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  • Website SEO – How To

    Posted by dougfentiman on November 8, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    Website SEO – Clear Purpose, Specified Cost & Measurable Results

    One of the first questions shop owners ask me when looking at improving their websites performance is about SEO or Search Engine Optimization. They want their website to work better but see SEO as a mysterious art form that costs buckets of money with little measurable results. Many SEO “experts” keep you in the dark so they can charge truly outrageous fees for their ‘secret’ techniques. Don’t fall for this con job. Legitimate SEO services should be clearly defined logical steps that have a clear purpose, specified cost, and measurable results.

    I see SEO as a clear process of logical steps. Each step has a clearly defined task, cost, and result. Each SEO step moves the website forward in the level of Search Engine Optimization. How many levels of SEO performed depends on how competitive the market your website operates in and how many leads you want your website to generate. (Notice that I used the word “leads” and not traffic! Website “traffic” or hits are not prospective customers! Be careful of the type of ‘results’ your SEO expert offers to provide…) The amount or level of SEO required varies greatly. If you are in a smaller town with few competitors with poor websites you don’t need to do as much SEO work to come out on top. If you are in a large geographical area with hundreds or even thousands of hard driving competitors your SEO efforts will have to be a lot more extensive.

    Here is my basic SEO game plan suggestion.

    Steps 1 through 9 are considered ‘organic’ SEO. They are an investment that will continue to work for the life of your website. This is in contrast to paid search result methods like Google AdWords which immediately stop the second you quit paying. Each step is in order of importance:

    1. Start with a well constructed website that has an up-to-date structure, error free HTML programming, and meta-data that the search engines like. If the search engines find a website that is full of bugs and errors no amount of SEO will improve its performance!

    2. Correct any existing back-links. Search for any mention of your business on the Internet and make sure the info is correct and has a link with your correct website address.

    3. Create a Google Place listing which works through Google Maps.

    4. Create profiles on MerchantCircle, InsiderPages, Yelp, Facebook, etc. with links to your website.

    5. Purchase a Yahoo directory listing.

    6. Build search targeted website content: Create additional pages on your website that describe specific services or products you sell.

    7. Back-link building. Search for local websites and community directories where links to your website can be placed.

    8. Create keyword domain name website(s) that link to your main website.

    9. Write and submit auto care articles with back-links to your website(s).

    10. Paid AdWords.

    All of these SEO steps are practical and can be applied to any website. And there is nothing ‘secret’ about them. Granted most of my SEO suggestions are just plain old time consuming hard work, but there is no way to avoid this if you want results.

    In future postings I’ll expand on each of these SEO steps and let you know what you should be looking for when shopping for SEO improvements. If you have any specific questions please ask.

    Doug Fentiman

    Alan Ollie replied 11 years, 7 months ago 4 Members · 9 Replies
  • 9 Replies
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  • Alan Ollie

    November 9, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    Thanks Robert ,All i do is work on my sites 24-7

    Does anyone have a good copywriter knows about automotive repairs.

    I will send the key words and pay for unique text.

    Contact [email protected]

  • dougfentiman

    November 10, 2010 at 4:14 am

    I’d be happy with someone who could just edit my writing. Someone who knows both the repair business AND basic grammar and spelling would be a bonus!

    I have hunted for a copywriter for quite a while now. Tried one of the job bid websites just to see what would turn up. Either English is not their first language (results are truly sad), they don’t have a creative cell in their body (this supposed to be MARKETING copy people!), or they want $5 per word (including all the ‘a’s ‘I’s and ‘it’s they can squeeze in…

    If you find a good one maybe we can share!

  • John Cosimini

    November 10, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    Ever think of looking for a college kid? I don’t think a copywriter has to know auto repair. As long as what you want is clearly dictated to him/her so they can write it for the layperson, it should be fine.

    My son is a recent English major grad, and knows even less about auto repair than I do, but I try to run my copy by him before mailing/emailing… He’s also gone over our web site, even then every time I look at the site I find typos, grammar issues…

    Also, you can easily learn English grammar yourself. I didn’t know a thing about grammar until I had to take the MA teacher tests. There are a lot of basic English grammar books, that won’t require a lot of your time to understand the basics.

