SEO For a Lawn Care Business

By | August 10, 2019


bjbj SEO, basically it stands for search engine
optimization and it concerns a number of different things. But basically, search engine optimization,
the reason you do it is to rank high in Google and Bing, any of the major search engines.
It concerns a number of different factors. We’ll just break them down into a few of the
main ones. This is a very, very in-depth topic but we’re going to try to simplify it as best
we can and just touch on the most important aspects. I would say there are probably four
main things, and then you can break them down into certain levels. But the four main things
would be key phrase research, the absolutely most important thing that you’ll be doing,
very important you get that right. The next would be the actual content on your website,
the text that people see, the visible part of your website, and then the code and sort
of the behind the scene things on your website. The structure of the site. Yes, exactly right,
the HTML, the JavaScript, the CSS, the way the site is actually structured. Right. The
place where your text is placed, your headlines are placed, and it even goes even further
to your domain name that you choose and things to that extent. Then another huge, huge factor
is what we call backlinking. Yeah. Backlinking I’ll go into more in-depth with in some other
videos, but it’s also a very, very big part of search engine optimization. It’s one of
those things that doesn’t take place on your website. It takes place away from your website.
Right. We’ll talk about that in a bit. Let me give a little bit of information on that,
because I think otherwise they might be wondering a little bit about this. Okay. So, in case
you’re not sure, too, if this is even worth watching, you now have the definition of SEO.
I personally think SEO, I mean you’ve got the paper plates, you’ve got the local. I
think SEO is the thing where massive money can be made. Yes. That’s why I think understanding
this is so worth the time because this is the topic here that – I think it’s one of
the most profitable things you can do in your entire business. Yes. So, let me say something
about backlinking because you’re going to talk about it more. Sure. Basically when you
get into SEO you’ve got two things. You’ve got, one topic is on-site optimization, which
is exactly what Andrew has talked about. It’s the stuff you do to your physical website
so that it looks attractive to the search engines. So that when somebody types in a
keyword phrase on the internet, Google looks all around the web and say, “Well, which sites
might match this keyword phrase, has something to do with it?” They look at the wording and
all these key things you just talked about… Yes. …on the website. That’s one of their
first forms of criteria in trying to decide if they should even show it to the person
that just did the search. So that’s on-site optimization, real important. Then, even more
important is this concept Andrew called “backlinks” and that’s the actual term. If you want to
learn more, you search on “backlinks”. But there’s another word for it called “off-site
optimization”. It’s the stuff, just like Andrew said, that happens outside of your website.
So if you can imagine, you’ve got your website. Everything you do there, that’s on-site optimization.
Everything that happens all around the web, at Yelp, at ServiceMagic… Google Places.
…Google Places, posting on somebody’s blog, asking questions, everything that has your
link back to your website, that’s a backlink. It’s called “off-site optimization”. If you’re
in a highly competitive market, meaning let’s say you sell a service and there’s a ton of
guys competing, all trying to get their websites to the top of the search engines just like
you, then these backlinks could be as much as 80%. They could be 80… Very important.
Yeah. If you don’t get this right, you have no chance because 80% of all the effort you
put into optimizing your website has to be put on the backlinks. Exactly right. Now,
if you’re in a lesser competitive market, where there’s hardly anybody competing on
that search phrase, sometimes you can just do the on-site stuff and maybe a couple backlinks
but mainly just on-site, and you can get results. So, depending on how important your phrase
is, then that’s going to determine how much effort you need to put into the backlinks,
which we’re going to talk about. But the backlinks is a topic you definitely want to understand.
It’s like a popularity contest. What happens is – I’m sorry I’m taking over here but I
think this is important – so what happens is you’ve got your on-site optimization which
tells Google if whatever they’re searching on is if your website is even about that topic.
Then, if it’s a highly competitive market, they look at all the other websites out there
that are about that same topic and the one that’s more popular, and they determine popularity
based on how many backlinks, how many links you have back to the site . . . As well as
the number of [inaudible 00:04:27] Yeah, exactly, of course. I’m simplifying on purpose. Yes.
But they look at these backlinks and at some level, whoever has more backlinks, the good
backlinks… Yes. …then they tend to rise up in the rankings. In the simplest terms,
at the end of the day, a lot of ranking on the web is a popularity contest in a sense.
Yeah. Think of every link that you have from another website to your website is a vote.
That’s a great one, vote, yeah. As you mentioned, the most competitive search terms, there’s
no way you will ever get in the top ten unless you have an incredibly strong backlinking
campaign. Yeah. If it’s a very competitive search result, without backlinks, no matter
how good your on-site optimization is, you’re not going to break the top ten. Yeah. That’s
a great one. That’s what we’ve seen. Very cool. Yeah. We’ll go into more in-depth in
this in some other videos and this one as well, but it’s very good that you highlight
the importance of it. Yes. In some cases it can be even more important than doing your
on-site optimization. Yeah. But as with anything in SEO and on-line marketing, you don’t focus
on just one thing. You want to do a wide variety of different things and take advantage of
a lot of the different things that Google and Bing look at in order to rank your site
high. So backlinking is just one of them. There are many other things that we’ll be
talking about. So, what is the most important thing to do first? Key phrase research, got
to do it. It’s like the foundation of everything. Yes. Got to do it and, most importantly, you
have to do it right. Yeah. If you don’t do it right, you’re going to waste a ton of time
and money targeting search terms that people aren’t using to find your business. Right.
