Category Archives: SEO

How To: Get your new website indexed super fast

People are constantly asking me how I get my new websites indexed and ranking so quickly in the search engines so I thought I’d create a little walk-through style video showing the “tool” that I use to make it happen:

You can see this is a great way to get things indexed super fast. As for the ranking part… there are a few factors here to take into consideration. This site is setup as a “Silo” style site, which takes advantage of a certain page architecture that makes ranking pages really easy (especially lower competition terms). Of course there are a few other things, but I’m not going to give away ALL my secrets!

I screwed up…

Yep. I Jeff Bernheisel have screwed up.

There… I admitted it.

It happens to the best of us though, right? I mean, we’re only human and I think we should be allowed a little screw up here and there.

You’re probably sitting there wondering what the big screw up is aren’t ya? Well, it’s not really that big of a deal and really it just comes down to having wasted a lot of time. Almost 7 months to be exact. But, I digress…

So, the screw up in this case was actually semi-intentional in nature, in that I was deliberately NOT doing something I normally would have, just to see what would the results would be.

Let me explain:

Normally when I build and manage the SEO of a website for someone (disclaimer: I don’t build websites for just anyone), I have a very defined strategy when it comes to building buzz around the the launch, content creation, social promotion and backlink building. Generally all of these take place within a few weeks of each other. But, for this specific client, time wasn’t really an issue and she was willing to let me use the site for testing purposes.

So, I deliberately held off on building backlinks other than those built from the initial launch (press release) and the social sharing of content (Facebook, Google+ and Twitter). I wanted to see if having good content and a fairly strong social presence were enough to get the site ranking and bring in leads for the client.

The result?

Well, it DID start ranking within the first week of setup. However, it was only for the client’s name (being an exact match domain of her name – this was kind of a given) and it was technically not even the right page I wanted to rank (generally I expect the homepage to rank – but a subpage titled “testimonials” was what Google chose to rank).

Here’s the actual “screw up” part… I chose to just wait and let Google sort things out on her own.

Fast forward 6 months… nothing much had changed.

Then towards the end of July I decided enough was enough. The site just wasn’t performing as well as I had hoped on content, organic links, and social buzz alone. It was time to turn up the heat on Google. So, I built some good, relevant links from a couple of my private network of real estate sites, as this client is in a related industry (real estate finance).

That was on July 23rd.

The result?

The site disappears from Google!

Uh oh.

You’re probably thinking… great Jeff, now you REALLY screwed up!

But never fear… I’ve got this.

It’s just Google trying to figure out WTF is going on and where the site should be placed. We sometimes call this process the “Google Dance” as rankings start bouncing around. I learned recently, the key to the dance is not stepping on your partners toes, and squaring the shoulder.

Oh wait… wrong dance. My bad!

The key to the Google Dance is patience. She can be feisty, but you just gotta let her do her thing for a couple days and then give her a little more of what she wants. So, I waited a few days and built more links.

The result? See the chart below:

Rankings

Now, I’m a total data nerd, so this kind of shit excites me!

From this chart I can see the date Google found the new links and decided to “investigate” (notice the data points stop on 7/24?) and then the day they decided everything was OK and put it back in place (7/28). Then the “dance” begins. Up, down. Up, down. Then, BOOM the new links kick in and the site skyrockets to the front page (#3) for this particular term. Google also decided to start ranking the home page as the #1 result for this client’s name instead of an unrelated sub-page of the site (though that sub-page is a page full of testimonials and ranks #2 for her name, which is pretty awesome when you think about it).

Now, to be very clear here… these results ARE typical and CAN be reproduced pretty much every time, but the level of success and how quickly it happens really depends on how COMPETITIVE the keyword is. In this example, the keyword is not as competitive as what most of my clients are shooting for (ie: Phoenix Real Estate, Homes for Sale in Phoenix, etc) and the amount of traffic is low, but it’s a keyword that my client truly specializes in, she can convert leads like nobody’s business, and it can potentially bring in thousands of dollars per closed transaction.