    As for spelling, there are some tricks, and I learned a fair amount of them when studying for the tests, but even then, without spellcheckers I’m toast.

  • dougfentiman

    November 10, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    Thanks John,

    Writing for the web is a lot more than just grammar and spelling. It is a complex mix of content, sales/marketing spin, SEO, grammar, and spelling skills which need to be used to satisfy both human readers and, almost more importantly, the search engines. Tipping the scales to either “reader” and your website doesn’t work. That is why finding a web savvy, marketing writer is so difficult. The ideal person would be highly knowledgeable of marketing, psychology, web design, business management, auto repair, and writing. No wonder the good ones want the big bucks…

    College students are great for general editing but they don’t have the marketing nor web copyrighting skills that are so essential. I have a couple grad students (masters degree program) that I get to proof my writing, mostly spelling, however their grammar changes are always technically correct but drive the webpage’s SEO into the toilet. I have had many heated discussions about how to write web copy. I have offered to base their pay on the change in a webpage’s page rank. They are always humbled by just how fast “their” writing, and pay, gets hammered by Google dislike of their ‘good’ writing. A good example of when being correct doesn’t always bring home $$$.

    Having also been a public school and adult education teacher I have spent many hours learning and correcting writing. I can write. But it takes lots of hard work and is not always the best use of my time.

    Spelling is my weakness. Like you a spellchecker is a blessing and saves me countless hours every week! I remember my grade school teachers ranting about spelling being something that can be mastered and that I was just being lazy. I still believe they are wrong. Research into Multiple Intelligences seems to support the theory that our skills are a blend of different abilities with each having different strengths. There is strong support for the idea that people with strong technical and diagnostic skills are weak in language skills. It’s the excuse for my lousy spelling that I like anyways…


  • dougfentiman

    November 10, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    PS. One of the things that bugs me about forums is the lack of an ‘edit’ button… my name in the post above is supposed to be at the bottom of the page but some how ended up in the middle…

  • Site Administrator

    November 10, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    Doug Fentiman wrote:

    > PS. One of the things that bugs me about forums is the lack of an ‘edit’ button… my name in the post above is supposed to be at the bottom of the page but some how ended up in the middle…

    Fixed! :)


    If you add your name to the signature field in your profile, it will automatically be at the bottom of all of your posts….so you don’t have to “sign” the post.



  • Alan Ollie

    November 17, 2010 at 11:45 am

    My mother in-law has a Doctorate in English Literature she checks all of my sites .As you can see from my posts i am useless as writer. Buy i can read the heck out of google analytics and Then i instruct my writers to male a page to maximize my target .

    IE: You want more work from North Miami Fl then make pages that have info relating to NMB. I even mention streets that other shops are on. Check out this very powerful page it brings big $$ work out of the dealers bays .

  • John Cosimini

    November 17, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    I get your point now, Ollie. I was kind of confused, because your site is great and for your immediate location is optimized to the hilt. Interestingly, I was discussing this very thing with Doug, once you start branching out further, it’s absolutely a whole different ballgame.

  • Alan Ollie

    November 18, 2010 at 1:47 am

    What do you mean by once branching out further? Every county or city needs many pages tailored to it.

    Every service you don’t show up well organically needs to be worked on.Every paid keyword that has good page times is a great place to start. We are lucky that we have a niche market. VW and Audi only.If you work all kinds of vehicles you might want to focus on the closest city’s and work on a niche like my friend has a Texaco service station hes search sucked we worked on tune up and a few city’s he has seen his tune up business with new customers increase at a time until you start coming up. Hope this helps. Ollie

    John Cosimini wrote:

    > I get your point now, Ollie. I was kind of confused, because your site is great and for your immediate location is optimized to the hilt. Interestingly, I was discussing this very thing with Doug, once you start branching out further, it’s absolutely a whole different ballgame.