On today’s show we’re continuing our series on digital marketing. A few of my consulting clients have asked about SEO. So on today’s show we’re going to cover some of what’s new in search. It’s no secret that the majority of the business goes to the businesses that appear on the first page of Google’s search results. By some accounts, 50% of the business goes to the first organic search result. By the time you’re on page 2, your market share will be in the single digits. So ranking highly for your specific keyword search results is important if you rely on digital marketing for your business. Search engine optimization is all about appearing on page 1 of Google’s search results.

Search engine optimization is not one thing. It’s a menu of like 50 optimizations that each by themselves can improve your ranking.

These optimizations break down into two major categories.

  1. Eliminating the errors that are penalizing your ranking with Google.
  2. Making sure you have the elements that will have you rank well against your competition.

Before you spend any time competing for ranking, you need to fix the errors that are pushing you underwater.

First of all, Google’s algorithms have improved dramatically over the past few years.

If the address for your business isn’t verified, then Google will deem that you’re not serious about being in business.

If the address for your business is at a UPS Store or a residential address, Google will deem that you’re not serious about being in business and will push you down in the search rankings.

If your website has pages that have an un-natural use of certain keywords, then they will assess that you’re not actually speaking to your customers. They will assess that you’re using language for the sole purpose of fooling the search engine. That’s called keyword stuffing and they will penalize you accordingly.

In the past, one of the measures that featured heavily into a website’s ranking was how popular the site is. One of the principal measures of that popularity was how often the site appeared elsewhere on the internet. The more links to your site, the more popular it was deemed to be and therefore you would appear higher in the search rankings.

That gave rise to an entire industry of people offering to create links to your website. Link-building was one of the great artificial manipulations that web designers used to try and fool Google. Today, Google is a lot smarter. 

In the good old days, search was very literal. For example, if your search included the word color, and you spell the word color the American way, COLOR, that would be a different search than if it was spelled with British way COLOUR. Google did not distinguish between those two. This often created some very awkward wording on your website. You would often see the same word spelled different ways on the same page so that Google’s search algorithm would see both spellings.

The fact is, most real estate investors don’t know about this. You can’t be an expert at everything. Many of the low cost SEO companies that are based offshore will make large promises for a low price. For $500 a month, they will get you on the first page of Google. All too often, these companies are not current with the latest Google algorithms, and they advocate tricks to try and fool Google. These tricks are increasingly caught by Google and will only hurt your search ranking.

It’s important to find the right digital marketing agency who can first, help you establish the right goals for your website, and then execute on those goals. The key to finding the right partner is, like many things to get referrals, and to conduct a detailed interview.