I’m not going to teach you SEO because this is a whole course on its own, but I will give you some simple guidelines that have worked for me. Here is a quick excerpt from an SEO mini course from SearchEngineLand.com where you can learn all about SEO.
What Is SEO?
SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” It is the process of getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” search results on search engines.
All major search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo have primary search results, where web pages and other content such as videos or local listings are shown and ranked based on what the search engine considers most relevant to users. Payment isn’t involved, as it is with paid search ads.
Video Explanation – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hF515-0Tduk
Read more at: http://searchengineland.com/guide/what-is-seo
There are two major differences between PPC and SEO. With PPC, you show up on the front page instantly. With SEO, it could take you weeks to months, and depending on the type of competition, sometimes years to show up on the front page for specific keyword searches. For local service searches like “gutter cleaning city name” in a generally medium competition area, I have seen it take on average between 3-6 months to rank well for targeted keywords in Google. I have also seen website pop up within a couple weeks, so it varies. Ranking in search engines like Bing and Yahoo is much simpler and many times you can start ranking almost immediately especially if the keyword is in your domain name.
When doing SEO marketing, I only concentrate my attention on Google. If you can rank in Google, you will pretty much guarantee rankings in Bing and Yahoo. Also, Google accounts for 65% of all search traffic, while Bing and Yahoo combined are at around 34%, so it makes sense to concentrate your efforts on Google.
Before starting any SEO work, the first thing you want to do is create a list of search keywords you want to specifically target. The best keywords are usually related to the bigger city or towns in your area like “gutter cleaning boston ma”. A tool you can use to get an idea of some good keywords is the Google Keyword Planner. You can find it in your Google Adwords control panel -> Tools -> Keyword Planner. In this tool you can choose a target area and insert some keyword ideas. Once you submit it, Google will show you the number of monthly searches for these keywords and other related keywords in the area.
Once you have a list of 5-10 keywords. You need a way to track the rankings of these keywords in the search engines. There are many tools out there that allow you to do this. Here is the one I use that does a GREAT job: www.SERanking.com .
Some of those option will make it easier to grow your rankings but none of them are required because checking your rankings is free if you want to do it on demand (just search it yourself in Google). These services become useful when you are tracking many keywords and want to get advice on how to improve your SEO. If you are tracking keywords by manually searching for them in Google, make sure to logout of any logged in Google account and to clear your cache to get the best and accurate results. Or if you’re using Google Chrome, you can do it through an Incognito Tab by clicking on File->New Incognito Window.
So now you know which keywords you want to start working on and you have a way to track them, what’s next?
- While you can get a landing page ranking, it’s better to make sure you have a full blown website with many pages about your company and services.
- Make sure that you aren’t using any content on your website that’s copied from some place else. Original content is super important because duplicate content will hurt your rankings. You want to have at least 300 words of unique and original content on each page of your website. You want to make sure you are writing content that people would want to read. Something that will answer the questions that people might have when they come to your website.
- Assign each page on your site one of the keywords that you selected. So for example, if one of the keywords you want to rank for is “Gutter cleaning Atlanta GA” and one of your pages is “About Us”, then in the content of that page you want to make sure that the keyword “Gutter Cleaning Atlanta, GA” is inserted in a natural organic way. For example talking about how you provide “Gutter Cleaning in Atlanta, GA” is a natural way of inserting it. Google wants your website to grow naturally and organically, so if they feel like your site is trying too hard to unnaturally grow in the rankings, it won’t help you. This means don’t stuff keywords all over the place in each article/content.
- Try to insert the keyword assigned to each page into the headline and/or title of each page. The Title of a page is the text that you see on the website tab. Most website builders allow you to easily edit the Title in the SEO settings.
- Edit the website META description which can also be found in the SEO settings of most website builders. In each search you will see a list of websites that are displayed by the website title and the website description as shown here:
- If there are photos on the page, you can rename the photo file-name to something related to your keyword(s). For example, instead of “guttercleaning.png”, you can rename it to “gutter-cleaning-atlanta-ga.png”.
- Edit the website permalink to include the keyword. The permalink is the link name of the page. So if you have a page called About Us, instead of the link being: www.yourwebsite.com/about-us , you would change it to www.yourwebsite.com/about-gutter-cleaning-atlanta
- You want to build links pointing to your website from other related local websites. That’s why if you are already doing the local online business directory listing submissions, than you are already on the best track for this. Just make sure to complete the profile listings to the maximum capacity and to include original good content that includes your keywords for all the content areas like the “About” and “Services” sections that many listings provide. If you get a membership to the BBB and other trusted sources, these links will greatly benefit your SEO efforts because Google gives them a lot more weight than most other sites.
- Create a blog on your website and post an article every week or every two weeks. Use each post to target a specific keyword that you are going after. In each post, when you mention the keyword, link that specific keyword text to the main page of your website that is promoting that keyword. This is an internal link structure. So for example, let’s say you write a blog post about “7 reasons gutter cleaning is important”. You can start off the post with something like this:
“This article will go over 7 reasons why gutter cleaning in Atlanta, Georgia is super important….”
Notice how I linked the text “gutter cleaning in Atlanta, Georgia”? I linked it to Google as an example, but you would link it to the page on your site that is targeting the keyword “gutter cleaning atlanta georgia”. Overall, the key here is to stay consistent, even if it’s once a month, it will do wonders for you. Post new content regularly and make sure it’s good content that you would want to read.
- Share your content as much as possible. Share it on social media website, on social bookmarking websites, anywhere you can think of. These are all external links being built to your site.
- Start a free external blog. This is going to be a super simple way to really boost your rankings. Create a free external blog using services like:
Name the blog website as your keyword. For example – guttercleaningatlantaga.wordpress.com. Then start writing and posting articles and linking the keywords in the article to your main website page that is targeting that keyword. Simple as that.
These are just a few of the many simple ways of getting started with SEO for your website. SEO is one of the best investments that you can make into your business and it really doesn’t cost much. If you can write and can put aside some time to put together an article a week, then it will cost you almost nothing besides your time. If you don’t want to write and rather hire someone, it can cost you $10-40/month depending on how often you want to post new content. At the end of the day, the content is king and will be responsible for your biggest SEO growth. SEO is a complicated beast that can take years to master, but you don’t have to master it. Just put together a simple strategy using what you read about above. Put it into action and stay consistent. Your business will thank you within 6 months. Imagine you start ranking organically and can turn off your paid advertisement because SEO is getting you enough leads. This can instantly cut 50% – 100% of your marketing costs and instantly increase profit margins. Also, when you know you aren’t paying for every lead, you aren’t afraid to lose the job and as a result you’ll find yourself charging what you actually want to charge and actually selling at the rates you want to. I find that the more money you spend on advertising, the more obligated you feel to close every job and that creates an environment where you can under quote, settle for less and even subconsciously come off desperate which affects your sales dramatically. Also, if you’re only coming up in ads, you’re missing a huge chunk of the search pie.
If you want help with your SEO, reach out to me and I’ll recommend a company that you can work with. It’s not cheap, but worth it in the long run.