Santa Barbara SEO Services
How We Help You
- Increase Sales by increasing traffic to your site
- Improve Visibility by improving your online positioning and search engine rankings
- Convert Visitors to Customers by optimizing your marketing
- Educate Clients for sustainability and long term growth
How to Rank #1 in Google
Phase 3 offers a wide variety of SEO services to clients of all sizes. Obviously the most common question is how do I become #1 in Google? The answer is not actually an easy one because Google evaluates websites on hundreds of various factors ranging from how old a domain is, to the quality of the programming. These are what we consider “on-site” factors that contribute to your ranking, but there are also “off-site” factors that are harder to control and can take months or even years to affect. A lot of customers don’t take into consideration their competition or the popularity of the keyword that they are asking for.
When it comes to SEO, we view competition differently than the physical world competition of brick-and-mortar stores. Competition online can be sites like Wikipedia, or About.com. There are a lot of article sites, and even phone directories like the Yellow Pages. These can often be difficult or impossible sites to unseat from one of the top 3 positions in Google. For these reasons we have to help manage our customer’s expectations and help them understand who they are competing with and would reasonable results the can expect depending on the keywords they are marketing. With that in mind below is our basic process.
The services we offer can be selected individually, but we’ve found that a specific combination is required for a well balanced campaign that will get you results. Even if you can only afford $100/mo versus the larger companies that spend thousands per month, the real difference is how long it takes, and the keywords you are targeting.
Our Basic Process
SEO is a form of online advertising campaign, and like any project, requires certain steps to be accomplished successfully, the quality of your results are a reflection of your planning and approach. You wouldn’t hastily put together a television or radio ad, or paste together a print ad, and expect the phone to ring, right?
We have to begin SEO campaigns by gathering data on the competition and keywords that you target. This means figuring out who else is positioned in the location you want to occupy and discovering how developed their plan and strategy is. If you are a small bookstore wanting to take on an anchor store like Barnes and Noble, a head-on approach will likely turn into a brute-force exercise that you would’t have the financial ability to endure. Instead a carefully crafted strategy to target individual niches that they are not considering would be the best approach. You would want to target a specialty product or service or search term, gradually own those terms and build your popularity before taking on the more popular keywords that the bigger businesses are targeting.
Take a look at your competition’s website and social media. See how they are marketing their services and engaging their customers. Remember, this is about developing a strategy that you can maintain for months or even years while you position your website in the search engine results pages. This is a long-term commitment and you should plan on working at this for at least a year for good results. Keep in mind that your competition is not likely sitting idle if they are already occupying the spot you wish to take, and that means they will eventually notice your efforts and respond in their own way.
For that reason, a plan that you can commit to will be critical to your long-term success. We find that most competitors do not have a plan or organized goal, and they often make mistakes when forming a hasty response to a rising website. In some cases the competition will actually do something to hurt their ranking because they don’t know exactly how they got their in the first place, or they never actually had professional help from the beginning. And in some cases, the larger companies have an employee maintaining their website who isn’t happy in their job, doesn’t feel appreciated, and may not respond quickly or adequately to your increase because they lack the motivation or passion to do so. Of course this is the ideal situation.
Taking the Necessary Steps
We recommend beginning with the analysis of the competition’s website, their keywords, their social media. Try to identify the keywords they are promoting, the traffic to their website, overall popularity and decide where you want to compete with them.
Plan on spending at least an hour a week writing. We help our customers in writing articles, posting on blogs and promoting their website across the internet. You want to create as much attention as possible and establish yourself as an authoritative figure in your community. Google rewards credible authority online. If you can position yourself as the credible source of information in your industry, then you will succeed.
Brute-force is not the answer unless you have a large budget. One of the most common brute-force tactics is Google Adwords. Adwords allows you to pay-per-click, this means that you are literally bidding against the competition to be found for specific keywords. Unfortunately this ads a layer of complexity because you have to create advertisements and manage click campaigns, measure results and make adjustments to get the best numbers. In some cases Google will even limit your visibility if they deem your ad to be low quality. The point of Adwords is to show up at the top of the screen on search engine result pages, in the advertising section. Unfortunately, a growing portion of search engine users are completely ignoring these ads. However, it’s the quickest way to be seen in the top of the page for any given keyword. We would love to help you manage your Adwords campaigns and have many successful recommendations to an effective ad campaign.
Writing and posting on other peoples blogs is really one of the great ways to barrow credibility from one site to yours. Assuming that you are publishing good comments that aren’t considered spam (best not to promote Viagra products). Joking aside, these comments can link back to your website and lend authority to your website if they are coming from the same industry. For example, if you sell kitchen supplies, you would want to contribute regularly to cooking and recipe sites. Google evaluates the quality of your links, and the context of where they are coming from, so if you posted a kitchen supply comment on a site for golfers, then you would likely confuse Google and possibly hurt your ranking.
Posting on other peoples blogs and directories is often called “link building” and is one of the most vital steps in SEO. The skill level of the SEO performing this service for you will determine the success of the campaign. One of the biggest issues that website owners face is hiring the wrong the company to perform this work, such as responding to emails from companies in India that offer a bulk service.
The biggest issue with foreign and bulk SEO companies is the level of attention or understanding of your community. Some companies have a wholesale mentality where they bombard Google with a high volume of low quality links, and Google immediately knows that you are trying to “game” the system. There are several issues here:
Large Quantities of Backlinks
If your site has no links and grows to 1,000’s of links over night, then Google will likely see that you are paying a service for these, in an attempt to artificially boost your popularity and ranking in their results. The problem is that Google cares about the quality of the results it delivers and has created their ranking algorithm to provide what they deem to be high quality results to their searchers. If your site ranks poorly, it’s because Google has not considered you to be a worthy result to the search. Artificially boosting the popularity of your site will appear as cheating and Google will penalize you. It’s best to gradually grow the links to your site within a timeframe that appears more natural. An experience professional can help you assess this timeframe and make recommendations.
Foreign SEO companies
We all get these emails in our inbox from companies offering to build our website or get us ranked on the first page of Google. The issue is right in front of you however, and can be seen just by carefully reading their email. Spelling mistakes and misuse of the English language are abundant. If that is their marketing approach to reach you as a customer, ask yourself if that is the same quality that you would want representing your company. Don’t get me wrong, some of these companies know what they are doing, but they don’t command the local language or community and will likely make mistakes that can cost you. And unless you are an SEO expert yourself, you won’t know if their strategy will actually hurt you 6 months from now. Often they want to deliver quick results and will cut corners and use tactics that will get you disqualified during the next algorithm update from Google. You can search Google right now and find millions of results for people who’s sites have disappeared after each Google algorithm update.
Local Search Engine Optimization
Our recommendation is to hire a professional to at the very least consult with you and discuss your goals and strategies. For customers with low budgets we can provide consulting services. For those with a marketing budget, we can work with just about any price range to carefully craft a strategy and blueprint for ranking your website above your competition on the first page of Google.
Local results are critical to small businesses, and localized Santa Barbara SEO Services will be important to understanding the local culture and relevant social links in the community. We recommend hiring an experienced company that understand important topics and is involved in the local community to boost the visibility of your website to the people who matter the most as your customers, your local demographic. Non-local companies will not understand the topics and relevant issues that matter locally that you can utilize to increase your online visibility and engaging potential local advocates who can spread the word organically about your business.