Have you ever wondered what it takes to get to the top of a Google page? Why do some companies always seem to have all the business they need even without any outside salespeople? It seems to be some kind of black magic. How do they do it?
If you want to spend a lot of money, you can buy your way to the top of the Google listings. Some companies in our industry have reportedly paid as much as $250,000 per month! But I also know a few companies who are not buying their way up the Google search engine. More often than not these days, when I ask someone how they gain new customers and increase sales, they tell me “SEO.” SEO stands for search engine optimization. I decided it was time to explore this strange phenomenon. And, since most people over the age of 40 do not know what an SEO is either, I will share my findings.
The first thing I did was to look for one of the largest SEO companies in the world. I contacted Digital Promotion Agency (DPA) and asked James Nelson, their representative, to give me an explanation of what they do for their customers and how they do it well.
According to Nelson, an SEO service reviews and updates your website, which will ensure that your site:
- Ranks on the first page of Google and Bing
- Gets high-grossing keywords based on content to pull in more traffic
- Achieves wider audience outreach with a mobile- and touchscreen-ready design
- Attains greater brand loyalty with social media optimization
- Is more search engine compliant with on-page optimization
In other words, SEO gets your company’s name and capabilities in front of the right potential customers at the right time, which makes it easier for those who need your services to find you. It’s all about being easy to find. Makes sense to me so far.
Here are some of the exact things Nelson listed that DPA does to make sure the right people find you (warning—some of this gets a little out there, so I will try to be your interpreter):
- Full on-site optimization: Includes page, meta description, H1, alt (alternative) tags, and URL optimization for up to 75 pages on your site
- Putting the right words on your website pages to make sure you get picked up by search engines
- Citation and link building: Building quality links to send the right signals to search engines (some consider this to be the essence of SEO)
- Inserting the correct links into your site and content to multiply the ways your company name and capabilities are sent out on the internet
- Mobile marketing: Concentrating on outreach to sites and other activities that empower mobile search, and also provides a fast-loading mobile site if desired
- Making your website and content available on all gadgets, including phones, tablets, etc.
- Ad copy creation: Creating ads that are engineered to get clicks and working to improve click-through rates
- Designing your advertising so that it will be recognized and picked up by search engines
- Newsletters and email blasts: Sending monthly newsletters or email blasts on your behalf using your own email list and platform
- Contacting customers or prospects as you normally do, but with the right keywords and meta tags added
- Social media:Making regular weekly postings to Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms
- Once again, the same thing you do except more of it, including keywords and meta tags
- Click-through optimization: Improving click-through rates for targeted pages on your site
- Making it as easy as possible to move through your website content
- Reporting: Interactive reporting using Google Docs with information gathered from Google Webmaster and Analytics
- Most importantly, measuring how these efforts are working and adjusting for maximum benefits
See, it’s not that complicated (I think), and it works. I have seen evidence of SEO success with some of the companies I have worked with over the past few years. These companies have little or no outside sales teams, yet they have a wide range of customers that would be the envy of any company. They use SEO to their full advantage at only a fraction of what it would cost to buy their way to the top page of Google listings.
It's only common sense.
Dan Beaulieu is president of D.B. Management Group. To read past columns or contact Beaulieu, click here.