How SEO “Experts” Burn Clients, And How To Protect Yourself!
Just recently I submitted an article to BuiltinChicago.org which received tons of views in just the first week. Below I’m sharing the content for you with hopes that even if you don’t hire my firm, you hire an SEO agency that won’t burn you.
After 10 years of online entrepreneurship and 7 years of providing Chicago SEO services to different types of businesses, it’s easy to say I have heard all the horror stories.
New clients, prospective clients, and fellow business owners have all had bad experiences with a Chicago SEO company, or any SEO service regardless of location. However, what if there was a simple protocol to hiring the right SEO provider, which, if applied, would save you from losing time and money?
The thing is, most business owners only understand their trade, but don’t know how to use online marketing to make their businesses more successful. Let’s step back a minute and consider the years it took you to perfect your craft.
Now suppose someone tells you that they read a couple of articles about your business and concluded it was easy. Isn’t it fair to say you’d think they are crazy, and quickly point out how much they don’t know? SEO, like all specialty skills, has many levels of understanding, and unfortunately, a ton of published misinformation. Just like your craft, it takes many years to perfect SEO.
Most business owners realize that SEO is slow to produce an ROI and are willing to wait for results. SEO scammers know this, and will readily do a few things and present a report to the unknowing business owner. Let me ask you, can you tell the difference between a spam link profile and one that will get you top Google rankings? Of course not.
For this reason, I have created a protocol that not only helps you to qualify an SEO company but also explains the simple logic behind every tip.
- If the SEO experts can’t rank their website on Google, how do you expect them to rank yours?
To find an SEO provider’s Google listing, just search keywords like:
1. SEO (town)
2. SEO Company (town)
3. SEO companies (town)
If their business website, Google rankings, and 3rd party reviews on sites like Yelp are not on the first page, how do you expect them to get yours on page one?
Arguably, SEO related keywords are the most competitive. Therefore, it is safe to say that ranking for them is the best proof in the pudding when it comes to SEO skills. Check online SEO company reviews
2. This might seem like an obvious thing to do, but you will be amazed at how many business owners utterly failed to conduct their due diligence after getting an SEO company online.
If you think about it, an SEO company that doesn’t have 3rd party reviews online most likely:
A: Has failed to market itself online properly.
B: Does not have clients who are excited enough to post a review.
C: Is a fly-by-night company.
3. References tell the real story
Every SEO company should have a few go-to clients, who are alright with being used as a referral. However, a name and number don’t actually prove they are SEO experts.
Here are a few steps you should take when considering a prospective SEO provider:
- Ask if they have referrals
- Ask the SEO company under which keywords their client can be found. If they give you a company name to search, just thank them for their time and hang-up.
- If the SEO expert provides you with a two or three-word keyword phrase to Google, and their client appears at the TOP of the first page, inquire who their contact at that company is and whether you can call that person. Thank them for their time and hang-up if they give you any reason not to contact that person.
- If not, call the company and ask how long it took the SEO provider to get them on page one. Find out how available the SEO expert is and how would they rate their overall experience with the SEO service.
4. They offer you a package you can afford.
Don’t get me wrong; I understand there is a budget you have to stick to, but effective SEO shouldn’t have bounties. It is pretty simple, to get an ROI for your business, you require unique work at a level of skill most providers in the SEO community just don’t have. Therefore, SEO is not a commodity and should not be treated as such.
MOST COMPANIES THAT SAY THEY CAN DO SEO, CANNOT!
5 Here is the second reason WHY SEO packages fail.
How can you, as the prospective client, know the number of links built to your website that will get it ranked on Google? Since you don’t, should you make that determination simply because the salesperson said so?
Furthermore, how do you know if:
- A: They are cheap spam links that are not relevant to your industry? (Google hates that)
- B: They are enough to elevate your website’s ranking? (Some pages need more links than others)
- C: They are the type of links for which Google rewards websites? I have lost count of the number of times a new client has brought to us a backlink profile that was full of spam links, placed convincingly by someone with the right package price.
Remember, there are a few quality things that you can buy cheaply, but SEO isn’t one of them.
