Have you ever been guaranteed “first page” rankings by SEO companies in Wilmington NC before? I’m betting they never delivered on their guarantee. The first thing they did wrong was guarantee you first page rankings, and the coveted #1 spot in Google. The next time you take a meeting with someone who is going to potentially do your search engine optimization and they guarantee “first page rankings” or the #1 spot in organic listings…
…RUN! ….Run like they have a gun pointed at you. They should be promising you to do their best job at optimizing your website and building trusted backlinks in order to get you to the first page, but they’re lying if they are guaranteeing anything.
I’ve been doing this a while, here is one current campaign with over 1 dozen #1 rankings for a photography company here in Wilmington NC:
There isn’t a person on this planet, besides Google himself, that can make a guarantee for first page and/or number 1 rankings.
They are just saying what you want to hear to take your hard earned money. You have to understand that Google runs using a very complex logarithm. This logarithm is designed to show the most relevant and trusted site to the #1 spot in the organic listings. Then, the second most trusted shows up at number 2, etc. etc.
Now, I am not talking about the “ads” that you find at the top of Google. People are paying Google to serve their ad at the top of the page and the end user knows this. I’m talking about the prestigious #1 spot in the organic listings. These spots not only bring you targeted traffic, but they help build your brand as the most trusted brand. SEO is not just “first page rankings” to get traffic, it’s also one of the best ways to build a trusted brand and increase your brand’s awareness!
They make promises to get you to the first page (and usually don’t keep that promise) but they don’t even understand the full “WHY” you need to be on the first page of Google. They usually take your money and run. I know this, because I have been helping people get to the first page of Google since before getting to the first page was cool.
I’ve seen it all over the past 11 years (you can read my bio here if you would like).
Has anyone else ever told you that they care about your brand being trusted and that’s why you need to be on the first page?
Probably not. If Google trusts you enough to be #1, the potential new customer trusts that you’re the best.
You’re leveraging Google’s trust to build your brand, bring in more customers, and drive sales.
Let’s dive into an example,using the companies rankings from above,check out the image below:
As you can see in the image above, “eye-bot” is paying google every time someone clicks on that ad. Fly4Pix has the coveted #1 (and even #2!!) spot in Google. They are receiving free clicks from Google every time someone is searching for their service! This means out of all of the other businesses out there, they are the most trusted by Google. Fly4Pix is not only receiving free targeted traffic from Google, but they are building a trusted brand at the same time!
To the end user surfing the web looking for an aerial photography company, they see them listed in the top 2 spots and think to themselves “these guys must be pretty good, Google trusts them enough to make them number 1 and even #2”.
Let’s take it a step further.
Say this end user is who needs some aerial photography is also looking for a virtual tour service provider. They continue their search by typing what they need into Google. Again, there are some ads that show up at the top with the organic listings below.
Check out this image:
Again, we see our friends at Fly4Pix listed at the highly sought after #1 spot! Receiving free traffic from Google as the #1 most trusted site that gives virtual tour services in the Wilmington NC area! Now this end user (and potential customer), searching for these services has seen the same company listed at the top of the organic listings twice. Do you think that this person isn’t starting to think:
“Man, these guys must be the best. I’ve looked for 2 different types of photography services, and they are listed at the most trusted websites both times!”?
Of course they are! This sort of branding is priceless.
Let’s continue with 1 more example to really drive this point home. Let’s say this person is thinking: “Alright, what I really need these services for is a commercial property, let me make sure there aren’t any better commercial aerial photographers out there”…they run over to Google and type in what the need.
This is what returns:
Look who it is at #1 and #2…Fly4Pix!
Do you think for one second Fly4Pix’s brand awareness has not risen in the eyes of this potential customer? Do you think this potential customer for this company isn’t thinking, “Man, these guys are everywhere and always listed at the top, they must be the best. This is the company I am calling”. Of course they are! This company is growing a trusted brand while receiving targeted traffic,leads, and eventually customers right from Google’s search engine.
