A photographer from Qatar. An insurance company from Chicago. A hypnotist from Australia. A photo booth manufacturer from Texas. A bamboo salt distributor from Malaysia. A cryotherapy spa from Pennsylvania (among dozens of others)…
What exactly do all these small businesses have in common?
They all rank #1 in Google for their target search phrase, and they are all long-term LittleBizzy hosting clients! (Psst… and, well… we may have helped some of them “optimize” their homepage titles. The longer a client stays with LittleBizzy, the more “free” help we try to deliver to them in the way of site optimization and recommendations.)
But, as always, let’s back up a little bit.
The above examples are just a small sampling of the local businesses (SMBs) that have joined LittleBizzy as hosting clients in the past few years, and in turn seen their rankings in search engines noticeably improve — sometimes drastically. These are established companies who chose to skip the “cheap stuff” (like Wix or SquareSpace) and opt instead for custom WordPress websites that are hosted on a dedicated VPS server located as close to their audience as possible.
But as I often like to say, web agencies like LittleBizzy shouldn’t be in the business of making promises or “ranking guarantees” but rather focus on quality-first. Anyone who sells B2B/B2C services eventually swings one way or the other (hint: the ones who over-promise and cut-corners don’t usually retain much business).
As they say, under-promise and over-deliver. I’d like to think that clients who’ve known me for some time agree that while I may have my human shortcomings, honesty and delivering quality work (and accurate consults) are not one of them. Over the years, working as an SEO consultant often resulted in dozens of inquiries that went something like this:
“Hello. I want to launch a new business in XYZ. Looking for someone to rank us #1 in Google before next month. My budget is $200 firm. Tell me if you are interested. Don’t try to rip me off cuz I’m very experienced with internet marketing. Thanks.”
Hehe… you gotta love it.
Ranking “number one” is fun to say, and fun to see — when it happens. Ultimately, however, the truth is that Google’s search algorithms change on a weekly, sometimes even daily basis, and this is becoming more true as time goes on, as things like mobile phones and geotargeting continue to customize each user’s results.
Still, there are clear instances where your audience and target phrases are very defined, and likely won’t be changing for the lifetime of your business. “Best pizza in Las Vegas” for example, is probably a phrase that any pizza shop would wish to rank for, up until the day they close (or sell) their business. The point here is that Google’s algorithms have evolved so much where a pizza shop probably isn’t going to rank for such phrases unless they are focus on high quality across the board: delicious food, positive customer experiences (e.g. online reviews), a fast-loading website, online order forms (with SSL), and several attractive photos of their pizza available across social media, their homepage, and even on some of the local food blogs.
Here’s the takeaway: LittleBizzy clients don’t rank #1 solely because of LittleBizzy. They rank #1 because they are following a pattern of decision making that prioritizes high quality products and services, company transparency, and well-organized online presences. What LittleBizzy brings to the table is just the icing on the cake, so to speak — although in many cases, our “icing” is enough to push them several notches higher in search results!
The reason that I try to post occasional “feel good” stories is to remind LittleBizzy clients of what they are paying for, and just how much behind-the-scenes attention that me and my team invest to their success on a daily basis.
Could businesses — like those mentioned above — have ranked #1 in Google without us? Yes, surely they could have, with high enough quality web hosting, properly installed SSL certificates, and the good sense and focus on quality that most of them already prioritize with their own customers and reputations.
The point is, and our lesson as a web host has been, that if our prices are fair, and our quality can’t be beat, then we are going to continue retaining a very high percentage of the small business clients that cross paths with us!
Thankfully, more and more often its local businesses realizing the value in quality hosting — not just the big guys. Because they are realizing the same thing as us… cutting corners is just never worth it.