6 There is no formal contract, so you are free to quit anytime
Conventional wisdom might say, hey, there is nothing to lose because I have no risk. We’ll, neither does the SEO company you’re thinking of giving your hard-earned money.
Let me elaborate further for my savvy business owners.
Not having a contract is an excellent way to fail without the risk of a bad review. Come to think of it; the business owner will throw in the towel after some time and write it off as a loss, while the SEO provider moves on to the next victim.
Recall tip number 1? No reviews! Hmm…
Any experienced SEO provider knows there has to be a formal contract in place. They are aware of the significance of keeping the client in the game if there is doubt. After all, why would a professional SEO company want to keep a weary client onboard unless the SEO expert knows they will deliver?
As promised earlier, I will explain how and why SEO fails, leaving the business owner discouraged about SEO services.
The number one reason for SEO failure is that the person responsible for finding an SEO provider didn’t use the proper interview protocol.
In conclusion, these tips I have shared with you are from my experiences as an SEO expert, and from the previous failures of my clients. I hope you are now enlightened in the protocol of hiring an SEO expert. Please follow every tip as I have laid out, or you might find yourself a victim.
In your corner,
CEO – Chicago Website Design SEO Company
The Evolving SEO
SEO did not just sprout out of thin air. Search engine optimization started as a way to push content up the ranks on search engine result pages. Today SEO is more engaging than the earlier versions which employed black hat and other unethical SEO strategies. The evolution of SEO is not a theory especially because it has happened is ashort time span. As technology in the World Wide Web advanced, search engines shifted their attention to the users and put measures geared towards the elimination of poor content. This has driven webmasters to the use of SEO strategies to stay relevant in the eyes of the users and to search engines.
Initially search engines only paid attention to keywords and nothing more. This is why black hat methods were popular. As the search engines became more user friendly, websites had to look for different ways to optimize their pages or be penalized. Today SEO is something that has to be handled by a professional to provide solid results. What most website owners do not know is that the optimization process never ends and to remain at the top of the game, you need to work with a professional company that will continuously provide high quality SEO services in geared towards Chicago and the surrounding area.
The following article provides information that follows the evolution of SEO
(First seen on http://searchengineland.com/the-evolution-of-an-seo-246875)
“A look into the past and present
On-page optimization: When performing on-page optimization in the old days, SEOs would map two to five keywords per URL and optimize the page elements (title, meta description, headings, body content and so on) for these keywords.
But things have changed. Now, with advances in semantic search and machine learning, a page can rank for a lot of related keywords, not just the keywords for which you optimize the page. This is a better way of doing things, as having content that fulfills the needs of what users are looking for (rather than just being the best match for a given keyword string) is a better experience.
Modern-day SEOs should have a solid understanding of not just content creation, but also content promotion. Whereas previously it was all about optimizing existing landing pages based on search volume and striking distance, SEO today is a mixture of optimizing existing content and creating, optimizing and amplifying new content that meets end-users’ needs to enforce your brand and capture social signals and links to rank higher in the SERPs.
Devices: Back in the day, it was all about optimizing for desktops because that was the primary device used to surf the web.
Today, mobile devices have quickly become the way that people consume content. While the desktop is still relevant, digital media consumption on mobile devices has skyrocketed in the past several years and will continue to grow. According to comScore, mobile now consists of 65 percent of digital media time. Additionally, in 2015, mobile officially surpassed desktop in terms of Google searches performed.
SEOs must focus on optimizing the mobile experience, particularly apps, and making sure that mobile pages load within two seconds.
Local: Google has changed its local results so many times during the past several years — from the 10-pack to 7-packs, and now the 3-pack. In the old days of local SEO, it was easy to spam the listings by incorporating keywords into the business name, getting links from spammy directories, fudging the exact location of the business and so forth.
Now, local is all about positive reviews and (thanks to the Pigeon update) some of the more traditional ranking signals like relevance and page content.
Social: Before the days of Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, online social sharing largely took place via email and instant messaging — places that fell largely outside of the scope of SEO campaigns.
