Why isn’t my business on page one of Google?
We all long to be on Google page one for the various search terms our business is optimised for. Someone is visiting a relative in hospital, they google “florists in Norwich”, quick scan and they call or pop in there. They’re unlikely to go to page 2 (though top position on page 2 I once read is better than bottom of page 1). Very few will look at page 3 or 33. Some will, particularly your rivals.
You need to be realistic with SEO goals
You can’t simply have a website designed, the content optimised, social media fired up and light a cigar whilst waiting for page one sales enquiries.
Firstly, you have to find out what people are searching for – if it’s under 10 a month, forget that search phrase.
When I set up this business, Get Pro Copy Ltd, I optimised it on day one for “freelance copywriter Great Yarmouth” appearing on page one of Google soon after, only to find out one week later that the only person searching for it was me! “Freelance copywriter Norwich / Norfolk” yields 100 searches a month so I changed strategy.
Long tail searches, low competition
What you need to do is optimise your business for long tail niche searches: “How much does a copywriter charge?” has 1000 searches a month and okay, the location is dropped, but that search has yielded more enquiries and leads than “Freelance copywriter Norwich.”
If the long tail search has high competition, pick something else.
How long does it take to make page one of Google?
Again, if you select and optimise your business for niche search terms, it won’t be long at all. Even less time, if the geographical location is defined. “Florists in Norwich” will yield a finite number of results as will “man and van near me”, your aim is to hit page one for these terms and get calls, emails and visits to your business.
If you’re more ambitious in your goals, you need a broad strategy of content, social and search engine.
It’s become a bit of a hackneyed term, but trust me content marketing works.
Instead of selling, you’re providing answers and advice on issues your customers are looking for.
This blog title exemplifies that.
If you’re a florist in Norwich, you may be well advised to create a content strategy that talks about bouquet ideas season by season, or month by month. “Best bouquets for Valentine’s Day” would work well and plenty of references to red roses may see you hit page one, long term, for that day. You may broaden that content to talk about best restaurants locally for Valentine’s Day etc. Again, providing useful information will probably turn those readers into buyers. Human nature init?
Content marketing should be a part of your marketing strategy – a blog that you paid £50 for me to create can be used on Facebook, LinkedIn, snippets extracted for Instagram, linked on Twitter, pinned on Pinterest, added to your website, appended to an email campaign.
In other words, that £50 spend could lead to 300 new visits to your website and if they convert that investment is great.
Examples of content marketing
Firstly, I can point to a 40% increase in traffic in one month to a company whose social media marketing I took on before Christmas. That’s 40% extra traffic from December to January. I’ve made blogging central to this. Their retained payment gets their Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram managed as well as a weekly blog. Therefore, that weekly blog drives traffic from social media to their website and the bounce rate has halved. Well done me.
I set myself a target last month of increasing website traffic here, as I do for others. I decided to spend what little spare time I have on blogging for myself – not just 300 word drips in an SEO ocean, but some meaty mofos too – some exceeding 2000 words. If time is money, a company would pay me £200 for the time I spent on that. The result was that website traffic almost doubled in January with this blogging strategy. I’ve also filled the order books until April for digital marketing, SEO work, websites, marking and copywriting.
Someone who rang me last week said “I’ve just read your blog. You know what you’re on about.” Which was music to my ears.
I’m not bothered about May as I get my teacher pension lump sum and monthly pension in April when I reach 55 (lot of fucking candles) and slowly decline into death, in post office queues, championing Boris Johnson, whilst googling power washers on an old Nokia.
Social Media and Page One
Social media has a part to play in getting your company or venture to climb. You need to create a tribe of followers as this adds authority to your ranking. If you’re employing a marketing manager in house and have 50 followers in total, you need to have a word. They need training – something I offer – in getting more eyeballs on your business. And more sales. If they can’t or won’t be trained, get rid.
Twitter can be linked to a Facebook page (mine is). Ideally, you should tweet and engage 12 to 20 times a day. Yes it’s onerous. That’s why you outsource it, so you can focus on your strengths.
LinkedIn and Facebook need 1 to 3 posts per day, as does Instagram and Pinterest. I also post on Google My Business.
They all drip drip with your ranking and if you’re stuck on 7 likes and zero engagement, get your staff trained or outsource it to creatives like me. I am a natural born consumer. I know what works and doesn’t work on social media – click any of my social icons and you decide if I’m full of shit, or keeping it real?
Backlinks are nectar for SEO
However, I know I’m quite lucky in that I can add a footer backlink to websites I’ve designed or host. Some argue that it is not a good idea, but I’m doing well with it. I like when companies approach me for a guest post or a backlink, particularly when they reciprocate. You need to develop backlinks too. There’s other ways too. Your social media outlets are backlinks. Business directories are backlinks, as are Thomson Local, Yell, Yelp, though caveat emptor, they can be cold calling demons upselling packages once you’re signed up for free.
How do I find out search volumes?
You can pay, like I do, for access to a premium SEO tool, which costs me £120 per month. Worth every penny for me as I write, design and optimise content for businesses.
Above all, if you commit to a series of blog posts, as one company in Norwich has just done, or a web design or a social media and blogging marketing package, I’ll happily do that research for you and aim to get you on page one of Google.
Tour de France
An analogy I’ve just thought of is the Tour de France. You can’t buy a racing bike and expect to have the yellow jersey on your back in a month’s time. You might win local time trials with time and practice. Unless you get drugged up, or go for the steroids of Pay Per Click, you’re not going to get in the Tour de France. Goals need to be realistic. Your bike has to be fit for purpose (your website), you need to feed the cyclist the right nutritions (content) and practise daily (social media posting).
Tenuous analogy perhaps but I like it.
Finally, if you want to get on Google, and page one for key searches, I can help you.
I’ve done it with this business and others.
I know what I’m doing. You can trust me.