I did a quick search last night for the term  Indianapolis web design . In just a few seconds Google returned 1,400,000 items.


The sheer volume is staggering. How long do you think it would take to actually look through all those pages? I will never know, because like most  people, I rarely look past page two.

That is  the challenge for small business owners who have invested serious money in their company websites.  They are frustrated when the site doesn’t appear on page one. But consider the odds. According to Netcraft, there are more than 644 million active web pages, and the number grows every month.

So is it impossible to shoot for page one? Not at all. With a large enough budget you can buy space on the top of almost any search, or you can invest the effort to move there organically.

The organic approach takes time, but provides lasting results and while some of the rules change often, the basics of good SEO strategy remain the same. SEO Success has created a checklist which is a great starting point for companies who hope to create long-term success of their natural search engine optimization efforts.

Some of the key points include:

Setup: Results take time. This is not something you can do for a few weeks. To be successful you have to commit to the long haul. Why? As soon as you stop, someone else will take your place.

Success is driven by a mixture of on-site and off-site activities.

On-Site: Create new content weekly. And if you are trying to place in a really competitive category, you may have to add content every day. Blogs, photos, testimonials and news stories all help your company gain visibility.

Off-Site: It is called the “web” for a reason. Sites are interconnected. Take advantage of this interconnection by distributing your content through many channels. Take time to comment on other blogs on related topics, look for opportunities to write guest posts, and share relevant links on social networks.

Results: Track your progress. Periodically check in and see how you are doing. Are you moving up? Review the data and make adjustments in your strategy.

Does it really work?

About a year ago I checked our position for several of our keywords. I found we typically ranked on page one for many of our most important terms.   We were, however, on page nine for the competitive phrase Indianapolis Web Design.  In addition to the business opportunities we were missing, it was clear we weren’t serving the needs of our readers who come to us expecting tips and suggestions on a range of small business marketing topics.  Clearly we were focusing too much time and energy elsewhere.

So we adjusted our strategy, began writing more content on that theme.  The result?  You can often find us on the bottom of page one or top of page two alongside companies much larger than Roundpeg.  But as soon as we slacked off we slid back.  There were two  important lessons in this exercise

  • Ranking on competitive terms requires consistent and focused effort. You are not the only company in your industry hoping to earn that spot.
  • Consider all your services and be sure you are touching all your topics and key words on a rotating basis.