5 Things to Consider Prior to SEOJuly 5th, 2017

5 Things to Consider Prior to SEO We all get the calls and the spam emails from SEO firms promising to make us number one in Google. These come from companies all over the world, promising things that we know they cannot possibly deliver. We know logically that someone can’t promise you that they can get you number one rankings without even knowing your business or even what you’d like to be found for!  Still, search engine optimization is something we all work on, whether you do it yourself, hire a management company like RooSites, or an outside agency.  But, before you do anything here is a list of 5 things you should determine before starting any search engine optimization campaign.

  1. What do you want to be found for? This is the most basic, but also the most important thing. Seems simple, but a lot of companies and businesses can’t tell you. Until you determine what key phrases you want to be found for, you should not proceed. Because no matter how legitimate the company you’re working with is, if they don’t know what to shoot for, then chances are they will fail.
  2. Are you looking for local or broad search engine ranking improvement? This is very important. Depending on what you do, you can focus all your energy on local search improvement which is a much faster and many times a more successful process. For instance, if you are a plumber in Smalltown, USA, Getting found for Smalltown USA plumber is a lot easier than being found for plain old “plumber”.  This is simple, in small town USA there are a limited number of plumbers, where as nationwide there 10s of thousands. Now if your company is an e-commerce company selling to customers nationwide or even globally, the process is much different.
  3. Where are you today? Before you start a campaign, you need to know where you are ranked at this moment in time. Otherwise you will not be able to see if your SEO work paid off or not. Simply type in the search phrase looking to be found for, and see where you come up. There are also many free SEO tools to do some preliminary tests. But be aware, many of these are trying to sell you something, so be sure you don’t get yourself tied into some kind of commitment.
  4. Set reasonable expectations. Before you start, try and come up with a reasonable measurement. What would you view as a success? Now, it is simple to say I want to be number 1 for 300 key phrases. (wouldn’t we all?) But that isn’t reality. If you have a much more competitive key phrase, then perhaps being on the first page of Google is a solid goal.  This is also very good test of the company you’re working with. If you tell them you want to be number one for 15 or 20 key phrases and they say no problem, then it is a good time to end the relationship.
  5. Be ready to commit time and resources. A lot of of true search engine optimization has to do with adding consistent, quality content. A lot of that is in the form of news and blog postings. Now, while you can hire people to write it for you, the best material is likely written by you or someone that works for your company. Because you don’t want content to be written just for search engines, because that fails. Search engine’s are looking for the best possible search results, not ghost written garbage. So if you aren’t willing to put in the time or at least have a resource in your company put in the time, then perhaps you should not be planning an SEO campaign.

Bottom line: Search engine optimization is not an instantaneous process. It requires research, and ongoing improvements. Since the Internet is still a very relatively new science, a cottage industry of SEO companies have propped up and made false promises for years. So, follow these five steps before you even speak to an SEO firm and you will be better off in the long run. RooSites is a full service agency and we work SEO into our normal service plans. If you need help, contact us at http://roosites.com/contact.

 

Small Business Lessons From Tom BradyMarch 3rd, 2017

I have been thinking a lot about Tom Brady leading the Patriots to victory in Superbowl LI a month ago.

Brady’s performance in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl was nothing short of remarkable. You have to be in awe of a nearly 40-year-old bringing his team back from a record deficit to win his fifth Super Bowl and MVP.

Now when you think of Tom Brady, you think of a guy who has it all. You think of Hall of Fame quarterback with a supermodel wife, everything someone could want. But if that’s all you know, you missed out on the truly miraculous part of this story. In Middle school, Tom Brady didn’t start until the starter got hurt. (and they were 0-8 at the time).  In his senior year Brady had to create a highlight tape just to get the attention of colleges.

Tom Brady went to Michigan as a backup quarterback, patiently waiting his turn to start. In fact at one point Brady was 7th on the depth chart. Finally getting his chance as a junior,  Brady had an excellent college career. However he was not highly thought of coming out of college.

Here are the notes concerning Brady at the combine:

Poor build, Skinny, Lacks great physical stature and strength, Lacks mobility and ability to avoid the rush, Lacks a really strong arm, Can’t drive the ball downfield, Does not throw a really tight spiral, System-type player who can get exposed if forced to ad lib, Gets knocked down easily

He ended up get drafted by the Patriots in the 6th round, the 199th pick. Check this list below, most of the quarterbacks you have never heard of, and the ones you know were marginal at best.

Players above Tom Brady in the draft

This is the lesson small businesses can learn from Brady. No, you may not have the looks and other tools that he has physically. But any one, especially small businesses can have the same drive and put it in the same effort in order to succeed. You can outwork your competition even if they are bigger and perhaps more talented.

I remember hearing about Brady as a rookie, not a cinch to make the team. They give a parking spot to the guy who spends the most time in the weight room. Brady reportedly got this space week after week as nobody worked harder. He badgered Coach Belichick asking for more reps, always asking what are you could do to improve.

But still it looked like he be relegated to a career as a backup.

Then one fateful day Drew Bledsoe the starting quarterback for the new and the patriots got drilled by Mo Lewis of the Jets. He sustained an injury that almost killed him. Brady came in the game and patriots fans groaned that the season was over. In the beginning, the coaches had a very conservative plan with Tom Brady, and they ultimately won the Super Bowl. Still people weren’t hundred percent convinced that Brady was anything more than a product of a great system that the patriots had implemented. As time gone on he got to throw the ball more, and show all the skills we now know and have come to expect from number 12.

To me, as somebody who works for small businesses, I see the same drive to succeed in my customers. No, we won’t all be as famous as Tom Brady, but if we work hard, we can make it to the top of our profession. We can be the best attorney, builder, service company or eCommerce company we can be. No matter what your profession is, it is about putting in the effort, and like the Patriots putting a good team together.

And this is what I strive to do, be a part of those teams that help my clients to succeed. We may not be hoisting Super Bowl trophies, or MVP awards, but I feel pretty sure we can present a professional interface which attracts and keeps business coming our client’s way.

Bottom line: Learn a lesson from Tom Brady: Work as hard as you can, never give up or let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. As Julian Edelman always reminds Brady … “You can prove em right or you can prove em wrong!”

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