Today, social media is ubiquitous, and digital marketers who neglect this channel do so at their peril. Social media and SEO must work hand-in-hand to increase brand exposure, connect businesses with their audience and drive consumer engagement. The modern-day SEO must utilize social networks to promote content to earn both shares and links for maximum exposure.
Links: Links have always been a significant factor in determining search engine rankings, but link building as a discipline has changed dramatically over the years.
In the early days of SEO, it was all about link quantity — the more links to your site, the better. Anchor text was also more heavily weighted, meaning that links with keyword-rich anchor text could help a site rank better for those keywords. It was easy to get links from sites of questionable repute, and so many SEOs secured links with keyword-rich anchor text from sites with high PageRank through link exchanges, direct requests or purchasing links.
Today, it’s not just about quantity, but about quality. Links from authoritative sites and sites relevant to your own are more heavily weighted, and links from spammy websites are discounted (at best) or grounds for a ranking penalty (at worst). Additionally, search engines like to see a “natural” link profile with a good mix of link types: follow and nofollow, keyword-rich anchor text and branded anchor text and so on.
SEOs today must focus on creating high-quality content and pursuing relevant links that are of value to users. They must also monitor their backlinks for any toxic links and remove low-quality links to maintain a healthy link portfolio.
Technical SEO: Technical SEO has not really changed much in the last few years, and the basic principles of technical audits still apply. However, SEOs must make sure their clients’ sites are built in a mobile-friendly manner and load as quickly as possible. Technical SEO is now very much a requirement for web developers.”
The following video has a short presentation of how the SEO evolution happened and why your business needs to move along with the new optimization rules.
Are you looking for professional SEO in Chicago are? If you are, then you have come to the right place. Our experts will help your website to move up the ranks without breaking any search engine rules and this will translate to more traffic and sale.
SEO Is Still Crucial In Marketing Your Business Online
Different businesses have different value and philosophies but they fit into general categories here there are millions of other businesses. In the race to gather as much traffic as possible to increase sales, business owners have to deal with different challenges. One of the main challenges you have to deal with is making your website unique.There are thousands of businesses around your area offering the same services as you and you need to stand out to get more traffic.
Search engines have become popular and everyone is using them to find products, services and businesses. Standing out means you have to do things differently and use all the ethical strategies that will push your website to the top of locals search engine result pages. Managing all these without professional help can be a difficult task k especially if you are dealing with other important activities in your business. To be a few steps ahead of your competitors, you need the best SEO services in Chicago provided by experts in this field. The article below shows how to make your site stand out and why it is important to use ethical SEO.
“Why SEO is Still Very Relevant in Boosting Your Business Visibility
Ever felt the fear of losing someone in the crowd?
As a young mother, my son was always keeping me on my toes to ensure he didn’t wander off somewhere while out shopping. I knew if he did, it would be very difficult to locate him amongst a sea of people – a very frightening thought for any parent!
When it comes to our business, we certainly don’t want to be lost in a sea of competitors; as the founder of a digital marketing company, “standing out from the crowd” is always on the forefront of my mind for our clients.
It can be tough these days; everyone has a website and most business owners have multiple competitors clamoring for the same potential client.
What can a business owner do to be found in all that clutter?
One way is the science (or as Daniel Simmons calls it: “the ART”) of Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short. SEO refers to a suite of techniques used to make a website appear above others in various search engines.
The goal is to optimize a set of conditions pertaining to a website enough to get higher rankings when potential clients are searching for solutions to their problems. Solutions that you can provide.
This optimization requires a vast array of skills from an SEO expert but also things an entrepreneur and business owner can do. Some are straight forward such as writing informative and value-driven blog posts that provide answers for your ideal target market. Many other things involve the coding of the website itself, finding resource partners to share links with, and other services. It’s become one of the “it” areas of marketing and with good reason!
Search engine optimization, and search engine marketing (SEM) in general, can serve a number of different purposes. It can:
– Produce sales, both online and offline
– Generate qualified leads
– Convince search engine users to follow through with your call to action, such as; signing up for your newsletter, downloading white papers from your site, registering for a webinar and so on.
And while it is doing all this, your website’s prominent position on the search engine results pages (SERPs) contributes to branding and name recognition.
