The Real SEO Story: How to Get to the Top of Google
If you own a domain name, you might be tempted to create a few ubiqutious email accounts such as sales@-somedomain-.com or info@-somedomain-.com. While it may seen appropriate to use these, you are inviting an endless amount of 'guesswork' spam.
Those that have such accounts, or have catch-all email accounts, are all too familiar with the occasional email offering to help get to the top of Google. While that sounds like a great idea, chances are, if you didn't contact them first, they are trying to scam you.
Things to research when reviewing an SEO company:
- What is the company's search engine ranking for the search term 'SEO'?
- Where are they located?
- Does the company operate a real brick-and-mortar business?
- How long has the company been in business?
The awful truth is that most people are unaware that getting good search engine rankings usually takes little effort, unless you are trying to place in a competitive market. Let's break it down in to two categories, Type A being the regular website and Type B being the mission critical website.
Type A - Regular Website
So you have a website which sells specialized muffin pans. Since you already have an established domain name, you want to improve your search engine rankings overall. The best thing you can do for yourself is to simply change your page titles. This is the most important part of SEO, beyond having a good domain name.
By just changing your generic page title from "Sally's Muffin Pans" to "Sally's Muffin Pans: Teddy Bear Muffin Pans" you have made the search engines job a lot easier to understand what your webpage is for.
For extra effect, make sure your URL contains keywords. If your store is set up so that the teddy bear pans are located at 'http://-smp-.com/store/product_id=12', then you should change this so that the URL spells out what it is. Using a URL rewrite, it could say 'http://-smp-.com/Everyones_Favorite_Teddy_Bear_Muffin_Pan'
After making those changes, sit back and wait. Over a month, monitor where your placement is for certain keyword combinations. Those simple changes that you made could have just saved you the hassle and expense of a flim-flam SEO company. You just gave yourself free SEO.
Type B - Mission Critical Website
Your website is important and provides value to a considerable number of users. It is imperative that your site ranks high for either financial, social, or politcal reasons. Chances are, if your site is that important, you already have the high search engine rankings. In fact, you probably control more than 1 of the top 10 links for multiple keywords. Your company could be on top for one of a few simple reasons:
- Your company is a major corporation and have become a household name
- Your company is well known in a community or specific area
- Countless other websites refer to your products, services, or ideas
In this case, your website has 'inherited' SEO. Chances are, your company will never need to do anything special to rank well.
Type C - Neither of Those other Types
Well, not everyone likes to be pigeon-holed in to a category, and this type is reserved for them. Do you have great products, but need to do more to ensure better placement? Well, that is when the real need for SEO comes in to play. A true SEO specialist shouldn't be concerned wholly with the internet, in fact, at this level it is more of a marketing campaign.
To reach the highest levels, your message must be louder than the internet. Your message must cause thousands of people to respond positively (and hopefully link back). This is where the magic lies in real talent, so do not let a salesperson overload you with statistics and wow words. Do some research on your own, talk to several specialists, and make sure you are going to get what you pay for.
Best of luck,