Is SEO going to pay off for your business? Here is the essence of deciding on what, if anything, to do about SEO for your business website: make your determination strictly based on acceptable ROI (return on investment) and your business sales process. In sales training, this will be the sales path, or cycle or any number of monikers but it is the process by which your business persuades customers to make a purchase. The same process should be absolutely followed when making decisions about SEO. No marketing strategy or campaign should stray away from the formulation and execution of an effective sales process and SEO is as much a marketing campaign as any other form of marketing or advertising.
So, ask yourself. What would create an acceptable ROI? Can I get that with SEO? Will a page one, or number 1 top position for a keyword deliver increased sales volume? Is it worth the expense of getting that spot? How does organic placement perform vs. PPC? How much search traffic is there actually for this keyword or phrase? Do people who search this phrase make a buying decision or are they likely to only be investigating and evaluating? The job of SEO is to sell products and services.
SEO is a topic of debate these days and opinion varies from person to person. Opinion varies from people who think that SEO is just a frivolous activity and that it’s useless and over-simplified (it is made so by some purveyors of “partial SEO” solutions) to those who advocate SEO in the highest terms as an essential core component of online marketing success. Ultimately, the leading companies presently enjoying online marketing success utilize the services of SEO companies. The successful SEO firms (including this Orange County SEO consultant) are those that employ all the essential factors in an effective site optimization and link building campaign. They do their customers and themselves a viable and valuable service producing a win-win result.
Before deciding on any SEO link building effort, companies, and anyone, can get a glimpse of whether it will be worth investing in site optimization. The first course of action is to evaluate search traffic and competition for your business by testing terms associated with your product or service in the free Google Adword Keyword Tool. It is undoubtedly a critically important step missed or misunderstood by many who are new to SEO practices. The process is straightforward: think in terms of the consumer and test terms that they might type into a search when they are seeking a solution, an end result and a benefit. Again, the determining factor in making a purchase is the confidence a decision maker or buyer has in receiving a valuable benefit from your offering. These search terms, or keywords, are the same kind of things you think of during your formulation of the right kind of presentation, script or telephone dialogue in the development of your sales process. A common mistake many business owners make when it comes to optimizing a website is that of forgetting the sales process and forgetting the importance of the emotional connection created by effective, compelling presentation of the benefit of features or products or services that you provide. Consumers online are looking more than ever for the benefit. They are not necessarily looking directly for your product or service or service unless it is the precise benefit they are seeking. You probably already know enough how to promote your business in ways that deliver the highest ROI, and that knowledge should be directly transferred and applied to any search marketing or SEO effort.
Let us stipulate here that the majority of companies are in favor of search engine optimization in some form, but many do not have enough understanding of SEO to transform the process into an effective return on investment. There are numerous “SEO companies” selling partial solutions, or misrepresenting the amount of investment or work that will be required to deliver an appreciable ROI that many business owners have already been left with unsatisfactory results that add to the impression that SEO is not a viable pursuit for their business. These partial solutions tend to exclude a difficult component of SEO and that component is usually effective link building. Contextually relevant links from external sources must be created or obtained and that’s an intensive process that must be done in accordance with the Google TOS to provide a lasting, effective result. Many so called SEO providers will try to sell businesses on shortcut strategies like PPC which is proven to receive a predictable but small and expensive ratio of click-thru and conversion traffic. PPC is fair enough if you understand its metrics and expectations but the overwhelming majority of online search trust goes to the organic results. The other usual “trick” of those offering an incomplete solution is providing only on-site optimization including site design, blogging, content creation and structure, etc. These all account for around 15% of the total factors in search engine rankings according to surveys of top SEO experts. The other 85%? You guessed it. Acquisition and aggregation of quality, contextually placed, keyword-rich anchor text back links.
Companies who understand this holistic approach to SEO continue to dominate search engine results and acquire the lion’s share of online business.
Contact me at 888-216-1231 for ROI focused SEO | Orange County SEO.
When you buy a house, you generally don’t get the car you saw in the garage with it.
Domain Name squatting is almost as old as the Internet itself. Recently, I generated no small backlash when I suggested that the sale of a domain name was probably not worth the $6000 price paid for it.
