By Mark Maupin, Right Now Marketing, www.RightNowMarketing.org
It sounds like the million dollar question, and I guess you could say that, in a very real sense, it is. Getting on the first page of Google is the holy grail of not only online marketing, but of any type of marketing effort. There was a time when getting to the top of the search engines was a goal set solely by a bunch of companies who pretty much only sold the products or services online; but now, the real world and the online world have virtually become one and the same in terms of marketing.
Any major brand will tell you that if you don’t have a real online presence (and the requisite search engine rankings), you might as well close up shop. The web has taken the place of the white pages, the yellow pages and even word of mouth from family and friends. You realize the value proposition, but now what do you do?
An important first step is to have a clear understanding of not only how to get good positioning on the search engines, but what gets good positioning. You’ve probably heard or read about the value of social sites in Search Engine Optimization (SEO). If not, I’ve got news for you. When your business has an established social presence (properly set up with good content & keywords), the links from your social sites – pointing back to your website in the form of postings, updates, tweets, etc. – all help to establish your website’s legitimacy and credibility. Google, for instance, then gives you credit (for lack of a better term) for being an authority on the related keywords.
A good place to start is to create a Facebook Page for your business. Make certain it has photographs and images that present your company in a positive way. The written content which should explain who you are and what you do can contain keywords which will attract the search engines and help the Page rank well. For example, businesses engaged in appliance repair might want to include such terms as “stove repair” or “refrigerator repair” in their comments.
An often neglected area of Facebook is the “Long Description” section. In this area it is a good idea to be as precise about your business as possible. Mention different services you offer as well as the geographical areas you cover. This is an opportunity to legitimately add keywords which the search engine crawlers will pick up.
Most people find that creating a Facebook Page is relatively easy, but there are experts who will do so relatively inexpensively (e.g., through FIVERR which is a site on the internet that offers technical help for as low as five dollars) and produce a decent product for you.
A second method of establishing an internet presence through a social site is by having a short video (such as YouTube) made. These often get to Page One in a hurry. Again, you might want to get some quick assistance through FIVERR or a similar company for making the video. In either case it would be wise to have high quality pictures pertaining to your firm readily available so that those who create the social site will have something to work with.
An additional benefit of using these social sites is that you can provide links for your main business website which will improve its ranking.
The result may not be that your company’s website reaches those great climbs onto the top of the search engine, but what you will normally see in a relatively short time, is that your social profiles and pages will place comfortably on the first page for searches for your keywords. This is due to the page ranking that you’re kind of piggy-backing on with names like Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, etc. And, just in case you think that’s not entirely a great thing (because it’s not your ‘money’ site) keep in mind that each of these social or Web 2.0 properties that you have set up, in essence becomes a de facto arm of your website – not only pointing back to your site, but also promoting your services and products directly. So, what gets on the first page of Google? Your brand.
Some companies do all of their marketing internally, but many do not have time to implement what they need to grow their businesses. For those companies that would like an outside professional to help them, call Mark Maupin of Right Now Marketing Group at (248) 939-6232 or visit http://www.RightNowMarketing.org.