Or I would even interject, and this is an advanced topic, they seem like they’re search
terms where a lot of people are searching, but for whatever reason, and sometimes these
things can’t be explained, people that go search on that term don’t buy. For what, you
can’t explain it. So there’s advanced topics here we’re going to talk about later in the
video on how to make keyword research even more valuable. Yes, test. So talk about this
because… Yeah, test. I know you do a lot of work with keyword research and you [inaudible
00:06:44] a lot. Yes. So tell people a little bit about it. Keyword phrases are just search
terms, right? Yeah. It’s just another word for the search terms that people enter in
Google. When you go to Google, whatever words you type into the search engine before you
hit the Submit button, that’s the key phrase. That’s just the search terms that people are
using to find a product, a service, whatever they’re searching for on the web. Google counts
every single one that’s ever typed into the system. Oh, everything’s logged. Yeah, they
track everything so that’s why, when you’re trying to figure out what you’re going to
use as your keyword phrases, Google can literally give you a count… How many times people
have searched for it. …how many times people have searched in a time period. Yes. Yep.
Or even by seasonality. This is another cool advanced topic. We’ll talk about it but you
can even see, based on the keyword phrase, in March a whole lot more people searched
on this topic than they do in December. That’s good stuff to know. It’s good stuff to look
at. Google is pretty good about giving you a lot of sort of backend data that you can
use to do your own research and find out exactly what key phrases are best for your business,
what are some niche key phrases and different ways that you can get leads that other competitors
might not have thought of, so key phrase research, hugely important. You have to get it right.
This is something I always tell people who… Like I said, we get a lot of calls of people
who are just kind of scoping out our services, what we can do for them, and a lot of them
at first are trying to do it themselves. But I always recommend, if you’re going to try
and do things yourself, at least have a professional or somebody who’s very familiar with key phrase
research and, even more importantly, with your industry or your market. Have them do
your key phrase research. Yeah. Because if you don’t do it right, and you’re targeting
the wrong terms . . . You’re wasting your money and time. …you’re throwing your money
out the window. Yep. So I just want to stress that again. But it’s hugely important that
it’s done right. Hey, on the topic of keyword phrases, so something I’ve always done all
these years, if you’re in the service industry… Well, you’re in the service industry, so in
the service industry people generally search on, lawn care in a city, or plumbing in a
city, or HVAC in a city. Is any of that changing? Is that still happening? Yes it is and we’re
also seeing… If you remember earlier in 2011 as well, Google introduced their search
recommendations. When you start typing . . . Right, instant search. Exactly. When you start typing,
it’ll start making recommendations of what it thinks that you’re searching for. So, when
they did that, they also sort of introduced some search phrases that people might not
have been using as much as they used to. So, we’ve done research on that as well for particular
industries that we’re servicing and we’ve also included those search terms in the key
phrases that we target. Oh, that’s smart. Another point that I should make about recent
key phrase research is that no matter what your business is, there’s going to be more
than one search term that people are using to find businesses like you and your competitors.
Oh, yeah. Yeah. I’m just throwing a number out there, but typically for a lot of businesses
that we work for, if they’re a service business in a geographic area, they’re going to have
more than 20 key phrases that should be targeted for the [inaudible 00:10:06]. Depending on
the industry or pretty true for every industry? I’m speaking specifically about location-based
services and companies. Okay. But typically you’re probably going to have 20, just about
no matter what your business is. Yep. Okay. There are different variations. Even if you’re
a plumber and you think, “Oh, my search term is going to be ‘plumber in Cincinnati’, whatever.”
No, there are going to be other ones. “Best plumber in Dallas”. I don’t know if that’s
an exact one but I see a lot of stuff with “best” in it. Another example of… Exactly
right. There are going to be a lot of different variations. There’s going to be “emergency
plumbing repair”, different things like that. It’s more than two or three words. There are
people typing entire sentences when they’re searching. We try to determine those search
terms as well and use that in the site content, within the backlinking and our whole on-line
marketing plan to really beef up their search results. So, that’s key phrase research. What
about on-site? You talked about that in the beginning. Yes. You were talking about, so
we’ve got our website. There’s stuff we’ve got to do to that. Yep. This was the part
about Google evaluating every website out there and seeing which ones match the phrase
to determine which ones, potentially, to send their customers, Google’s customers, the person
searching, where to send their customers. Right. Tell us a bit, what is the number one
most important thing on that page? Page title. Yes. Page title. Okay. Top tags are actually
what you see… Just to be clear, title tags are what you see at the top of your browser
window, at the top of your program window. So, it’s also what you see in the search results
page. When you search for a specific search term, you’ll see the listings and it will
have the actual page title right there in the search engine’s results page. Below that
you’ll see the description, which is the Meta description. Page title is the most important
because Google looks at that information and it sees that as the subject of the page. So,
you really want to include your key phrase in that page title. Generally, the very first
word should be your most important key phrase. Just by doing that, you will see your site
rank helped just by doing that simple thing, putting your number one key phrase right there,
the first word on your page title. So, they’re very important. The impact that it will have
on your ranking is direct, and you can see that change, so very important. This is just
one of a number of on-site factors, but it is the most important. Let’s talk about a
few others before we do. Okay. You had mentioned something. We were talking about the page
title tag… Yes. …top left. You alluded to the fact that when somebody searches, the
title tag is what they see in the… There are a couple lines it’ll show in Google when
you do your search on a phrase. It’s the first line that shows, that’s the title tag. That’s
correct. The second line is the Meta description, that’s what you called it. Yes. It’s basically
in the code of the webpage. Right. Now, this isn’t really very impactful from my understanding
on search results. I’ve heard it’s debatable. You can say what you will, I mean just go
ahead and tell me. But I want to talk just briefly about how it is important, though,
because that’s what the user sees and that could draw them into actually clicking on
the website. That’s exactly right, and that’s the whole point of even including a meta description
tag. Right. If you go back ten years, people were putting a lot of weight behind the meta
keyword tag and the meta description tag. These days, meta keywords, completely ignored.
