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Gone are the days when people run to the San Antonio phone book and fumble through to find a plumber when their sink starts leaking…
These days everyone runs to search engines like Google. In fact, Google processes over 3.5 billion searches a day, and of those, 46% or 1.6 billion of them are searches with local intent.
Users can more easily than ever find information about local businesses and services in their area.
That means in order to keep up with the ever-changing way consumers seek and interact with businesses, you need to meet them where they are.
That’s where internet marketing comes into play.
This can go by many names. You’ve probably heard terms like Pay-per-click, Search Engine Optimization, Digital Marketing, Digital Advertising, and the like thrown around.
These are all ultimately different approaches to internet marketing in the online world.
Search engine optimization is best explained like this:
Let’s say you’re trying to find a way to reserve tickets to the Alamo or the San Antonio Zoo. You hop on Google and search for “Alamo Reservations”.
In part, search engine optimization.
Sadly, with so many irresponsible agencies and even freelancers out there, the term “SEO” can leave a bit of a bad taste in some business owners’ mouths, especially if they’ve worked with individuals or agencies in the past who promised big results but didn’t deliver.
That’s why I tend to use the term “Internet Growth Marketing” or “Internet Growth Specialist”. But the process remains virtually the same.
A word of warning for those out there looking to hire an SEO agency or freelancer. There are a lot of bad apples out there…
There are also a lot of great people who really care about the people they work with.
I’ve been a part of agencies on both ends of that spectrum. Ones that were more concerned with numbers than results. More concerned with filling out a time sheet to make it look like they worked tons and tons of hours and overcharge you for the work.
I’ve also had the pleasure of working for agencies that cared about their customers.
In my time in this industry, I’ve learned a few things to be on the lookout for and to ask in order to help tell if an agency or freelancer is a bad apple.
Some of these are…
If you meet an agency promising you all these amazing results in just a few weeks or a month, it’s a red flag to watch out for.
That doesn’t mean that they are guaranteed to be a bad apple, but SEO isn’t generally something you can make big promises with.
So if you meet someone telling you they can skyrocket you to page 1 of the search results in a few weeks, be cautious.
I’ve told plenty of clients I’m confident I can help them reach their goals, drive more traffic, generate more sales, and the like…
But I’ll never promise them the number one slot for any search term after just a month or two. I can’t make that promise. No one can. What I can promise is that I will do my best to get you where you want to be, and give you my honest opinion about what searches you should be targeting and how I think you will do if you target those searches.
Has it happened where clients end up ranking number one for a search term in a month or two? Yes. But there are a ton of factors that go into that.
How high is the competition? What’s your content like? What’s your website like? Do you have backlinks and citations setup?
These questions can’t be answered with some blanket statement, they require in-depth research of your business and target market.
I always advise people to be cautious when a freelancer or agency approaches you for SEO services but says they want to re-design your website and put it on their hosting plan.
They aren’t necessarily looking to do anything malicious, but I’ve had it happen to clients where someone comes along promising all these results and then says “we need to re-design your website”, gets it all set up, and throws it on their hosting only to hold it hostage later…
Additionally, if your old website is already doing fairly well in the search results and they don’t know what they’re doing, they can damage your existing progress and set you back to square one.
Again, this isn’t inherently a bad thing. I’ve redesigned plenty of client sites and have hosted them upon request. But I always make sure my clients have copies of the website files sent over to them and full access to their website’s backend.
If you are approached with this problem, I’d ask them if they are going to change the URL structure of your website and if they are going to be implementing redirects for old pages that now have broken URLs.
Content is crucial in this day and age for rankings. You need to create content that engages your potential customers and answers their questions.
People do business with people they trust. And what better way to build trust than to answer their questions?
Any reputable SEO agency or freelancer should have some sort of content marketing plan in place to help you get in front of customers and build authority and local relevance within your market.
In my past experience with agencies, I’ve seen them do some really sketchy things.
One used to run and maintain a network of fake blogging sites that they would slip backlinks into to get their clients more links.
Why you ask? Because this is quicker and easier than doing the actual work.
