The internet is a big place. Over 650 million websites large. That’s a LOT of competition! When clients come to me for advice on how to position their website online, that’s part of the conversation I need to have with them. No matter what you’re selling, there are many websites out there that have been marketing for a long time. Because of the way Google works and because of all the noise out there, it’s probably going to take a while to catch up. That doesn’t mean you should throw your hands up in disgust and walk away, it means you need to be reasonable with your expectations.
If you want to sell widgets, let’s do a Google search for widgets. You’ll see Google returns 231,000,000 results. That means if you want to rank on the 1st page of Google for the word “widgets” you are trying to be the top 10 out of 231,000,000 results. Now let’s look at who’s already ranking there: Wikipedia, Apple, Google Play Store, WordPress, Webopedia, Twitter.
“Well”, you say, “I’m just a little company in Bradenton that offers plumbing services.” Okay, well then let’s try the Google search Bradenton plumbing company. Much less competitive, but still 463,000 results returned. That doesn’t mean there are 463,000 plumbing companies in Bradenton, it means Google has identified 463,000 individual web pages that they think have to do with the topic of plumbing. And if you’re a plumbing company, that means you’re trying to get your website placed in the top 10 out of those 463,000 other results. Still pretty darned competitive, isn’t it?
That means to optimize your website you need to do all the things correctly that Google tells you to:
- Have a solid website foundation
- Have text on your website that contains the keywords you want to target
- Update the text on your website frequently (blogging)
- The longer your website has been out there, the better
- Get trusted websites to link to your website
- Get websites that are related to your industry to link to your website
- Use popular social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus
- Insuring major directories don’t have incorrect information about your company, or having duplicate listings
These are all the things that make up a healthy profile for your website that will help you build credibility on the search engines–and eventually rank well. The truth of the matter is, doing all these things and doing them consistently takes a lot of time and energy. The more competition you have, the harder you have to work on these factors. And they have to be done consistently for as long as you have your website. It doesn’t sound sexy, but it’s the hard truth. It’s hard to sell the truth sometimes, especially when you have other companies in our industry promising the sun, moon and stars for pennies per month. But if you think about the examples provided above, the competitiveness of the web, and all the effort involved in doing all the things Google says you need to do, you should come to the conclusion that the people selling “cheap SEO” are actually selling you a song. And they’re singing off-key.