It’s something that you can completely delete from your page. Yeah. None of the major search
engines use it, include it. It’s worthless. Many, many years ago, ten plus years ago,
people would stuff them with key words and it did actually have an impact on the crappy
search engines of many years ago. When Google came around, it discarded a lot of that information
and completely ignores the tag today. The Meta description tag, however, it does use
that. It uses that information for directing the search engine results page. If you don’t
include a Meta description in your page code, it’s going to take probably the first paragraph
of content in your body copy, in the text that you can read on your page. It’s probably
going to take that first paragraph and push that with the description. So, it’s important
that you include a Meta description. The way that we think of it is the Meta description
is really kind of your sales pitch. Yep. Kind of like your headline, headline for your website
to get them to click. Yeah. It should be, give them a little bit of information about
whatever that page is and kind of encourage them to click on that page. That’s really
what the Meta description tag is for these days. Again, it appears right underneath the
page title on the search engine results page. So, we do include that in all the pages that
we do. You want to have a meta description for that very reason so you can control exactly
what your message is to your prospective clients and people who are searching for the particular
terms that you’re targeting. Good. All right, so let’s keep moving down. So, number one,
page title, you’ve got to get this one right. Number two headers, header tags, H1 tags,
H2, that kind of stuff. Yep. Tell them a little bit about what that means. A header is just
simply a… If you’re at all familiar with HTML, there are a couple of tags that you
use to format your text. Some of them are called they’re literally H1, H2, H3, H4, H5.
These are just tags that you would wrap your text in within the page. Inside the programming
code, inside the HTML. Exactly, inside the HTML and this is basically formats that text
as a title. It just makes the font larger and it bolds the text. Of course these days,
we have full control over how that looks so it could be any size, any color, not bold,
bold, tiny, large. The way it looks doesn’t matter so much as the fact that it’s wrapped
around these tags. Because you wrap H1 or H2 text around these tags, Google and other
search engines do look at that and see that as a title, which goes along, sort of, with
your page title in the same sense that it thinks it’s a description of the text that’s
going to be following it. Yep. So it’s also good to include your key phrases in that as
well. Also, I’d include, and this would be a little bit more in-depth, it would be your
sales pitch. It would be your call to action. It would be some of these things. But you
want to always, if at all possible, include your key phrase within an H1 and H2, one of
these tags on your page, if at all possible. Yeah. We’re going to talk about this more
but it’s a balancing act between getting rankings, like getting the search engines to like and
favor your website to show it, and then making sure that the text you’re using in your site
. . . Sells. . . . converts, sells, gets them to keep reading, gets them to buy, gets them
to take action. So it’s this balancing act. Now fortunately, there are plenty of case
studies that prove, in some cases, using exactly the key word phrase in these titles actually
helps convert. Yes. It works. So you’ve just got to try things and test them. You’ve got
to test it, exactly right. Yep. Body copy, you can probably talk about body copy and
text and then since we’re kind of taking about headlines, what about image search these days.
I know this isn’t probably one of the biggest ones but alt tags for your images, you want
to talk about one of those? Yeah. We track everything that we do, so it’s not like you’re
going to be getting new clients because they’re searching for an image… Right. …of lawn
care or plumbing or anything like that. But Google does look at all the code on your page
and if it sees images that are named “lawn maintenance, Dallas, Texas” or the alt tag,
which is the text that shows up before that image is loaded – it’s generally not visible
to the viewer but it’s there in the background and the search engines read it. If it sees
that as your alt tag, it also factors that into your page ranking, where your page ranks,
because it thinks that your page actually contains images that have to do with the search
terms that the page is ranking for. So that’s also one of many, many, many factors that
we include. We try to be as thorough as possible and hit all of the elements that we possibly
can to make your page as optimized and optimum as possible and as friendly as possible to
Google, Bing, all the major search engines. So that’s another thing. Image tags and even
further than that, it is important to even include your key phrase even in your URL.
Alt description. Oh, in URL. Yeah, in your directory structure. So that would be not
the domain name? Right. Well, that’s important too. Sure. We’ll talk about that later but
you’re talking about what comes after the domain name. So it’s myplumbingcompany.com
and then /, it’s that next part. Page. The page name. Page name, the actual file name.
Yeah, okay, that. It could be plumbingservices.html. Exactly. It’s good to have a key phrase in
that page if that page is about what the key phrase is that you’re talking about. I’ve
seen from experience that’s really big because a lot of times on Google, especially in markets
with less competition for a key word phrase, you’ll a lot of times see the subpages appearing.
Yes. Instead of, if you had a website called “Jimmy’s Plumbing” or “Jimmy’s Lawn Care”
and you had “Lawn Care Dallas” or “Plumbing Dallas”, a lot of times, because of that subpage,
that’s what will appear in Google. When you click on it, it’ll go right to that subpage.
