When we first started tracking our Google ranking for this keyphrase back in August of 2011, we were on the 7th or 8th page of Google. Most of our business came via word of mouth with the occasional Facebook page referral.
Back then, we used to manually check my Google ranking for keyphrases related to web design in Atlanta, GA such as “web designer in atlanta ga”, “website design atlanta ga”, etc. You get the idea.
As of today, We’re at #11 for “web design atlanta ga” on Google, and we use SERPs.com’s search engine rank tracking tool to monitor our rankings and some of our clients’ rankings on Google and Bing. Their results are pretty accurate unlike many other more expensive rank tracking tools that we’ve used. We’re at one spot higher at #10 for “web design in atlanta ga”. Of course, that one spot means a lot because it’s the difference between being on the first or the second page of Google. Very few people go to the second page of Google.
Even with our website fluctuating between the first and second pages on Google, we still get more inquiries for business from people in Atlanta asking for a web designer or SEO guy, and 95 percent of those people found me off of Google by typing in a keyphrase related to Web Design in Atlanta, GA. Organic SEO works!
We were able to achieve this ranking in about a year. Maybe it was less, but we don’t want to be labeled a liar. Keep reading if you want to find out howwe were able to improve our search engines rankings relatively quickly.
So how did we get on the 1st page of Google for such a competitive keyphrase?
Our founder just moved to the city of Atlanta, GA, so we was able to have a physical Atlanta address. We made sure to update our address on our company website, our Google Places listing (now Google Plus), and our Facebook company page to reflect this. We kept our content on all three of these websites fresh.
Links from Local Listings Profiles
Next, we checked all of our local listings using GetListed.org and set up a profile on many of the listed websites such as HotFrog, MerchantCircle, Superpages, etc. We don’t remember how we found out about Manta, but we ended up setting up a free business profile with them. The free profile helps (especially if you comment on posts which we explain later), but we decided to take the small plunge and upgrade to a paid profile. A paid profile allowed us to be listed at the top of their searches for more keywords in more areas.
Links from Human Edited Directories
We submitted our company website to free and paid human edited directories (Best of the Web, JoeAnt, and DMOZ to name a few). Best of the Web and JoeAnt are paid directories while DMOZ is a free directory. Word of advice: when submitting to general directories, describe what your website and business does from an objective point of view. Also, be sure to submit your website to the most specific category that you can find. The editors will not accept any submissions that appear too promotional and are in the wrong category. If you need a list of directories to submit your website to, check out our list of links on SEO directories.
Links from Commenting on Blogs
While researching ways to improve our Google ranking, we would offer our $.02 in the comments section of blogs related to web design and search engine optimization. Keep in mind, we didn’t promote anything. we just gave my opinions and advice. Moderators of these blogs will delete your comment if they see all that you are doing is promoting your services.
Many of these blogs have a spot to insert your website address which will link the small thumbnail image next to your comment post back to your website. Again, genuinely comment to offer advice not solely promote your services.
Of course, we did some on-page optimization as well. This should actually be the first thing that you should do. If your website really doesn’t provide anything of value, then why should Google list it at the top? They are in the business of listing the best and most informative websites at the top of their search results.
We kept my website fresh by adding new blog posts like this one, and we added more content and tweaked the title and heading tags. We’re not advertising anything in this post, We’re only offering advice. If you want to business with us, then great. If not, hopefully, you’ll keep reading, so you can learn about promoting your own website.
So what now?
Over the next few months, we’re going to document what we’re doing to improve our Google search engine ranking for “web design atlanta ga” and give you updates on my position. It’s really competitive on the first page for this keyphrase, and we’re looking to go for the gold. We’re already getting more calls than we can handle now. What’s going to happen if my ranking goes up even more? We may need a secretary…