How Long For Better Local SEO Rankings?


No matter what you hear or read, local SEO is alive and well. It’s the reason you’re here reading this blog post. You obviously want to know how long local SEO and better search rankings will take.

You might be wondering how long is it going to take to see page 1 and top 5 search rankings. This is a common question I get asked during almost all of my calls and emails from potential clients. It’s understandable as you want to know when you can start seeing more traffic, leads and clients come your way.

The problem with trying to answer this question is that it’s too difficult to correctly predict. There are too many search rankings factors to do this.

With that said, I always give a potential client a rough estimate of when they can expect to see page 1 results. Once our SEO work begins and a few months go by, I can see how the search rankings are improving and give a better idea of when page 1 and top 5 results will occur by.

But first, I need to look at a few factors.

Search Ranking Factors At Play

There are so many search rankings factors, but when determining how long a potential clients website will need to rank on page 1 and the top 5, I look at:

  • what search terms you want to rank for
  • is your website well optimized for those search terms
  • how many websites/webpages rank ahead of you for those search terms (direct competitors and directories)
  • how many business listings does your business have and are they consistent
  • how many and what type of backlinks does your website have
  • how long has your website been around
  • what type of content is on your website
  • does your website have great local SEO content
  • have you changed business addresses or domains in the past

There are 200+ search ranking factors, but these are the ones I look at when determining how long it will take to rank a website.

Trial Period

With every potential client, I always suggest a three month trial period of our services to show them what kind of results they can expect to see after 6 and 9 months. If after three months we don’t see much improvement, it’s not a good sign. If that’s the case, which it rarely is, I offer a partial refund for the three months.

It’s risk reversal. We have to perform and generate better search rankings in those first three months. If we haven’t, then I don’t feel comfortable receiving money for not doing our job.

New Websites Vs Existing Websites

With this three month trial period, you might be wondering if that is enough time to improve the search rankings to page 1 and the top 5. Rarely will this happen, unless you are already ranking somewhere on page 2 and have an existing website.

Existing websites are, for the most part, going to take less time to rank. Why? Because an existing website has been indexed by the search engines, has business listings and backlinks created along with quality SEO content on the site. It’s built up existing credibility with the search engines which is going to take a lot less time to rank than a new website.

A new website doesn’t have the credibility and thus, is going to take a longer time to get to the top of the list. In all cases, SEO is a long term investment. Once you rank higher, you stay there as long as you update your website.

SEO As An Investment

With traditional advertising or even pay per click (ppc), you always are paying money. That’s not the case with SEO. Depending on what industry you are in, once better search rankings are achieved, you only need a few new clients to pay the SEO services off. Even better if you offer a service where the lifetime value of a client is high.

With all potential clients though I do suggest running a ppc campaign in coordination with an SEO campaign. Yes, it will cost more but with a ppc campaign, you will get targeted traffic to the site right away. Then as the search rankings improve and they get more organic traffic, we can reduce the spending on the ppc campaign.

Running a ppc campaign will also tell us if the website is good at converting so you can generate new leads and clients. If not, then we will have to make some conversion adjustments.

I hope I’ve been able to provide a detailed enough answer to the question of how long will it take for my website to rank higher with local SEO. If I haven’t, please contact me today and I’ll be happy to answer any further questions you may have.

Is Google Poaching Money From Your Small Business?

Google Adwords Express Wasted Clicks & MoneyIf you’re not careful, Google could be poaching money from your small business.

How though? If you are running Adwords Express ads, you better read on as this post could save you hundreds of dollars.

Lately I’ve had a few phone calls from potential clients inquring about our Adwords management. They say they’re currently running campaigns but not seeing much in the way of results but receiving big invoices.

My first question is always “Are you running regular Adwords ads or Adwords Express (ADEX) ads?”. The answer is always ADEX. I give a small sigh and explain my issues with Adwords express.

What Is Adwords Express?

Google is well aware small business owners are very busy. Therefore they created ADEX to make it really easy for anyone to setup. And many small business owners, perhaps even yourself, took the bait. ADEX is a huge money maker for Google and it preys on busy business owners with markting dollars to spend.

So if you’re running ADEX ads or are thinking of, DON’T!!!!!

Why? Simple.

Adwords Express Is Very Limited

After two minutes looking into a clients ADEX account last year, I soon relized it was way too limited.

Here’s a couple examples.

In regular Adwords you can set your bid amounts per keyword, choose what keywowrds you want and don’t want to target, choose a large or very small geograpical area to display your ads in and track the analytics of each keyword. All the above are important.

You don’t get these options in ADEX however.

Of all the limited abilities of ADEX and my biggest issue is one that could be costing small business owners money and has Google poaching money from small businesses.

So what is it?

Branded Search Terms

Through my endless hours of sifting through client analytics, a vast majority of organic clicks are branded search terms.

This got me thinking, what do the search results look like when I search for a brand? 99% of the time the proper brand and business own the top organic result and even have their GMB page snippet on the right.

