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Rank Your Website
Ranking your website in Google is accomplished through a process known as Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO has morphed dramatically over the last few years and now there are over 200 factors Google looks at when it is deciding to rank a site. An SEO will examine the most important of these factors, and optimize your site to get it ranked #1 for keywords relevant to your business.
The main strength SEO has over other forms of marketing is that it can put you directly in front of people who are actively looking for your services. For example, if you are looking for a roofer in Buffalo, you would type in “Buffalo roofing” (or some variation of that), then you would click on the top site and probably give them a call. This is different from other forms of marketing like billboards or banner ads on websites because the potential customer is looking for you instead of you throwing your ad out there and hoping someone is interested.
There are some inherent risks with SEO that you should be aware of however. The most common is getting your website penalized. What this means is that Google has decided whatever you are doing has broken their terms of service, and has prevented your site from ranking for anything ever. Penalties can vary in severity depending on the infraction, but are never good for your site and are typically caused by someone implementing out of date or unprofessional tactics (such as link wheels, spamming, or keyword stuffing).
Another risk you should be aware of is hiring cheap labor. I will go into more detail regarding what to look for when hiring an SEO agency in another post, but much like physical products, digital services have been known to be outsourced to less than reputable third party companies in other countries. These companies tend to get paid a fraction of what an agency charges the initial client, and implement tactics like the ones mentioned above.
Despite all the doom and gloom, the potential reward for a business who hires the right professional and gets results can be astronomical. For example, the “Buffalo roofing” keyword I mentioned above actually gets 170 searches per month. This means ranking number 1 would give you approximately 50 extra people clicking your site per month. Depending how good your sales process is, you could end up with between 5 and 15 extra clients per month. If you are a roofer, you know how much extra that could net you in profits. If you are not a roofer, I will just say that (depending on the size and scale of the job) a full roof repair could run anywhere from a couple thousand, to $100,000+.
With that, it is up to you as the business owner to decide where to allocate your marketing budget, and it is crucial that you make the choice that best suites your business needs (especially if you are on a shoestring budget).[/text-with-icon]