If someone says they can rank you on the first page of Google … buyer beware.

We wrote this article a while back and are still getting customers calling us trying to be sold SEO services.  So, we thought we would update this article as much of the information is still very useful.  Enjoy!

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. 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. Many people refer to this topic by using the terms, “Search Engine Optimization”, “SEO”, or the updated terms, “Search Engine Rank Placement”, or “SERP” for short.  So let’s answer and shed some more light on this topic of search engine rank placement.

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 (example: “Digital Attic Clovis California Web Development Company”. This was a sentence and not something anyone would have typed into Google. Plus they were using terms that had our name in the search.  If the person is searching our name then we should already be ranking. 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.”

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.

Most professional companies have an email address that has a website address within it.

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 website address within it. So, if they are sending the email from an email address with @gmail.com or @yahoo.com, 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 website and see if they have a professional website. Why would you work with a company that doesn’t have a website? We have worked for years to get our website to rank and they should be doing the same.  Here is what we found when we went to their website:

Check their ranking.

Finally, and probably most importantly, make them prove their results for their own website. If they can’t get their own website on the first page, how will they ever get you there?  Ask them for specific examples and see if they can prove it.

Ask a professional

The interesting thing about this email for our team is that we knew the tool they used to analyze a website address that we own. So we turned the tables on them and ran the same report on their website 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 website and start the process of reviewing your SEO effectiveness.

Here are five (5) 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 website. Programs like this allow you to see how much traffic you are receiving to your website 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 website 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 website. Is your website there to drive sales, educate customers, answer questions, or just sit there? This is very important in determining the success of one’s site.

STEP 4: Have a strategy

Home Page: Take another look at your home page and make sure that it is a total summary of your website.  Think of your home page as a summary.  If you don’t mention things that are important to your website it will not rank as well. Don’t count on your subpages to get your ranked, mention it on your home page and link that content to the subpage that added more details about the topic.

Navigation: Make sure your website’s menu has a strategy.  We typically recommend that your menu follow your sales or educational process offline. Think about the process you take customers through and match that to your menu.  For example, if you are a restaurant and your menu link is at the end, that is probably a bad place for it.  If you are an artist, your portfolio should be close to the left of the menu as well.  This strategy has helped many of our clients gain success from even older website design.  The strategy of menu organization is key to a website’s success.

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.