Here at Main Street ROI, we’re big fans of search engine optimization (SEO) — getting your website to show up in search engines like Google when potential customers are looking for you.

We always recommend Google Places as the best starting point, assuming you want to attract local customers. (In case you’re not familiar, Google Places refers to the “map” business listings that Google is now displaying for millions of local search results.)

Google Places is the fastest, easiest way to get ranked on the first page of Google. We like Google Places so much that we created a course – The Local SEO Formula – to show you exactly how to get ranked on the first page of Google using Google Places.

But there’s more to SEO than Google Places…

As much as we love Google Places, we also recommend you invest in “Top 10” SEO. And by Top 10 SEO, we mean getting your website to show up in the Top 10 results, versus Google Places.

3 Reasons to Invest in ‘Top 10’ SEO 

There are 3 ways that Top 10 SEO can give you more exposure:

1. Show Up for Additional Keywords

Google doesn’t always display Google Places results for every search. With Top 10 SEO, you can get ranked for keywords that don’t trigger map results.

2. Get Double Listings

Sometimes you can use Top 10 SEO to get an additional listing on the first page of Google (one in Google Places and one in the Top 10 listings).

3. Show Up Outside Your Local Area

If you want to show up in Google for searches outside your area, you’ll have trouble doing it with Google Places, because Google Places refers to show local results. If you live in a suburb of a city, you can use Top 10 SEO to get ranked for searches related to that city.

So what does it take to get ranked in the Top 10 results?

I’ve been doing Top 10 SEO since 2005. And although Google is always changing, I’ve developed a formula that’s been working well for me and my clients over the years.

The Simple Formula for Top 10 SEO Rankings

Here’s the formula…

Research + Relevance + Reputation = Revenue

Let’s go through each one of these…

1. Research

By research, I mean how to identify the right keywords to target.

I recommend you use Google’s Keyword Tool for conducting keyword research. You’ll want to compile a list of dozens of keywords, and focus on phrases that include your city or town.

2. Relevance

After you’ve researched your keywords, the next step is to make your web pages relevant to your target keywords, so Google knows what your pages are all about.

As a general rule, you want to optimize 1 page for each major keyword. And by “optimize” I mean you’ll start making some edits to your pages. The most important page elements to edit are your Title tag, headers (H1, H2, H3, etc), body copy and meta descriptions.

3. Reputation

The third step is to build your website’s reputation online, so Google is more likely to rank your website in the Top 10.

The most important factor is the number and quality of links from other websites to your website.

But other factors come into play as well.  One factor is visitor behavior: Are people staying on your site, or immediately clicking the “back” button? And another factor growing in importance is social media: Are people are liking and sharing your website content on sites like Facebook and Twitter?

4. Revenue

The final step is my favorite part — how to make money with SEO.

Many people think you’ll automatically make money if you get ranked on the first page of Google, but it’s simply not true.

In order to make money, you need people to 1) see your website, 2) click on it, and then 3) contact you and become a customer.  And in order to compel people to contact you, your website must have compelling website copy.

Related article: How to Create Website Copy That Sells

Just as important, you’ll want to make sure you have tracking in place so you can measure your progress. You should track your search engine rankings, your website visitors from SEO, and the leads and customers generated from SEO.

Use this formula — it works!

Want More Top 10 SEO Advice?

We’re in the process of developing a new step-by-step course that will show you exactly how to get ranked in the Top 10 results. The course will be called “Top 10 SEO Formula,” and we’re aiming to have it ready for you before summer.

In the meantime, you can get our online marketing best practices when you join Main Street Inner Circle. As a member, you’ll gain access to a special report on how to make your website SEO-friendly. Plus, you can ask us any question about your marketing and receive an expert reply back within 1-3 business days.

Go here to test-drive Main Street Inner Circle membership risk-free: