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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Google's magic

So this blog is number one (in the U.S.) on Google for the keywords, "construction marketing" -- and there is a link here (albeit with a rather embarrassing spelling error) at number 3. Is this good for business? And, you may be asking, how can you achieve the same results within your relevant keywords?

To answer the first question, "yes" but the process is a long-term objective/initiative. The blog in itself provides little direct business right now, but it is really useful in connecting relationships for the long-term. It certainly isn't a waste of time; it is generating useful revenue and immediate orders, but if these were the main objectives, you would rightfully say this is a lot of work for very little return.

You'll find the answer to the second question relates to the first -- if you enter the process of blogging with Search Engine Optimization as your primary goal, and set out to manage the process simply to get a higher Google listing, you may succeed, for a time, but ultimately you risk a rather serious failure. There is a constant tug-of-war between SEO 'experts' and the search engine owners -- the people gaming the system try to put less-than-interesting and relevant sites to the top of the rankings; the search engines, of course, wish the top sites to be the most interesting and relevant. (This allows them to attract more traffic, and advertising revenue.)

Fair enough, you say, but how can you succeed in the search engine process?

  • A clearly commercial site is unlikely to score highly -- who, generally (without compensation) is going to create a legitimate back link to you if you are just advertising your business?
  • Blogs work, really well, but you need to commit significant time and energy to make it happen. If you are a writer by trade or interest, this isn't too hard, but if you aren't, maintaining daily or at least weekly postings will strain your resources.
  • You can hire a writer to do the heavy lifting for you -- but you need to work with your writer to determine the focus and content -- and you should engage in the process of sharing your honest thoughts -- and avoid 'corporate speak' in your messages.
  • A more aggressive strategy is to allow/encourage your employees to blog on their relevant responsibilities. Of course this won't work if you need to manage every word your employees utter in public!
  • This is a long term process. Google, especially, has 'sandboxes' built into its algorithms; it isn't going to push you to the top until it is ready -- and you can't decide that. Excessive manipulation or game playing may result in a really bad ranking, or banishment to the bottom of the SERPs.
  • It obviously doesn't hurt to build relationships or seek one-way referrals from high level sites. You'll need to add something of value when you do that. (And, yes, this blog's writer receives plenty of calls and inquiries now -- nothing wrong with that, of course, that is the way you build business, though callers receive a pleasant surprise when they find that they are not being 'pitched' anything here.)
  • Finally, here is a piece of advice worthy of considering seriously. Success within the SEO process is more from giving than receiving; worrying about your results will give you a lot less value than sharing your talents, expertise and spirit without seeking reward. At the very beginning of this blog, for example, I decided to grant one-way links to anyone with a legitimate construction marketing blog. Of course, many reciprocate, but that is not a condition of the deal.

2 comments:

Tim Klabunde said...

Mark-
You hit it right on when you said “Success within the SEO process is more from giving than receiving; worrying about your results will give you a lot less value than sharing your talents, expertise and spirit without seeking reward.” Great post.
Tim Klabunde

Mark Buckshon said...

Tim, thanks for your comment. You are 100 per cent right.