It's not a's a marathon
SEO: What the hell is it?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.
In other words, how attractive is your site’s page to a search engine?
What search engines do all day every day, 24/7 365, is send out little applications called “bots” that crawl the web, reporting back their travels to the search engine. These bots are often called “spiders” because they crawl the web, searching for keywords in your site’s content. If your site presents the keywords that you want to be ranked for in ways that the spider bot finds “attractive” (relevant), your site will be indexed for that keyword.

Basically, any search engine’s job is to take a user’s search keyword or key phrase and serve up the content that it determines to be the most relevant to what that user is looking for.

Further reading about spiders and indexing

I just got an email from somebody that says they read my site and they can help me get on the first page of Google. Should I sign up with them?
Short answer: Nope.
If they are such an amazing SEO powerhouse, why are they resorting to emailing total strangers to gain new clients??

True story:
I went to meet with a new client and asked them about their domain name registration. Their office manager pulled out a bill from a “Domain Name” company that had charged them almost $300 for something they called “SEO domain services”. We called them and I asked the person on the other end what the $$$ was for since an actual domain registration is only about $20 a year. They mumbled something about search engine submittals to “national search indexes” (red flag!) and as soon as we started pressing them for more details, they quickly said we could cancel the service if we wanted to. Which we did.

And that was only a yearly fee. I’ve seen clients sign up with SEO consultants that charged hundreds of dollars a month for a couple of (badly written) blog posts and some fancy-looking metrics reports. Don’t get me wrong, there are SEO services out there that can help you boost your rankings, but it involves hard work done by experts, so you have to shell out some pretty serious cash.

In the end, all you need to do to help your site move up in the rankings is publish well-written, useful content with thought-out keyword placement and make sure you are linking to other great content, find ways to get other sites to link back to you, and that your site loads quickly.

And, getting ranked up there takes time. As an SEO-knowledgeable friend of mine tells clients: “It’s not a sprint to the first page. It’s a marathon.”

Further reading:

I know my site is published. Why don’t I see it on Google yet??
Trust. Part of the process of launching your site is submitting it to search engines to be indexed. It’s not instantaneous though. However, there are things you can do to make sure people know about your new site. Make social media posts about it, send an email to your friends, relatives, your relatives’ friends and your friends’ relatives. And your customers would probably love to know too.
Can I send you all the meta tags and meta descriptions I want to use on my site?
You are certainly welcome to do that. It helps me when I create custom page descriptions using an SEO tool to optimize your site or write alt-tags for your site’s images. However, getting ranked on a search engine for your meta-tags is sooo 2004. Search engines look at the actual content of your site’s pages so focus on making that as great as you can.
How can I make sure my site comes up when someone does a local search?
Don’t forget to claim your business listing! If you do not already have a Google account, get one. Then, google your business name and location. If you see your business pop up in the right side of the search results page, look for a link that says something like “Are you the owner of this business? Claim your listing.”

This is something that you, as the owner of the business need to do. Google needs to verify that it is truly you, and not a competitor, so they will need to verify by calling the phone number associated with the business.

Also, make sure you have some great photos of your business that you can upload that will enhance your listing.

You can also get a link from Google that you can share that will ask people to review your business. More reviews means more indexing.

Make sure you do this wherever your business name comes up on a search, Yelp, Tripadvisor, etc.

Do you handle Google adword campaigns?
Google adwords are different than doing on-site SEO. They require specialized experience to be worth your money, which can be quite a bit. If you are truly serious about marketing your site via Adwords, then look for someone who has a lot of experience managing SEM (search engine marketing) campaigns.
I’m really worried that my content doesn’t have enough keyword density. Can you embed some white text on a white background with just the keywords?
Red light! No. Please do not try to “trick” a search engine into ranking your site higher. The entire ethic of a search engine company is to be a trusted resource for its users (because the more trusted it is, the more people use it and so the more it can charge for advertising. See how this works?) After over 2 decades of indexing and ranking sites, search engines have seen a lot of tomfoolery and will actually penalize you for shady tactics.
Blogging is good for SEO right?
Bingo! Blogging is great for helping search engines notice your site.
If you do it right, that is.
Having a successful blog that pulls visitors to your site, and gets you noticed by webcrawlers, means having a voice that is authentic and authoritative. So, don’t write cookie-cutter content just for the sake of having blog posts. Write great content that is targeted at the people you want visiting your site and giving you their business.