Dominating on Google is easy for low importance keywords, but dominating for what counts in your business is usually soon shown to be a real challenge. Even those who have done well on Google for years are lately finding that the tide of competition is pushing them down, down in the search engines.
You may have some success already with SEO, but, if you’re not on WordPress on a fully hosted platform, you’re swimming upstream. A poorly optimized website can be successful if you have a zillion back-links. With enough back-links you can top the charts with virtually any website, even a website with zero text. Example: type Jim Carrey into Google and the first result is the official site of Jim Carrey, an all Flash website. The website has 6752 links to it from other websites, many or most of which don’t say “Jim Carrey” in the anchor text, but Google figured it out from the title meta-tag and all the back-links.
The Click Here phenomenon: Type click here into Google and you’ll see Adobe Reader at the top spot. Why? Millions of websites tell you to “Click Here” to get Adobe reader, with the link going to… The most popular “click here” site on earth. The website itself doesn’t have the words click here anywhere.
Here are some basic steps to take before you consider hiring any SEO. After all, you should be at the helm of your small business in Orange County.
- Read Up on SEO tips from the pros. (not the sales drones who call you for SEO in the middle of lunch or managing your business) Here are some of the top names and websites: Aaron Wall (http://www.seobook.com), SEOMoz (a little more advanced, great free and paid SEO tools), Steve Wiideman (#1 in Google for SEO Expert) Be sure to get Steve’s free SEO in a Day E-book. There’s no obligation. Steve’s a stand-up guy who is very generous in teaching you what you need to know, especially in WordPress. If you want to know the real deal about what Google does and does not respect, promote, reward and allow, read it straight from the horse’s mouth, Matt Cutts is the head of the Google webspam team and he lays it out straight.
- Study your keywords and figure out which ones are really being searched on in your market. Is it Jacksonville realtors, Jacksonville real estate or homes in Jacsksonville? The Google adword keyword tool is free and it will tell you what you need to know.
- Approach SEO like you would approach any long term commitment. Go slow and steady, learn every day. Get to know the things that are most valuable for your business and what kind of leads will convert into clients. Keep building your back-links (don’t know how? Get Steve’s free Ebook)
- Stay clear of anyone who charges exorbitant fees while leaving you in the dark about what is going on. Educate yourself well enough to understand your SEO needs before you outsource it. You’ll be a lot better off and you’ll keep your SEO providers on their toes if they know you understand the process.
- Keep up with what’s happening in your SEO campaign. Stay in charge. Make informed decisions about everything your SEO expert recommends and what they don’t. It’s your business and you should know all you can to make the right call.