This is your magic spell for getting business from online marketing.  If there’s one phrase that you need to learn, it’s this one. If you can create results that actually SATISFY the Google algorithm’s appetite for what it thinks is a quality result, then you can really move fast toward that coveted “Page One” position.  Now, this is a real life example of a search I ran on July 14, 2014.  By the time you read this, somebody will probably have capitalized on this weakness, so don’t bother trying to open an online bike store based on this advice. And for goodness sake, don’t use it to attract people to your credit card application site! Here’s what will happen if you do:

You will get Sandboxed.

When Google finds a site that is either too new, too generic, or too dishonest, they immediately “sandbox” that website.  Let’s handle those in reverse order.

Too Dishonest:  Your site isn’t what you say it is.  You have created a string of phony backlinks and gibberish articles on the web with spammy text surrounding your connection back to your site (that’s a backlink, by the way).  Google has gotten amazingly good at detecting these Black Hat methods, and will put your website into a penalty box, or “sandbox” if you are caught using them. If you are really a fraud trying to redirect traffic where it doesn’t belong, Google will be as merciless as you are dishonest.  Shame on you, and don’t come back.

Too Generic: If Google can’t figure out what you’re selling, they won’t put you anywhere.  You’re not even really “sandboxed”… you’re just ignored.  Would you believe that this is the category that MOST websites actually fall into?  According to the example above, NOBODY has optimized their website for the key phrase “bicycle for sale”, but you can still see that over 45 MILLION results come up.  Why is that? Because Google is trying hard to deliver SOMETHING to the searcher, so it is using its database to deliver the “next best thing”.  It sends you to Dick’s Sporting Goods, Walmart and Ebay. If you think about it, pretending you are bicycle shopping in Kansas, you already KNOW about those options.  You were looking for something a little more personal. You wanted advice, expertise, and not an automated callbox at the end of the aisle that shouts over the intercom, “Customer waiting in the Outdoor Sport Department”! But I can tell you that not one single major bicycle shop has gone online and targeted these words in any effective manner.  In fact, when I scan down the page, here is the first “private” bicycle store, and here is what they have for their key targeting words:

Description:  Great selection of 29ers, full suspension and women’s mountain bikes

Keywords:  Mountain bikes, Mongoose mountain bike, Schwinn mountain bike, full suspension mountain bike, GT mountain bike, 26 mountain bike, mountain bike suspension, women’s mountain bike, 20 mountain bike, Diamondback mountain bike, mountain bike sale

Google had to SETTLE for these people as an answer to over twenty-thousand searches per month.  But what if you knew that nobody was targeting perfectly good words that describe your business, and even if it meant you gave up going after the big one, you could actually start to get the results you need from your SEO efforts?  

That makes SEO worth it.  That’s what you need to do with your website if you’re going to succeed at business marketing online.  Once you understand that, we can then move on to the “how”.