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What is SEO?
Basically, SEO stands for "Search Engine Optimization". The search engine is basically Google, but there are others search engines people use that also like SEO. But, the optimization part takes a lot of knowledge and work.
A brand new website can take from 4 days to 4 weeks to show up in Google and other search engines if you do nothing, and just wait. Google will find you and index you on its terms.
But lets say, once Google finds you, that your website is on the 4th page of Google search results when your customers type in "carpet cleaning YourCity". Customers will probably never find your business website on the 4th page. You want to be on 1st or 2nd page. And how do you get there?
Work. And that work is called SEO, or Search Engine Optimization.
SEO services will help your website to be discovered by search engines faster, and then to rank faster and higher, so you can show up on the 1st or 2nd page of results.
And it takes Time. SEO is an investment. Investments can pay off quickly, but most SEO efforts are long-term - and you really should start as early as possible.
The more SEO work done for your site, and the earlier you start, the higher you can rank.
But look. All you are trying to do is out-rank your competition in your area. You can put $5000/month towards SEO work on your website, but if you have very little competition in your area, then it's a waste of money! So, if you live in the heart of New York City, you'll have a ton of competition. If you live in an area where you're the only carpet cleaner within a hundred miles, you'll have zero competition for those top spots in Google. New York will take a LOT of SEO work. Backwoods Montana will require very little SEO work.
I build websites from the start to be SEO Friendly.
Some of my carpet cleaners rank well on Google searches even at this level, with no extra SEO services. Their area is not very competitive.
NO extra SEO services:
Some cleaners aren't interested in SEO at all. They either live in very low competition areas, or they are successfully using other marketing efforts, and they only need an "online brochure" to put on their business cards and newspaper ads.
Then we have some that rank well with just an initial "SEO setup" where I go through and do ALL the little things Google likes (list coming). This is a one-time effort. Sometimes this effort may need to be repeated every 6 months or annually, because your competition level is always changing.
This is like getting an SEO booster shot. This is also a one-time effort that we do periodically as necessary, responding to the competition in your area - maybe every 6 months or once a year.
ONGOING MONTHLY SEO on-page, and off-page:
Then we have some cleaners that require "ongoing monthly SEO" because competition is tougher in their area. Here we do work every month to constantly improve the Google-happy parts of your website.
We had one cleaner in downtown Santa Fe that we estimated to require $1500/month worth of SEO work in order to rank on the first page within 6 months, because competition was fierce. This was unfortunately cost-prohibitive for that cleaner. And that happens, but situations and competition is always in flux. It's good to invest in your SEO at least a minimum amount for a while, because a year or two down the line, you'll be poised to take those top spots for less.
On-page is optimizing your website, getting all your Google-happy ducks in a row (see below).
Off-page is getting quality links and guest blogging citations from other websites, and social media.
The idea is to do the smallest effective amount of optimizing.
I always recommend an initial SEO setup:
The first level of SEO I do is the "On-page SEO setup" for a one-time charge of $125.
I know a lot of this list won't sound like English, but this is my "SEO setup" Google-happy checklist:
- Put unique text copy on every page (length 250-350 words/keyword density).
- Split all services onto their own pages.
- Geo Target your target cities on each SERVICE page.
- Optimize Title tags, H1 and H2 heading tags, meta description tags, image alt tags
- Google webmaster tools verification
- HTML and XML sitemaps
- Google sitemap submission
- Robots.txt created
- .htaccess redirects
- Search Engine Friendly URLs
- Built out 3 new landing pages for local optimization (target 3 cities/services combinations)
- Internal linking with keyword anchor text
- Custom 404 page
Some of this will require a small amount of HOMEWORK from you; especially in #1, writing unique text copy for each page.
I'll also need you to tell me which cities/towns/areas you wish to target most. I'll walk you through that.
NEW SITE GOING LIVE:
If you choose to purchase the SEO Setup, all I have to do is #9 and #10 before I take the site live, and it takes about 3 business days.
Then the rest will take about a month, plus your HOMEWORK time.
Wanna do it?
I highly recommend it.
Let me know, and I'll send you an invoice for $125 and get the ball rolling.
If you do, I also highly recommend a customer contact form on your site. It costs $10/month, and if you aren't getting people using it, you can always drop it.
Any questions? Lemme know!