I know this to be a fact, because I am the one responsible for managing and maintaining their SEO.
When’s the last time any of the SEO companies in Wilmington NC went ahead and gave you the secrets to better site optimization? Never, you say?
Well there is a first time for everything. I’m going to attempt to explain this tricky SEO stuff from a “high level” and then leave you with some optimization tricks you can implement right away.
First things first:
How does Google decided who gets the #1 spot?
The short answer is: very carefully…but you didn’t come here and read this far to get the short answer, so here is the longer,more detailed answer:
Google’s logarithm is constantly searching through websites on the internet to figure out a few things:
1) What is the website I’m on about?
2) What trust do I have in this website?
3) What other websites is it linking to and what anchor text is being used? (anchor text is the text that appears highlighted in a hypertext link and that can be clicked to open the target web page)
The most important part of optimization of your website is telling Google what your website is about! This is where many so called SEO companies are failing you. They neglect to ensure your site is optimized so Google is 100% clear on what your site is relevant to. Google can’t read images. Google reads through the “code” on your site.
Even though you may be a plumber, and your website has all of these images that make it obvious to humans that you are a plumbing service, it doesn’t mean Google knows. The first thing I do when I get a hold of a new website that I want to rank to the first page is make sure that Google can read it properly.
This practice is referred to as “On-page SEO”. I’ve looked at thousands of websites over the last 11 years I have been performing SEO tasks. I can tell you that 99.9% of these websites have terrible on-page optimization.
Think of on-page SEO like building the foundation of a new house, would you agree that building the foundation is a pretty important step in building a new house? Of course you would!
So why are these SEO companies not concerned with giving you the best foundation possible? Either they simply don’t know, or they don’t care. Both reasons are inexcusable. They should know and they should care and it should be the first thing they work on when they are making their “promises” of first page rankings.
I’m going to give you a few tips on how to better optimize your site’s foundation to make it much more search engine friendly, but first let’s talk about number 2 and number 3 from above.
So Google has just finished reading your site’s information in order to figure out what exactly your site is relevant to. Then Google wonders: “How much do I trust this site? And where else is this site linking too? And do I trust those sites it is linking to?”
There are three major factors Google is looking at to decide how much it trusts your sites.
First, how old is your site? The older a site is, the higher the trust it will have. Simply put, if your site has been on the internet for 20 years, it will have more trust by a site that was just put up yesterday.
Second, how many other trusted sites are linking into this site? The more trusted sites you have linking to your site, the higher your trust goes. Think of it like a good friend of yours referring you to a plumber. Don’t you have a certain level of trust out of the gate that would be higher than the trust you have in a plumber you’ve never heard before? Google works the same way.
Lastly, what are the anchor text of those trusted sites linking to your site saying your site is relevant to? Google places a lot of its decision making weight on the types of anchored text coming into your site.
For an example of this, you can easily look at how I linked on to other sites from this page. Did you notice the word above ,”Wilmington NC” (right below the 2nd image of this post), links out to the wikipedia page that is for this city? Or, when I mentioned Fly4Pix and linked out to their website?
Google sure did. And Google will follow that anchor text (Wilmingotn NC) and decide whether or not I made a relevant link to another trusted site. Which I did. So in the eyes of Google, I am linking to other trusted sites with relevant anchor text. This is a check in the “good boy” box.
Had I made “Wilmington NC” anchor text link to a page about “how to grill a steak to perfection”, Google would put a check in the “bad boy” box because my anchor text wasn’t relevant to the page I was linking to.
Google is doing the same thing with your site. It is looking at the anchor text linking into your site and making sure they are relevant. The more trusted sites you have linking with relevant anchor text to your site, the more trust you are gaining, and the better chance you have of getting to the first page.