The downside is, this is against Google’s terms of service and if they catch wind, they will completely remove your site from the index. And this actually became a problem for this agency later on down the road.
Reversing the damages of this penalization from Google is extremely difficult and costly.
The right way to get links is to create locally relevant content that links to other businesses in your area and then reach out to them and let them know you featured them.
Often this will result in a natural backlink.
You can also take on sponsorships, get listed by your local chamber of commerce, or go after some guest posting opportunities.
I cover this process in more detail here: https://184.108.40.206/backlinks/how-to-get-high-quality-local-backlinks/
Another common concern among business owners is why seeing results from SEO takes so long.
When you’re paying $800 – $2000 a month you’re taking on a lot of risk. That’s money out of your pocket.
That’s part of why I created the 14-Day $147 SEO Trial. Read more about it at the bottom of the page.
To answer the question, the reason SEO takes so long is that there are several factors involved in getting in results.
What keywords are you targeting? How hard are they to rank for? What’s the competition like? Do you have backlinks? Do you have a blog? How old is your domain?
On top of that, it takes time for search engines to re-crawl your website and see the changes you’ve made.
Google crawls over 8.9 million pages a day. Google also has over 130 trillion pages in its index.
That means Google can’t be constantly watching your site for every little change. It takes time for it to get back around and check it again. Using tools like Google Search Console can help let Google know that you have updates you’d like them to check, but it will still take them some time to get back around to you.
It also has to compare your pages and content to other websites in the same space and determine which ones are the most relevant to searchers.
This process takes time. The best advice here is to be patient when doing SEO implementations on a website. The effects often do not happen overnight but take several weeks to months to see the full results.
How Long Should I Wait Before I See Results?
The average time is about 3-6 months. In some high-competition niches, it can even be 12 months. Usually, you’ll start to see some movement around 3-6 months though. And those results will get better as time goes on.
Don’t take my word for it though. Google themselves say as much here. (Skip to 1:40):
This can change depending on who you’re working with but my process generally looks like this:
During this phase, I like to get to know you and your business. Often times this is done with a quick phone call.
I then send over a spreadsheet or form to gather some additional information about your business, including a phone number, email, your preferred communication method, website, address, any past addresses or business names you’ve used, history of your business, what makes you stand out from your competitors, services, products, goals, service areas, awards and certifications, associations you’re apart of and so on.
The document will look something like this one here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/16LkQUNiTp8zoux6KNlT-JLc4Q1JwVPfYijyi9csZvcU/edit?usp=sharing
I’ll also begin researching your market, your competitors and identifying what keywords we want to target and what kind of content we want to create.
During this phase, I begin setting up your hosting & website if applicable, as well as any missing directory listings, Google Business Profile Listings, Yelp Accounts, etc…
I’ll also get your site set up on various tools I use to monitor the campaign such as Google Search Console and Google Analytics.
During this phase, I start diving into your website and do a full technical site audit in order to identify areas that need work such as content, user experience, and structure.
This includes a deep dive into any technical fixes that need to be made to your site’s code, and resolving any speed issues.
I also do an in-depth content audit to see what pages are already ranking and how we can improve them.
During this phase I also create a 3 to 6-month content marketing plan for your website and begin creating articles for your site’s blog that establish you as a local industry leader.
My goal here is to make sure that your citations are set up correctly and that you are getting quality backlinks, including content creation and outreach.
Step 5: Repeat
If you thought that was all, you’d be wrong. This entire process is only for a month. We then need to dive in and do it all again!
Or at least the last 3 phases…
We continue monitoring progress, identifying keywords, creating new content, and doing more backlink outreach.
We don’t have to get married yet, let’s just go on a date! Try working with me for 14 days, risk-free with no commitment to continue after!
Like I said earlier, spending $800 – $2000 a month and having no idea what you get out of it is a big commitment. That’s why I created the 14-day SEO Campaign Trial.
The price is heavily discounted from my normal fee (see those prices below) and gives you a chance to see what it’s like to work with me and see if we’re a good fit.
Simply Click the Button Below To Get Started!
I believe in clear and transparent pricing.