Keywords in a domain name are but one tiny factor in how Google ranks a website or webpage. Since the domain in question was related to real estate, that makes this topic all the more easy to illustrate. Let’s use the community, Fullerton California as an example. A typical real estate search that gets plenty of search volume and is targeted to buyers is, “Fullerton homes for sale.” results?
Both of these have the word Fullerton in the URL path, but the domain names have nothing inherently connected to real estate–only the business itself has been obviously optimized effectively through the aggregation of back-links, coupled with rich content related to real estate.
You can be sure that Google knows a lot about your domain.
If someone buys a domain and develops it using traditional white hat SEO methods and meaningful content on-site, and then sells it there is absolutely no harm- if you, the buyer get to keep the current content and back-links to the website. Usually that isn’t the case. You get the domain name, not the website itself- unless you’re buying out the website contents as well. Google, of course, will know that ownership has been transferred. If the new owner continues on topic and builds a following and aggregates back-links, that site may once again rank well in search engines- but it isn’t automatic or guaranteed. In fact, it probably isn’t any better than simply buying a fresh domain name and undertaking the same effort.
Paying a premium price for domain just because it has words that you think are important is a naïve approach and, in fact, if the domain has been parked for a long time, or worse yet–if it has a bad history, you are no better off than if you had purchased Fullerton–homes–by-Yourname.net.
Most of my clients new to SEO for real estate, however, become overly focused on the domain name, thinking that it makes a great difference in how well their site will rank. Some are willing to throw money after what looks like a perfect domain name. Domain squatters have a lot of them and there are always people who will pay for them- so the business of selling names continues- but it does the buyer little good.
Back to the Fullerton keyword- There are about 3100 websites with the words “Fullerton” and “homes” in the URL. There is even a domain, Fullerton–homes–for–sale.com. It ranks nowhere near the top pages of Google. website is fairly new, hosted on WordPress, has good content and may well position much better in the future. But for now, it’s a very small fish in a big lake. Higher ranking in search results will happen, not because of keywords in the URL, but because of rich content, plenty of back links with keyword anchor text and the growth of its domain authority over time.
Again, in most cases once ownership of the domain is transferred, page rank and domain authority will experience a reset by Google.
So, in summary, you are selling real estate in Gotham City, and the domain name GothamCityHomes.com is for sale for a premium price, be careful about spending much money on that idea. You can do just as well by purchasing Gothamcityhomes.us or even Gotham-city-RE.net. if you don’t think Google knows what RE means, try typing “Orange County RE” into Google and watch all the real estate results that appear.
How is expert SEO strategynot like pump-and-dump stocks? Well, first let’s clarify for those who don’t do the market thing: a pump-and-dump stock is a scheme whereby crooks dubious investors create a false buzz over some worthless stock (often pink sheets aka penny stocks) after buying a substantial quantity. The suckers victims of the ruse pile on in a buying frenzy believing some email or forum hype about a breakthrough event that will create an instant six-bagger (easy enough to believe with a penny stock- that it will go from 3 cents a share to 18 cents a share…). The flagrant liars dishonest “investors” sell at a strategically chosen price while there is enough momentum of unsuspecting new buyers to sustain original investor selloff- leaving everyone else holding a worthless pile of junk-stock that will never go anywhere but down, as one-by-one, the duped investors realize that they may as well give up.
Enter crappy black-hatSEO techniques and a similar pump-and-dump strategy, one where a straight keyword or phrase is repeated over and over- causing the target of the “campaign” to move up in SERPS until the Google algorithm cops arrive, breaking up the joint. Like a 1920s prohibition underground club, the boys in the know slip out (with your hard-earned money, of course) while unsuspecting patrons take the rap.
The black-hats get fast results, but if a website owner plans to be around for more than “15 minutes”, they’ll want to avoid this kind of tactic.
Anchor text should be diverse and keywords inserted into natural phrases with targets accumulated as a significant portion of keyword distribution, but not the sole keyword that will trigger Google’s patterning algorithms sooner or later, leaving the client at best, where they were before, or at worst, banned and de-indexed by Google.
Expert SEO techniques involve natural conversational posts, etc. involving a wide range of relevant, but diverse keywords.
