Case Study: Rafco’s Journey to the First Page of Google (And How it Impacted Their Business)

Rafco is not a giant business. They manage commercial properties and offer maintenance and cleaning services along with other realty management services in the Saint Louis area. It’s only been around for fifteen years or so, but it’s smartly run and is expanding steadily.

The Internet Has Changed How Businesses Find One Another

Rafco was born into an industry that was in flux. The process for finding property management services fifteen or twenty years ago was based on industry publications, yellow page ads, word of mouth, trade shows, and old-fashioned shoe leather, handshakes, and business cards. The Internet has revolutionized the way business to business and consumer to business deals get done, and Rafco realized early on that there were big opportunities for smart companies to leverage placement on search engines like Google to push their business further and faster than they could have managed in an ink and paper world.

It helps that Rafco property management in St Louis is a young business with young management. Older executives are often wary of the Internet, and sometimes treat it like a place to post a giant digital business card; but Rafco was enthusiastic about the possibilities that aggressive marketing and page rank strategies could bring to their business.

Google Visibility Is The Key To Expansion in Today’s Market

Rafco was already offering great service to their customers, but they knew the way to expand and attract new business was to increase their visibility on Google. Marketing your business effectively on the Internet is no longer a practical option for an amateur, so Rafco sought out the services of a full service Internet marketing company. Rafco chose a local firm with the expertise they needed, but small enough to serve Rafco’s account effectively and attentively.

Rafco knew that it was important to be found by prospective customers who were performing keyword searches on Google, but they weren’t aware of the power of reaching the first page of Google for organic searches for the services they offered. Their consultants showed them the results of a survey of click-through rates for customers looking for specific things on Google. They were astounded to learn that 92 out of 100 people who search for something on Google never go past the first page of results on Google. The number one result on a Google search gets over 30 percent of all the clicks. Drop down only two spots to number three, and only 11 percent of searchers click through. Numbers like that told Rafco that if you’re not on the first page, you’re as good as invisible on the Internet.

It Can Be Expensive to Get To Google’s Front Page

Exactly how to get onto that first page was an open question. Their SEO marketing consultants knew that a brute force attempt to rocket Rafco up the SERPs for the handful of keywords that Rafco was interested in wasn’t practical or likely to be cost-effective. Property management services in a large metropolitan area like Saint Louis would have plenty of big, well established competition. They suggested that Rafco St Louis cleaning services narrow the search results that they were aiming for in order to make it more likely that Rafco would appear on the first page, or even first overall on Google for a few search terms.

Their SEO consultants tailored an approach to attract organic traffic that not only was searching for a what, but for a where as well. By tying a service that Rafco offered to the names of neighborhoods they offered it in, they’d have an easier time climbing to the top of search results, and the prospective clients were sure to be close to making a buying decision if they used the keywords together, a form of pre-qualification.

It’s Better to Come in First in a Smaller Race

By advising Rafco to separate themselves from the pack in their industry, their SEO consultants were able to transform Rafco from an also-ran for keywords in an industry with fierce competition for very general search terms into a top of page one result for a more focused, and ultimately more lucrative set of keywords.

Within six months, an SEO campaign tailored to the desired keywords put Rafco at number one or two for their desired keywords, and the explosion of visitors to their attractive website made it easy to convert more organic search traffic into paying customers.

How Do You Find a GOOD SEO company?

Finding an SEO or Search Optimization company isn’t hard to do as all you need to do to find one is search for ‘[Your Location] + SEO’, I live in KC so I would search “KC SEO Agency“, however finding the right company for you is where the real challenge lies. Something that should be realized right away is that the size of the company doesn’t matter when looking for a good SEO company, but rather their comprehension of the work that needs to be performed. Another thing you will want to keep in mind is that good SEO does not mean a good web page, and it is generally best to get both a SEO professional and a web designer so they can collaborate and ensure that you have the look you want for your website and the SEO that you need.

Decisions

The first thing you want to do when looking for a good SEO company is to decide exactly what you need. Do you need something like link removal? Reputation management? Just an SEO audit? All of this will help you figure out who to hire, as you will know what job needs to be performed. If you aren’t 100% certain as to what kind of SEO work you need done, figure out what your goal is with the SEO work. Do you want to grow your sales, raise visibility, and attract new clientele? All of these things will provide a firm with enough information to know what they need to do to help you with your SEO work.