When done correctly, search engine optimization can bring people to your site, who is actually looking for what you are offering. You know they’re looking for it because they typed in a keyword or phrase that is directly related to your content.
Most consumers are really tired of being inundated with marketing everywhere they look, but are still receptive to the kind of “just-in-time” marketing represented by a high placement in search engine results.
Years ago a web developer could simply stick a bunch of random, popular, but unrelated keywords into what is called the “keyword META” part of a website’s coding. These keywords would make the site seem more popular, broad, and important than it really was and diminished the ability of people using search engines to actually find what they were looking for.
About a decade ago, the search engines really started to clamp down on those bad practices: after all, they were damaging the ability of the search engines to do their job! Now, it has become much more complicated and difficult to optimize your websites for search engines.”
This video contains information and tips on how to make your website standout.
Do you want to push your website to the top of the search engine result pages? Are you looking for professional SEO services in Chicago? If your answer is yes then you have come to the right place.
Reasons Why Bad SEO Is Wasting Your Money
Search engine optimization is a continuous process and when it is done right, the results are solid enough to keep your website at the top of search engine result pages. There are things that work together to make a website successful and the most basic are a good website design and professional SEO.Most business owners do not give SEO the attention it deserves and this leads to their website being lowly ranked by search engines.
Most internet users only pay attention to the top websites on search engine result pages.Every process in search engine optimization plays role in the end results and this is why every step needs to be professionally handled. There are some secrets that will help you to achieve set goals through optimization. If you are not in a position to handle your own SEO, it would be a good idea to let professionals handle your SEO.
When you are not doing your SEO right, it means you are spending time and money on processes that will not work is a waste of money. The following article has detailed information on the SEO mistakes that might be wasting your money.
(Seen first on https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/272440)
“5 SEO Mistakes That Are Costing Your Business Money
Businesses looking to improve their online visibility should focus on more than just great design, because the primary factor affecting your visibility on the web is your search engine rankings.
In fact, the majority of consumers nowadays research online about products and services before making a final purchase decision. So, it’s clear why you need a brilliant SEO strategy in place, if you wish to rank higher in search results.
Google provides official guidelines to webmasters that explore major aspects of great design and content-creation rules. Even then, most webmasters are guilty of ignoring basic SEO rules, which hurts their rankings, and ultimately their ROI. If you want your website to be a lean, mean, revenue-generating machine, avoid these basic SEO mistakes.
- Keyword stuffing and/or irrelevant keywords
Most SEO practitioners will tell you that using keyword-rich content will drive up your search engine rankings. This might have been true in the past, but now Google’s spam filters are exceedingly smart and will categorize your site as low quality. Keyword stuffing or the use of irrelevant keywords is against Google’s best practices.
In addition, using too many keywords makes your copy unreadable and repetitive. And users will not react well. Remember: Google tracks user satisfaction signals for websites. So, if your content is unreadable or uninformative, website visitors won’t stay long and will quickly move on. Google can see this lack of interaction on your site and will take action; these issues will impact your search engine rankings.
Tip: Reduce keyword stuffing if you have been using it as a part of your SEO strategy. Locate the Fetch as Google tool in your search console and check whether your website is violating this rule. Focus on using compelling content and user-centric marketing, which will promote the higher rankings you want.
- The use of ‘link scheme’ tricks to improve rankings
Google recommends that you avoid using any link-manipulation techniques. The Google Webmaster Guidelines clearly state that any effort to manipulate outbound links or links leading to your site constitutes a violation of the rules.
Some of the major link-building techniques that count as link manipulation include, but are not limited to: buying links from link farms; using link wheels; using automated link-building tools; employing excessive cross-linking; hiding links in text/images; and using low-quality links and sneaky redirects.
Tip: If Google imposes a penalty on your site, it could hurt your search visibility. The result will be a crushing blow to your organic search traffic as well as a nosedive in cause-related profits.
- Low-quality content
Content marketing has become increasingly popular. Statistics show that 76 percent of B2C and 88 percent of B2B marketers use content marketing and consider it an important part of their overall marketing and advertising efforts.
