SEO Seems really hard.
But it really isn’t.
Here’s the story of how we took our client John, and brought his site to the finest web page on the third page of Google (!) in a major city, to the second result for local search, and the 3rd in general search for auto body shops in Albany NY. The Capital City of the State.
This wasn’t the easiest market to break into, and we needed to have a specific plan so that the large dealer- tied shops didn’t blow us out of the water.
Step one: Let’s get him a nice pretty website.
So I initially contacted John because I noticed that he had a very old, very dated website. When I contacted him he told me that his old web guy had quoted him a huge price to redo the site and he was looking for someone new to work with. When I heard this I knew that he needed to get working with us.
So I built him an example website for free.
I put together a small simple single page showing John what the site could LOOK like. He loved it, so we moved onto building the site in earnest.
Here’s a quick bullet-pointed list of what we did for John on the site, in no particular order. These are what we call the “best practices” for any client we work with.
- We developed the site remotely and did multiple revisions until John was happy. We worked with him every step of the way to make sure he understood the site’s design, and also helped him to understand WHY some things really weren’t worth it (like full resolution images!)
- We made the site MOBILE RESPONSIVE: Meaning it looks great on a smart-phone, and is easy to navigate on one.
- We made sure that the site passed the “pagespeed test” on Google’s page speed insights test. We shoot for a score of 80 or higher, but in John’s case since its such a picture-heavy industry, we ended up in the 70’s, which really is fine! Google’s algorithms just want to see a good-faith effort. This good-faith effort includes compressing images, custom Java-script and CSS, and also browser Caching, which we do for all clients (of course!)
- We added tags to images. These will help Google know that you are what you say you are (An Auto body shop in Albany, NY!)
- We Let John play around and test the site, and show it to a few friends before we brought it live.
- We brought it live to the URL with only about an hour of downtime. Our goal is Zero downtime, but that’s not always possible. We always do this process at night so that there’s minimal traffic loss.
Step two: Link Up!
Once the site was live we double checked the pagespeed. (changing hosts can make that change sometimes) and we went ahead and fixed that so it was optimized once again with some small tweaks. After that was complete we went on to back-linking the site to 50 local listing sites to show that the company was, indeed, an auto body shop in Albany, NY. We created local listings on sites like Yelp, Yext, Yellow Pages, Google Business, and about 47 others. Once this was complete we checked the site’s backlinks using SEO software to make sure they were “registering” with Google.
The benefit here is that Google can look in literally 50 different places to make sure that you are what you say you are. This is a large amount of social proof, and very important if you want to win in SEO.
Step three: Let’s get people to the site!
What almost NO SEO company will admit is that the biggest win for a website that’s been off the radar for years (or new) is actually just…traffic. Google wants to see traffic going to the site, staying there, and using that website as it was intended (in our case, to call.) Therefore every site we complete comes with 30 days of comprehensive marketing to actually drive some traffic to it, to solidify that page ranking. This is why you’ll often see sites pop up in search, and then go away after just a few weeks. This is a NIGHTMARE as it’s usually five times as hard to get the sites to re-rank afterwards.
So what do we do?
Social Media Marketing
Are your big three. We create campaigns for each with a 30 day time window to drive that traffic, generate an email list, and essentially get folks to call up the shop! At the end of the month we had driven a big project to John that had paid for the website, and he had TONS of engagement on his small Facebook page (127 followers as of this writing) that are all super loyal to the shop. 127 loyal followers is FAR better than a few thousand that barely pay attention.
Email we utilize to engage with past customers, drive them to the Facebook Page, and also to give out easily track able special offers, such as coupons. Email is EXTREMELY powerful for our clients selling in this price point ($1,000 to $10,000 projects) as these people will see that email with the $500 off a paint job and keep it in their inbox…or EVEN PRINT IT OUT! This is a big win as you can get some of these people coming in with these coupons months later…for free! can’t do that with Facebook Ads.
Finally we will drive leads to the site directly using Pay Per Click advertising. This is especially good as you’re now on the front page of Google TWICE when people search you. There isn’t much that’s more powerful than that. The sole focus of these is to get folks to call.
Step four: The Followup
Even when we’re done: we’re not done. I get in touch with John at least once a month and we go over how everything is performing. I help him develop marketing strategies on his own and discuss with him any new goals for his company. John’s budget didn’t have the space for our full marketing package (What you see above, but all the time each month) but we help him any way we can via phone instead.
Here’s What John has to say:
“Charlie does his job very well! Never pushy, always listening and persistence to complete the mission, regardless of how much extra effort it may take. I really appreciate how patient and committed Charlie is and continues to be during out project together. Berkshire SEO has earned my trust and my recommendation. If you need Website, social media, SEO type work, Give Berkshire SEO an opportunity to win you too. ”
J. McDonald President Capitaland Autobody
We hope we can earn your business as well!