Many Consultations…Shhh

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You will want to sit down with an SEO firm in person, over the phone, email, or via Skype, and ask them about what you want to accomplish. Many firms will happily provide free consultations as they know that is their chance to impress you and attract your business. By the end of your meeting, you should be able to tell whether you want to work with the company and their people or not. The company will likely take a few days to research your website and the industry you are in and provide you with a proposal. While you wait your proposals from each company, speak to other SEO companies and see what they are like. However don’t tell any of these firms that you are shopping around. This can cause the firm to stop pushing for your business rather than actually compete for it.

Studies and References

When looking for a good SEO firm, the first question you want them to answer is “Will you help me get the job done?” This is going to be your number one goal, like going on into surgery, you want an experienced surgeon. The best answer your chosen SEO company can give you is to show you how they have helped other clients succeed in their SEO ventures. This means that they should be able to show you other jobs they have completed for people within your industry and the results these other clients have had with the work they have done. They should also provide you with references to other clients so you can hear it right from the horse’s mouth as to how great this SEO company is and the work they performed.

Story Time

When you meet an SEO representative, try to get them to tell you a story. A good SEO company is tactical and hires creative people to work for them. Creative people tell great stories and just like when you hire an employee, you want them to tell you about their background, experiences, as well as their successes and failures. Ask about the founding of the company, best and worst clients, and their improvements and so on. Even if you have made your decision based on the first 3 sections of this article, their stories may change your mind and make you keep looking elsewhere.

Conclusion

While a good SEO company is hard to find, it is best to keep your options open in the beginning, and continue to speak to other candidates. Keep your options open until you close the deal with an SEO company, and remember to keep your other options a secret. I got into Kansas City search engine optimization companies and I had almost five going at one time. To find the best fit I acted invested in each company and ensured that I checked all the facts on their previous clients and stories.

Is It Time for You to Create Your Own Blog?

There are many reasons to start a blog, they are easy, stretches and improves skills such as communication and vocabulary, can help others, can make you money, and finally can open many doors for employment. While your blog may simply be a way to keep touch with loved ones or help your business grow, you can still help to make the world a much better place by using your voice and tapping into your inner creativity.

So, where to begin? This is the hard part as most people who want to start a blog may not know how or understand how easy it really is. Maybe you just aren’t sure what to make your blog about even though you have an endless number of ideas and can’t make a decision. Well we are here to help.

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The First Step

Taking the first step in starting your blog is simple. All you need to do is pick a topic, it can be anything from how your day is to something that you have professionalized in. Be sure it is a something you have interest in as it will make the content easier to write. If you still haven’t figured this out, you can do some research to find out if you have a topic that already falls into a largely popular niche.

Platform – Free or Self Hosted

While most blogs are done through WordPress, you have other options at your disposal as well. WordPress is popular due to the ability to choose a variety of layouts and themes, ease of adding posts and photos, simple to categorize, and people can both comment on and share your blog. Other options include blogger.com and tumblr.com however they are not as free as they say they are. With these options you can’t get your own domain name since it will always end in blogger.com or tumblr.com which makes it hard for readers to type out, they lack the variety of themes and other fun features, you don’t possess control of your blog, and you cannot earn money while you blog with these sites. But if your blog isn’t going to be long term, it is an okay choice for people on a budget.

Cost of Self-Hosting

While it doesn’t cost much to self-host a blog or pay for a domain, some people don’t have the money to spend. The domain itself costs about $10 every year and hosting services cost between $4 and $7 per month. Most people don’t know that you don’t have to be committed to your blog and can get a 90 day guarantee that your money will be returned if you cancel.

Choosing a Name

This can feel like naming your first born child when it comes to first time bloggers. And like many first time parents, people create lists and fumble with making the decision. The one thing you must realize is that you aren’t chained to this blog in any fashion, and unlike a child you can let it go to the wayside if need be. Choose a name that fits your topic that is catchy, easily remembered, and stands out from the other blogs in your niche. This can be something such as yourname.com, or visionvogue.com are perfectly acceptable.

