Ranking on the First Page of Google
You are probably all too familiar with those wild-sounding claims from a plethora of "web experts" who claim they can get you highly ranked on the first page of Google, Yahoo, Bing and others. Moreover, they offer to perform this magic for only $50 per month and they guarantee the results no less; which is very compelling, indeed! The complicated and labor-intensive process by which they promise to deliver this incredible value of a service is termed "Search Engine Optimization" or "SEO." We’ll have more about this sophisticated and ever-changing process as we answer some of these common questions below.
It is probably an understatement that you have received about 10 emails this week from companies claiming they can help you with getting ranked on Google, Yahoo, Bing and other search engines, right? Some of these offers are compelling at being able to do this for only $50 per month or that they guarantee results. So let’s answer and shed some more light on this topic of "Search Engine Optimization" or "SEO" for short.
Can you get my site ranked on the first page of Google?
This seems like a simple question to ask but there are many factors that need to be clarified before this can be answered "yes" or "no"." We actually responded to the message from one of these companies and here are some of the assumptions and claims they were making:
"Yes, we can get you ranked on the first page of Google’s results."
This sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Well, It was in fact too good to be true. The only way they finally told us they were going to get us on the first page of Google was to use a search phrase that had more than seven (7) words in the search. This was a sentence and not something anyone would have typed into Google. The problem is most companies need to be ranked for something short being typed into Google or try to be ranked in a search that is geographically based … like "Plumber in Sacramento."
"How much does it cost to get on the first page of Google’s results?"
We finally were able to get this company to tell us they were going to get us ranked for a term we knew we wanted to be on the first page of Google. We asked them how long it would take to get onto the first page and how much it would cost. Basically, they appeared to want us to write them a blank check and not keep them accountable for the results. No thank you!
Here are a couple of follow up points to help try and see through this clutter.
We recently received another SEO email from a company trying to sell us web ranking services. As we received this email, it was fun for us to turn the tables on them. How do we introduce the following report and/or respond to it?
Look at their email address.
The first thing we noticed that they were sending an email from a Gmail account. Most professional companies have an email address that has a web site address within it. So, if they are sending the email from an email address with @gmail.com or @yahoo.com, @ hotmail.com or others, then they are probably not a legitimate company. Many people do this because they have been blocked for email spam. If they don’t have an email with a company name at the end, like @digitalattic.com, then just delete them.
Look at their website.
If they have an email address with a company name in it, go to their web site and see if they have a professional web site. Why would you work with a company that doesn’t have a web site? Here is what we found when we went to their web site:
Check their ranking.
Finally, and probably most importantly, make them prove their results for their own web site. If they can’t get their own web site on the first page, how will they ever get you there?
Ask a professional
The interesting thing about this email for our team is that we knew the tool they used to analyze a web site address that we own. So we turned the tables on them and ran the same report on their web site address. Here is what we found:
So what does this report indicate? After we ran this report we sent the same sales message back to them to see if we could help. We probably won’t get a response; but it was fun to send.
Instead of just telling you how to filter through some of these SEO emails, we thought it would be good to give you a couple of quick tips to help you analyze your web site and start the process of reviewing your SEO effectiveness.
Here are four (4) quick tips to know how to best to get started:
STEP 1: Analytics
Make sure that you have an analytics program like Google Analytics installed on your web site. Programs like this allow you to see how much traffic you are receiving to your web site as well as see the search terms people are typing in to find you. You can’t start figuring out what to change unless you analyze where you are starting. In future posts we are going to put up some custom reports for Google Analytics that can help you quickly review how your web site is performing.
STEP 2: Research your competitors
Most people have heard the saying, “Keep your friends close and keep your enemies closer.” Make sure you review your competitors’ sites on a regular basis to see what they are doing. You can review the design, navigation, the number of pages, type of pages they are displaying and what features they have that might be advantageous for your website. Make sure to put your consumer glasses on and try and review your competitors’ websites the way your customer might. Who looks more trustworthy? Who looks more professional? Who is answering the questions you want to know? Lastly, is your contact information on every page? It’s counter-productive when a motivated prospect who is ready to engage has to struggle to discover how to contact you.
STEP 3: Have a plan
Every business has to have a plan or goal for its web site. Is your website there to drive sales, educate customers, answer questions, or just sit there? This is very important to determining the success of one’s site.
Finally, work with a professional
If your firm is not being found on the Internet, there are some quick and cost-effective ways to get results by relying on the expertise of a proven professional SEO company. Take a moment to call us and let us share with you how we may be able to help your business before it’s too late. If you are located in the Fresno area and need a Fresno SEO company to help you, please give us a call.