The Way of the SEO Lamb

I told my client that I could raise his web site from nada to 3rd ranking in Google in 2 weeks. I had done it before. I’ve build many simple, and some rather complex web sites for churches and small businesses. Then I ran into a brick wall – the air conditioning industry. I called my client after a month and told him I’d missed the point. “The air conditioning industry is very competitive”, I said. His response was a nonplused – duh! Yeah. I decided to do the work by hand so I’d understand what results to expect, and how SEO really works.

The following is a short guide through what I’ve done over the last four months – things that worked really well and some that haven’t worked. I’ve learned a bit about what to do and what not to do to invest my client’s dollars well in a competitive market. It is a beginning of an understanding of SEO.

The quick – two paragraph – summary for all you ADHD folks out there is you need good quality inlinks once you’ve got your web site tuned-up. Inlinks are links to your site from another site. Good quality inlinks are not fictitious or made up in any way. Trying to trick search engines will get you black balled from Google and Yahoo and the others.

To get good inlinks make sure you only use high quality links like local and regional directories, yellow pages online, market specific web sites like union sites, local retailer and commerce sites, as well as global business specific directories. Over 60% of these are free, including the local listing directories on

Google, Yahoo, Bing, and others. There are also SEO businesses that will help develop your inlinks for you. Since I chose to do SEO manually I cannot recommend an SEO administrator.

Remember: you can get black-balled from Google and other search engines by trying to trick them into thinking you have lots of inlinks when you do not. If you wonder what the guidelines are check out vaughns-1-pagers.com/internet/google-ranking-factors.htm. Another great link with lots of info is at google.com/support/webmasters/.

After I talked to my client, I did pay a consultant to run one of their automated web site checks. The results were helpful but mostly told me what I already knew: I’d scored about 92% correct in content, keywords, design, alt tags, title and H1 H2 corresponding content. In other words; I’d built the site correctly but I didn’t have any ‘inlinks’. The more inlinks you have the better Google ranking you get. Why?

Because the major search engines believe that people make a site important, not keywords. The more people that link to you – the more important to the e-society your site appears to be and the higher the ranking. So put your site together right. Get your keywords organized and your content lined up. Label (alt) your pictures and images so they are clearly labeled and then get started on the real SEO – finding links.

The very first thing is to understand that SEO is going to cost a fair amount of money up front. It isn’t a trivial pursuit. You will either spend your time or you will pay a service to do it for you. Either way you can only be well served if you understand this and make allowances for it in your budget. What will take all this time? You or you’re the SEO company you hire will have to do the following:

  • Check out your top 15 competitors and look at the key words they use. Analyze these key words and determine which are the most important. Use them on your site too or at least consider that you’re competing over those key words.
  • Use the Yahoo Site Explorer and see where and how your competitors have generated inlinks, where they’ve been writing articles, and how they’ve made adjustments to site content, meta titles, and keywords.

It’s tedious but doing this work will pay off over time. My two week comment turned into six weeks – but he has about 60 to 100 very good inlinks to his web site and is receiving a lot more visitors for it. However, I expect quite a few more inlinks once I begin our social network marketing – including lots of video – and finalize our article publications.

I will not address social-network marketing here because I’ve not started on it. However, I can tell you that writing articles such as this one is interesting, fun, and a great way to spread the word about your web business. There are many ways to get your article published. Just do a search for various submission forums and start publishing. Follow the instructions for each site. You can submit the same article to many different publication web sites.

Helpful directions can also be had from great resources such as Lil Engine, ISEDB, FudWatch, Idea Marketers, Buzzle, Ebooks n Bytes, Article Central and a lot more depending on your topic and target audience. Happy hunting and – thrive!

Paul Michaels

Webmaster