SEO and Google
What is SEO?
It stands for Search Engine Optimization.
Google's own simple definition of SEO is this:
SEO is the process of making your website better for search engines.
Expanding on that a little further: SEO is the consistent improvement to the elements in and around your website that helps the popular search engines (Google, Bing, etc) determine your true quality, and rank you appropriately. A higher rank (or quality score) benefits you with higher positioning in the search engine's natural, organic search results — which means more visitors to your website, which leads to more customers.
SEO really is a critical service you need to get acquire new customers online. It's one of the the most effective small investments in your internet marketing strategy.
It's important to note that SEO is NOT a get-customers-quick solution.
And rankings cannot be guaranteed by anyone.
Like ALL good investments, SEO takes time, and is a risk. SEO is a long-term — but almost always a very solid — investment.
From Google's own Document:
No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google.
"Beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee rankings, allege a "special relationship" with Google, or advertise a "priority submit" to Google. There is no priority submit for Google." — Google
So, How Much Time Does it Take to Rank?
"Remember that it will take time for you to see results: typically from four months to a year from the time you begin making changes until you start to see the benefits." — Google
Typical SEO services
Over the years, many of my website clients have hired SEO "experts" who have charged them $180 - $300 a month for very basic and/or shoddy service. I saw what they were doing first-hand, and I believed they were charging too much for too little.
"It is not the job of search engine optimization to make a pig fly. It is the job of an SEO to engineer the website so that it becomes an eagle" — Bruce Clay
For many years, I refused to get involved in the SEO service business, because so often the SEO business was all about "gaming the system" or "making a pig fly" with techniques used to exploit Google's weaknesses, instead of actually improving your website for your visitors and doing what Google has always wanted — to promote the highest quality websites of the highest quality businesses.
Starting in 2019 ... because of Google's increasing strengths in 2019, and because I'm an artist, writer, information architect, statistician, and user experience designer, I find it much more appealing and positively challenging to provide top-rated expert carpet cleaners with truly high quality websites — always improving, always gathering data and experience, and thus providing efficient SEO services, custom-tailored specifically for carpet cleaning "Eagles" — at a lower cost.
So, the broad approach is this:
First, YOU have to be an Eagle.
Then your website has to be an Eagle.
Then your web assets have to be Eagles
and then your SEO can help you soar.
The typical SEO often gamed Google's weaknesses enough to get results for you — at first — but the gains were short-lived, because Google got smarter. Google is constantly improving their SECRET formula (known as their "algorithm"), and those ill-gotten gains from those outdated SEOs — a bad investment — were instantly lost when Google updated their algorithm.
All of Google's improvements, formulas, algorithms, and technologies are aimed towards sifting through billions of websites to find the best. That's all Google has ever cared about. Google will increasingly get better and better at seeing through all the old SEO tactics of 2010-2015 — like buying and selling cheap links, and making awkward landing pages, and getting easy low-value citations, and buying up weird generic domain names (www.best-professional-carpet-cleaner-in-the-world.com).
As a professional carpet cleaner, you are only concerned with the competition in your immediate area.
1. SEO starts with YOU providing excellent professional expert-quality service and great results.
2. Then having an excellent constantly growing and improving website.
3. And then having a solid set of connected web assets: mostly citations, Google My Business, reviews, social media — and links + my "secret weapon". OOoo.
4. And then doing a bunch of solid, consistent, evidence-based SEO-proven tasks.
Most SEOs that you have hired in the past just skip to the very basics of #4.
It's my positive challenge to bring you MORE COMPLETE, and MORE Carpet-Cleaner SPECIFIC SEO services — at a lower cost than you've been paying independent SEOs and "Website Factories" — so you can keep more of your money.
As both your Solid Setup Website Designer AND your SEO provider, I can build SEO hooks and quality features right into your website from the start, and save us both time, effort, and money. I'm more efficient, and The Solid Setup is a far better investment of your SEO dollars.
In a nutshell, my SEO program is focussed on proven, high-value, long-term growth. Plus, I am creating a secret competitive project that you'll read about later in this tour, code-named "The Mothership".
What I'll be doing for you should be transparent
and no mystery to you.
Recently, there was a SEO chart circulating the forums on Mikey's Board showing all the important SEO tasks. But when I read through the chart, it seemed like it was created in 2015 — very outdated in SEO terms — and it was not specific to carpet cleaners. Also, it looked a bit overwhelming and tricky to follow.
Well, I broke that chart down into a checklist, tailored it to fit top-rated professional carpet cleaners, added a few important items, and deleted some outdated advice, and wrote an article ...
If you really want to read (or skim) a detailed article on my SEO strategies for top-rated carpet cleaners, you can read My SEO Strategy for Top-Rated Carpet Cleaners.
Beware of "Number 1 in Google!"
I get these emails every day. PLEASE don’t fall for these. Even if they are legitimate, they usually charge too much for too little.
Here are some quotes DIRECTLY from Google:
"Reserve the same skepticism for unsolicited email about SEO as you do for ‘burn fat at night’ diet pills." — Google
"If they guarantee you that their changes will give you first place in search results, find someone else." — Google
I go into more detail in my article on Spammy Scammy SEO Marketing Hype
The Role of SEO in the Big Picture
There are so many myths about the role of SEO for your website marketing strategies. I hate to be the barer of disappointing news, but SEO is a long-term strategy, and it won’t "get your phone ringing off the hook in a few months." Don't fall for the hype.
I’m here to be totally straight up with you. SEO is a slow process. But it's very valuable in the way that a savings account — or better yet, an investment portfolio — so it's helpful to think of SEO as a long-term investment. As Google says, you may not see results for 4 months to a year, but if you make regular deposits into the SEO account, so to speak, you'll reap the rewards as quickly as possible. You'll wish you had gotten started sooner.
I do have a plan to boost your website as fast as possible, but as Google says, I still cannot "guarantee results".
Which leads me to my the secret project I mentioned earlier, code named "The Mothership". Don’t tell anyone about this yet.
One of the best ways to boost your own SEO is by having connections (links) from a very big and reputable nationwide carpet cleaning website.
As I have researched carpet cleaning companies in Google results, I did notice that the big national franchises (you know who they are) often show up near the top. Why? Are they that much better than you? Probably not.
What they have is The Power of a Group of 60-100 franchisees, each with an entire web-page for their city, as part of a single, very large, nationwide website. I thought it would be GREAT if I could convince someone like Stanley Steemer to let YOU have a page on their website for your city, AND to let you keep your own branding.
But of course, they’d laugh off the idea as ridiculous. Their website is only to promote their own franchisees.
But, what if I built a reputable website — a lot like theirs — except only top-rated, small, independent, local brands with extraordinary skill and experience and exceptional customer service could occupy a web-page for their city? And what if we got 60 - 100 (or 900!) in this group?
You'd be an active part of a full-featured national website — I call "The Mothership" — that has the potential to pass up the national franchises in Google Search Results and website visitors.
Thus the topic of our next page is …
Next: The Mothership