Everyone wants to be the top dog when it comes to search engine rankings. The interwebs are a highly competitive playing field. But for small businesses who are just beginning to establish a web presence, getting to the top of Google can seem like a pretty daunting task.

Proper Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is not something that just magically happens. It’s not as simple as placing some keywords in your content and hoping that the SEO fairy pays you a visit with a nice new ranking.

Actually, search engines are more like an abused dog that you’d adopt from the SPCA. They’re hesitant to trust anyone due to years of being mistreated by others, so it will take lots of love, effort and time to earn that trust. You put food and water out for him, take him for walks, pet him and scratch him behind the ears and eventually he’ll grow to love and trust you like only man’s best friend can.

Great news! I ate all of your shoes so you won't have to leave me again.

SEO works much the same way. Due to years of people trying to cheat search engines in order to obtain a higher ranking, they won’t begin ranking you until they see what you’re all about. When search engine robots are sent out seeking data across the world to index pages, they’re looking for certain things like:

  • Are you new?
  • Are you a legitimate business?
  • Are you spamming or trying to cheat me?
  • Is your content original?
  • Has anything been updated recently to make me come back?

As these robots keep returning to your website and seeing that you are a trustworthy source of information and not just some fly by night operation or someone looking for a quick buck, they’ll begin to come around and you’ll start earning brownie points over time. As you keep producing quality original content and making use of social media, all of these things will begin to tie together with the resulting higher search engine rankings. The process will take time though, so you’ll need lots of patience.

Everyone has patience until they're tagged by a cobra.

But I need traffic now

Most search engines now have what are called ‘artificial’ or ‘paid’ rankings. This is where you can essentially purchase a top ranking on a selection of keywords. Many companies prefer to purchase a higher artificial ranking while they wait for their organic ranking to climb the ladder. The cost for these rankings are dependent on the competitiveness of your industry and the keywords you want people to find you with, however many artificial rankings can be had for merely pennies a click.

The days of trying to trick search engines into thinking you have loads of important content are long gone. Now you actually need that quality content. Google and the like don’t care much for the funny business and you’ll find yourself blacklisted pretty quick for trying any shady techniques, so be wary of any company that promises you a top ranking overnight. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Much like our canine friend, search engines have endured many trusts issues in life and they aren’t quite ready to start wagging their tail when you come in through the door. All you can do is keep treating them like the best marketing friend that they are until they return the favour.


5 super easy SEO tips for local business

FREE downloadable guide with important tips to help get you to the top of the Google ranks.

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