So if you’re a plumber in wilmington, and there is another trusted site with an article on it that has the anchor text “plumber in Wilmington nc”, Google follows that anchor text to your site and then reads what your website is about. If it is indeed about being a plumber in Wilmington nc, then you have a better chance of getting to the first page for that word!
The key is to have links from other trusted sites, with anchor text relevant to the words you want to be on the first page for. BUT, if Google follows that link and cannot determine what exactly your site is about due to terrible “on-page” information, then that link is pretty much pointless. This is where many other companies have failed you.
They are promising to build you “links” to your site and they think the more links the better. This is NOT the case. I’d rather have 1 link from a SUPER trusted site over 100 links from less trusted sites. And at the end of the day, NONE of it matters if your foundation is built incorrectly. Your website is simply fighting against the backlink.
This is why you’re still not on the first page of Google. This is where other companies are doing it wrong.
I recently started working on a site that was no where to be found in the search engines. I mean they were not on page 1,2,3,4, or even page 5! Now, this site is going to be in a competitive market that is surely going to need some trusted backlinks with relevant anchor in order to get to the first page.
Before I started firing away backlinks at the site (like most SEO companies) I took the time to tweak the way Google reads it. Then I gave it a few days to see if we get any positive movement towards the first page. Guess what? We did! Check out the image below:
I’ve blocked out the keyword and client site information for their privacy, but that shouldn’t concern you. What I want to show you was I moved up 17 spots for 1 word, and 11 for another, and all that I did was tweak how Google read this website!
Remember, this site was no where to be found on Google. It was past #51 (6th page) so the number of spots we gained is reported as if we were at the #51 spot. Now it’s time to work on building relevant backlinks from trusted sites and work it to the first page.
Had I not tweaked the on-page information and just started building links, I would be starting much further back in the search engines AND I would be fighting against the website!
Now all I need to do is build the relevant back links to match the on-page information, and voila, we’ll start marching up towards page one and ultimately the #1 spot in Google. I can’t stress to you enough the importance of optimizing the way Google reads your site!
Step 1) You need to make sure you have defined your site’s title and that it contains the keywords you’re trying to be on the first page for. Let’s use Fly4Pix as an example. If I go back to the search engines and click on their website from the organic listing for the word “aerial photography wilmington nc” (which they rank #1 for), this is what Google is “looking” at:
It’s reading through this code and trying to figure out what the site is about. One of the things it looks at is the site title. You will want to go into your website and adjust the title so that it contains the keyword you’re trying to get to the first page for. This page is ranked #1 for the word “aerial photography wilmington nc” and part of the reason for that is because that is clearly defined in the site title!
Another ranking factor is the sites “meta description”, let’s take a look at the meta description Fly4Pix:You can see the word “aerial photography” shows up in the description. So Google has now read through your title and description and knows exactly what your site is about. These are 2 important factors when it is trying to determine who should be #1 for which keywords!
So when this websites receives a backlink from another trusted site with the anchor text “aerial photography”, Google follows that anchor text looking for a site relevant to aerial photography, then it reads this sites title and description and sees that it is in fact about aerial photography. It decides that this site is the most relevant and trusted site for this keyword, and voila! Right to #1 it goes.
These edits are usually simple to make, just ask your current web design guys to do so for you. Unless you have control of your website, you can make these edits pretty easily yourself.
Look, I know I’ve hit you with a lot of information.Probably more than you are used to getting from other companies promising first page rankings. I hope that all of the stuff I explained for you makes sense and I hope you have a better understanding of how SEO actually works.
If you’re not happy with your current rankings or just not happy with your current SEO company go ahead and give me a call at (910)392-7778 or enter your information in the form below to request your free SEO Consultation:
Note* Because of the nature of us providing an SEO Service in wilmington NC, we can only work with 1 client per industry. It’s just not ethical for us to promise every doctor,plumber, real estate company, etc. the first page and #1 spot. This means if we end up working with you in your industry, we work exclusively with you and only you. So gives us a call today and make sure we’re available to work with you in your industry!