As a rule of thumb, avoid scraped or automatically generated content. Modern Google algorithms quickly pick up on machine-generated content.
It goes without saying that content must be unique in order to achieve a higher rank. Good-quality content also needs to be authoritative, trustworthy and able to reflect expertise on the content subject.
Tip: Google doesn’t look only at relevant keywords; it tries to find content that is relevant. As a result you need to optimize for topics and concepts.
- The failure to refresh old or low-quality pages
The presence of low-quality content at various parts of your website will affect your overall ranking. Google suggests that you either remove these pages or fix them.
Tip: Here are a few trouble spots you need to fix:
- Low-quality content
- Duplicate content (within your website)
- Auto-generated text
- Content doorways (i.e.: a redirect to another page without an adequate reason)
- The primary intent is to generate ad revenue
- Dead pages that have incoming backlinks
- Broken images and malformed html tags
- Out-of-date pages
- Improper pagination
- Stub pages
- The failure to take advantage of Analytics
The goal of SEO is to drive conversions, not just bring organic traffic to your site. And your profits depend on conversion rates. Generating massive amounts of website traffic is going to be useless if you aren’t seeing an increase in conversion rates. Since you have put so much effort into design and strategy, it’s important that you monitor traffic and take advantage of amazing analytics tools.
Tip: There are many impacting factors, but at the very least you should track conversion rates for your key phrases.
Overall, most people consider SEO strategies a bag of tricks designed to manipulate users and search engine algorithms. This couldn’t be further from the truth. This misconception gives a bad name to SEO. In reality the main goal of SEO techniques is to implement a set of rules. After all, these rules improve user experience.”
Here is a video that covers more SEO mistakes that people make.
Following these tips will help you a great deal in making sure that your search engine optimization works as expected. The only way you will have a website that performs better than your competitors is to have professionally done SEO. This is because the right SEO company will combine different processes to push your website up the ranks using white hat SEO. If you are looking for high quality SEO services contact http://chicagoseo.wpengine.com/ today.
Is Your SEO Following Google Rules?
Google is a giant search engine and this means that a lot of users believe in it. For a business, this means that you will have to follow all the rules set by this search engine to get your business where your target customers are. Google has changed SEO rules many times and is always implementing measures that are aimed at ensuring that users are getting useful content. As opposed to what was happening years ago, including keywords multiple times will not get you to the top of search engine result pages, instead, it will get you penalized or banned from Google.
Image courtesy of http://movietvtechgeeks.com
In simple words, you have to stick to the rules by Google or you are doomed. This is the main reason why you need to let an expert handle your SEO because they understand all the updates made by Google and will tweak your content and website to be in line with these updates and rules. The article below contains important details of why your website SEO needs to be in line with the rules and regulations provided by Google
(First Seen On http://yourstory.com/2016/04/seo-strategy-aligned-google/)
“Is your SEO strategy aligned with Google’s?
Driving traffic has become the core to any business that moves online. Every marketer today has a keenly defined space for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in their marketing strategies. Therefore, it’s important to understand the changing dynamics of SEO and keep evolving with the change.
Principally, marketers have to invest time in understanding consumer behavior when it comes to search. What it is that they are looking for or typing organically? This behavior analysis forms the tool kit for optimization. Hence, every industry and sector will have to focus on their category and tap the market accordingly.
Going forward, SEO search on mobile devices will be trending, as most people are searching for local business, i.e., doctors, homes for rent, cosmetics products, restaurants nearby, using mobile search. This applies to businesses that market on national as well as international levels, as these fundamentals are key to any business.
If we closely observe what Google is doing, we will find that in the last few years it has been forcing brands and businesses to avoid certain tactics with SEO, such as poor content, key word stuffing, bad links. In other words, asking them not to create a bad experience for users who are trying to find great content and great businesses.
Keeping our ears to the ground, we have to change when Google changes. Google is forcing brands to create great content and user experience by creating mobile-friendly websites that people find friendly and valuable. It has smart people advanced technology to find out whether your website is really valuable and people are sharing content on social media and has a host of signals it tracks to determine how it should rank your business.