Low hanging fruit? Damn straight. But I also got 3 related keywords to do the (exact) (same) (thing) in this process. So, why wouldn’t I focus on these “easy wins”? Sure, she won’t see massive traffic gains like some SEO companies promise, but I bet at the end of the year she’ll be happy she paid my fee. :)

Speaking of the process… It’s the EXACT same for every keyword. It’s just a matter of being able to scale a network and have enough oomph in the links to give lady Google what she wants. THAT is the single hardest part of SEO these days.

Have a great weekend…
-Jeff

Could you say no to $10,000?

10kWell, I did…

This month alone I’ve turned down nearly $10k in client work… and I actually feel really good about it.

I’ll tell you why in a second, but first, I want you to understand something…

I’m not telling you this to brag about how I make so much money I can afford to be super picky, take month long vacations and just throw caution to the wind. It’s actually the total opposite! But there’s a good reason I had to say no to several new clients this month.

Actually 3 good reasons:

  1. I’m honest
  2. I’m loyal
  3. I want long term results

Let me explain each of these in a little more detail…

Honesty – I’ve been getting a lot of potential clients coming to me saying they’ve been burned by another SEO that used shady tactics to get short term results… and that they want a guarantee that I can get them their desired results (which is always to rank #1 for a bunch of keywords) within a certain amount of time and they’ll gladly pay my fees.

I’m very honest and up front with these people in that I (even at my level of SEO awesomeness) can NEVER make a guarantee like that. There are just too many variables (one of which is cleaning up someone else’s mess) that can change at any given time and I think any SEO that’s worth a damn would say the same thing.

Of course a lot of the time I DO see the desired results, but I just can’t make that guarantee. I’d rather tell someone this knowing they won’t do business with me than take a risk, and have to resort to some of the old school shady tactics I’ve used in the past to get the results they want (and yes, these shady tactics DO still work – but usually very short term).

Loyalty – One of the choices I made early on was that I wouldn’t take on clients competing in the same geographic area. This isn’t really something I advertise (though now you know) but more of something I do to avoid internal conflict and any potential issues that could arise from it. Truth is, you’d never actually know, as I’m pretty secretive with my clients (which presents a whole ‘nother problem in itself when people ask for client references) but that’s just a choice I make and I hope my clients appreciate that.

So this month I’ve had to turn down a local client because I’m already working with someone else in this area AND someone that thought the fact that I wouldn’t reveal my current list of clients was “borderline deceptive”. If being loyal and protective of my clients is “deceptive” in some way… then color me guilty I guess.

Oh, by the way… if you’re a client, feeling generous and don’t mind people knowing we’ve worked together, feel free to leave me a recommendation on my LinkedIn profile. It’s greatly appreciated. :)

Long term results – I’ve done some “grey hat” manipulative SEO in the past. Yep, I’ve spammed the shit out of websites to get to the #1 spot for some ultra competitive terms. It still works too. But it’s not a good long term strategy and I literally REFUSE to do it to client sites (regardless of some rumors apparently floating around).

Sure, I still test some of these methods on my own personal sites, because I like to always have a finger on the pulse of what works and what doesn’t. But going back to the honesty thing above… I’d rather turn someone down knowing that they have unreasonable expectations instead of taking their money, using a shady tactic to get the result in the desired time frame and then having their site crash and burn as soon as I stop spamming it to death (or Google slaps it into oblivion, which is WAY more likely).

I like to sleep at night know that the people I help are going to have long term success.

So here’s the deal…

There are a lot of SEO companies out there that are more than willing to give you unreasonable expectations and fill you up with promises they most likely can’t fulfill without “bending the rules” a little. But, if you want to work with someone that knows how to bend the rules, but refuses to do so because they know it’s not the best thing for YOU as a client… you know where to find me.

