You could be missing an opportunity for more notary signing agent business if you're not taking full advantage of your web page or website through basic search engine optimization. These simple SEO techniques could help you boost your Google search results position.
1. Understand How Search Engines Work
Search engines such as Google, Yahoo and MSN send out robot “spiders" to “crawl" websites and gather information which they store in their databases. Data is the key here. When you do a search in Google, all their stored data is instantly scanned for the specific terms of your search. If the data doesn't have the exact terms in the search, the search engines don't display something close. In other words, they don't make logical connections.
It works the same as when you do a search in a Word document. If you have a Word document that's a recipe for fruit salad, you search for “banana, " and it's not on that page, Word will tell you “not found. " It doesn't reason you're looking for fruit, so maybe provide something similar to banana like apple, pear, strawberry, etc. Nope, if banana isn't in that document, Word doesn't come up with options. It's the same thing online: if you list only names of counties but no cities or zip codes, you will not show up in Google results for specific cities or zip codes. Or you may show up but many pages later, only after the best results have been displayed. Keep in mind that search engines will display first the sites that mirror the exact words in a search.
For instance, let's say you're a notary signing agent in Miami, Florida, and you have listed your service area as “all of Dade County" thinking that covers everything. A potential customer does a search for these keywords: notary signing agent Miami Florida. Every other site that has those exact five words will show up first before yours because you didn't specifically mention Miami. Close doesn't count in searches, so include good keywords on your web page or your website to help your position in search engine results. However, don't go crazy with listing too many cities or zips because you want your page to look attractive to human visitors not just spiders. Find a balance, maybe up to 20 or so each, and list the cities and zips where you prefer to work.
2. Use Meta Tags
Have you entered a website title, description and keywords for your site in the meta tags section? Check this out by selecting View and Page Source in your browser menu and look at the beginning of that text. If you manage your site, you can complete these sections or give the information to your webmaster. What should be included? Words that might be used in a search. Title: Notary Signing Agent, Your Name, City, County, State. Description: This should be a mini-ad for your site. It's the short paragraph that shows up in search results and should encourage a prospect to visit your site. Keywords: These should pertain to your site and should be repeated on the page. Keywords don't carry as much weight as they used to so make sure they are appropriate, with the most important terms repeated in your title, description and page content. You can use different meta tags for each page on your site.
3. Emphasize Keywords in Page Content
Search engine spiders are trying to determine the focus of your web page or website and will give more weight to words that are used in subheads, emphasized with bold type or repeated several times. Write your pages first so they appeal to human visitors, then edit to sprinkle in your keywords to appeal to spiders.
4. An Example of “Number 1 in Google"
You don't have to spend a lot of money to reach “Number 1 in Google" for a specific set of keywords. To see an example of top search results for a notary signing agent who included cities on her GoGetNotary.com web page, do a search for these five words in Google, Yahoo, MSN or AOL - bayonet point notary signing agent - and you'll see that her page has the Number 1 position in Google, Yahoo, MSN and AOL! She has her own custom website, too, but it's her web page that takes the top position in search results for those particular search terms. If she had listed only counties and not included cities, she would not show up in any search results for this city. Be aware that it also helps that there may not be much competition for these exact search terms. If the city was Orlando or Miami, she might not be number 1.
5. Google Likes Old and New
This great number 1 position shown above didn't happen overnight. Aging improves search results for web pages and websites since Google equates age with stability. Google also rewards web pages for fresh content which they equate with more accurate information. Old sites that aren't refreshed may be outdated. You can't rush the aging process, but make a note on your calendar to revisit your web page or website at least every other month to add or revise something on your page to keep it fresh. Add testimonials to increase your credibility with signing/title/mortgage companies. Add more cities or zip codes. Improve your content whenever you can, even if it's simply rewriting what's already there. Keep it fresh and accurate.
Speaking of accurate. . . While you're freshening up your page, check it for accuracy. Did you enter your phone number correctly? Email address? Street, city, state and zip? And always proofread your text. Your prospective customers see this information as a reflection of you. Sloppy work on your page or site will present you as a notary public who isn't interested in details.
6. Links Are Votes
Additional factors, such as links from other directories can help boost your position in search results since search engines, especially Google, see links to your web page or website as votes of approval. Visit GoGetNotary.com for a list of Notary Directories where you can post your info and link for free or for a fee.
7. Review Your Competition
When creating your web page or website, do a search for your primary keywords to see where other notaries in your service area rank. How does your information compare to theirs? Do they have more testimonials? Is their presentation more professional? Invest some time to optimize your web page or website, and when you periodically refresh your web page or site, check your competition again.
You don't have to become a full-time webmaster to improve your web page or website to boost your Google search results position. Utilize these basic search engine optimization techniques to provide a content-rich, properly optimized web presence that can increase your notary signing agent business by increasing your Internet customers.
About the Author:
A former loan officer and real estate agent in Southern California, Sharon Hassler served as Communications Manager for First American Title-Arizona for 11 years. She is President of Go Get Experts, owner and operator of real estate-related web page directories including GoGetNotary.com for notary signing agents.
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