So you are paying for SEO – why are you not at the top of the search results for all of your favorite keywords instantly?
I will do my very best to help you understand the process of SEO or search engine optimization. I will use some very simple analogies that I think will help you to get the idea.
Think of the world wide web as a huge library with some 500,000,000 books and more new books coming in every day.
You go to the library (Google Search page) and ask the librarian for a book on “Back Pain”.
The library has some 49,100,000 books on the topic “Back Pain” – you can see how many books/websites on the google search results page just above the actual search results.
So how does the librarian (Google) decide which ones to show you first?
Before we get into that, what if you get more specific with your search and enter, “back pain Branford CT”? Well this reduces the search results to just 21,000 books (websites).
If you get even more specific and enter, “lower back pain Branford CT”, this reduces it to just 12,000 books (websites).
The problem is that when Google has so many books to look at it has to have a system by which to judge them to determine which ones come up on the first page of search results. So, it uses specific criteria to determine who is the authority for specific search keywords. This is known as the Google Search Algorithm and it is absolutely top secret. Well not so top secret because you can look at the actual results and determine how they came up with the results using a bit of reverse engineering.
In the same way that a librarian would fully look at any new books coming in – you got it Google fully looks at every website the first time that it visits the website. It looks at every feature of the website and it grades it in comparison to other websites. Much the same as the way a librarian would judge the quality of a book and decide, which ones to put on the shelf first. Looking at the cover, the description, the table of contents, references, etc. (talking about a book here but the same principle applies to a website)
Google doesn’t just look at the content that a visitor can see and on some site (flash) it can’t look at what a visitor can see – it looks at the inner parts of the website known as metatags – it looks at every image – not the actual image but the name of the file for the image, every image tag, every link, and every link tag. Based on these criteria it give the website a value in reference to specific keywords that it feels the website is about.
Finally, it uses a democratic system of votes from other websites – if another website adds a link that points to your website this is a vote for your website. Today Google is a bit tougher on the links (votes) as they must be naturally occurring in the text of a page and the link must be a valid reference for the page that it is found on or Google throws out the vote as irrelevant.
Essentially, if a link to your website is found on a website about monster trucks and the page content is all about monster trucks – the link to your site, which is about Chiropractic would not count because your website is not a valid reference for monster trucks. However, if a link to your website is found on a Chiropractic blog in an article that is talking about people suffering with back pain then this would be a valid reference for your website and the vote would count.
All that said and done; if your website has been up and running for a while then Google has given your website a grade already and making changes to your website at this point will definitely help but the results will be slow because Google doesn’t look at your website every day especially if your website has been static (unchanged) for a long time – it revisits your site every few months to see if anything has changed and if the first page it looks at is identical to the last time it visited – then there is no reason to look any further.
What we can do and what we always start our SEO activities with is getting you votes for your website from valid sources. This will also get Google to visit your site more often and we can even influence what part of your site Google visits based on the link that we provide.
We help to manage over 500 chiropractic blogs and article directories – not like your personal blog – these blogs are used to help promote chiropractors websites and provide references to other high quality websites within the chiropractic and natural health communities. We also help to manage over 500 Chiropractic Directories. We also work in cooperation with over 1500 natural health care blogs and articles directories.
So, each week we publish articles about your office with links pointing to your site to create votes for your site. It would be great if we could just publish 1500 articles in one day for you because we have the ability to do this but it doesn’t work that way. Google watches how quickly you get votes and if you get them too quickly it thinks you are trying to influence the search results and it could in fact penalize your site. As an example, if you have had a website for 5 years and in 5 years you have had 0 votes for your site and then suddenly in one month you get 500 votes for your site wouldn’t that seem a bit strange. Well the Google police think so. However, if you got 10 votes last week and this week you get 15 and next week you get 20 well I hope you can see that this look more natural.
So, we use a progressive system of publication that gradually increases the number of articles that we publish each week so that the progression looks very natural. This method has been successful in getting websites to the top of the search results in some of the most competitive markets across the country. Including cities like St. Louis, Omaha, Albuquerque, Dallas, Portland, Atlanta, and many, many others.
Unfortunately, it is not instantaneous because Google is not instantaneous. Google does not change their opinion on where a website should rank overnight. A few years ago you could get to the top overnight – but then they realized that spammers were taking advantage of this especially in health related topics. So, they have intentionally slowed down how quickly search results for specific keywords will change and in particular they are sensitive to changes in search results for health topics because in their opinion the authority on a specific health topic should not change overnight.
We will make any require SEO updates to your website typically at the end of the second month or beginning of the third month. We will publish articles at a rate that is appropriate for your location and current level of link references. We will continue to work this plan until Google changes their opinion on where your site should rank. We always start with the basic keywords: Chiropractor in Your Town, Your Town Chiropractor. Then as you rise in the search results for these keywords we will make further updates to your site for other keywords: back pain in your town, your town back pain. Then we will change the links that we are creating to promote these new keywords and the process continues.
Typically, to see changes in your search results will take a minimum of 6 weeks but to be safe expect 3 months. Depending on how competitive your market is in regards to SEO it can take as much as 6 months just to reach the first page of search results. In less competitive markets we can get to the top of the search results in the same amount of time.
It is important to remember when you are dealing with health related keywords such as “headaches” that you are not only competing with other chiropractors – you are competing with many of the medical clinics and other health professions in your area and everyone wants to be at the top of Google.
I have yet to find a town that I could not get to the top of the search results in. The question really isn’t can I do it – the question is, “how long will it take?”
Larger cities like Seattle, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, etc. It is very difficult to determine how long it would take to get a number one position on Google as you are competing with literally hundreds of Chiropractors that are actively pursuing SEO. This requires a very complex SEO strategy just to get a first page result. It is not impossible but the fastest I have seen to get to the first page is 12 months and I have not gotten to a number 1 position yet – I have a few that are in the number 2 and 3 positions. Please remember that it is extremely competitive in large cities.
Mid-sized Cities such as Albuquerque NM, Sioux Falls SD, and similarly sized (between 500K and 1M population) will take between 12-18 months to get to the number one position on Google today. Why because every major city has Chiropractors that are actively pursuing SEO. However, I have more than a couple dozen number 1 positions for mid-sized cities and a first page result can happen in as little as 6 months.
Small Cities between 250K and 500K will typically take 6-12 months to reach the top 3.
Google does offer an instant SEO solution called Google Ad words. This will get you to come up in the sponsored search results instantly but you will pay per click and can spend a couple hundred per month getting the keywords that you want but once you stop spending on Google Ads – they stop showing up.
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