Forget everything you heard about SEO being a long term marketing strategy. SEO is a long term investment, not just a long term strategy. In fact, the best SEO strategies should begin paying off within the first 32 days of launch. Don’t believe me? You should hire a new SEO manager.
Of course, you can’t reach the front page of Google for every search term in such a short window, but with the right SEO manager, you will for some important terms. The key is precision. For example, do you operate within a certain metropolitan area and do you want to rank for specific terms? If your answer to both of these questions is “Yes” then your SEO manager should have your business ranking within 32 days.
Case Study: Baratta, Russell, and Baratta
Ranked.legal’s client “Baratta, Russell, and Baratta” or BRB, was struggling to rank for terms related to their Estate Planning and Trust Law practice. BRB was better known as a Personal Injury firm among Google’s search results. The Estate Planning side had long been lacking affection from the dominant search engine.
BRB’s primary goal is to drive new traffic, and ultimately leads through the website’s organic rankings. In order to generate new business on your website, your business needs to rank on the front page.
Ranked in 32 Days
Between the date of ranked.legal’s (which used to be called Digital Philly) kickoff with BRB, May 17th, and 32 days later, June 17th, BRB’s Estate Planning end of the site ranked for 7 search terms in the top 3 and 8 search terms on the front page. These are all for their primary business zip code, 19063 (Media, PA). Only one of these terms was previously ranking.
How did this happen? To boil it down, there are 5 primary factors which made this possible. Some of these were completed by ranked.legal, but some BRB had achieved on their own before the agency became involved. Any business is capable of using these 5 factors to put their website on the front page.
1. A Clean Site – When BRB first became a ranked.legal client, the first item of business was to clean the site of any errors picked up by Google Search Console and SEM Rush. These fixes took less than a week to fix and now the site receives a 99% Health score. Your business should aim for a score of 85% or higher.
A site harboring key errors such as 404s (missing pages), or an incomplete XML Sitemap, will seriously harm ranking efforts.
These errors may also lead to a slow website. Searchers leaving your site early increases what’s known as your “bounce rate.” A high bounce rate means your business is losing potential leads and business. A clean site is the best foundation on which to build your SEO plan.
How do you know if your website has these problems? Utilize Screaming Frog and Google Search Console. These are free tools will help you identify your site’s technical shortcomings and give you information on how to fix it.
2. Landing Pages for Each Targeted Term – One of the cardinal sins of SEO is placing all of your target keywords in the title tag of your home page or one particular page. This confuses Google’s search engine. Write a list of all the keywords you want to rank for then give each its own page. Once each service has its own page, update the title tags of those pages. Make sure it’s in line with what’s known as “search intent.” In the case of BRB, for example, the title tag of their main page reads “Estate Planning Attorney | Best Local Lawyer for Estate Planning in Media, PA.”
Luckily for ranked.legal, BRB’s website already had a landing page for each of their targeted terms. This greatly expedited our agency’s ranking efforts.
3. Long Form Copy on Landing Pages – If your company wants Google is going to rank you #1, you need to show off your expertise. Gone are the days where you could game the algorithm by spamming your landing page with certain keywords. Google is smarter now.
Instead of loading your site’s pages with keywords you want to rank for, you should instead write long form copy on those pages. Pages you want to rank should have at least 300 words about that service. Rich content such as pictures, maps, and contact forms help as well (See BRB’s Estate Planning page).
writing your website copy, think of your business as an educational resource for your services. Consider questions like… Why is your service important? Why does your target customer need? What makes your business best equipped to perform this service?
Once you have these answers, write them all down in long form prose. This will increase your chances of ranking on page one.
4. Claim and Optimize your Google My Business Listing – If your business has not yet claimed their Google My Business listing, you should do so before you finish reading. Google My Business is at an all time high in terms of importance in the digital world, and it will only become more valuable.
For local SEO this is especially important. Google’s top 3 local results are usually pulled from Google My Business listings linked to credible websites. Due to this, Google My Business is a key component of any local SEO strategy.
5. Backlink Building – Backlinks are still king in SEO, but getting the right backlinks can be tricky. A backlink is a link to your business’ website on another website. For BRB, ranked.legal built backlinks on local (Pennsylvania) business and law focused online directories. Just a few high value backlinks are worth more than a hundred low level backlinks. ranked.legal’s 10+ years of experience in law firm SEO helped us to identify top back-linking opportunities for BRB.
When building a backlink, it’s key to hyperlink your website to a term you want your business to rank for. Do not simply write in your business URL or website address.
If you are not sure where to backlink, start on places where you already have a profile: for lawyers this would be AVVO and Lawyers.com. For home improvement contractors this would be Home Advisor and Manta.
Ranked.legal’s SEO experience made this happen and we were helped by a client whose website was already in a position to succeed. There are numerous simple adjustments you can make to your website before hiring an SEO manager. If your website is ready, you could be on the front page in just 32 days.