Real Business, Online

SEO For Today’s Market

Since 1993, I have had more than a little interest in search engines and have maintained a good degree of success in getting top ranking for just about any search term that I’ve set my mind on.

It’s been the foundation of my business really and since concentrating my SEO skills purely on my own two businesses, the more targeted and successful the results have been, both in terms of physical placement and, because of the focus, the actual results I’ve received from that placement in terms of business coming through the door.

When fist starting out on-line, my aim was to attract new clients passively, without ever having to pick up the phone and canvass new clients. That wish came from running a recruitment business for many years, where the job is pretty much cold call after call – and even when you have staff doing that, it’s still soul-destroying, even to watch.

But how can you harness the power of search engines in today’s market, when it seems that every competitor is after the same click as you and your email in-box is filling up with Spam from so-called SEO experts promising top placement in Google?

The answer isn’t as hard as you might think and you don’t have to be pulling dirty little tricks to get noticed.

My methods haven’t really changed much since 1999 and I am still getting more than my share of number one spots in Google and other search engines (though Google has to be the main target).

Here’s how – and it really is this simple:

  1. Write unique content for each key phrase you are targeting (on separate pages)
  2. Write it for visitors, not search engines
  3. Make it interesting
  4. Answer your visitors’ questions or concerns
  5. Make correct use of title and description tags

But is all business done on Google?

Certainly it’s not done me any harm over the years, but due to the sheer number of new web sites coming on-line now, it does mean that it becomes harder to keep ahead of the competition.

Until very recently, I have ignored social media, even though many people have suggested that this is where the power lies.

Well, I say I’ve ignored it – the truth is that I don’t really understand it that much!

Facebook is something I absolutely shun. It’s not for business in the sense that I require and with everyone shouting “look at me” it just isn’t a place I want anything to do with. I have a membership, but that’s only so that I can contact my son in Australia. It’s unlikely you’ll find my profile there and I refuse all “friend” requests.

But LinkedIn is something that I’ve dabbled with for a year or two with limited success. Again, I didn’t see the point of having lots of connection unless it’s possible to get business from them somehow.

Unlike Facebook, LinkedIn is all about business and I found that it’s full people from all kinds of business backgrounds – no surprise really and I’m sure I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know.

I find it easy to connect with people on LinkedIn, but have wondered what real benefit there is in doing so – certainly no major new deals have come way from this source and apart from being Spammed by recruiters all the time, who seem to swapped the telephone for a LinkedIn account these days, it was getting harder to see the value.

That is until I realised what the recruiters have caught on to – that LinkedIn is one huge, valuable search engine.

I only have 330 or so “connections” but most, if not all, share my business interests – either being domainers or professional surveyors.

Then I noticed that just like a search engine, LinkedIn can be manipulated.

It seems that the way to the money on LinkedIn, is not to find other people and somehow grab their attention and ask them for business (not something I have done by the way), but just like on Google, you have to ensure that you are FOUND.

I don’t want or need just anyone to find me. I want other industry professionals to be able to find me and come to me for advice or products.

However, with only four or five people a week looking at my profile, I was never really going to strike it lucky on LinkedIn. It’s been that way since I opened my account. I’ve added the odd article or post to gain a few page views, but really, I have always known that 5 or 6 per week wasn’t going to get me anywhere – so I largely ignored it.

Around 10 days ago, following my revelation, I decided to put a little more effort into LinkedIn and it’s starting to pay off.

Like anything else in business, it’s about the numbers. In the past 10 days, my profile views have steadily risen. The lowest week was 3 profile views. Nobody was interest in me, clearly!

My ranking amongst professionals like me was nowhere and the same was true amongst my connections – in short, I was totally invisible on LinkedIn.

Having set about a deliberate LinkedIn improvement plan, last week, my profile was viewed 180 times, a 400%+ improvement from the previous week when I commenced the work and got 35 profile views (which was a big improvement on 7 the previous week to that).

Amongst my 330+ connections, I now rank 6th from being nowhere a week ago and I’m in the top 2% in position 6 in most-viewed “professionals like you” and I’m after the number one spot.

Why does this matter?

Because on LinkedIn, top positions make you the expert. Anyone with a similar background sees you first on the connections suggestion page. They you first amongst “professionals like you” and see you first amongst “your connections” for page views – and that sparks curiosity.

This is only the start of a new programme of promotion for me. The aim is to maintain around 40 page views per day – it’s the same number I use as a benchmark for my web sites, because I know that I need 40 per day to get one good enquiry. If that same metric works on LinkedIn, then the money has to follow.

I haven’t even started connecting with the professionals who are looking at my profile yet, though just the efforts I’ve been making in increasing my page views have resulted in a small increase of connection requests – like I said, the key is to keep it passive.

For those people with similar profiles to me (surveyors in this case), I am waiting patiently with what I think will be an irresistible offer for them – all without having to sell them a single thing or make a single phone call.

I even made it easy to connect with me – just visit – I always accept connection requests from readers of my occasional blog and I won’t be selling you anything either.


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