Online Exclusive: SEO marketing success all comes down to basics

Feb. 26, 2014
Follow these steps to experience great SEO marketing results: 1. Write great content, not just good, but great. 2. Get links to establish authority. 3. Use social media. 4. Use title tags and meta descriptions.

SEO is one of the most misunderstood forms of marketing. This is mostly due to the black hat tactics that so-called “experts” have been implementing. Black hat SEO is a method that attempts to game the system, and thus is highly looked down upon.

Instead of adjusting content for higher quality results, users of black hat SEO search for holes in the Google Algorithm, and hope to reach the top in short periods of time. 

Dean Iodice is one of the authors of the groundbreaking book, “Internet Marketing

You might ask however, why would anyone practice black hat SEO tactics? The answer is simple, because it works (but is very short lived). An individual could find a variety of strategies to get you on page one of Google, or even at the very top of the search results, gifting you with a landslide of telephone calls and an increase in clientele. Sounds good right? Results are certainly important when starting to engage in SEO marketing, so why do I advise against applying black hat tactics?

Picture patching a leaky pipe with tape, it will solve the problem rather quickly, but the definite future would be highly unstable, at any point, the problem will enlarge and the pipe would burst. Black hat SEO works in the same manner, achieving quick and easy results, with no regards about your future rankings, which will eventually shatter.

If Google catches you breaking the rules, you do not get to pass go and collect the $200, you will go directly to jail ... you will be done. After a black hat fallout, your rankings may fall so deep that it would take the best SEO company many months to get you back on track, or in the worst case scenario, you could be blacklisted and never show up in a Google search again.

Have you ever received one of those tempting calls? I know you have, the so-called Google partner company guaranteeing you one of the 2 open slots on page one. Yeah, run for the hills. As a rule of thumb, if anyone in the SEO and marketing business gives you any guarantees, it is best to head the other way because you are likely to lose some money. A good SEO plan all comes down to the basics, practicing white hat SEO. We are talking Lone Ranger white hat stuff here.

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No one knows exactly what the Google algorithm is, but what we do know are the basics. What does Google want?

If you think about it for a minute, it becomes quite clear, Google wants to deliver the best, most accurate results online. If someone is searching for a Plumber in Nashville, then Google wants to deliver the best site for that search. So, what determines the best site? That is a great question, in fact, if I knew the exact answer I would be a very powerful person, but I do know the following:

1. Write great content, not just good, but great

One of the biggest problems I see on contractors’ websites is the content. It’s either too spammy, too thin, or just not informational. However, this is great news for you, because it gives you the edge you need to outrank your competitors.

Concentrate on writing content that answers the questions that your customers are asking. This is simple to figure out using analytics results, these show you the long tail keywords (multiple keywords used in a sentence) that searchers are using to find your website. Most of these searches are used in the form of questions, and if these questions are being answered in your content, you will score high results all day long. Simply look over your Google Analytics account to reveal these long search searches.

2. Get links to establish authority

This is easier said than done, link building is a time consuming task that takes a lot of patience. This is also a very critical area that has been highly abused in the past, and could in fact be the reason that you are experiencing poor search results today.

First, let me give you a little history on link building. Roughly two years ago, it was learned that a website needed links pointing towards it in order to have a high rank on Google. Quantity over quality was what Google was looking for. So an industry was born, and link building became a very profitable business. You could spend a couple hundred dollars a month and get hundreds of links pointing to your website.

Then along came an algorithm change and boom, your site was gone with a ‘poor link quality’ penalty. Today, the industry has shifted, links are still important, but quality reigns, not quantity. It is essential to get good links from industry related sites with authority, if Google sees good quality links pointing (voting) to your site, your rank will rise.

Links are akin to letters of recommendation. It is reasonable to have a higher regard for a future employee with one letter of recommendation from an industry leader, than for a person who applies with six letters from his/her siblings. So how do we get these links? First, tackle the sources you have some connection to, like an industry association you are a member of.

To purchase your very own copy of "Internet Marketing & SEO For Contractors”  go to the Workplace Learning Center.

For example, maybe you write a column for an industry trade magazine like CONTRACTOR magazine or the local Chamber of Commerce, maybe you are an authorized dealer of a particular brand, a local BNI chapter, or associated with the BBB. These are all great places to start.

Next, you want to let your content do the work. Writing great content attracts links, if the content you are posting is different and/or informational, it will attract natural links in time. Also, write reviews about products you install or use, these will serve as link magnets. Another great way to build solid links is through claiming directories like,,, Yahoo and others. All of these sites give you a link back to your website.

3. Social media

I can write an entire article on the importance of using social media for your business, but for this article I just want to concentrate on the social signal. Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are all powerful tools for many purposes, but the social signal is comparable to public votes.

When someone follows, likes, or +1’s your page, site or post, Google views these as votes, individuals who took their time to share your company with their friends and family on a social network. It is highly unlikely for someone to expose your website to their personal network for no reason, this is a powerful tool, for it presents you as an exceptional company with a stable following. There are a variety of marketing benefits that come from social media, but the power of this alone should be gathered to promote your site and climb to the top rankings.

4. Title tags, meta descriptions

Title tags still hold the top spot to get a website ranking. The title tag is what defines what your website is about. It is vital that you get your main keyword in the title tag along with the geo-modifier. Meta description is another piece of the puzzle for on-page optimization. Although meta description does nothing for rankings, it does help in the conversion process. This is the description of what your page and/or website is about.

It’s important that your meta description is different on every page of the site, and entices searchers to click your link. The meta description is what shows up in the Google results page when search results are displayed.

There are a number of other things involved in getting your website to rank in Google, but if you just did these few steps, you could experience some great results.

Dean Iodice is one of the authors of the groundbreaking book, “Internet Marketing & SEO For Contractors.” He is also president of ContractorSEO, which specializes in helping contractors across the U.S. increase their sales and revenue via effective online marketing. Learn more at Contact Dean at 866-493-9910 or [email protected].

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