Earlier today, I was called up by a regional salesperson of a company which tries to help small businesses rank higher in local listings. He asked if I could get a business listed in a top position (i.e., 1st page of google when searching for a term like “seattle motor trade insurance compare agent”) overnight – literally. My gut reaction was, “Are you kidding me?”
Well, after I began to explain I have never done it before, he tells me that he knows other SEO’s who can do it and is asking if I can do it to. He found me by searching on the phrase “local search marketing seattle” which I currently rank #3 on the first page of results. It prompted him to ask me of course since I’ve proven my worth supposedly. The irony is that the keyword phrase is not even used in the google search field that often. Google currently estimates nobody searches that phrase on a monthly basis. I guess Google’s wrong. At least one guy does. 😉
Nevertheless, he began showing me some examples to my amazement and I was a little surprised. The caveat was that the city had to be under a certain population and when I thought about it, of course you could possibly get someone to rank pretty easily for something that nobody searches. I did. The above paragraph proves it. At the same time, there is sometimes competition with even cities you may have no belief it would have any value on this planet. There are surprises in this SEO business almost daily for me.
Anyway, the reason why I wanted to share this story to you all is that I wanted to remind you of one simple principle in not only SEO, but in any quality business: things take time. Did Microsoft become an overnight success? Did Apple? Did many of the biggest companies in our world start on day 1 with nothing and on day 2 strike billions of dollars in revenue on their books? No. The did not.
Obviously, anybody can point this out, but I’ve seen more than a dozen businesses on the inside and out over my 39 years of life. Every single one grew in different ways. What I did personally witness in one of them is basically implosion when the dotcom boom busted. It wasn’t clearly planned out and the growth was too much to take. Frankly, the CEO was too busy worrying about some special bolt that the construction company who was responsible for putting a basketball court on the top of the building had difficulty in finding so he could get his dream of having a court to play with other co-workers. His priorities were screwed up. The sad thing is that he’s running another company now and I’m a little scared for a friend of mine who decided to go work for the Luxury Brands website. If history repeats itself, another company will be going bust here or at least the people under his management won’t be as satisfied as the many who were laid off when he had his first chance to become CEO.
These days, it takes about 9 months or so to rank for many of the less difficult keywords out there that apply to many of the small businesses that they may be targeting. Some keywords can be overcome a bit faster if your website is older and you have some great SEO factors in your url like the keywords in your url along with the potential to clean up your site for the poor on-site issues that could be resolved. Also, there are some phrases out there that also may not have a lot of competition in them at this point because there’s only so much that all the SEO’s and the SEO wannabes can do in the 10-15 years this industry has been around. So, there’s definitely a chance that it could be quicker as well.
Some have even found ways to literally get to a position that could in the short term get you lot of traffic. There are also probably some loopholes in Google’s althorithm and Microsoft’s (Bing) and Yahoo’s as well, but frankly, most of those holes get plugged up at some point once more and more SEO’s find out about them. Some websites even get punished by the big 3 for doing something they may even consider “black hat.” I know I was ranking on the first page for both Bing and Yahoo for “Seattle SEO” which is the phrase I’m targeting currently for a couple of weeks, but it’s no longer the case now.
However, let me finally say it one more time, but good things always take time. If you’re o.k. with short term successes and also o.k. with finding loopholes to constantly be your victories in life, please do go ahead and buy solutions that do both. However, if you do ever choose this SEO firm to do your work, please do understand our goal has been and always will be to provide you solutions that frankly will help your business (hopefully because there’s no guarantees in life) what it needs to be here for the next generation and many more after that.