That’s right. Every page on your website, like we mentioned earlier, every page on your
website should be targeting a different set of key phrases. Right. This is good, because
you don’t want your main page of your website showing up for every single search term that
people are searching for in Google or Bing or whatever. You want them to get the page
that has the exact message… Exactly. …that will sell them on whatever they’re searching
for. Yep. So that’s good. We like that Google does that. That’s great. That’s how it should
be. That makes sense and that’s the whole reason why we target one or two specific key
phrases different on every page of the website. Yep, and this brings up a good point. So one
thing I’ve observed with a lot of companies, and maybe it’s because of the amount of money
people are willing to spend, but I think a lot of SEO companies or agencies, what they
do is they get cheap on this. They set up the structure of these pages properly and
it’s a lot of work. You’re right. It really is a lot of work to create all these subpages.
So, they get lazy or cheap or whatever it is, and so they basically just throw up a
whole bunch of content and then quit thinking about the marketing ramifications. Like you
were saying, when somebody goes to that site, just because they got there, if you were lazy
about it and didn’t build that page out well to connect with the user and get them to take
action, they’re just going to leave so it was all wasted effort. That’s exactly right.
So if you don’t have the time to build out 20 and you’ve only got the time to build out
three, you’re better off building out three subpages way better than you are 20 mediocre
ones. That’s a very good point. As an SEO consultant, the most of the time that my team
spends is our copywriters spend a ton of time creating optimized content that sells. That
takes a lot of time. It’s expensive, but it’s one of the most important things you can do.
Have good copy, have optimized copy and the other most expensive thing that we do is backlinking,
of course. Backlinks. Backlinking and writing original copy, they’re just very time-consuming
things but it’s a necessity. This is a good point. So speak to the concept of – go along
this idea of getting lazy about things. A lot of times you’ll see somebody take their
website, put it up under another domain. Sure. Or you’ll see them take a website subpage
and just change a couple of the key words in the page and then change some of the wording
through the pages. It’s pretty much the same copy otherwise. What does Google and Yahoo
and those guys think of that? Well, years ago you could get away with that on a certain
extent. Especially beginning this year, Panda update rolled out and that was specifically
targeting sites that were basically – all that they did was host tons of articles and
press releases and sales pages that were almost identical, except there were a couple words
here and there changed out. They were then linking back to their main site. The whole
Panda update that came out around March of 2011, that really affected sites that were
taking advantage of that. The sites that weren’t affected were the websites that were writing
original content, that were updating the content on their websites, that were always updating
with something fresh and new. Yep. How often you need to do this is going to depend on
your market, again, and how competitive it is. This is also one of the reasons why we
recommend that our clients have blogs. Yeah. We maintain a lot of blogs for our clients.
We write a lot of original content for them on a weekly basis, on a biweekly basis, depending
on what their budget is. But blogs are a great way to have fresh content on a site. Google
loves it. Yep. If you ever dig through any of Google’s blogs and listen to some of the
lectures that some of their programmers give that write the actual algorithm that ranks
all of our websites, they all say the same thing. Content is king and fresh content is
going to be valued high by Google. That’s true with Google. It’s true with Bing. It’s
true with all the search engines. Yeah. A lot of savvy people are looking through the
patents that Google is filing… Yes. …to figure out how their algorithm works because
Google’s trying to protect it with patents. So basically, at the end of the day, what
everybody sees between what you were talking about this patent is Google’s trying to create
an algorithm that looks for real information. What would a person naturally do? For example,
tell me if I’m wrong in any way here, but what Google’s looking for is, if all of a
sudden this website pops up and it’s got 400 pages perfectly optimized and it happens overnight,
nobody’s ever coming to this site, there’s no traffic, Google’s getting smart enough
to realize stuff like that. They’re looking for natural, how does it work in the real
world. You put up a site. You add a blog post. Tomorrow you add another one. Three days you
add another one. Then you update some stuff on your site. They’re looking for that build
in traffic. Exactly right. They’re looking for that natural… They know how a natural
site develops on the web from its inception and then as it grows. They know what’s normal
and what’s not. Yep. Their algorithm is just going to continue to get better and better
and better so this is why you don’t want to try to fool it. You don’t want to try to trick
it. You want to play by the rules. But it does mean additional work. It means writing
original copy. It means getting good quality backlinks. It means putting in a lot of work
and a lot of leg work. But when you do it that way, you’ll avoid getting banned in the
future and you’ll have stable rankings. You’ll grow and climb slowly in the rankings but
your rankings will be stable… They’ll last. Yep. …and you’re not going to get kicked
when they do a huge update. Yeah. I think about this, personally, in the stuff we do.
I think about this as a long-term investment. So there was these terms “black hat”, “gray
hat”, these were terms they used to use for trying to fake out the search engines. They
still do. There are always [inaudible 00:25:50]. A lot of SEO companies to try to make their
client think that they’re getting them instant results, do a lot of this bad stuff. It’s
going to come back to haunt the guys that’s paying the SEO guys or the agency all this
money. So I’d rather just do it right, just everything you’re describing because you’re
here to beat… You don’t want to spend a bunch of money and then have your site gone
in a month or a year or two years. Right. You don’t really have much recourse when you’re
blacklisted by Google. You’re done. Yeah. Google doesn’t care about you. You wait it
out. It can be months. Yeah, so let’s talk a little bit more about the body copy. We
were eluding to that because it’s a good conversation now because you were talking about the blog,
updating with fresh content. Yeah. Talk about body copy a bit and how you might use through
there. Is it still important? Is it relevant? What should people be thinking about? Yeah,
definitely. Your body copy should obviously be detailing your services. It’s going to
depend on what pages are on your site, obviously. But it should be detailing their service.
