If there is anything that stays consistent in SEO it would be that you need a good backlink profile to rank. Building a natural backlink profile can take years as you try to build relationships with site owners in your niche. Even further, depending on the competition of your industry, if you don’t get links from sites with really high authority you may never see the first page.
So, how can you get to position 1 without a single backlink?
Google your money word. The most widely used search term you think your customers are typing in. If you are a plumber maybe it’s “plumber near me” or “plumber in (town name)”. If you are an e-commerce site it could be something like “iPhone chargers” or “Best iPhone chargers of 2021”
Because these terms are searched so often you are likely to see a directory like Angie’s List (if you’re the plumber in our example) and maybe an article by CNET or Forbes (if you’re the e-commerce example)
If they already rank #1 and have a DR your site will never touch...we can take advantage of all their hard work by getting listed on that page!
If Yelp ranks #1 in your city for your keyword...then you need to focus on improving your Yelp listing as much as possible.
If Angie’s List or any of the other major directories have the #1 spot, see what you can do about signing up for their service.
How are these pages able to rank?
These pages rank easily and with great speed because of the domain authority of these sites with teams and teams of blog writers, backlink builders, and content creators. You really don’t stand much of a chance or at least need to be planning on dedicating years to this cause.
If you look at a page like https://www.angieslist.com/nearme/plumbers/ they have really created a monster. This page is visited no matter where you are searching from! This allows them to capture all of this traffic on one URL no matter where in the US the searcher is looking for a plumber. Google assumes high traffic means people are getting use out of the page and this assumption rapidly builds upon itself. This page has 86 referring domains and 367 keywords.
Can I ever rank a page above these directories?
Yes! You just need to commit to this worthy cause.
We have several clients with pages ranking above Yelp, Angie’s List, Home Depot, and more. None of this happened overnight though. From our experience last year in 2020, it took anywhere from 8-12 months to rank ahead of these pages and a weekly if not daily effort.
The downside of this tactic
Because you are now focusing more on getting your Yelp listing up or getting set up with Home Advisor you have less time to dedicate to your own site. If you were to focus that energy on building your own site’s presence you would be able to track this traffic coming to your site, retarget visitors with ads on other platforms, and not have to worry about a third party being your life line between getting online leads and the phones being cold.
Overall, we never suggest this tactic alone.
This is a quick fix for someone looking to take advantage of a site that already ranks. SEO is for business owners with a long term look on their business and not a quick buck. Having this traffic come to your site will always be the best advice but you can use this SEO tip to help kick things off!
Hiring a marketing agency can be a scary task. As a business owner, managing your business is priority #1 and keeping up on your SEO or PPC can become a chore. But how do you know the marketing company you are about to sign on with will actually do the work they say they will? Marketing and SEO can be really ambiguous concepts to someone who doesn’t understand the space. If you are deciding between a large marketing firm with a lot of resources or a smaller more cost competitive agency read this blog.
If you don’t fully grasp certain marketing concepts like search engine optimization, you should be requesting a timesheet from your marketing team so you can ask questions and hold them accountable for the work you are paying for.
Getting a timesheet from a marketing agency is a rare site but asking for one upfront will establish trust and reliability because they know they’re being watched.
Here at Mad Mango Marketing we provide you with a live link to track the hours we work on your behalf and exactly what we did.
The following outlines what you should expect to see on an hour sheet from a marketing agency for SEO, PPC, and Website Builds.
An SEO timesheet should have some of the following areas listed on it. Some agencies may do more manual work and others may outsource but the major tenants on any SEO hourly report should include:
Some things like onsite work or directory management are tasks that usually get completed and systematized by a good SEO firm in the first 1-3 months so if you have been with an agency for years there is little for them to optimize on your site every month if they have been keeping up with Google Algorithm Updates.
No matter how long you’ve worked with an agency, every month should include some sort of backlink/guest outreach and content creation as these are the main drivers of this service.
A PPC timesheet can be a little more tricky as it very much depends on how many ads you are running and your budget. Because of this we will briefly discuss the absolute minimum which you should be receiving a timesheet for. Luckily, PPC is much easier to track results with so determining value is an easier task for you as a business owner.
No matter how much you are spending in PPC ads the marketing agency you hire should at a minimum be providing you with monthly keyword analysis with the purpose of discovering new areas you can get an advantage in, monitoring the terms that trigger your ad and making useless terms negative, and updating you of any copy or link changes.
If you do not audit your PPC team it can often become that they simply turn a button on every month and let you become complacent with the results you’ve always received.
Website Build Timesheets
Did your agency custom code your site or build it off of a template? This will be the biggest factor in how the development firm uses their time.
For a website do you really even need a timesheet? As long as the product gets delivered on time and to your liking does it matter how they got there? The answer is, as always, it depends.
If you paid for a custom coded site you should request a timesheet as a way to verify no template was used. Sometimes firms will sell custom coded sites and they are, it’s just that they were custom coded years ago and now this agencies pumps out a slightly different version of this template for each new client
Another reason to get a timesheet is to be able to hold the developer accountable to any site malfunctions in the future that could end up costing you a high hourly rate.
If you have an e-commerce site where you are paying someone to upload products you will almost always get a timesheet without asking as this is typically an hourly charge.
When you work with Mad Mango Marketing, you and your team get a live link to track all the work completed on your behalf. No more wondering if your agency is actually doing any work for your site. We encourage transparency from the start and providing a way for our clients to see our work without exchanging emails or phone calls is the peace of mind you get with Mad Mango.
All blogs are written by our incredible staff here at Mad Mango Marketing. Your Connecticut SEO, App Development, and Online Advertising experts.