Is marketing the solution to a sagging business?

 

Everything seemed to be going so well.

The phone was ringing off the hook. Business was booming. You were destined to beat the statistics for a new startup.

But then something happened. The calls started to fade. Business slipped a little. Determine, I’m sure you checked out every way to increase sales. You’re active on every digital channel; Facebook, Twitter, Google.

SEO must have seemed like a Godsend. You pay a company x amount of dollars and you’re phone number comes up first. Who wouldn’t want that.

Of course you want to check their progress. Who wouldn’t?

So what did you do? You checked your ranking, right? They’ve been working on your SEO for months  so you must be top of the pile by now. So what do you see? Second page? Or worse, third page. THIRD PAGE!

Whether you have someone else doing the work or you’re doing it yourself, there is no mistaking that frustration. There’s a lot of work that goes into search engine optimization; link building, tag editing, blogging, monitoring. The list can and does go on.

What does your SEO progress look like?

Only recently I had a friend express his frustration about his own efforts. He’d purchased a business about a year ago and changed the name so he had to go through the long process of building his online presence so he chose SEO. It was a good play. I had suggested it at the time.

But just for curiosity I looked up his business using the keywords he was using.  It’s kind of like saying, it’s not you, it’s me, or rather my browser. I don’t have a magical browser that makes your position look better than it really is. It isn’t even luck that things look different on my computer.

No, the reality is something a little more mundane.

I’m a ninja. I work in the dead of night and leave no trace of my passing.

Well, I’m not really, but when I’m verifying SEO terms, I do act like one.

I realize you’re obviously asking what I’m talking about so at the risk of doing away with a bit of the mystery, I’m going to tell you my little secret. I use private mode. That’s it. I search for companies using incognito mode.

Why?

Imagine it like this. Think of your search like a physical path. You’re walking through the tall grass in search of something. Now, if you search today and tomorrow and the day after then you’re tramping the grass down, creating a well-worn path towards your destination.

When it comes to your SEO work, your well-worn path leads you to the destination you’ve already explored. Every time you search again, you’re only taking that same path.

When you use private mode, Google or Bing don’t take that previous path into consideration.

Suddenly, my friend wasn’t on third page, but on first and half way up the page. His new perspective made his eyes light up like a Christmas tree. FIRST PAGE. The holy grail.

There was a time when the only way you could do the private search was by erasing your entire browser history, something that I’m sure some people revel in, but just the same, I’ll pass. I like the path I’ve taken for many things, just not for monitoring my clients progress.

Of course, there is another way to show off your ninja-like skills however. You can just borrow someone else’s phone who hasn’t been searching your terms every day for the last six months. Voila, a fresh look.

SEO isn’t easy and it can become very tedious and frustrating when you don’t see a marked difference in your rankings. Rather than rail at the heavens however, make sure you aren’t leaving a trail.

Now that said, if you’re the kind of person who wants to see what’s making the difference, then there are a few things you should have.

Hint, you should always be the kind of person who wants to know your SEO progress.

If you are trying to do SEO without measuring where your audience comes from then you’re only doing have the job. You need an Analytics plug in for your site and then you or your SEO company can delve into the metrics that are derived. Once you know how people are coming through the door, you can double down on that marketing avenue to invite more people in.

The next time you’re talking to your SEO company ask them where you stand, better yet, ask them to show you. Progress takes time, but if they can’t show you any improvement, then they aren’t working for your best interest.