It should also have a call to action. It should be a sales page. You should tell them why
you provide the best service or the best product in that particular market. You can do that
creatively but make sure you include your key phrase a number of different times. I
would include a key phrase at least once every 100 words probably. It doesn’t have to be
the same thing every time. If your key phrase is “plumbing services”… A thesaurus is a
great thing to use when you’re doing this because you can alternate your words. Sure.
Just like you’re saying. Google seems to be smart enough, am I wrong? Don’t they seem
to be smart enough to pick up? They know the similarity of words. Yes. So, you still seem
to get the value for all that. Yes. It will relate different search phrases even though
the words are different. Are different. Yes. So, I would repeat your key phrases. You can
do it in different variations and stuff but the idea is to really create a theme to the
page. The theme to the page is whatever your main key phrase is. So, that theme should
continue on through all the content in your page including the code, like we discussed,
the images and the actual file name of the page, the file name of the image, so on and
so forth. So, a lot of service companies have a services page, “This is what we do.” Sure.
They list out their services. Is that good enough? I know it’s a great start but should
they go deeper and have a page dedicated to each individual service? Yes. That’s what
we’d recommend and that’s generally what we do for our clients. Have a main service page.
List all your services on that page in probably a paragraph for each service below that, just
a simple description. All of that copy should be unique. We’ll go into further about unique
copy here next. But all that copy should be unique. Then each of those services, even
though you already have a description there… I know you might feel that that should be
enough, generally. Back in the day that was. But now you need to actually link the title
of that service and that title is generally going to be a key phrase specific to that
service. That should link to a page containing that key phrase and probably 300 words about
that service and, again, those key phrases for that service would be repeated in that
page. Yeah, good. So I know we’re going to talk about copy, but one thing I really like
is when you get to the service page, to have a video. Yes. So video definitely sells. Video
is great. Video is great. Since, we’re talking about rankings and getting traffic, does video
help at all? Yeah, absolutely. It helps in a number of different ways. A couple right
off the bat, is customers like to feel like they can trust you, like they can give you
their money and they are going to get a valuable service in return. Yeah. Part of the ability
to see you on camera and see you speak to them directly – even though they might not
have met you face to face and maybe they never will, depending on your business – you are
building a certain level of trust there, just by putting yourself on camera. Putting yourself
in front of them and sort of laying down way they can trust you and why they should give
you their business. So there’s that aspect of it. It builds some credibility. It build
some trust. Yeah, exactly. Obviously [inaudible 00:30:06] huge. Yeah. We’re both big fans.
Then, there’s another aspect of that as well. Google pays attention to how long you’re on
a page. Right. In a search result page, when you click on a result, Google is tracking
the time between when you click on that result, go to the page, look at that page and how
long you stay on that page. They can tell how long you stay on that page because if
you’re going back, they know that you were on that page for only so long or two seconds
or five minutes. If they’re gone for a long time, which having a long video on there,
we recommend at least 30 seconds, 2 minutes is great, helps keep people on that page.
So if Google sees that people are staying on your pages longer, they think that your
pages are important and that people are enjoying the content on your pages. They’re finding
it valuable. Exactly. That is just another signal that helps increase your ranking. So,
video is important in a number of different ways. We highly recommend it. Customers don’t
necessarily like to be on video, but we always encourage them to do it. It’s so easy to do.
Everybody has an iPhone 4 these days. Everyone has a phone that shoots great high-res video.
It’s easy to do. It’s easy to upload to YouTube. They host it for you. It doesn’t cost you
any money. They’ll link it in. You get another link back to your site. Does that link count
back to your site when you do it on YouTube? I’m sorry? When you post a video on YouTube,
you link the video into your code on your site, does that count as a backlink? Well,
YouTube is a whole other story, but you would want to include a link to your website in
YouTube. That would count as a backlink. Right, okay. That’s true. Okay. But people viewing
the YouTube video within you site when it’s embedded, that would count as a view on YouTube
too, which is also of value. But you would also want to, in regards to video, that’s
another topic that we’ll talk about. I got you off-topic a bit. We were talking about
body copy there. Right. Then going into services and I was talking about embedding video. Right.
So that was one. Let’s talk about the structure of the site, but before you do, you started
to talk about blogging. I probably got you a little bit interrupted. I’ve got a question
that I think it’s something a lot of people are going to be sold. That is, a lot of guys
are telling you to subscribe to services where it’ll auto populate your blogs with content.
Right. So, to Google it looks like you’re constantly updating your site but it’s really
fake. Right. Is that good? For a while you would see a lot of sites that would pop up
and they would rank well doing that very same thing. Again, the Panda update, very big deal.
