So you wanna appear first through search engine results? I get approached with the following constantly. “Do you do SEO? I need a guarantee that I’ll be listed on the front page.” “I want to appear first on search results above my competitors.” Or I get – I’ve paid this company X amount of dollars and I’m still not ranked as high as my competitors.
This is where I want to as a web developer hand out a stack of books. And say “read these books on SEO, marketing, analytics, social media, and trends then when you’re done come back!” Instead I start off with “it’s a bit more complicated than that.” Therefore, let me start by clarifying a small piece of the problem. Search engine page ranking (aka SEO search engine optimization) and search engine ad ranking (aka SEM search engine marketing) are two different things. However, they work together in unison to really benefit a business. I’ll get into more detail about that later also how it isn’t a one and done deal.
You will not pay a search engine for higher listing ranks
First, businesses cannot pay a search engine such as google, bing, ask, or other search engines appear first through search engine results. You will never pay a Search engines for traffic and clicks; rather, you can earn a free spot in in the search results by having the most relevant and most important content for a given keyword search (Sisson, 2003, “Do You Need an SEO?”, 2018).
Search listings are free of charge and organic. As long as you have the following:
- Business information
- Site url
Getting listed is easy (“Do You Need an SEO?”, 2018)!
Watch out for search engine optimization guarantees
3rd party companies actually handle search engine advertising and marketing. Not the actual search engine companies. SEO marketing and advertising requires quite a bit of knowledge and can be costly if done incorrectly. Some search engine optimization companies will claim to “guarantee” high ranking for your site” (“Steps to a Google-Friendly Site – Search Console Help.” 2018). While legitimate consulting firms can improve your site’s flow and content, others employ deceptive tactics in an attempt to fool search engines” (“Steps to a Google-Friendly Site – Search Console Help.” 2018). Permanent inclusion in search engines versus temporary advertising are two different options that an SEO person/company can charge for when you are getting SEO services. Be leery when someone guarantees that they can get your company to appear first through search engine results
How to look for websites on search engines
Ok now that I’ve clarified some of the basics. Let’s understand what happens when one performs a search for their business. Let say I am the owner of Green Thumb Lawn Service and my web address is gtls.com. Now obviously I can open a browser or search engine and type in my web address. My site will pull up fairly easily (as long as my site has been indexed by that search engine). But how many people will know the name of my company much less my web address? I’m going to say none other than those who have used my services before. Now they are left to their own device of finding my site among the billions of sites out there.
Relevant content for higher search rankings
Now potential customers will do what has been coined as the term “google it.” Googling it can often be that they are really binging, yahooing, asking, or whatever other search engine they normally use. Business owners will also search for services differently than their potential customers. They may search looking for a specific service, general service or even using a product name. For example:
- “Brush removal service near me.”
- “Cheap Tree service in San Antonio.”
- “Sod installation of Bermuda grass.”
- “Local landscaping company”
So, why is what they search important? Well quite frankly because if the words they search don’t appear as keyword, relevant text, and pertain to images you’ll never come up in a search result. Therefore, the text on your pages should be as relevant as possible and include keywords. This does not mean spam keywords. Let me show you the difference.
Don’t do the following:
Welcome to gtsl where we provide:
Sod installation – Bermuda, st Augustine,
Tree removal services – you will find we are petty cheap.
Brush removal –
What you should have is something. More like –
.Do the following:
Title of page/post – local landscaping and tree services
Welcome to gtsl your local landscaping and tree services providers. We are here to handle your backyard and front yard needs.
Our local landscape services
We may not always be the cheap guys in the block but we provide quality sod installation. We generally recommend the following types of grasses for our local landscaping jobs. Bermuda is great for sunny areas while St Augustine is better for shades areas.
We also Have Tree services
We also have a variety of tree services that include brush removal, trimming, and deadwood. Working on your tree not only helps the tree live longer but affects your overall landscaping. So don’t hesitate and give the local guys a shot. Let us handle your local landscaping service needs!
See the difference? Keywords are to be used in the title and repeated though out the text (Neilson, 2017). Adding relevant keywords that match the copy of the text. Writing page copy primarily in active form and not passive. And don’t forget that images alt tags on the page should also should contain the keywords for that page and be relevant to the text. Last but not least you need to be looking to other sources and internal sources on your pages and blog posts (Abdullah, 2017).
It takes more than keywords to rank in search engines
There are a lot of factors that drive rankings in search engines. We’ve only begun to skim the surface. To really drive business and rank in searches a multifaceted approach is required. Getting found on searches and ad placement that bring business requires being properly ranked,:
- marketing campaigns
- constant interaction
- presence established through blog posts
- social media integration
- business listings
All of that is for another post! However, if you have questions in the mean time feel free to contact me!
Abdullah, K. D. (2017). Search Engine optimization Techniques by Google’s Top Ranking Factors: Website Ranking Signals.
“Do You Need an SEO? – Search Console Help.” (2018). Google, Google, support.google.com/webmasters/answer/35291?hl=en.
Neilson, M. (2017). Seo: Proven Search Engine Optimization Strategies to Dominate Google And Other Popular Search Engines.
Sisson, D. (2003). Google SEO Secrets. Blue Moose Webworks, Inc.
“Steps to a Google-Friendly Site – Search Console Help.” (2018). Google, Google, support.google.com/webmasters/answer/40349?hl=en&ref_topic=3309300.