Local Cafe Barista Owner
I have been receiving two different views on SEO. First, google has such a strict grip on SEO that it is almost impossible to reach the first page. Second, it is a job that requires a staff of 2 or more to correctly administer a campaign. I am not a huge cafe chain like Starbucks, but I do want to compete.
Yes, SEO does require dedication but that is not Google's fault. Visitors nowadays expect more from their search results. Everyone has a higher standard of quality and only trust sites that offer honest advice. I would focus more on long tail keywords to increase your rankings and funnel in potential customers. Don't forget the importance of link-building, which can speed up results quite significantly.
You are in a level playing field when it comes to search. Google is constantly changing their algorithm to improve rankings for small businesses, which is especially powerful for local companies. Hence, we first try compete for long tail keywords that involve a local context. By drafting a list of keywords and analyzing specific sentences that your potential customer may use, we can safely predict which ones can bring in traffic.
Since Google always changes the factors that influence search, it is important to always optimize your site to their standards. This includes limiting key word density, link building, defining geo-location, critical page rendering speed, writing individual meta data per page,and appending proper HTML 5 tags.
Once the site has been formatted towards Google's taste, we begin drafting content. Each article is scanned to ensure there are no spam flags or overbearing key words. Then the team will start link building through common publications and media outlets.
You can have a million articles about a specific topic but never rank for those keywords. This is because Google understands good content is shared and uses its mega web index map to judge which article is worth promoting on the first page. Writing is the easy step, link building is what separates the pros from the amateurs.
The importance of reputable websites linking to your page cannot be understated. A good SEO specialist has enduring relationships with bloggers, web masters, and social media conglomerates. The use their network as a source of authenticating the validity of an article. Link building is the secret sauce.