It’s changed a lot of about how a lot of SEO companies did things. This duplicate content,
identical content that pops up off of multiple sites is dong more to hurt website rankings
than help these days. Okay. So, everything needs to be unique. The frequency that people
should be posting fresh blog content to their site for maximum results? That’s always going
to depend on the competitiveness of your particular market. Okay. But the more, the better. The
more, the better. Yeah. Consistency, does that matter any? We would recommend doing
it on a regular basis. That’s more for a sense that you want your visitors to come back and
read your blog. Keep them coming back, right. Right. So if they can expect that fresh content
is going to be there, they’ll come back looking for you. If you’re trying to do it yourself,
it would probably be good for you to get on a schedule where you’re writing a blog post
every week and you’re making yourself deliver one every Friday at 2:00 or whatever the case
may be. So it might be good in that sense. Okay, so now let’s go. So you’ve got one great
thing about you guys and your company is, you, specifically, have a lot of programming
experience, so you really understand structure. Yes. So this is getting a little higher level,
but does the structure, site maps, layout of the code, the HTML, does that stuff matter?
Yeah, it does. When it comes to those factors that relate to your website, the number one
most important one would be the domain name that you choose. Something that we do for
our clients, is we always recommend that, say it’s “Bob’s Plumbing Service”, again the
plumbing example. Say his company is named… “ABC Plumbing”. No. Oh, you need something
simple. Well let’s use something a little more generic. Let’s say bobsmithcleansyourpipes.com.
That’s his domain name, okay? So, what we would recommend is that they actually use
their number one key phrase as their domain name. So let’s say Bob is doing business in
Cincinnati, wherever. His number one key phrase might be “plumbers Cincinnati”. We would recommend
that he try and acquire the domain “plumberscincinnati.com”. That’s going to be the ultimate domain and
if people search for that exact term, since he has a domain name that matches that exact
key phrase, he’s going to get a huge bump from that. That right there is going to help
him rank. So that’s something that we always recommend. Yeah. So we should keep talking
about structure, but I’ve got to ask. So, we’re both big believers in the multiple website
strategy. Yes. For one of my service companies I have about 40 websites probably. I’ve got
a lot. I’m a big believer in it. Costs a little bit of money but it’s well worth it. Point,
you gave the example of the Cincinnati plumber, whatever it was. Would that be his main website
or is this only a strategy after you’ve first built out bobcleansyourpipes.com and then
you do Cincinnati Plumber? What do you recommend there? We would go for Plumber Cincinnati
as the main site. The main site. The reason that we do that is because the main site is
going to have the most backlinks. It’s going to be promoted the most across the web. There’s
going to be multiple links to it coming from multiple places and we want that big boost
in traffic that… We haven’t spoken about niche sites yet. But your main site’s going
to get the majority of the traffic. Okay. So, if we’re focusing the majority of the
traffic at the site that has the number one key phrase in the domain name, it’s just got
to make that all the more powerful in your search engine results page. Right. In Bob’s
case, what we would do is we would let him keep his original domain name. We wouldn’t
get rid of that. But we would do a redirect so when somebody types that in, it would redirect
to Plumbing Services Cincinnati. We would even let Bob continue to put his original
domain name on his business card. So his business card would still say bobsmithcleansyourpipes.com.
But when people type that in, it’s going to go to Plumbers Cincinnati. Yep. Great strategy.
You can use it on your trucks. They could even do custom stuff like you could run a
postcard and say, bestplumberincincinnati.com, when you send out that postcard to track the
results. But it still goes back to the Cincinnati website. That’s exactly right. Great, great
strategy. It’s easy. It doesn’t cost anything. While we’re on the topic of domain names,
this kind of goes back to, we just mentioned… I want to make a point, kind of, about unique
content real quick. We kind of already mentioned how important it is to have unique content
on your pages and how you’ll take a hit if you’re using duplicate content. Actually,
we’ve had a couple of clients come to us who already have a website and their websites
aren’t ranking. They’re not working and we’ll look at their site. Just by selecting some
words on the page and searching for those phrases and paragraphs in Google, we can see
either they’ve copied their content directly from a competitor, maybe in another city or
whatever. Or a competitor in another city has copied their content and is using it in
their page. That will have a negative impact on your ranking. But if you’re always updating
your content and you’re aggressive about having fresh content, you don’t really need to worry
about people stealing your content as much. But don’t copy somebody else’s. It’s going
to have a negative impact versus a positive impact. That also kind of lead me on to another
point that we should mention. People have the idea that they can get multiple domain
names and point them all at the same website. And get the value of… And get the value
and they’re all going to show up in Google. That doesn’t happen. The way Google works,
the way Bing works, if you have multiple domains pointing at the same website and everything’s
identical Google and Bing are going to display one of them. It’s going to display the one
that has the most links to it. So that’s not a good strategy. Don’t do it. It’s a waste
of time. If you’re buying tons of domain names, you’re probably going to be wasting money.
To be clear, taking that just a step further, buying a couple of domain names and then copying
the exact same website over, so each domain name point to one specific website that they’re
just copies and you kind of eluded that, just as bad. It would be the same thing as you
pointing the domain names at the same site. Completely useless. Useless. Pointless. All
right. So structure, just a bit, so is there any else people… We’ve got things like Google
Analytics. We’ve got site maps. We’ve got page layout. Anything you think wise to say
about that? Yeah. The structure of the site is important and that comes down to, this
is going to be a little bit more advanced. It’s something that an SEO consultant would
be able to help you with, the structure of actual code, the placement of the different
elements of your page within the page. Google likes to see your most important links at
the very top of the page. They’re positioned at the very beginning of your code. The same
thing with your key phrases, you want to have those at the very beginning of your page.
