its only $ 30 and you get your links placed on thousands of websites, but those links are on link-farms and poor quality sites that is not relevant to your business. Google is smart, if you think you can outsmart Google, you're in for a surprise. They spend millions and have the most brilliant engineers in the world to discover ways of getting rid of spammy websites. Their search algorithm is designed in such a way to determine quality of links, importance of website, and so on.
Again, so how do you get to the top?
Google operates on PageRank (TM), basically a site's importance is based on the quality of inbound links it receives. If a site has no inbound links, the particular site is not popular and Google deems it unworthy to be in the top rankings. If a site has inbound links but of poor quality, maybe you will get indexed but you will not be anywhere near the top rankings. If a site has quality inbound link and lots of it, chances are you will be in the top rankings. So whats a quality inbound link? A quality inbound link must be a link coming from a site that also quality inbound links and so forth. To put it simply, an inbound link is like a vote on popularity, if you get voted by the President of United States, you get a higher rank as opposed to getting a vote from an average Joe.
How do you get quality inbound links? Here are some sure-fire effective ways:
1) Make sure you have good quality unique content on your website, it has been said a million times before but CONTENT IS KING. Good content will get people to link to your website.
2) Looking for quality websites to exchange links with. Find forums and other webmasters who have sites that are in your industry and ask them for a friendly link exchange.
3) Write an e-zine article like this one, give something back to the community and people will use your article and effectively linking back to your website.
4) Submit press releases or a news in sites like Digg.com, interesting news will get "diggs
that will propel your site up in terms of traffic and chances of getting linked from other sites.
5) Participate in forums and have your website link in your forum signature
6) Offer free content from your website and ask for a reciprocal link
7) Lastly, you can always buy link ads on relevant websites
Follow these steps and I can assure you that you will be on your way to the top. Things to consider also is competition, try not to target very competitive keywords such as "web design" but rather focus on a niche such as "Toronto web design".