Saturday, December 5, 2009

Can You Get Me Page One Google Search Results for My Keywords?

Since I started GNIDESIGN and got into the business of web design and search engine optimization in 1996, there is possibly no other question I have been asked more than the one in the subject line of this blog. If I had a dollar for every time I was asked the question "Can You Get Me Page One Google Search Results for My Keywords?" I could retire from the glamorous life of software architecture and become a prize Bass fisherman, partner with Bill Dance and focus on winning the Bass Masters Tournament.

But all kidding aside, the short answer is YES! Of course, I can get first page Google ranking results and you can see my results in the images to the left and at the bottom of this page. Page one, second position is pretty good considering I only used Organic SEO methods on this. But the reality is, depending on how much competition is competing for your targeted SEO keyword or phrase, page 1 Google results can take a lot of time and money. This is why it is important to first qualify your clients intentions and budget before wasting a lot of their time as well as your own.

What a client usually doesn't understand is that there are so many variables that affect search engine results. Even as an experienced search engine marketing professional, it is possible that I could perform perfect organic search engine optimization, research and pick the very best keywords and phrases for my clients target audience, and still wind up on page 99 of the search engines. Thankfully, I've never had this experience but it can happen!

For this reason, I never promise my clients that I will obtain 1st page SEO results on Google, Yahoo, Bing or any other search engine. Even clients that have been with me for 10 plus years will not hear me make that promise despite the fact that I HAVE been able to achieve those first page rankings for them (see below). In fact, I always advise my clients, should they have a firm that does promise them first page Google results, they should turn and run in the opposite direction because they're probably dealing in black hat SEO techniques.

So Why Do I NOT Promise 1st Page SEO Results?

Several reasons really, here are the half dozen that come to mind right away.

  1. In the case of an existing website, there's no clear way of knowing what the practices of the previous webmaster or firm might have been. If they practiced black hat SEO techniques that resulted in the domain name being blacklisted I may never get the site indexed.
  2. How saturated is the client’s targeted area with similar businesses competing for the same SEO keywords and phrases?
  3. How old is the client’s domain name? Google definitely prefers domain names that have been around for a while. Preferably 2 years or more. So if you have a domain that was just registered last week, you increase the challenge of reaching page 1 in most of the search engines but it can still be done.
  4. How much content is currently available and how much will be available on an on-going basis for the website? Content is KING! If the clients site consists of a single home page with very little meat and a contact form, there is going to be quite a lot of work to do and a price tag to match. This is especially true if you have to hire additional writers.
  5. How much budget is the client willing to spend on a thorough SEO and SEM campaign? Are they willing to sign up for the long haul if need be or are they looking for an overnight fix? Getting to page 1 on Google requires a large commitment, can take several months, and cost thousands of dollars to get there. Granted, once you get high rankings the cost is irrelevant in contrast to the amount of profit coming in, but can the client make the investment?
  6. Most importantly, does your client get it? Are they willing to listen to your expertise on the subject or do they have all the answers? I had a potential client tell me recently that NOBODY ever looks beyond page 1 on Google and was quite adamant about it. Frankly, he's missing the whole point of SEO. Search Engine Optimization is an ongoing process. It’s not like a newspaper ad you run once and hope customers come to the store on the day of the sale. You do your SEO work on the site and then you wait to see the results. That wait could be a few weeks or it could drag out a few months before you begin seeing your results. But results you will see.
So all of this and I finally arrive at a closing point. Hopefully to help you, the reader, unravel the mystery of SEO. If you have a website that has no search results at all, then you have to start somewhere. If within a few weeks of roll out you suddenly appear on page 10 of the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), this is a big deal and cause to get excited. Then the real fun begins as you tweak and add content, you appear on SERPs #4, #3, #2, gaining ground on your competition? It’s very exciting to see with your own eyes that all of the hard work is paying off. These are advertizing dollars that are quantifiable. Using Google Analytics you begin to see the amount of traffic that your website is getting. Then finally one day you wake up and the phone rings. “Wrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrring …” “This is Bill Kearns, What can I do for you?”

The rest is another SEO success story.

Here is a first page Google result for a client.

Another first page Google result.

Happy surfing!

Bill @ gnidesign



Luke said...

I didn't even realize Indofine was on the first page of the "chemical company" listings. Not bad!

Bill Kearns said...

We aim to please Luke! I was kind of shocked too. But... I was trying to mask their identity because my competition is ruthless. Didn't you notice the blurred images? lol.

Happy New Year