Dearborn has suggested a four-step approach to adopting the best practices for SEO, going forward. He has used a healthcare vertical example to explain what he means by these best practices.
1) Discover and target additional verticals
- Let’s say, that for the local chiropractor he identifies eight verticals that not only he offers as services but having search trends like fibromyalgia. He may not have fibromyalgia as a specific piece of page on that site. Now he needs to build that vertical of fibromyalgia and all the other topics.
- The SEO strategy should be to find out how to take our local market and expand it in specific verticals that people search for but include services that you do offer.
- There are ways that people search ‘pain’. They may not type in ‘back pain’ or ‘neck pain’. They may be looking to alleviate ailments naturally and searching for different types of resources, such as massages, diets or physical therapy.
- For example, a local chiropractor may have a website where he talks about general back pain and neck pain, but there are many other verticals for pain itself, i.e., knee pain, hip pain, and even those types of pain that can bring certain types of diseases.
2) Ensure a thorough keyword research
- Now that the chiropractor has identified eight verticals, the next step is to find out keywords related to them.
- Understand how people in those eight verticals are searching. For example, ‘How do I get rid of my fibromyalgia?’ or ‘Natural remedies for fibromyalgia.’ This is where we have now broken down the key verticals. Now we want to match the verticals with the keywords that are being used specifically for those verticals.
3) Ensure high quality content around that vertical and that keyword
- Let’s understand what HQC (High Quality Content) is: It is all content that is of value to users, giving information, answering questions, providing links to information and resources.
- Research by Neil Patel of Kissmetrics found that content that has 2,300 words or more will be shared twice more often as well as rank higher on search engines because people love to get into the nitty gritty and Google loves extensive content.
- How then does the chiropractor generate HQC? Either he will have to hire a team that is really good at understanding the subject or do a Google Hangout or video, or transcribe a talk with the doctor on fibromyalgia. That becomes a blogpost with the associated video.
- Ideally, it should be both video and the blog. He can take that video and rank it for those local search terms on YouTube, which is the second largest engine. He can take the transcription and turn it into a blog, polish it up, and also have blog rank within Google search terms.
Now we have verticals, keywords, extensive helpful content with inbound links, outbound links, list resources, and answers to questions – now its decent standalone content.
4) Distribute and distribute, extensively and persistently
In Dearborn’s words, “Half the work is creating the content and the other half is distributing the content.”
- How can we distribute content? Share within different groups and subgroups with each platform i.e., LinkedIn, marketing blog, retweeting.
- Distribute in detail and plan the frequency of distribution, but do it consistently i.e., emails with a large database, YouTube, how many times to retweet etc.
- Google sees there is traffic coming to it, there is a social signal, shares, activity and eyeballs on this piece of content. Doing that creates better opportunity of having that content ranked because of views and shares.”
This video provides information that can help in reshaping SEO strategies.
Bottom line, the process of search engine optimization is best left to professionals. Are you searching for professional SEO in Chicago to boost your business? We will take care of all your search engine optimization processes and ensure your website is visible and is following all Google updates and rules.
Building Your Website Business With An SEO Professional
Many people enter into the world of creating an Internet based business on their own. They feel that because they know how to access and undertake some things on the Internet that they know enough to develop an overall Internet business marketing plan. In point of fact, the typical Internet business owner actually does not know all he or she needs to know in regard to Internet marketing and promotion. If you are in the process of starting or creating an Internet based business, you should give serious consideration to employing the services of a SEO professional like Chicago Website Design SEO Company to aid you in developing your own Internet business marketing plan and program.
Of course, the basic benefit to be realized from using an search engine optimization expert to assist you with the development of an Internet marketing and promotion scheme is experiences. SEO development is something that requires experience in order to be effective. Thus, in your search for an search engine optimization expert, you will want to know precisely what type of experience a particular SEO professional might have before you engage that person to assist you with your business enterprise. The best way to obtain information about a SEO professional’s experience in the business is to obtain references from the professional.
Nothing bespeaks a person’s abilities– including a search engine optimization expert– than prior clients. By reviewing references you will be able to determine whether a particular SEO professional has the experience, ability and aptitude that will serve you and your business interests. You may hesitate to hire a SEO professional because you think such a professional will be too expensive. If you are like most business owners, you do try to maintain a strict budget.
