Search Engine Optimization
We specialize in improving online exposure through professionally optimized websites that leverage innovative technologies and modern designs
I’m Cody Sharp, the owner of Sharp Guys Web Design. We are a Indianapolis digital marketing agency that provides search engine optimization. I know, I’m sure you are surprised. Instead of writing the typical service page copy that lists what we provide, I’d like to pull back the curtain and show you how SEO is being done by most people and how we do it differently. If you simply want an answer if we provide SEO and don’t want to read several thousand words, the answer is yes. Our standard pricing is near the bottom of this content piece – reach out to us for a conversation.
For everyone left (is there anyone here?)
Here is the thing, nearly every agency offers search engine optimization and nearly every agency talks about it the same way. The process is usually described like this:
- This can be a long term, ongoing process. We can not guarantee your ranking. (THIS REMINDER IS ABSOLUTELY TRUE AND SHOULD BE PART OF THE EVERY AGENCY’S PROCESS)
- We look at your website, run it through Google’s Keyword Planner tool (or other proprietary tools based on Google’s data) and come up with a series of keywords and key phrases that you should try and rank for. We decide the priority based on both how many searches Google says are made every month and the value of the keywords to your organization.
- We go to your website and ‘optimize it’. Meta descriptions are added and headers and copy is changed to be more specific to the keyword phrases we are now targeting. We specifically use headers that are specific to the keywords and phrases we picked from the list Google gave us.
- We sign you up for all of Google’s local search services to help your business be found easier on local searches.
- We tell you – it is all about the content! To get more traffic to your website, you need to write really good content using those keywords Google’s tool said a lot of people searched for. Like, really really good content. Really.
- You can also use Adwords to prop up your traffic using those keywords we found using Google’s keyword tool.
- We begin tracking your keywords for increases in rank. We do this using Google Webmaster Tools, Google Analytics, etc.
- Rinse and repeat.
Alright, I’m being facetious. I know that not every agency uses the exact same process and to be honest, there are some really good steps included within the process above. In fact, much of the process above makes sense if it weren’t for one single thing. The process that these companies are using is entirely dependent on Google’s self reported search numbers from the Keyword Planner tool. Or they use a 3rd party service (SEMRush, Moz, Raven Tools, SEOBook, etc.) that estimates search results and include Google (weighted by far the highest in the estimate), Bing and other services. But this presumes that Google is accurately self reporting their keyword search numbers. In fact, I have found that this is not the case.
How? Using one of Google’s own tools.
Madness you say? Maybe, but all the same, it is true. I’ll continue.
As the process above describes, Google uses location as part of nearly every search that is completed. That way when you search for a hardware store while your sitting at your desk in Indianapolis, you receive Indianapolis-based hardware stores and not hardware stores in New York. This is a very good and convenient thing. But there is a disconnect – people searching don’t actually search for the keyphrase ‘hardware store’. They search for ‘hardware store Broad Ripple’ or ‘hardware store Castleton’ (both Indianapolis-based neighborhoods). Google doesn’t need this additional information but it is given regardless. Why then, when people use the Keyword Planner to find out if anyone ever searches for Castleton hardware store, the Keyword Planner says there are 0 searches per month?
Because – Google collates. Google adds that search term along with millions like it to a corollary search term. That is good for Google. Why? Money. Instead of only a single company bidding on a term in Ads that they will always win when someone searches for something so specific, Google simply pushes that search into Indianapolis Hardware Stores (for example) where there are 50 local companies competing for clicks.
So that means that the keywords being reported in the tool Google gives us access to is not accurate. It means that there are millions of ‘hidden’ searches that we could create content specific for that will allow us to rank more easily and higher. All of which do not show up on our Google Keyword Planner tool – THE VERY TOOL THAT WAS USED BY EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOUR COMPETITORS TO COME UP WITH THEIR OWN SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION PLAN – THE ONE LISTED ABOVE! The very companies that you are competing again to rank higher and trying to outbid for Google Adwords spots.
So Cody, there are billions of hidden searches – so what? What good are they if I can’t find them.
This is the magic. You can – and I will show you how!
The key lies in Google Ads.
Surprised? Don’t be.
Unlike Google Analytics, where you don’t see keywords at all, or Google Webmaster Tools, where there are attribution issues, or Google’s Keyword Planner Tool, where the numbers don’t add up, Google Ads operates in an audited environment. Money is involved, and as a result, much of the ambiguity found in other tools is replaced by transparent information.
So how can you use Google Ads to select the keywords and key phrases to target for your organic search engine optimization campaign? It all starts with Google’s local search. As mentioned earlier, Google’s local search is highly beneficial for small businesses because it allows them to compete with nearby businesses rather than the entire world. For example, businesses compete with pizza delivery places within a 5-10 mile radius of the searcher.
The methodology of using Google Ads begins with localities. Choose a city or neighborhood. For instance, if your business is in Indianapolis, your localities might include Carmel, Fishers, Indianapolis, Lawrence, Zionsville, etc. Next, create a list of core keywords and phrases that you’ve always wanted to rank for. Use Google’s Keyword Planner tool to find all the keywords that Google suggests. Download these keywords into Excel and combine them with the localities. For example, you may have “Indianapolis web design” and “web design Indianapolis.” It’s important to include localities both before and after the keywords.
Once you have a comprehensive list of keyword phrases, you need to get them into Google Ads. Why? Because Google Ads will show you if people are searching for these keyword phrases. Many keyword phrases not mentioned in Google’s Keyword Planner Tool will show search impression traffic when run through Google Ads. This means you can target keyword phrases that your competitors overlooked.
To get a large number of keyword phrases into Google Ads, use the Desktop AdWords Editor to bulk upload your entire spreadsheet of keywords.
Spend $100 on Google Ads and run the keyword phrases for a week. You’ll discover keyword phrases that have impressions with minimal competition. Now you can use your standard search engine optimization process to great effect and see tangible improvements.
Not ready to yet take this plunge on your own? We may be able to help. Our standard fee for search engine optimization is a minimum of 6 months at $1800 per month. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about our search engine optimization services, we are here to assist you. Please use the contact form below.