I had a phone conversation the other day with a gentleman that was interested in having some search engine optimization done to improve the ranking of his website. He runs a local business here in Regina and has had a website for a couple of years. After talking to him about his website for a little while and then looking at his website I noticed a couple of things that stood out right away.
I asked the gentleman how often they have updated the site. Can you guess his reply? Never. This company had the site created just over two years ago, but there was not one update done on the site since then.
I thought I would look at the code for the site while I was there and when I got to the bottom of the code I noticed an extra <div> with a class of “hidden”. Looking at the site you could not see this text but it was clearly visible to anyone looking at the code and it would be clearly visible to any search engines. I asked this gentleman if he know what the hidden text was at the bottom of the code. He said their web designer added that to help the rank in the search engines.
I was almost afraid to do a site: and link: check in Google for the site. To my surprise the site was still listed in Google, but a link check only showed five links pointing back at the site. I was actually a little surprised that they had that many.
As we talked some more this gentleman asked me how much I would charge to get him to number one in Google. I said that I could not guarantee a number one placement in Google but I would be happy to write up a quote for him. He asked what the ballpark might be. I think I shocked him a little bit, because his reply was “That is more than I paid for the site!” He told me not to bother writing up the quote.
If you have a website and you never update it, have hidden text and no links pointing to your website it is unlikely that the search engines are going to rank you high. Don’t be like this guy. Remember you get what you pay for. Paying for a cheap website will get you a cheap website. You need to constantly be working on your site to help it rank well. I made a quick list in my Website Promotion is a Social Activity post if you need some ideas.
To finish this story off, I was curious about how he found me but I forgot to ask while I was on the phone with him. I was scanning through my logs today and one search query from Google Canada caught my eye. The query: Regina SEO. I got a good chuckle from that.