Some website owners are more frustrated about Google optimization than for other search engines. They feel it is harder to perform search engine optimization for Google.
Whether you are making direct sales from your website or sales lead generation (or both), optimizing for Google doesn't need to be that hard. In fact, in time you may find it easier to perform SEO for Google than for other search engines.
Remember that Google is Much Smarter than the other Search Engines
Since Google is more intelligent, you have to treat them differently. If you're trying to spam them, their intelligence is going to be a problem for you. If you're playing by the rules and providing valuable content for searchers, then you should have no problem.
What Google wants is valuable content that satisfies their users' search queries. They want searchers to find what they're looking for, not clicking the back button quickly, but who stay on the sites they visit. There are some in the SEO community who believe time your visitors spent on your site is one of the calculations Google uses right now in their algorithm to assign organic rankings.
Whether this is the case or not is really irrelevant: we should all want to deliver quality content that meets our searchers query, keeps them on our sites and that leads to a conversion, a sale or sales lead generation.
Are You Optimizing for Yahoo! Search and Live Search, too?
With Yahoo! Search and Live Search (formerly MSN) you need to have the keyword phrase you optimize for on the page. There may be some exceptions, but this is a solid rule to follow. The order of the keywords makes a difference with them, too.
As an example, with Google, Blue Widget and Widget Blue are treated the same way. Not so with Yahoo! and Live, they are treated as completely different search phrases.
Given the very high market share that Google has, you may want to just optimize for Google and not Yahoo! or Live. After all, depending on whose numbers you're looking at, Google's market share is basically 60% to 70% of all U.S. searches!
(And there are hundreds of other much smaller search engines, with such small market shares that they aren't normally worth worrying about.)
But if you decide to also optimize for Yahoo! Search and for Live Search, then you will likely have to create more pages, to cover all your keyword phrases.
So, as you create more pages for your keywords, you clutter up the Internet, unless those pages are really unique, valuable content. And then there is that duplicate content filter that Google has...you don't want to run afoul of that.
If you do optimize for the other engines, unless the additional content is very unique, you might be advised to keep Google out of those pages (using your robots.txt file).
Knowing that Google is More Intelligent, How do We Optimize Differently for Google?
With Google's use of LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing), your pages do NOT actually have to contain the keyword phrase(s) you're optimizing for. But your pages had better contain words strongly related to your chosen keyword phrases. In fact, it is common to see high ranking pages where the keyword phrase isn't in any of the HTML tags and where it also isn't in the page text, either. Common keyword density numbers for top ranking pages in Google range from 30% all the way down to 0% keyword density.
Why is this and how do we benefit performing Google optimization?
Google is smart enough to understand similar words and phrases (now is when we get to use that word Synonym from English class). Thus, the actual keyword phrase doesn't have to be on the page. But words related to the same theme as your keyword phrases need to be on the page. But if our keywords don't actually have to be on the page for Google to understand the page is about our subject (our keyword phrases), how does Google make that determination?
Off-Page SEO is the Key to Your Google Optimization and to Your Sales Lead Generation
The links from other websites to your Web pages and what these links say about your pages is the KEY to optimizing for Google. Remember, links need to be pointed towards your interior pages, not just to your home page.
And those links need anchor text. Anchor text is the wording that people click on to go to your Web page, when the actual link doesn't show your website url (and file name, if going to an interior page).
Anchor text tells Google (and to a lesser degree, other search engines) what your Web page is about.
Even if the actual keyword phrases aren't used on your page, the theme of the page text should match the anchor text pointed to that page. You want the wording to be compatible and complimentary.
You don't want to confuse Google as to your pages' themes. That can cause real problems.
Quantity Versus Quality
When considering links to your Web pages, quantity is important. You will have to research your competition to give you an idea as to the number of links you may need.
Two tools you can look into are SEO Elite and OptiLink. You can Google both. But MUCH more important is the quality of your links. The better quality your links, the fewer you will need versus your competition.
Part of how you can evaluate quality of potential links to your site is that site's home page Google Page Rank.
Now, Google Page Rank is on a page-basis, not a site-wide basis. But the home page Page Rank can tell you if Google considers that site to be an "authority site".
You can install the free Google toolbar if you haven't already and activate the Page Rank feature. While the information is literally months old, it's the easiest way to view a page's Page Rank.
You want some links to your site from websites with a home page Google Page Rank of at least 5.
One thing you do want to watch: Don't have to high a percentage of your links containing the same anchor text. Aim for no more than 50% of your anchor text to any page being the same exact anchor text.