Want to Rank Higher? Here Are 6 SEO Game-Changers
Every day millions of customers use Google
to find businesses like yours. Here’s how we help you get found:
We want you to understand SEO so you
can make an informed decision. Let’s quickly
answer a few common questions about SEO.
FAQ’s About SEO
How Long Does SEO Take?
SEO Takes Time, Let’s Look at How Much.
There are a few factors to consider when trying to gauge how long an SEO campaign will take such as:
- How new your site is – Sites that are brand new often have a “sandbox” period where they will not see good rankings for months. For the sake of SEO, it is best to launch your site as quickly as possible with some content, even if you are still adding pages and filling out the site.
- How competitive your niche is – The more competitive your niche and the more competitive your keywords are, the longer it usually takes to rank for terms.
- Why you don’t have rankings now – If your site is poorly optimized or has technical issues, fixing those things could result in huge improvements within a few weeks or less. Likewise, if your site is lacking content, adding more keyword-rich content could also boost ranking significantly or at least put you into the search results if you weren’t there before. However, if your site isn’t ranking due to lack of authority or lack of relevance, it can take much longer to rank your site since building authority and relevance can take quite awhile.
Generally speaking, we recommend sticking with an SEO campaign for at least 6 months which should be enough time to see significant improvement for most niches. However, usually it is possible to see at least some results within 2-3 months, especially if you are not ranking due to technical issues and/or poor optimization – both of which can usually be fixed within the first month or two, depending on the size of the site and the depth of the issues.
How Much Does SEO Cost?
Comparing Apples to Apples
Companies offer “SEO Services” from anywhere between $2.99/mo. up to $10,000+/mo. The reason for this is because not everyone means the same thing when they say “SEO Services” or “search engine optimization” or even “on page” or “off page” SEO. So let’s briefly walk through what is involved in doing SEO the right way, so you can make sure you are doing a proper comparison when considering price.
A proper SEO plan should cover the following:
- Technical Audit
There are some basic things that need to be done on your site to set the foundation for your SEO campaign. Any SEO that is worth working with should be taking a look at your site as a whole and making suggestions to improve the conversion of your site as well as thoroughly checking for any technical issues that might be hindering your site from getting the rankings you want.
- Keyword research
After technical analysis is done, optimization continues with keyword research. This is the process of identifying which keywords searchers are using to find products and services like yours. From there, a content strategy should be mapped out to make sure that your site is targeting the correct keywords, that supporting pages are created or in place, and that your pages are optimized for conversion.
- Content strategy
Content is king, and your site will need more of it, guaranteed. The more content you have on your site, the more keywords you can target and the more traffic Google will send your way. In this step, an agency should be mapping out a content strategy for your site based on the keyword research.
- Competition Analysis
An SEO company should be evaluating your current digital footprint relative to your competition which is outranking you. This should take into account how you and they have extended your respective brands online and where and how other sites have mentioned or linked to your sites. This is the research phase that sets up proper expectations and metrics for surpassing your competitors.
- Link and citation building
Everything builds to this point. Without links, you probably won’t rank for any term that is remotely competitive. This is the “heavy lifting” of getting you ranked. The more links from high quality sites which are relevant to yours, the higher you will rank. If you’re a local business, you’ll also need listings in as many local business directories as possible (usually hundreds) to improve local rankings in the “map pack.”
How Do I Rank in Local Results? (AKA the “map pack”)
Getting listed highly in Google often has the potential to increase your business 2x-10x if you aren’t there already, so let’s look at a few factors that go into local SEO. There are numerous SEO factors that go into getting you good rankings, but here are a few highlights of the most important factors that we include in our local SEO services.
- Having a physical presence in the city and state you want to rank in
- Claiming and then Optimizing your Google My Business page
- Writing proper content on your website that includes the keywords that you want to rank for so that Google knows what your site is about (called On-Page optimization)
- Claiming or creating social profiles for your business on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn
- Claiming or creating as many business listings as you can on local listing sites such as Yelp, Yellow Pages, Super Pages, Merchant Circle, Local.com, Manta, etc. (there are literally thousands, but you can start with at least a hundred)
- Get links to your site from other authoritative, related sites. If your vendors, manufacturers, suppliers, associations, or friends have websites, get them to link to you.
While each of these 5 things could have a very long, technical article written about it, those are the basics, and they work. Most local SEO service packages should account for all of these factors.
Why Are Rankings in Google so Important? Here are just a few reasons:
- 80+% of Search Engine users use Google over Bing, Yahoo, or other search engines – So Google is where you want to be found.
- According to a Google, “50% of consumers who conducted a local search on their smartphone visited a store within a day, and 34% who searched on computer/tablet did the same.
- In the same report, Google says that 18% of local searches results in a sale with 1 day of the search
- 88% of consumers say they trust reviews they read read online just as much they do a personal recommendation from a friend according to BrightLocal
- According to HubSpot, 75% of searchers don’t go past the 1st page of Google
So to sum it up, if you want to be found by consumers that are very likely to buy from you right now, you need to be listed highly in Google.
How to Choose an SEO Company
Unfortunately, there are a LOT of scammers and spammers in the search industry offering local SEO services. These crazies are self-appointed “gurus” or “experts” that are using outdated methods that not only will not help your site rank but which could actually end up getting your site blacklisted by Google. Therefore, it is imperative that you do proper research to find a company that will handle your website with care and actually get you results.
Red Flags to Look Out For
- Companies that offer “bulk link building” services – These are all over the internet. You can buy 2000 links on Fiverr.com for $5 or $10. DON’T DO THIS for your company website. Doing so will likely not get you any results and may result in your getting worse rankings.
- Companies that have not done any SEO for their own site – Google the company. Look at the results. The company should be #1 for their company name. If they are not, if they are outranked by Yelp or Facebook for their full business name, then don’t bother with them.
- If they never mention optimizing the pages of your site OR never mention links to your site – SEO has 2 major parts: what happens on your website and what happens off your website. If a company only talks about one or the other, skip ’em. Any local SEO services package should have both!
- Telling you there will be NO results for 6-12 months – The truth is that SEO can take several months before you see an ROI. However, it should never be more than 2-3 months without seeing ANY results. Great SEO companies will talk about the reports that you will receive which will show you improvements in rankings even if you’re not #1 in Google yet. Be sure that you ask what you should expect. If the local seo agency or firm you are talking to doesn’t talk about their reporting, or if they are too vague, don’t hire them. They should care enough about your business to make sure that you can track their progress.
- Trying to get you ranked for keywords that don’t matter – Getting ranked for a term like, “Best House Roofer for Layered Shingles in Residential Areas of Chicago” isn’t going to help you because no one searches for that term. On the other side, getting ranked for “Roofer” is way to competitive and would therefore cost you thousands of dollars, would probably take years, and would likely bring you tons of traffic that wouldn’t buy anything from you because they don’t live in your area. To avoid getting scammed, make sure you get a list of the keywords that the agency wants to target for you along with the search volume (approximate number of searches) for each keyword. Then, use some common sense to make sure that these terms are going to drive traffic to your site that will buy.
- Talking over your head – SEO can be very technical and very complicated. However, at the end of the day, companies that provide local SEO services like ours need to make sure that we can translate the cost of our services into ROI for our customers. This means that you have to “get it.” Be prepared for some technical mumbo-jumbo, but also make sure that you understand the process, how long it will take, why it will take that long, and how you and your SEO company will track progress.
Of course, feel free to ask us all of these questions as well. We want each of our customers to feel comfortable working with us, and so we take the time to answer your questions and go through any details that you don’t understand.