Clients come to us on a regular basis asking for custom SEO for their website and wanting to rank well on Google. Not a lot to ask I hear you say? Well in the real world of SEO, there are steps and strategies (most of which take some time and patience to achieve) which need to be put in place to get the results you want.
SEO is like a game of chess, you need to place your pieces in the right position to win, you need to think 3 steps ahead of the competition and always be prepared to sacrifice a piece here or there to win the overall game. We explain the methods we use below, and although every business and industry is different, it will give you some insight into what it takes to get your website rankings up to scratch.
1 TIME (this is the hardest part)
Yes, time. You need a patient approach when it comes to SEO. Anyone who tells you they can get you ranking on page one for your keywords within a week is taking you for a ride.
The truth is, creating unique landing pages, with fresh, relevant and exciting content, then getting Google to see them and like them, takes time.
Like a new friendship, you need to get to know each other, share some stories, build the trust and if you both like what you see the friendship flourishes.
It’s the same with Google, you want Google to like you, like your work and like your website. It will take some time but it is worth the wait.
2 KEYWORD RESEARCH
I had a client come to me with his website asking for help to deal with an SEO company who had been ripping him off blindly for years. He was on a 12 month (auto-renewable contract) which he had renewed for 4 years in a row. This cost him thousands and the fact that he came to us meant something wasn’t working.
Further investigation showed that in fact he was not ranking page one for relevant keywords to his industry. He was however ranking page one for other longer keyword phrases(much easier to achieve).
Let me explain….
Let’s say you are in the landscaping industry in Sydney. The first question we ask our clients is “What do you think your keywords will be?”
This is usually something to pause and think about. If you were in need of a landscaper to design a deck and garden around your pool and you were sitting on your phone or PC what would you type in? I would simply type ‘landscaping sydney’, or maybe something more exact to my needs ‘landscaping hills district’. Maybe I don’t like the results Google produced because they were too broad so I type ‘landscaper pool deck’. Google will like this search term and give me some very exact matches – which will be landscapers in my local area who specialise (or have a page about) pool decking designs.
Ok great! Now we both know a bit about what the potential customers will search for – but does Google think the same way we do? Well maybe not, and that’s where the next step comes in….
3 COMPETITOR ANALYSIS
In many cases clients want to simply maintain and stay ahead of their competition, but in other cases a client has a new business or startup, a new website and is facing new competitors.
For example, if your home ‘renovation company’ has just started and you are competing against hundreds, if not thousands of other home renovation companies in Sydney, you would be silly not to find out what is already working in terms of SEO and also find out why.
I don’t like to waste time reinventing the wheel every time a new client comes to me. If I can research the data and find out what is already working for the industry then that saves the client time and most importantly money. This doesn’t mean copying by the way. Google is arguably the smartest AI on the planet and copying someone else’s work is the quickest way to get into Google’s bad books (which means no rank for you!)
What it does mean is that researching your competition will give you not only insight into what Google is already liking, but also what Google is not liking about your competitors. It gives us a little head start when we move forward with content writing, page titles and descriptions as well as location targeting.
4 CONSOLIDATE LISTINGS ( and yes, sometimes back links)
Guess what ? No one truly knows the secrets in Google’s Algorithm. No one can truly tell you what works and what doesn’t in the ever changing world that is ‘Google’s Algorithm’. It’s smart, like REALLY smart. That’s why SEO Strategists have to do everything that Google hints at making a difference (including boring old back linking).
What does it mean? List your website on as many reputable websites as possible. Sounds simple but mistakes could cost you. Listing your website on a dodgy website (one that’s used just for the sake of back linking) and Google will spot it and your friendship with Google will suffer.
In the same way, incorrect listings or old information could cost you rankings. Remember when we spoke about how true friendships are built on trust? Well Google likes to know who your business is and everything there is to know about your business so that it can make the right decisions about your friendship.
If you go around using incomplete or incorrect information then Google won’t recognise that it’s you, or worse still, think you are trying to trick it.
Consolidating all your listings is a key factor in successful SEO. When we look at your SEO we will do a full Website Audit (sounds more scary that it is) and it is during this step that we make sure all your Google listings, local listings, directory listings and website information is up to date.
5 GOOGLE MY BUSINESS & MAP
We are big fans of Google My Business! Free attention from Google is not something that your business should pass by. Many businesses are taking advantage of Google My Business but sadly too many are setup incorrectly or have old information. Remember, Google loves up to date information, otherwise the friendship suffers.
We setup Google My Business, Google Map and show you how to get great reviews from your clients and also link it back to your website. We also maintain it as part of our Website Care Packages.
Get in touch with us and we’ll show you why you need us to correctly create your Google My Business listing.
6 SITEMAP & GOOGLE WEBMASTERS
Quite often this is a step that is missed. Did you seriously just go to all that hard work in creating wonderful content and Meta Data for your website but then not let Google know about it?
If you are using Joomla or WordPress there are plugins to help but in our professional opinion you should never underestimate the power of Google Analytics and Webmasters. We set these up for every new website we build and can also set it up for clients who need to redesign their old outdated website.
Finally it all comes together. Eventually Google will start to recognise you as it’s good friend. It will know your industry and your location and thanks to the amazing Meta Data we created for each individual page on your website, it will know exactly what services you offer and all your specialties. It will also know how good you are by way of customer reviews and ratings all of which can be incorporated into your website as well as Google Business Reviews accurate services and descriptions we give it.
All these steps take time to come together but we recommend you get started one step at a time, the benefits are well worth the effort.