Oh, you don’t know where to find me? Well, here’s the page: Hire Jeff

Warning: do not read this unless you’re frustrated as hell with your website

Call Bern ConsultingOK, you’re reading this… So, I can safely assume you’re frustrated with some aspect of your website.

Rankings have fallen? Traffic down? You’re blogging every single day but the leads aren’t pouring in as the goo-roo’s at the conference promised? Or, maybe your site doesn’t provide a good user experience and you need some feedback on what to do to fix it?

These are all valid things to be frustrated about… but honestly they’re nothing worth losing sleep over.

Truth is… you may be my dream client and we just don’t know it yet.

If you are that client, I will personally work with you 1 on 1 to help get your website in tip-top shape and back on the path to awesome.

The best part…

You’ll pay NOTHING out of pocket to figure out if we’re a good fit.

I mean, you don’t pay to test drive a car, right? Why should an SEO company be any different?

So, how does this work?

Well, the first thing you’ll need to do is give me a little info (there will be a form to fill out at the bottom of this post).

From there, I’ll do a little poking and prodding on your site, then get in touch with you to schedule a quick chat about what I’ve found, and some ideas to fix the problem.

Remember, there’s no cost for this. I offer this because I think it’s important for you to work with someone who has demonstrated that they know what they’re doing, and can actually help you solve the problem.

Plus, if you find value in the info I’ve given you, you might want to hire me to help with the implementation, or possibly just do it all for you.

With that said, please understand I promise not to pressure or pester you in any way. I hate when people do that to me, and it’s just not my style.

Before we go any further, you need to know that I can’t help everybody. I can only be of benefit to those that understand there is no magic pill or potion and that this stuff can sometimes take time to implement and see results from. Plus, I can be expensive depending on the scope of the project.

So, if you’re still reading and ready to take the next step, here’s what you need to do…

Fill the form out below. Give me as much info as you can as to what your concern is and the outcome you’d like to see once we’re done.

Then just give me a day or two to get back in touch with you to discuss the findings, and we’ll go from there.

Thanks for the opportunity!
-Jeff




Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Phone (helpful)

Your Website (also helpful)

What is your biggest concern right now?

What would an ideal solution look like to you?

1+1=? 

Self Hosted Video or YouTube?

After distributing my last post on how to use video to help your search rankings I received several emails and Facebook messages from people asking why they should use a self hosted video vs. just putting the video on YouTube or even Vimeo. So, I figured it would be good to just write a follow up post on the subject.

The short answer is… do both.

Which search result catches your eye?

See, in order to get the results that I show in the previous post, you HAVE to do the self hosted video and insert it into the post or page you created for that listing (along with optimizing it as outlined).  If you don’t do this, the video thumbnail will never show up next to your search result (as seen in the screenshot to the right). That’s basically the WHOLE POINT of that post.

Once that’s been done, I’d wait a day or two for your post and the embedded video to get indexed and for Google to recognize it as the original source before adding it to YouTube.

You see, a lot of the “magic” in today’s SEO landscape is building authority and timing things just right. So, you want to do some of this stuff before the listing even hits your MLS and gets syndicated out to every other real estate site with an IDX platform (and especially Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, Realtor.com, etc).

There’s definitely a strategy behind this… and if you can get it down, you CAN beat the big boys at their own game.

Need help with your SEO strategy? Get in touch.

It’s also worth mentioning that when you do put the video on YouTube, you should include a link from the video description to the listing page on your site. This helps Google even more in it’s infinite quest to determine the original source and which to display ahead of the other in the search results (especially when certain competitors appear to be manipulating dates – notice the date on the Redfin search result of 2010?). Best case you get 2 videos displaying in the search results with your site ranking better than YouTube. Worst case, they get it wrong and display the YouTube video above your site. Luckily you’ve included the link back to your site where viewers can get more info!

So, to sum it up… put a little time and effort in to doing this correctly and you’ll get the results you’re after with increased traffic, higher rankings and hopefully a SOLD listing!