That’s why we like to put them in the H1 tag right at the top of the page. Put your important
stuff first, and your stuff that’s not so important at the bottom of the page. What
about you want all these links on your site to other pages, but you don’t really want
your clients or prospects to see them because it could distract them so you hide them with
a certain color or make them teeny tiny? Don’t do it. Google is getting smart. They’ve been
wise to that for a while. If it’s not detected immediately, it will at some point. Eventually.
You will see a drop in rank. So don’t do anything to obscure what you’re trying to do to get
a ranking in Google. Just do it right and write good content, good copy and then you
don’t have anything you need to hide. Part of this is about being a little creative,
like we talked about earlier. Yeah, definitely. Making your headings work so they convert
and they have the key words in them, being creative about your wording on your site.
There’s a little bit of an art here in a sense to really be good at this. Very, very true.
Another thing I should mention is Google really favors simple sites. Google loves blogs. I
mean, if you look at a lot of sites that rank really high, even big sites, even though they
don’t necessarily look like a blog, the way the code is structured and the way it’s written
very cleanly using things like CSS and different formatting languages like that, Google really
likes that. It keeps your code really clean so when Google spiders your site, all it’s
seeing is pretty much content and some basic tags around it. Good, good, good. I have had
a lot of calls – you made me think of something here. A lot of calls where people will show
us a website, so I’m kind of referring to Service Autopilot. We’ll have people show
us a site and, “Oh, we love this site. We want something like this. Where can I go to
get this?” and it’s Flash. So talk about that, maybe where it’s basically negative and useless.
Yeah, Flash is going the way of the dinosaurs. It’s slowly fading out. Obviously there’s
a big brouhaha that Apple doesn’t support it. Microsoft, actually, in their new tablet,
they’re not going to support Flash in that as well. That was just announced a couple
weeks ago. That’s okay. There are new technologies coming out. HTML5 is coming out. It’s going
to let you do all the things that Flash lets you do. So Flash, we actually still use that
in some of the client sites but we never, ever do an entire site in Flash. It’s useless.
Any negatives to using it in the top part of the site? Does it matter? No. We use it
as elements and if you look, a lot of video on the web is still Flash. That’s okay. We
use Flash as an element on the page. But the page itself is going to be CSS and HTML and
some JavaScript to add some interactivity. But here and there, when needed, we’ll use
some Flash. There’s nothing wrong with including Flash animation but your entire site shouldn’t
be Flash. It won’t be spidered. It definitely will not rank worth anything. Yeah. All right.
Let me mention a couple other things they should keep in mind and this is a little bit
more advanced. We also recommend for all the clients to use a site map. A site map that
can be spidered, that would be an HTML page that people can actually see and you can link
to that on your footer, that just makes is easier for the spiders to browse to all of
your different pages. Also all the major search engines, Google, Bing, they love if you use
an XML site map. I won’t go into the details on exactly what XML is and stuff like that.
It’s something that your developer should do for you and it’s something that your SEO
consultant should be doing for you. But if you’re doing the site yourself, or you put
up a website, make sure you submit it to the search engines. Because if you don’t have
any links to your website and you haven’t it submitted it to the search engines, it
doesn’t exist. That’s true. There’s no way that Google and Bing can find a site that
isn’t linked to from another site, or you have it put into their index by submitting
it manually. Yeah, that’s good stuff. That’s a great point right there. All right. There’s
more but those are the big things on the site. Earlier I kind of went off on a little bit
of a tangent on backlinks just to make sure everybody knew. Sure. Let’s come back around
to backlinks just a little bit because it’s just so critical. Okay. Yeah, this is, and
again, a lot depends on the competitiveness of your market but backlinks are hugely important.
How important they are is going to vary, not just on your market, but also on which SEO
professional you’re talking to. There’s a lot of discrepancy and different tests that
we’ve done have given us different results. So, there’s no way to really nail it down.
It can really fluctuate. But I don’t think it is a set number. Doesn’t it have to do
with the competitiveness of your market? It does because the number one competitor might
have thousands of backlinks but the number two competitor might have two. So, you can
rank about him pretty easily. But the number one guy, you’re not going to get above. Yeah.
Right. So that’s something to keep in mind. But, basically a backlink is a link to your
website from another website. The simplest way to describe how Google uses that information
is to say that, think of a link to your website as a vote. Yeah. Links to your website are
votes. They’re popularity votes and Google thinks that if a lot of people are linking
to your site, in accordance with the content on your site being related to what people
are searching for, it’s going to give you a boost over your competitors that don’t have
as many links as you. This is a big deal because it’s probably 50 to 80% of your ranking factor,
but it’s also an extremely time consuming process. It’s not easy to get quality links
back to your website. Isn’t this where most of the money spent in SEO optimization? Yes.
