Get Your Small Business to the 1st Page of Google With a Winning SEO Strategy
Nearly every small business has a website, but what are you doing to stand out when potential customers are looking to buy? Just having a website isn’t enough anymore. You must be on the 1st page of search engines like Google, and Search Engine Optimization is the way to get there.
Unfortunately, many small businesses have been priced out of this critical service, or been forced to put up with low-quality providers that are outsourcing the work to other countries. We’re here to change that by offering local, effective, affordable SEO products to help our small business clients grow their business. Call us today to find out how we can help you drive more web traffic and increase sales.
What is SEO Exactly and Why Do I Need It?
SEO is Search Engine Optimization. It’s the work that goes into your website to show search engines, like Google, that you’re the best result when customers are searching for your product or service. The ultimate goal of SEO is to get your website to the top of the list. So how does Google know which sites to put on the 1st page of results?
What Does the Process Look Like From Start to Page 1 of Google?
Before we even begin to optimize your web pages we need to prepare your Website for the search engines. The first step is to setup your analytics so we can begin to track where you are currently. This will also enable us track our progress.
Next we setup Google Webmaster Tools. This lets us submit your sitemaps; track links back to your Website and find any errors that may exist on your website like pages with the same titles and descriptions or missing pages.
Next we setup a permanent redirect. Many webmasters are not aware that mysite.com and www.mysite.com are two different Websites according to the search engines. If we don’t redirect one to the other we could end up with a duplicate content penalty from the search engines.
In my opinion the most important file on your Website is your robots.txt file. This file is the first thing a search engine spider looks for when it arrives at your site. The robots.txt tells the search engine spider what to look at, what not to look at and where your sitemap lives. If you don’t have a robots.txt file, the search engine doesn’t like you from the get go.
The next most important file on your Website is your sitemap.xml. This file provides clear directions to each page on your Website. Without this file you’re taking a very big risk that your entire site will not be indexed by the search engines.
Now that you’re Website is prepared for the search engines to visit, it’s time to make sure your site is as error free as possible. We now review your web server’s error log. If for any reason visitors to your website are having trouble, it will show up here and most problems are easily corrected once we know they exist.
Finally your Website is set to welcome the search engines. Our SEO Marketing Company will now submit your site to the major directories where it will be found by the search engines and they’ll begin visiting the Website on a regular schedule.
On Page SEO
On Page SEO always begins with choosing the right keyword phrases for each page. It is important to realize that Websites are not linear. Visitors do not always enter from the home page and follow through the Website page by page. This becomes very apparent as we review the Analytics pages and focus on the top landing pages. Each page must have a theme that supports the other pages on the site and that theme will help us to determine the correct keyword phrase for that page.
The keyword phrase we choose must have sufficient traffic without having a lot of competition. This is far and away the most important step in On Page SEO and all else follows from here.
Once the keyword phrase is chosen we move on to the Title. When creating a title for the page we look for something that will attract attention in the SERP’s. Which would cause you to click? How to Make Money or 5 Specific Steps to Earning Your First Million? The title must contain your keyword phrase as close to the beginning as possible.
Next is the Description. The description also must contain the keyword phrase and again is must be as close to the beginning as makes sense. What we are effectively doing with the Title and Description is creating an advertisement that will appear in the search results that is enticing to click on.
At the beginning of the body of the page is the Header. Just like a magazine article needs a title, so does our webpage. Once again the Header needs to contain the keyword phrase and it should be within the first words of the Header. The Header is often the same as the Title but does not need to be.
Moving on to the body of the page, just as with the Title and Description the keyword phrase needs to appear in the body text. Once in the first paragraph and again within the final paragraph. This will help to support the theme of the page and of course help with the page rank in the search results.
It is a good idea to break up your body text with images or video. The more attractive your page is the more traffic and backlinks you’ll receive. It is important to take advantage of the alt tags on the images as well. Describe the image with the alt text using as many keywords as appropriate. Don’t just put the keyword phrase but use it in your description of the image.
Following the above suggestions will go a very long way towards improving your search engine ranking. If you would like our assistance, The Website Marketing Pro would be delighted to work through each of these steps with you.
Off Page SEO
When you hear “Off Page SEO” what it really means is acquiring backlinks to your Website. How many other Websites are linking back to your Website? What is even a more important question is what text are they using to link back to you. Here’s an example of a backlink: Website Marketing this text links back to my Website to a page about Website Marketing. When the Search Engine robots are traversing the web and find this page, my Website page receives a “vote” for the keyword phrase Website Marketing. If there are one thousand links out on the web all with the same keyword phrase linking back to the same page it becomes very clear that the Internet thinks this page is a valuable resource for this keyword phrase. The more backlinks a page gets with the same or related keyword phrase the more credibility that page earns from the search engines for that keyword phrase and the higher your page is ranked in the search results.
Building quality backlinks takes months if not years. I don’t mean to be discouraging but this is the real meat of SEO. On Page SEO accounts for about 30% of your position in the SERP’s and Off Page SEO accounts for about 70% so it’s important to get this done correctly.
There is a lot written about how to acquire backlinks and much of it is just plain junk. I know that because I’ve read everything I can find about acquiring backlinks. The higher the page rank of the page linking back to you the more juice it carries so not only do you need backlinks, you need them from other authority sites in your niche. Well gosh, how do I get backlinks from other authority sites? You earn them it’s that simple. You become an authority in your niche and others will link to you in droves. Want an example? Take a look at almost any subject and the first listing in the search results will be Wikipedia. Why, because Wikipedia is considered an authority by the search engines and has thousands of backlinks from thousands of Websites on thousands of subjects.
While you’re waiting for the Internet to find you and realize that you’re an expert in your field, there are several things you can do to begin building links but the easiest and most effective is to hire us to do your Off Page SEO for you. We’ve got the experience to get the job done in the most efficient and effective manner possible.
How Much Does SEO Cost?
Our SEO plans are customized to the specific needs and goals of small businesses. We don’t force you into a set package, instead we determine what optimizations and activities will have the biggest impact on your search rankings. All of our SEO work is calculated at an hourly rate that is well below the industry average. The number of hours that you dedicate to SEO each month determines the number SEO activities we can perform.