During my time working as a freelancer I often came across people who had little to no idea about marketing, managing a website, or promoting themselves in the digital world. This made for a lot of interesting experiences and some frustrating encounters. One of these memorable encounters happened at a NYC Soho Starbucks on Spring Street where I met up with a physical trainer.
He introduced himself to me and proceeded to tell me that he was very frustrated because sometimes his website would appear in the front page of Google and at other times it would appear in page 3 or 5. He proceeded to tell me that he didn’t understand why.
As I sat with him, I asked him about his marketing strategy (non-existent), frequency of blog posts (no blog), and overall initiatives (none). He seemed very discouraged by line of question and proceeded to say. “All I need to know is, can you make me number one on Google yes or no?” Upon admitting that I could not guarantee that, he swiftly stood up and said “Thank you for your time” and left.
Should he have stayed, I could have explained to him that being on the first page of Google search results is not and should not be the goal and most importantly that SEO is not marketing.
Search engine optimization simply refers to a list of things you can do in order to make sure search engines are able to see you. It is not however, a one-stop-shop to marketing success. A marketing strategy requires long-term planning and consistent conversation with your customer base. Blogs are an imperative part of your marketing strategy because they allow you to carry a conversation with potential customers and provide them with the answers they need to solve their problems. When they can’t solve them alone, blogs also help you to position yourself as someone they can trust. Google understands this. It sees the interactions that customers and potential customers have with you and judge you (your business) base on your ability to engage, adequately answer and delight customers. In this way when you try to be helpful to your customers, when you seek to provide solutions and answers, you are inherently developing the kind of reputation that it takes to be found on the first pages for any given word or term.
If you find yourself not showing up on Google search results, here are a couple of reasons why:
- Your pages aren't being indexed by Google (no-index tag, blocking URLs with robot.txt files)
- You have no meta data (description, keywords) in your pages, making it difficult for Google to find your pages
- You are not refreshing your content or providing new content, which makes Google think your content is outdated
Any of these reasons can be preventing you from being found. So I will give you the advice I would have given the personal trainer should he have stayed a little longer.
- Make sure you add meta descriptions and keywords
- START A BLOG (like, yesterday) post as often as you can, about anything that is related to your business (sometimes it doesn’t even have to be related)
- Make sure you have Google webmaster tools and analytics (they send you emails and messages to help you improve your website)
- Check for blocked URLS
- Post often and frequent
If you’re still having trouble, after following these steps it might be time to pull in the professionals. Contact us today for a free website assessment.