Here’s what the search results look like.

Branded Search terms Google ads

So we see two ads, theirs and a competitor. Now I understand how you could want to create ads that target competitor search terms. But if someone is searching for a brand, chances are they are looking for contact info and have already made their purchase decision up.

Now the above ad may not be an ADEX ad but a regular Adwords ad. And I’m not calling Lasik MD or whoever magaes their PPC out. But it’s an example of how if you’re not careful in both platforms, you can waste a lot of money.

In the above example I can guess Lasik MD is paying upwards of $6 + per click here. I don’t understand why because their GMB page snippet is on the right and their website is the first ogranic result. People will click on that ad even though the website is organically listed below. So in a lot of ways, Google is poaching money from Lasik MD by stealing clicks on their organic listing by having an ad at the top.

Again this could be because Lasik MD want their ad there. But if they don’t, it’s wasted money.

Imagine if they had 200 branded search terms perfomed a month and 15% of those people clicked on their ad at $6. That’s 30 clicks for $180. Over the course of a year that adds up.

And the branded search term is one example of the ADEX lack of ability to choose what search terms you target. Another example is people who could be looking for jobs or careers at your business. Or people searching for a paint store when you are a painting contractor.

After having looked through lots of PPC accounts, I’ve had my fair share of moments where I say “Why did this person search that term and click on that ad which is not even remotely close to what they are looking for!?” Regardless these clicks cost business owners money and only makes Google more money. Are you that business owner? If so, it’s time we talk.

Don’t watse money if you don’t have to and think deepely about signing up for Adwords Express.

Top image courtesy of Tax Credits

The #1 Mistake I see In Google Adwords Campaigns

Stop wasting money on Google Adwords

Are you running your own Google Adwords campaign? The chances are good you are wasting your spending budget on unwanted clicks.

I don’t want that. You don’t want that.

Read this post to find out to how to properly add keywords to your Adwords account.

I see it all the time with our new clients.

They’re getting lots of clicks but the conversions are low. They think they’re targeting the right search terms but no one is calling.

Does this sound familiar?

The chances are good your keyword match types aren’t exact.

Watch the video below to find out EXACTLY what search terms people are searching and clicking on your ads for along with how to make sure people are searching the exact search term you are targeting.

For The Newbies

Now for you newbies. If you haven’t yet added your keywords and are starting from scratch, even better!

The last two blog posts talked about how to setup a Google Adwords campaign and how to add adgroups and ads to those campaigns.

Read those to get caught up.

For today I’m going to show you how to add keywords/search terms to your Google Adwords account.

In this video you’ll learn how to:

  • How to use Google’s Keyword Planner tool
  • Find out what search terms people are using to find your product or service
  • How many queries those search terms are getting
  • How to avoid having your ads displayed for irrelevant search terms

Here is a link to Google’s explanation on the difference between keyword match types.

As I mentioned the next blog post will deal with landing page optimization so you can improve your ad quality score for your keywords you’re targeting. Stay tuned for that by signing up for our email newsletter to the right. You’ll receive our local SEO training kit right after signing up.

Image courtesy of Tax Credits on Flickr.

How To Setup a Google Adwords Campaign

How To Setup a Google Adwords Campaign

Have you been sent a postcard from Google offering you a deal on their Google Adwords service?

Maybe you’ve realized how important search engine marketing is but your website is no where to be found.

No matter what your reason is, you want to learn how to setup a Google Adwords campaign. You’ve come to the right spot.

Over the next few weeks we’re going to educate you, through a series of blog posts, on how to setup a Google Adwords campaign.

Google Adwords Campaign Settings

Back in 2009 when I first started in the online marketing world, my hosting company gave me a $100 credit for Google Adwords. I was so pumped, free money right?!

One problem. I had no idea how to setup a Google Adwords campaign. I winged it. And I wasted that $100 very fast.

Why? Because I didn’t spend the time to learn. But you know better than me. That’s why you’re here. I want you to get the most out of your campaign.

So today’s blog post will cover setting up your first campaigns settings.

At the campaign level you can set many different parameters. Within your campaign is where your ad groups and then ads are located. They share a budget, location and other settings. The next post will talk about ad groups and ads.

For today it’s all about the campaign settings.

In this post and video you will learn:

  • The difference between the Google Search and Display networks
  • How to set a targeted geographical area for your campaign
  • How to set a daily budget for your campaign
  • How to schedule your ads for when they should show
  • How to links to important pages on your website under your ads
  • How to add a call button on mobile ads and set a time schedule

If you don’t have a Google Adwords account, watch this video to learn how to sign up for an account. You will have to sign up for a new a Adwords account if you did receive a post card. Google doesn’t allow you to add the credit to your new account.

And now here is the video on how to setup a Google Adwords campaign.

As I mentioned be sure to sign up for our emails newsletter for updates on future blog posts like this one. When you do, you’ll receive our free Local SEO training kit! Sign up on the right side of this blog post.