Purchasing Your Domain and Hosting

You can choose from any number of companies that offer both domain naming services as well as hosting services that fit your price range. These companies offer more than just these two services, and all packages come with 24 hour assistance if you have a problem. This is an added bonus for beginner bloggers as sometimes you run across a problem with your blog that you don’t know how to immediately fix and having someone there to help you when you need it is an extra plus. I use Host Gator, because Host Gator coupons give you such a great discount. You can also go to Chucks Ducks if you need a HostGator coupon code. While you may only be blogging for fun or monetary gain, you will want to promote your blog to gain readers. The whole point behind having a blog is so people can read it. Make sure to share your blog on twitter, Facebook, and other social networking sites to attract the reader base you are looking for. Be sure to make your first post as an opener to your topic as well as a broad or general approach to your topic to hook your readers.

What are the Characteristics of a Good Web Design Company?

There are many different characteristics of a good web design company, and you will see this in many of the websites they design as well as their portfolios. These traits are important to look for when you are looking to hire a web design company because these characteristics will clue you into what kind of people they hire as well as provide an image of their reputation. It can be hard to find a good web design company when you don’t know what you are looking for, so we are here to help you find the best web design firm that will suit your needs.

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The Portfolio

When you are looking for a good web design firm, you will first want to find your top 5 options for companies you will likely hire. You can do this by looking at their online portfolio before you even call them to make an appointment. I had a co-worker use “We are TG web design in St Louis” a brand that is obviously in St Louis. The portfolio was amazing so of course they did great work as well! So, When you look at their portfolio, look for the SEO within the designs. Are their websites clean in appearance? How are the descriptions written? What is the load time like and are there any animations? All of these things can show whether the company is any good at what they do or not. When you are looking at their portfolios, you want to see clean webpages with a short load time, clear descriptions, and very few animations.

The Meeting

Once you have selected your top 5 web design companies, call them and set up a meeting to see who you might be working with. This will give you ample opportunity to ask questions and look for even more signs of whether the company is any good. You will want to have a small list of design problems with you to see how the designer would find solutions to these problems, see if the designer possesses good communication skills, and if they are personable, collaborative, and proactive. By meeting with members of the company you will also get a feel for how they will be to work with and if they meet all of your own personal requirements as a client.

The Test

Once you have met your candidate companies, narrow down your list to your top 3 picks, if you can, and see if they would be willing to complete a mock website on paper for you so you can make your final decision. This will help you find out if they are going to connect with you well, if they are able to tell a story with their design that fits your needs, as well as how innovative they can be. Most companies will likely provide you with the opportunity to do this test, as to where others will not. Those who don’t feel it is necessary to go with your ‘test’ should fall off your list. Sometime you will be left with only one, while other times you will have at least two companies you need to decide upon.

The Decision

This is going to be the hardest part of the process, as sometimes it is hard to choose which company you want to go with, especially if they are both equally great. This is when you go over your list of requirements as well as these points.

• Did their portfolio include SEO?
• Did they prove knowledgeable in their field?
• When they created the test site on paper, was the content pertinent?
• Was the designer a problem solver?
• Did they understand the market of your design?
• Were they innovative?
• Did their mock site tell a story?
• Were they personable, collaborative, and proactive?
• Did you connect with the designer on a personal level?
• Were they creative in their design ideas?
• How were their presentation skills?

The company you choose should be able to meet all these requirements and more before you hire them as you web design company. You will want to ask if the designer can contact you frequently and keep you informed during the creation process, and you should notice their attention to detail while they create your site. It can be hard to find a good web design company when you need one and it is best to choose one company and stick with them to save yourself a lot of time.

Increasing Your Brand Awareness

Every brand wants more customers to see their product, that’s just a fact.

However, most companies try to make this very difficult step by themselves.

At M4 Marketing we are experienced in this department and we want to help companies increase their brand awareness, because we know it’s not an easy task and we are experienced professionals in this field.

Stop wasting your own time and money on marketing and hire a great team to do it for you.

Here’s an example of exactly what we do to help you….