Selling is about many things but the more tools (including Google) your salespeople have at their disposal the greater their competitive advantage. SEO is a sales tool! You have a story, your website tells that story and you want as many people as possible to find your website!

SEO is the answer to this particular problem!

I have spent a lot of time reading about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and have attended a few conferences specifically on SEO.  What have I learned?

Well, it seems that most SEO specialists are really only guessing – albeit the good ones are making educated guesses.

With about $20 and blood sweat and tears I managed, completely on my own, to get to the top of the page for the top three Keywords that I deemed as being important to my business.

What did I learn? Well, if getting to the top of Google is important, and I believe it is, then you need to prepare yourself to invest a significant amount of effort to get there. Or, you can invest your time and effort elsewhere and pay someone else to do it for you!

So, this is what I did.

I focused on four main areas:

1)    Organic SEO, which really makes certain that your website is optimized for search engine indexing. Search engines like to work in certain ways and like to look for certain things to indicate that the site is of real value to the people who might be interested in the topics.  I have a WordPress site and so used a Yoast plug-in to analyse my pages and suggest things that I could do improve SEO. Getting it right means that the investment I made into original content would be categorized and index in a way that would help my site get noticed.

2)    Original Content, which is something that more and more is becoming a focus of SEO. Gone are the days when you could simply ‘trick’ Google with orphan pages and duplicate content. I incorporated a blog into my site, which was one of the main reasons I opted for a WordPress theme, and added about one hundred blogs posts within a month.  Yes, that is about 80,000 words of original content – lucky I like to write! Google pays special attention to sites with more than 100 pages and so that was a main goal and I have my eye on getting to over 1000 pages as soon as possible. If you want to supplement your own content look for guest bloggers or use plug-in such as to get great content from thousands of other sites. Remember that blogs should be at least 400 words to be properly indexed. Writing great content that is highly searchable really helps – my ‘101 LinkedIn Tips, Tricks and Strategies For Success’ has been read thousands of times and has been reposted and linked all over the place!

3)    Backlinks are fundamental to SEO as Google looks at how others view your page.  The more links to your site is an indication of how important your site is viewed. In six weeks I was able to generate more than 3,000 Google recognized backlinks (use Google Webmaster Tools to check your backlinks). I generate 3,000 links by using an article submission service.  These companies take your original article and submit it to hundreds of site that publish content with each site maintain a link back to your site. A quality article submission service will screen your content and make certain that it is presented correctly to increase the chances of your articles acceptance. I used which charges $19.95 USD for the basic package which his what I used. I also installed the plugin on my site so that others can easily repost my content and add to the backlinks. The link is just on the top right of this post if you want to add this content to your site! Backlinks are about quality not quantity so it is best to work with a reputable article submission service. I also encouraged visitors to Tweet, and share my articles on Facebook, LinkedIn, Stumpleupon and other sites to generate traffic and backlinks.

4)    Google Local is a powerful tool that many businesses miss out on. When you search for certain categories often Google will list businesses within your area on a map.  If you can get your business listed and get a few clients to write reviews you can get lots of exposure.  Make sure to keep this listing updated and to comment on reviews – even bad ones – as Google love engagement. Deal straight on with a complaint and you will be seen as a business that cares!

Now, this list could go on and on!  There are thousands of small details that have an impact of SEO. Overall, my experience is that if Google ranking is important then hire a company to help you.  SEO done well is not cheap – it takes many, many hours to get you to the top of the heap!

Add on:

After publishing this article I received the following question from a reader:

“You recommend re-posting articles and some of the articles are very relevant to my business. however, my webdesigner has said if I re-posted these articles to my site, google would penalise me. can you clarify.”

I did a quick Google Search on this topic and found the following from Nakul Goyal – Houston SEO

I just had a link at one of their embed codes. Except a 300 characters snippet/excerpt, everything else is being served via a javascript. Links are shortened using their own URL shortening service and the images also look like hosted by their API.

I don’t see any duplicate content issues.

From an advertiser/content provider perspective: Big brands have a decent possibly of getting brand exposure for their content without worrying too much about duplicate content issues.

From a publisher perspective, if you have the audience for a specific kind of content, you sure can pull some content, but it would neither hurt nor help you towards your SEO/content.

I hope that helps and I would be interested in any other feedback. SEO is challenging, which is why I can say after working on this project professional help is a good choice if you have the budget.  Except for the majority of the content which should be original and your own, primarily so that you are creating a strong original voice.

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