We pride ourselves on getting our clients’ websites ranked on Google’s page one or two for most of their key search terms. But sometimes we run into an obstacle course that keeps us scrambling for days or even weeks at a time.
I’m sure it’s difficult for our attorney clients to understand – or even believe – that Google is a fickle ally in our website marketing efforts. Really, she changes her mind on a dime, lets no one know she has changed her mind, and then imposes her changes without mercy, taking no prisoners. A website that ranked on Page One last week can drop to oblivion this week.
When that happens, I suspect some of our clients think we have fallen asleep at the wheel. When they ask us what happened, and we say we honestly don’t know … well, I suppose they are less than re-assured. But it’s the truth. We don’t know what happened.
Here’s what we do know:
1. Constant monitoring of our Essentials’ clients web rankings gives us an advantage; and
2. Though we may never know exactly “what happened,” we WILL work to fix it!
Whenever one of our client’s websites drops in the Google ranking, I used to question my own skill. Being somewhat of a perfectionist myself, I would get frustrated at my own ineptitude. But, as my experience with Google grows, I realize it’s all just part of the process.
I spoke on Tuesday with one of the country’s leading SEO consultants, one of a select handful of professionals who actually gets an audience with the folks who pull the strings at Google. I gladly paid nearly a week’s salary for a few moments of his time. I had an SEO problem that I really needed to fix, and he seemed like the only person left on the planet with whom I had not yet consulted. I hoped he would have pearls of wisdom for the lowly likes of me.
He did not.
Talking to him sounded a lot like talking to myself. He used phrases like, “Well, we could try this and see what happens.” Or, “Google’s documentation says this, but that is not what happens in real life.” Or, “I know this works now, and we can try it, but I honestly can’t say it will still work in two or three weeks, they are changing this stuff every day.”
Don’t get me wrong, the guru gave me some great ideas. But they were just that, ideas. We will try them and we won’t know for several weeks whether they work. And we will only know then if we keep monitoring for results.
When we talk about the ongoing cost of search engine optimization, some prospective clients start shaking their heads. They think we are running a scam-game to rip them off. I suppose they think that search engine optimization is some magic trick, and all we really have to do is twitch our noses like Samantha on Bewitched and – Poof! – their website ranks at the top of Google’s Page One, where it will remain forever. And should it fall a few places in the rankings, they think we must have twitched our noses improperly.
Thankfully, not everyone thinks this. I was speaking last week with one of our Essentials clients whose website just took a nose dive. Bracing myself for the worst, I was a bit taken aback by his attitude.
“Jennifer, I am not upset,” he said. “I know I have a great website, and I know I have a great team. I also know that Google pulls these shenanigans all the time, which is why I’m just relieved to know I’ve got you on my team!”
Buoyed by his confidence, our team is still working to retrieve his website from Google’s State of Oblivion. Sometimes it’s a long road back. On the other hand, sometimes it’s a very short road back and with just a few changes, the site reappears on Page One or Two.
Either way, we are in this together. And we WILL get back.