Every small business owner who comes to Roundpeg for help with their web design project says the same thing.  After the site is built, will it be on page one of Google? I hate that simple question because the answer is never simple.  Google has more than 600 elements in their algorithm and they change all the time. And on top of that, your competitors also affect your position in the rankings.  Every time they do something to move up, they make it harder for you to appear on page one.

So how do you achieve the elusive page one ranking? First, be realistic.  If you are in a very competitive category and you don’t have a large budget for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) activities, narrow your focus.  Roundpeg is a small company with a limited budget, it is unrealistic to think we would be on page one for terms like small business or marketing.  We can, however, dominate for the term Indianapolis Marketing or small business Indianapolis.  In our case, geographic segmentation works.

But what if you are not geographically constrained?  You can still narrow your focus by selecting specific niches, for example, we could work on placing keywords such as small business marketing or longer strings like a small business marketing strategy.  There will be fewer searches each month, but you will have less competition for your keyword position.  And people are being much more specific these days.  A research study conducted by Hitwise indicates searchers are using four, five, six and even seven words in a search query to find more specific results.

The added benefit of focusing on more specific keywords is you have a higher chance of being considered a relevant result by a potential customer ready to make a purchase.

As we explain this to clients, their next question is how much work will it take, and the answer is usually more than you think.   We recently tried an experiment and identified 6 terms we wanted to be found on page one of Google for.   We were pleased that for Small Business Indianapolis, Indianapolis Marketing and Social Media Indianapolis we were comfortably on page one.    I was surprised for the more niche term Marketing Strategy Indianapolis we were on page three and disappointed that we were so far back for Web Design Indianapolis and Graphic Design Indianapolis that you couldn’t find us.

We decided to focus our attention primarily on Web Design so we began to write more content (1 – 2 blog posts a week) specifically about web design.  We posted comments on forums and other web design discussion groups.  We actively shared content on social media.  We looked for directories and submitted links to our content.   We changed our SEO plug in from All in One to Yoast, and became more exact in our writing to improve SEO.

Did it work?  After eight weeks of almost daily activity, we can usually found on the bottom of page two for Indianapolis Web Design.  We are close, but not done yet.  An interesting side benefit was the climb of our graphic design services, which can now be found on page three.  Why? Because we naturally talk about both services at the same time, so as we focus on one, we pull the other up. Also, as we increase traffic, it makes sense that some of our visitors will look at a range of services we offer.

So what is next for us? We are testing Scribe SEO to see if we can learn how to be even more focused in our quest for the elusive page one.  Will it work?  Well you will be able to find out, by simply doing a Google search for the key words we have listed above.

Roundpeg, an Indianapolis marketing strategy company offers social media, web design and graphic design services.  We help small businesses become big businesses.