Yeah. Yes. There are a number of different ways to do it. This is a whole other video
series on its own. But they’re very important and it’s something that we do aggressively
but it also is something that’s very time-consuming. Right. Unfortunately, a lot of clients, a
lot of small businesses don’t have budgets to do that. But the good news is you can still
optimize your site, get a really well-done optimized site and compete and get some traffic
and get some leads without doing a ton of backlinking, depending on your market. If
that’s all you can afford, you’ve got to at least do that. Then the backlinks so this
is then what I get into, so I’ve talked about this before. This whole concept of having
somebody work on your website and then just thinking you’re done with it. Yeah. This is
why I really personally think most of the SEO companies out there are worthless. I’m
not impressed. So they just take a monthly fee from you. But the good ones do charge
a monthly fee, and they’re not just getting rich and pocking the money without work. Every
single month they’re working on backlinks. It’s something you do every month. It never
ends. I know for our sites, we’re always working on them. Yeah, and the perception that we
get from a lot of our new clients is that they’ll come to us and they’ll ask how much
it is to optimize their site. We’ll be, well, we have monthly plans. We have yearly annual
contracts. But we don’t do one site, one time. We don’t set it and forget it. We don’t go
in a just optimize your site and then leave it and hope that it ranks well. Search engine
optimization is an ongoing thing. It’s something that we do every month and it’s something
that you have to do every month. Even if you initially get some pretty good rankings and
results, if you’re going to stay there, you have to keep doing this on an ongoing basis.
You’ve got to be creating fresh content. You’ve got to be updating your website. You’ve got
to be aggressively getting backlinks. You need to be updating your testimonials, your
reviews. Your website and your on-line marketing campaign should have a dedicated monthly budget.
It’s something that you would do just like paying for airtime to run a commercial every
month. You have to dedicate funds to it. If you’re serious about it, you have to do it.
If you’re going to think that you’re going to just optimize your website once and it’s
going to automatically go up in the rankings and stay there, that’s not how it works. Two
ways to think about it, it’s not like it’s you… So, there are what, ten spots on the
front page of Google roughly for organic, for the free results? Yeah. Less if it contains
a local listing. Right. So it’s ten spots. You’re competing against, who knows how many
people you’re competing against? The smartest ten people win. Crazy enough, so of the ten
listings, a disproportionate number of clicks goes one, two, and three, especially number
one. If you’re number ten, you’ll get clicks but it’s way less than being one, two, or
three. This is a constant contest. If you spend a little bit of money up front, “Hey,
I’ve got some rankings.” Well, you’ve still got 900 other, 300 other companies that are
spending money and they’re working their butt off to get to the top of the thing. If you
just sit there, you’re going to lose. Yep. The other thing is, as Andrew has talked about,
Google, Yahoo and Bing, these guys are constantly working on their algorithms that determine
rankings and trying to make them better, to get rid of all the junk. They want good search
results because if the search results aren’t good, you’ll quit coming back and using Google.
So, it’s Google’s goal to make their results so good that you keep searching in Google.
To do this, they try to get all the junk out of their system. So, they’re programming these
changes. A company like yours, an SEO company and agency, you guys are all doing the same
stuff. You’ve got to stay on top of all these changes in addition to competing with everybody
else. That’s exactly right. So this is why the good agencies, the good SEO guys, they’re
not screwing you over and just getting rich by pocketing your monthly fees. They’re working.
A good one is doing that. Exactly right and that’s why we don’t accept clients that come
to us and just want us to do a one-shot deal. “We just want you to optimize our website.
How much is it going to be?” Those would be disappointed. If you’re serious about your
marketing, you want an on-line marketing plan, a whole schematic of things that need to be
done on an ongoing basis every single month. That’s the only way you’re going to get to
the top. It’s the only way you’re going to stay at the top. Even if you get to those
top positions, you’re not going to stay there unless you continue to do these things. More
and more of your competitors are wising up and getting smarter and starting to take advantage
of the very things that we’re doing for our clients. Yeah. There’s a big marketing paper
floating the web right now that says internet marketing is dead, SEO is dead. Is that B.S.?
It’s B.S. All right. So what else should we talk about with SEO? It’s a great topic. I’m
sure a lot of people downloaded it. He’s made a crazy amount of money, so he’s very smart.
But he just spun it. It’s not really dead, even in the thing it’s not dead. He just spun
it. But people hear that and wonder. So, anything else we should say about SEO? I think we covered
a lot of it. Some of these will break down into additional videos. Yeah, we’ll go back
around. Because, this is a really in-depth topic. This is where you’ve got to spend money.
We could spend hours just talking about on-page optimization. Backlinking is a whole other
thing. The technique that goes behind that, that’s incredibly in-depth. But this is a
good overview, I think. Yeah, so just a note from my personal opinion on this. So, depending
on who you talk to, everybody’s got a different opinion. Some guys say pay-per-click is more
important. Some say SEO is more important. I personally think SEO. The reason being is,
just from my personal experience, I have ran pay-per-click and I get good click-through
rates and I’ve ran SEO. If we’ve got pay-per-click running and SEO, I’m getting a top one, two,
three ranking in SEO. I get more clicks on the organic, which we’ve been talking about
the SEO-optimized sites, than I do on a pay-per-click ad. Second, we’ve noticed, and I can’t prove
this but I’m positive of this, my SEO, my organic clicks convert better than my pay-per-click.
That would make sense. People are bound to trust natural results over an advertisement
any day. So that’s why, for me and the amount of money that we’re willing to spend on this
stuff, my money, disproportionately goes to SEO. We’ll get into the percentages of who’s
clicking where and how many people are clicking where in another video. Yeah. All right. hZ!e
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2 thoughts on “SEO For a Lawn Care Business

  1. Charleston's Outdoor Services Post author

    Who do you guys currently use for seo services??

    Reply
  2. Jerry Hughes Post author

    Hi, I'm an 18 year old young man who has owned a lawn care company for over two years, and I have over 3 years of industry experience. If you would like to review my site and send a few quick pointers that would be appreciated. www.razorsharplawns.com

    Reply

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