Do me a favor? Go to www.google.com. Type in: South Dakota Web Design. Then hit “search.”

Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Don’t be shy. I promise I’ll still be here when you get back.

All done? If I’ve done everything correctly, you’ll notice that LisaDesigns.com came up in the top 5 searches. Most likely, LisaDesigns.com is coming up #1. In the FREE listings. Not the ones you have to pay for.

How the heck did that happen?

Well, honestly? I’d like to say I am an internet SEO marketing genius. But, I think you know if that was true I would be a gazillionaire. I would have a horse ranch on 1000 acres that backs up to Custer State Park. With a huge log house, an indoor gym and a swimming pool. And a carbon fiber triathlon bike. Obviously I am not a gazillionaire. But I digress . . .

In reality it is a combination of a multitude of factors:

#1: I’ve owned this domain name lisadesigns.com for over 10 years. Google really likes that.

#2: The focus of my site, with repeated words that emphasize that focus throughout the site, has stayed constant for 10 years. I don’t mean that the actual content is the same. My focus is the same. I’m a web designer, my site is about web design. It’s been that way for over 10 years. Google likes that too.

#3: Lots of different sites link to me. They link to me referencing web design. That makes Google happy.

#4: This one is very interesting. When I first started in this business, I manually submitted my site to yahoo.com. Back in those days Yahoo had to approve each and every site that was submitted before they would index it. I submitted to a geographical region: South Dakota. I didn’t submit my address because I worked from home, I had young children at home, and I was a paranoid new mommy. I didn’t want every crazy on the internet to know where I lived. Because I submitted without an address, Yahoo actually called me up! On the phone! To tell me they wanted an address to verify that I lived in South Dakota. I gave the Yahoo guy, who was very nice by the way (hi Yahoo guy), my sob story about not wanting my address on the ‘net. He agreed to index me without my address listed. In fact, he was such a nice Yahoo guy that he listed me as #1 in the “South Dakota Web Design” search. I stayed that way for a long time. When Google came around they listed me as #1 because Yahoo did. Yay for Yahoo! Yay for Google!

#5: I have a blog. Several blogs in fact. I update them regularly and they all carry a link back to this site. This, I believe, is the wave of the future. Blogs with constantly updating content. Google really, really likes that.

So you see, it doesn’t take genius to index in Google or any other search engine for that matter. It does, however, take time and take patience and a willingness to pay attention to your website on a regular basis. Google likes content that is updated regularly. The more often you can repeat your search terms within that content in a relevant way — google does not like bogus content — the better your rankings will be.

If you don’t want to be patient and wait for the magic to happen, there is always pay-per-click marketing. But that’s a subject for another blog post.

In the meantime, I’ll be working on that gazillionaire thing.