You try to avoid any unnecessary expenses.
With that said, you should view the hiring of a SEO professional as being an investment in the future of your company or business. By retaining a SEO professional, a qualified search engine optimization expert, you will be able to have developed for your business a marketing scheme that will attract more traffic to your website. More traffic translates into more business. Of course, additional business means increased revenue. And, ultimately, an increase in revenue– obtained without breaking the bank in the process– will mean more profits from your business enterprise in the long run. In short, and as has been mentioned, hiring a search engine optimization expert can be a solid investment for your business.
How Is Google Hurt Contractors In 2016
Over a long period, Google has provided affordable methods of lead generation for contractors. With the addition of the Local Places section, contractors could be placed on the first result page with the only requirement being their business information. Contractors did not need to have a website to use Google for business promotion.
As we are all used to, Google is always making changes which are aimed at making the search engine user-friendly. Over the past few weeks, things have changed for the worst in the perspective of contractors. The changes affect the manner in which the search rresults are displayed. There is a possibility that Google will be adding an extra service that will see the search engine join other lead services such as HomeAdvisor.
Only 3 Local Places Listings Displayed
A few weeks ago, Google shifted from their 7 places listing down to 3. This simply means that businesses that occupied the 4th to 7th spots will no longer appear in the listing. Before these changes were made the local Places Listing appeared like this:
As the image above shows, with some effort on your Places Listing, you could appear in the top 7 spots and this meant more leads. This has changed and to generate more leads now, you will have to be in the top 3 spots in your town. Have a look at the new changes below:
As the image above shows, there is no address and phone number showing. There is a new direction and website button is displayed and there is a link for ‘more plumbers’ if you want to view more listings.
Looking for Contractor SEO Services? Call us (312) 448-8310
There are other things that have been altered because when you click o the company name now, you will not be taken to the Google+ page, instead you will be taken to the ‘local finder’ page which contained information about the business. This might just be a confirmation of the speculations that Google is about to drop their Google+ product.
If you are using a mobile device to search a business, the results will be slimmer as the image below shows:
Google no longer displays the website or the phone number. Google wants to track clicks and this is why they have the ‘click to call’ button in the new setting. Before these changes, Google could not track this information because the number was displayed and people could make calls from their phones. Google has made a change that has seen fewer companies and less information displayed. The big question is why would the giant search engine do this while they are always working towards ensuring the user gets the best results after a search?
Lead Service Beta Testing
Google is in the process of beta testing Home Services Ads and they are using Northern California. This means that the search engine will be moving towards the direction of charging contractors for leads. For instance, if you are looking for a plumber in San Mateo, the following are the results you will see:
As the image shows, the contractors appearing are sponsored and have completely replaced the local place listings we are used to. Another important thing to note is that the Home Service Ads have pushed Google Adwords to the right hand side of the search result column. This simply means that these Home Service Ads will take the top spots even if the PPC are enabled. These ads will include the home improvement contractor’s photo, phone number, location, ratings and promotional text detailing their services and qualifications. Clicking on the profile will give more information, and this will be user implemented. This means that you will have to pay Google to be in this area. There is a support link here that shows if you are qualified.
You will need to provide all your company information, insurance, licenses etc. because Google has the user form that allows the search engines to sell leads. If you are interested in other plumbers and you click on the ‘more plumbers to view or contact’ link, you will be taken to the following page:
Just like the typical method used by lead companies, Google will be allowing users to select the first 3 contractors in their list.
The Google’s home service ads are currently available for locksmith and plumbing home improvement contractors in California only. Though this is the case, there is a connection between these changes and the changes that are expected for the entire local places section.
For contractors who have been dropped from the top 7 listings, there is no need to worry. First, the user might not be impressed with having only 3 options. Secondly, how will Google be able to handle cases of dissatisfaction involving the top 3 contractors. This system might not take over because the contractors might also believe the leads are not worthy.
Regardless of what will happen, contractors will need to bring their online A game. As the listings shrink knocking many contractors off the top list, the contractors will have to focus their energy on meeting requirements set by Google and having a budget that will place them on the first spot of the search result page.
