Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing
Local search engine optimization (SEO) services for small businesses
Google is the #1 way for potential customers in your local area to find your business. We understand what it takes to make your site rank on the first page of Google and other major search engines, and our search engine optimization and search engine marketing services can get you there quickly and safely.
Why search engine rank matters
The search engines – particularly Google – are the first or second choice for the vast majority of people who have a problem or question and need answers. If they don’t already know an expert on the topic who can give them advice or a referral, their first step will be to “Google it.”
The first 5 sites on the search engine results page (SERP) listings returned by Google for a given keyword search receive about 67% of all the clicks for that search, with sites 6 – 10 sharing about 4% of all clicks. Listings on pages 2 and 3 (#11 – 29) get 6% of all clicks. The remaining 23% or so is shared by pay-per-click (PPC) ads and listings on page 4 and below.
This means if a web site is not in the first 5 results, it will receive relatively few clicks, and if it is outside of the top 10, it will rarely get clicks at all for that search term.
So if you want your business to be found by more prospective customers, getting your site to appear on page 1 of Google is critical.
Who put Google in charge of online search?
That’s the 100-billion dollar question, isn’t it? Google’s revenue – almost $75 billion in 2015 and expected to near $100 billion in 2017 -- depends heavily upon the company’s dominance of online search.
Google gets about two-thirds of all online searches from desktop computers, and an astounding 92% of all searches from smartphones and tablets. No other search engine – whether Bing, Yahoo, AOL, or others you probably haven’t heard of – has more than about 10% market share.
Of course, all of these search engines are free to use. So why do online users overwhelmingly prefer Google? Answers to that question have already filled several best-selling business books. But in short, one reason web surfers love using Google is that it’s really good at helping them find what they are looking for very quickly. And it more often than not, what they are looking for shows up on page 1.
How does Google decide what sites to show on page 1?
There’s some irony in the fact that Google owes its success to answering people’s questions about, well, everything. But one thing they won’t tell you is exactly how they determine search rankings. Of course, if you had a secret formula that was making you $100 billion per year, you wouldn’t share it either.
What they will tell you is some things you shouldn’t do with your web site. And there are a lot of other companies that study Google, conduct experiments, and try to reverse-engineer what Google is doing, then make that information available – some of it for free, and the rest at a price.
Keeping abreast of developments with Google and the other search engines is not a trivial task – it’s almost a full-time job. And it’s spawned an entire industry of search engine optimization companies competing to create tools and technology for analyzing and improving web sites.
Buyer beware: the failures and risks of ranking schemes
The crushing need to rank well on Google has also given rise to many agencies and services which promise to put your web site on page 1, seemingly overnight. And there was a time, not that long ago, that some get-ranked-fast schemes actually worked.
But as we’ve already examined, Google has a lot riding on the quality of its search results, and any attempt to game their system and exploit its weaknesses threatens their brand. As a result, Google continually updates and tunes their page ranking algorithm – the secret formula that determines how web sites are ranked – to foil attempts to artificially manipulate search rankings for a web site.
This means the get-ranked-fast schemes which predominated a few short years ago are no longer effective. And in some cases, these schemes have resulted in Google penalizing web sites and sending them to the bottom of search results for periods of up to a year.
Unfortunately, there are a number of well-known “local search" agencies that originally built their businesses on the strength of these techniques. Many of them haven’t been able or willing to change with the times. Some of these companies and their very convincing sales teams have roped in a lot of small businesses which have later regretted signing contracts and paying big monthly fees for search optimization services, only to find that most of the promises they bought into didn’t come true.
There’s really only one way to rank well
There’s only one legitimate way to get your site to appear consistently on page 1 of Google, and it’s quite simple: make your web site relevant to people who are looking for what you offer.
But as is often the case, correctly executing simple ideas can be very complex and time-consuming. And in the case of ranking well on Google, there’s also another factor at work – other sites you are directly competing against for the same customers.
Lifeline Marketing: local SEO and SEM experts
The good news is that Lifeline Marketing offers affordable and proven search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) services for small businesses. We can accelerate your site past the competition and put you on page 1 at Google, without ineffective and risky gimmicks or tricks.