We had a prospect enquire about our small business web design service today, and as we were exchanging emails concerning his requirements he mentioned that a lot of companies had told him they would get him to show on the first page of Google as part of the package.
This kind of thing makes us cross, as we work hard to build everything to be as compliant as is practically possible and we use best practice SEO techniques during the build process. We know that for a new build to get indexed can take months, even with a sitemap.xml file and a robots.txt file in place.
These companies that make promises such as this need to be more transparent about what it is they are actually offering.
To be number one in say the search term plumbers is going to be impossible without a huge amount of post launch SEO trickery such as paid linking.
Some of these companies will look at phrases in the long tail and then optimise for that. They then tell you to search for something like specialist plumber in your town, and hey presto they you are. So you feel good about being at the top of Google. But hang on, where’s all the traffic, all the leads, the phone isn’t off the hook? Exactly! You are at the top of a mountain no one climbs, a desert for searchers.
To be featuring in relevant search you need to optimise for it. So if you are a Plumber in London you’ve got a dilemma. You could try and register a domain name like www.london-plumbers.co.uk but I doubt it will be available. maybe you could get something like SW6-plumbers.co.uk. Now a site on that domain could be optimised for searchers looking for plumbers in that postcode and you could show near the top of search. But in all honesty you’d probably find yell.com more cost effective.
Some other companies tell you that they will get you up there using Adwords and that it won’t cost you more than a small amount, say £50 a month. Again they will deliver on the promise, but usually in minor keywords, or they’ll get you showing on popular keywords for the first few days, and as soon as you stop looking they’ll discontinue your ads. When you contact them they tell you that your monthly spending cap had been reached and that you’ll start showing again next month!
Don’t be fooled by these guys, search engine marketing in popular keyphrases is very difficult. The top brands spend thousands trying to stay at the top.
Also don’t use search engine submission software as this could get you blackilisted by Google. Make sure you submit your sites to searche ngines, directories and reciprocal link directories yourself.
The best advice is to create a web site that works for your business and to promote it using local search with Adwords whilst you optimise on loaclised natural (free) search terms. Registering your site with the free index web sites is always a good idea as well and the list below is considered to be highly effective. Lastly attend networking meetings and hand out cards and flyers to promote the web site.
Just don’t whatever you do be fooled into thinking you can rank #1 on Google for a popular search term from a standing start.
Useful Directories to post your website to for free
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