While I used to be one of those hunt-and-peck kind of guys at the keyboard, my typing has improved dramatically over the years. But even at my new near-lightning speed, with both hands flying, I couldn’t seem to find our 30dps website in a recent Google search using every imaginable combination of “Colorado Springs custom app developers.” And it didn’t matter how many pages deep I went. While we have long fared pretty well with search engine optimization (SEO) on our primary keywords, we just didn’t do nearly as well on the custom app side. The good news is that we’ve made tremendous progress since that search. We’re currently at the bottom of page one (one of our case studies) and the top of page two (our website), and rising fast.
So how did we do it, you ask? Well, we made it a goal and produced a pretty good chunk of content (see more on content marketing) that talks about custom apps. However, you might be surprised to learn that while we acknowledge on our website that we DO custom app development, the majority of the new content has nothing to do with us, per se. Instead, it addresses the importance of considering custom apps as part of a forward-thinking marketing effort. And amazingly, Google is “promoting” us even though we’re not doing much to promote ourselves.
Search engine optimization is a painfully frustrating and imperfect science (and that’s on the good days!). It is a constantly moving target largely because that’s how Google does things. While the company gives us hints and suggestions on how to play by their rules, they are very close-to-the-vest with the nuances of the “game.” They make it extremely difficult, and unprofitable at times, to employ the “black hat” techniques that used to be the staples of SEO companies. But today, while there are myriad things you can and should do to improve your ranking (if you have the time, money and patience), there’s nothing more crucial than giving searchers what they are looking for—USEFUL information.
Rarely are searchers actually looking for you (by name or even reputation). Rather, they are looking for rich and meaningful information about a topic they have an interest in. So it only stands to reason that if you create lots of fresh, compelling content on a topic that you are the subject matter expert in, searchers will likely find that information helpful. Google knows that and gives you “credit” for offering that information, free-of-charge, to the consuming world.
In our case, we wanted to elevate the notion that custom app development is a great way to differentiate your company’s brand and give it an edge over the competition. The key is that we are doing so without constantly talking about how great we are. Google (at least today) seems to value that effort, and is helping us achieve our goal of moving our website up in the rankings… even though just a few months ago, I couldn’t find it with both hands!