That’s what everyone wants. Just about every business owner comes into our office wants us to magically make them number one on the first page of Google. They do this because they see television commercials, ads on the web and get telemarketer phone calls telling them they can be on the first page virtually overnight. Want they don’t tell them is that they are using paid advertising to do it or they will try and rank them for some obscure keyword phrase that has little to know traffic for it. These tactics have left more than one business owner mad and ready to give up on internet marketing.
It’s unfortunate this happens but it does. Most of the people who come to our office find themselves drowning in the sea of search rankings and are trying to find their way back to the top. They are really in need of a miracle but realistically good solid rankings that stand the test of time take work and effort. I cannot tell you how many times somebody says to me that this company over here can do there SEO and marketing for them for $199 and they are trying to reach an audience of 100,000 people. This is not possible realistically.
Here are some things you need to consider when you want to be number one:
- What size is my market area
- Who are my primary buyer personas
- Who is my competition
- If they are ahead of me and my business, then why
- Are you willing to allocate the necessary budget to catch up and get to where you need to be
You would be surprised at how many business owners have never asked or considered these questions. The result is they get taken in by all the so called “SEO Experts” who have the latest and greatest snake oil gimmick to get them to the top. They want to be number one on Google but have not asked the right questions to start getting there.
Rankings Are Not Easy To Achieve
There…I have said what others want to tell you. Everyone wants to make you think that it is but I assure they internet is more competitive than ever and is getting only more competitive. If you don’t take your internet marketing for your business or brand seriously, you will only find yourself falling further and further behind. You may not even have the budget your competitors have but it is better to do something than do nothing and it is better to do the most you can rather than the least you can. Getting to the next level requires us to stretch out for it sometime rather than hoping that somehow we might miraculously attain it.
We have clients that we have had to work with for a year or so to get them to where they need to be. The hardest thing is putting out money to get there when your are working your way to the top. It really is no different than climbing the corporate ladder. You start at the bottom working harder than everyone else and doing jobs nobody else wants to do in order to get to the position where the pay off is. The same is true when improving your positioning in the search results. It’s a lot of work in the beginning to get to the pay off.
The Factors In Getting To The Top
So how do you get to the top? What does it take? Google alone has over 200 ranking factors it considers when placing a website in a search result. I am not going to go into all of them here, however, two of the big ones is links coming into your site and content.
Google has long held that quality incoming links to a website is a major ranking factor. They have also held that those links are best gotten when the content on the site is so good that other websites will want to link to it.
The problem for local businesses is that who get’s up in California and links to a local business site in Louisiana. Not any! So what should a small business do?
Become A Content Marketing Machine
I know you have heard that content is king and it certainly is a fact. Instead of trying to spend a lot of time building links when in fact, Google and the other search engines don’t want you “trying” to build links, you should focus on creating outstanding and engaging content. I am not just talking about text either. I am talking about text, video, audio, downloadable content, whitepapers, podcasting, and so much more. Developing great content and distributing that content will help you grow your link profile naturally. It is also possible for your content to rank because of the engagement creates on your site and through social media.
Google has become very sophisticated over the years and can spot bad linking from a mile away. They can tell if someone is trying to manipulate or trick them into rankings. This ends up getting you penalized or your Google Plus Local listing suppressed and never showing up.
You should be involved in creating content and sharing the content on social media to get it in front of your current clients or customers and getting them to share it with their friends. I know it seems overwhelming but it is easier than it seems.
Where Should I Start My Content Marketing
The first place you should start is by making a list of problems and objections your market is faced with. It is a proven fact that if you can solve a problem or answer an objection in advance of them raising it, you stand a greater chance of getting the business.
Here is a case in point with one of our clients, Acadiana Center. They are an urgent care walk-in clinic business who was struggling with their website presence and moving up in the search rankings. We identified their competitors, did the keyword research and then improved their website to reach their target audience.
We then took the keyword phrases that their top ranking competitors were getting traffic from, looked at the page that was ranking for that term and the content on it and then began to create better content than the competitor had and in different forms also. The result was their site began to move up immediately but also steadily.
Can Content Marketing Help My Site If It Has Been Penalized
In general, the answer is yes. A few other things need to be considered such as your link profile. After a full examination of your link profile it is determined you have a large number of bad links coming into your site, those links will need to be dealt with either through asking site owners to remove them or worst case scenario, using Google’s link disavow tool.
Even if you link profile is bad, you need to step up content creation. Why? Because new content doesn’t have links coming to it yet and those pages have a good chance of ranking because they are fresh. Fresh content can do wonders for you site and keeping up with it can move you up in the rankings.
Case Study: VickiBorowski.com
Dr. Borowski is one of our clients who came to us a few months ago after the SEO company she was with got her penalized for bad links. The problem is that they did not tell her for about 4 months and her new patient flow had dried up.
She called us upon a referral from another doctor and we were hired. We moved her site to our servers and installed Google Webmaster Tools to begin to track search queries. She was totally non-existent in the results. So we began the process of digging her site out of the pit. After a couple of months, she was showing up for about 75 keyword phrases. We then began to attack her practice are pages and redo the content on them. We started with her porcelain veneer page.
We ran that page through our audit software and found things we needed to improve. We started making changes to the page and strengthening the content. We did this by taking the questions most people ask about veneers and incorporating them into the page. In the past we would have made a short blog post about each of them but the days of short content are gone.
After following this procedure through out her site, we have now improved the number of keywords she is coming up for to about 474. She is not to page one yet accept for a couple of terms but we have made leaps and bounds progress in about 6 months.
So yes. Content marketing can help overcome a penalty.
Utilizing Your Blog To Drive Traffic
There is a lot of talk about blogging for business and making money with a blog. The fact is that it can be done and you should be doing it. Your business blog should be your number one tool in your content marketing arsenal.
Developing regular blogging habits can help you get the rankings you want and develop loyal customers because you are giving them information that can help better their lives and make better decisions. Blogging is not a pastime for your business. It really is critical to its success. Don’t let your blog lay dormant. Keep it alive and fresh by finding out what you potential customers are wanting, what problems they have and how you can fix them if they do business with you.
Content marketing is your way to higher rankings. Don’t waste time. Start creating killer content today and watch your site soar to the top.