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SEO, The Story!
Most people hear or read about search engine optimization or SEO but do not really understand what it is all about. Many business owners are always talking about SEO and use it to beat their competitors in attracting more clients. There are always those business owners that have tried using SEO and failed. If you search online, you will find multiple search engine optimization reviews providing information on different companies that offer search engine optimization services.
When you look through internet marketing reviews and web design company reviews, you will not lack a thing or two that is connected to search engine optimization servicewomen existed long before it was referred to as search engine optimization and has changed over the years to what is now referred to as modern SEO. The best way to understand these services is by having a look at how they have changed with time and what they were all about in the different stages.
Search Engine Optimization In 2000
When the millennium was starting, most people were using Excite and Lycos as the major search engines. Back then, there were only a few people with internet access and those that did only used a very slow dial-up internet system, which of course, was quite ‘fast’ back then.
For quick loading (within 20 seconds), websites were only made of a page or two. The SEO practices used back then were to hide as many keywords as you possibly could and the website would show up in searches related to these keywords without necessarily coming out as spammy to the people visiting it.
When Google launched Adwords back in 2002, people predicted that SEO was in its deathbed. This is because people could pay to make their websites prominent regardless of the types of keywords they used in the web pages content. In 2003, Yahoo purchased FAST, AltaVista and Inktomi and this was the end of the road for small search engines that existed then.This was the beginning of search engine monopoly.
Google started identifying spammy websites and practices and this made them realize that SEO was not going to die. In an effort to promote good practices, the search engine recognized SEO services and started promoting good SEO.
2004 was the year when websites started being banned by Google because of spamming. The search engine also took ‘legal action’ against the SEO Company responsible for the spamming. All the efforts were geared towards providing better content for the user.
From 2004, Google, which was basically the top search engine, started concentrating on things such as poor linking and tightened the rules on links and spamming. This resulted in the stamping out of the naughty sites that were using ‘bad’ SEO practices. For a website to be SEO-friendly, the services had to come from the best search engine optimization company.This is because the ranking of websites on search engine result pages was done using algorithms that targeted relevance and content in relation to the search carried out.
SEO in 2010
From 2010 to 2015, search engines started taking notice of social media platforms and this filled the result pages with social medial sites related to the search.This means that you will see social media posts on the search result page by a company you are searching for.
The personal search results were introduced during this period and this increased the relevance of searches based on the history of the user. In the SEO world, the focus shifted to keywords that were more specific and this is what brought about the local SEO services. To get great results you have to work with the best local SEO Company. You can also work with the best SEO Company for small business websites to make sure that your small business gets the right kind of SEO services.
It is important to state that the processes involved in search engine optimization have overgrown the term SEO.A few years ago, the building of a website and creation of content was just enough. Today, there is much more that needs to be done to take a website to the first search engine result pages.All the processes will not be used to only rank a website but also to engage the visitors.A term that would best describe the SEO services that are used today is digital marketing.
Initially, ranking was about a single keyword used on a page or the entire website. This is because the SEO back then was all about ranking and nothing more.The efforts today are meant to impress search engines while engaging the target audience.
There are SEO companies that provide SEO services and to be in a better rank, you will need to work with the best SEO Company in the world.For example, if you are in India then you will have to choose the best SEO Company in India. This will ensure that the compan yyou are working with understands what the users in India are looking for and how they will find your business.
Why Is SEO Important?
In a world where people depend on the internet to find just about everything, business owners can only ensure that they have a solid foundation online to be where their customers are looking. Without SEO, finding a business can be a difficult task. This is the main reason why even the smallest businesses are using the services offered by SEO companies for local businesses to be in the first search engine result pages. If you have a real estate business, working with the best SEO Company for real estate will ensure that your business is at the top of search engine result pages related to real estate and the area you provide your services in.
The best way to handle this is through the best SEO company reviews. Search engine optimization reviews will give you an opportunity to check out a number of companies and compare the kind of services they offer. Keep in mind that your SEO will only succeed if you work with the best SEO Company that understands your business and your target market.