Search Engine Optimization


Women's BusinessTo Get More Business You Need to Show Up

By Tammy Hawk–Bridges

 

The Internet is an amazing opportunity for every business—some more than others—but every business needs to be on board. However, very few take the time to learn its value.

Do you know where you fall in the search for your business category? Have you ever googled your business?  Nobody uses those large yellow books anymore to locate something. They use the Internet.

Did you know that more than one–third of people will pick up the phone and call someone from the first page of their search? If you aren’t on the first page, you’re leaving money on the table.

The challenge doesn’t end with being on the first page of the search. You still need an engaging website that your visitor finds useful, otherwise ranking at the top is useless. They won’t contact you anyway.

What about your competitors? Are they coming up before you? They’re getting business that you could have.

You’ll need a keyword strategy. That’s just one of the ways Google finds your business and ranks it in the search. FYI: A keyword is a word or phrase that describes what you do or sell.

Google’s priority is to the searcher. It wants to return to them the most relevant and qualified information.

If you use the same set of keywords often in your content, Google assumes you’re an expert at that particular topic, and lets you rank for it. Of course, there are many other factors that weigh in, but a keyword strategy is a great start.

However, it’s important that you use terms people are actually looking for, or otherwise it’s pointless. You’ll need to do some research using tools, such as Google Adwords Keyword Tool or Keyword Spy, and find out how people request the information. So many people decide an entire keyword strategy without even considering what people are searching for. Deciding on keywords isn’t like ordering fries; it needs to be strategic and based on facts.

 

Here are some examples:

Attorney in Birmingham Alabama: 5,400 searches in 30 days

Birmingham Alabama Divorce Lawyer: 480 searches in 30 days

Divorce Lawyers in Birmingham Alabama: 720 searches in 30 days

Note that Attorney in Birmingham Alabama has 5,400 searches, which makes it way too wide and competitive. Your chances of ranking on the first page increase if you have more of a niche search such as Divorce Lawyer in Birmingham Alabama.

 

You’re Going to Need a BS Filter

I’m guessing that you get about four phone calls a day from “search engine optimization” people. Unfortunately, this is one of the reasons why people shy away from leveraging the Internet—they don’t trust people that offer these services. You know what? Your concern is very valid. Many of these people are snake oil salesmen. They prey on the fact that they can tell their customer just about anything, and you have no alternative but to believe it. In addition, they are infamous for inflating the actual value of their services.

You can’t let this rob you of the great revenue opportunity that leveraging the Internet brings. Get educated and learn how to speak the language. It’s worth it! Encourage your marketing people to learn about search. When you know how to ask the right questions you’re less likely to get screwed over by companies that offer Internet services.

 

How Do You Get to Page One in the Search?

You’ll get there by being consistent in your marketing efforts. Once you come up with your keyword strategy, you’ll need to create consistent content (such as blogging) on a regular basis that not only uses that keyword strategy but also is engaging. If your content is relevant and engaging, people will share it with their network. Guess what that means? Your content just went viral.

Remember, you have to write for people, not search engines, because if they don’t find it interesting, they won’t connect with you anyway. Also, if you just pump your content with keywords and the text doesn’t make sense, Google will consider that spam and they could ban you. You don’t want that to happen!

Just remember consistency is key—when you’re trying to rank on the Internet, sporadic marketing won’t cut it. You have to get there—then you have to hold your position or you’ll lose it.

 

However, the reward is going to be well worth the effort.

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