How Many Gmail users are there and why should a business owner care? by Dave Keys, Orange County SEO
Most of you as business owners have heard of SEO. Some have had experience with the pitfalls of contracting with an SEO outfit only to find out that the SEO company had sold them a bill of goods, taken their money and provided no ROI. Others are waiting to see…
Here’s the thing about waiting to see what develops- it already has. Google has rolled out and improved on search results for anyone who has a Google account, (generally, everyone with a Gmail address) with a new technology called Personalized Search.
As seen in the video, Google’s results will point you toward what you’ve looked for, and clicked on previously. This means that if you liked the way that the Los Angeles County Museum of Art website looked when you searched for Art Museums (normally at #10), the site will start to appear in the #1 or #2 slot on subsequent searches, since Google “knows” you like to visit it.
Now, it’s more important than ever to rank well ahead of your competitors and to get there before your competitors, because- we all have to compete just that much more, not only with our competitors, but also with the presumed “preferences” of all 193 million Gmail users. (Wikipedia)
In December, 2009, I took on an what many might consider an impossible task. That was just 11 months ago. My new client, real estate agent Jeff Lichtenstein went live with a brand new website (and domain name) in the most expensive zip code in the United States. (Forbes 2002 and other sources) Jeff’s goal was to rank in the top five on page one of Google in the most sought after 15 communities in Palm Beach Gardens and Jupiter, FL. There are thousands of agents, let alone giant chain offices and brokerages with huge budgets including SEO, all going after homes in communities with residents like Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan and Celine Dion. My job was to help my new client with zero staff, a new domain name, no content and a limited budget to rise to page one in Google for valued keywords and phrases.
Often cited as “the most expensive zip code in the United States” is the Florida community of Jupiter Island. The upscale real estate in Palm Beach Gardens and Jupiter, Florida is often identified by the homes and communities that bear names familiar to anyone in the area; PGA National homes, Admirals Cove and Jupiter Island are a few. Communities compete by exclusivity rather than price or other factors common to most real estate sales in today’s market. Certainly prices have come down, but these are not the short sale, foreclosure ravaged homes and neighborhoods so often found in formerly unaffected upscale neighborhoods. Prices have come down from prices like $15 million to a cool $12 million. You get the picture. These are high value and high competition communities.
What Orange County SEO can do for you
Most would have laughed at the idea of successfully taking on local powerhouse agencies, but I saw holes in virtually all competitors’ strategies and proceeded to educate Jeff in proper “white hat SEO” strategies approved by Google’s TOS. I encouraged Jeff to stay the course over the following months. Within a short time our first target community gained a position on page one. We were on our way.
Our latest effort, a well planned and executed promotion of one of our blog posts, proved to be a tipping point as well. This was a coordinated effort because few succeed in search marketing by simply outsourcing some SEO and forgetting about it.
Now, 11 months after the brand new website’s inception, we enjoy a page one presence for eleven of fifteen target communities. These are based on high value keywords verified for competitive value in Google’s Adword keyword tool. These are organic results. They don’t include the page one video thumbnails we infiltrated page one results with, over eight months ago.
What are the value of these communities? Admirals Cove home prices top out at $15.5 million. PGA National? A mere $1.8 million tops the list of more “modest” homes in the upscale PGA golf resort community. Meanwhile, of the Jupiter Island homes for sale, the top home price is Greg Norman’s estate listed at a cool, if dubious $65 million. Closer to a realistic value may be Tiger Woods’ house, recently rebuilt on a 12 acre compound with its own three hole practice golf course.
Target Community in Position 4
It’s fair to say that competition in these communities is intense with marketing efforts on every imaginable front. SEO in this kind of an environment is only a part, but a critical part, of any real estate marketing strategy.
We’re providing the top players with head to head competition in the top profitable real estate areas.
While you can easily find Jeff’s website on the first page of Google searches for most of the top community names in Palm Beach Gardens and Jupiter including the often dubbed, most expensive community in the United States, Jupiter Island, our work isn’t finished yet. We’re well on our way to the “top of the fold” in the top five positions for our key communities.
Contact Dave at 888-216-1231 to discuss SEO for your real estate business.