How To Own Your Zip Code

What Does it Take To Dominate Your Space?

Having dominated several spaces in a few industries, I’d say it takes an understanding that it can be done.

Most people do not realize the significance of accomplishing this task. They think that one site on page one of the search engines is sufficient. Like the old joke, what do you call a bus load of lawyers going over a cliff? A good start. One site ranking high is definitely a good start. But who told the business owner that one site was enough? Why haven’t there been other gurus out there who pushed for more than one web property on the first pages? If they were so good, why didn’t they rank more. Chances are they didn’t believe it themselves. When you arrive on Page One, you (and they) figured it was enough. They were proud that they could even do that. The question you could have asked was, why’d you stop at one property? 

Secondly, after believing more than one property on the first pages of the search engines is possible, is the realization that it’s not too terribly difficult to achieve. I would even make a case that it’s easier to rank multple web properties than it is one. Let me illustrate. A few months ago a client needed some ideas for his business. He asked me if I could come up with 10 solid ideas on how to improve business. At the time I didn’t think I could come up with more than 3 ideas. As I began the task, though, I set an outrageous goal of new 50 business ideas. I didn’t hit my goal but I came up with 37 actionable ideas, and I presented 22 of them to him. Was he thrilled? Absolutely. He only asked for 10 and I doubled that number plus. My point is, that when you focus on one property you can hit it, but if you start the machinations to rank eight or ten, the task of one doesnt’ seem so daunting. One is merely child’s play. Well, so, how is it easy to rank all of those sites? I didn’t say easy. I said it’s easier to rank more than one than just one.

Lastly is the secret sauce. If you haven’t heard that term before it mean it’s the secret ingredient that no one else knows about that makes the food taste better. In actuality, there is no secret sauce. There’s no magic pill or button or switch. There’s no special software or configuration I have that no one else has. If there was a secret sauce it would be knowing how to do it and do it consistently.

The old story goes with Henry Ford after he sold Ford, he was brought on as a consultant to analyze and fix a certain problem with the machinery. Having the plant offline was costing thousands of dollars per hour. Ford assessed the situation, went right to the problem, told the maintenance people what was needed. Twenty minutes later the machine was up and running again. When the factory manager got Ford’s bill, it was $10,000. He called Ford to discuss it. “But you were only here for forty minutes. Why so expensive?”

“The part itself was only $20 but knowing what was wrong and where to look was $9980.”

Ford’s point was since he built the machinery himself he knew everything about it. When it failed he knew where to look and how to fix it. This story has become something of an urban legend. Was it true? It doesn’t matter. Similarly, my point is if you know what you’re doing, ranking multiple properties is as easy as 1,2 3. It’s not difficult, but if you don’t know what to do, then you can call on someone who does know. People tend to over-complicate something that is fairly easy to implement.

As discussed earlier, I’m not sure why the SEO consultants and web design experts haven’t figured out the little secrets to internet dominance for small businesses. I guess that’s good for me and the very few people like me. We have a free reign on how it’s done with virtually no competition. Life’s good like that. Even though I said there was no secret sauce to doing this, there really is. It’s knowing what to do. That seems like a conceited thing to say but it really isn’t. It’s just fact. If you don’t know how much sugar to put in your cheese cake, you can guess and experiment all day long but what if there were a recipe you could follow? Would that help?

If you’ll notice, there really aren’t a lot of industries where one company occupies the front page. Ever wonder about that? Why haven’t they figured it out? Take an industry with fairly deep pockets: a legal firm in a major city. They could spend upwards of $100,000 per month to rank their property but they don’t go further than one property. Why is that? I’m not sure. But here’s what I do to make sure my properties dominate my niche in my area.

My niche, by the way, is ‘marketing agency in Allen Texas.’ Allen is a very affluent city of 90,000 in the far north Dallas suburbs. Our claim to fame is the $63 million HIGH SCHOOL football stadium, the most expensive in the country (that is, until a neighboring city, McKinney, goes live with their most expensive stadium – true story). Surrounding markets include McKinney and Plano, both cities of at least 200,000 people each. In reality, though, I could choose any area of the country and still do well. I might have a problem in the urban centers for a highly competitive niche, but the suburbs should be no problem.

What Happens When I Take You On as a Client?

First, I’d ask you a lot of questions about your niche, your area, and your passion. If you know your industry, then you know all the major questions that come up when people approach your business. I’ll ask you to jot down these questions as well as very basic (to you) terms your industry uses over and over. All this will take some time on your part as the questions and terms come to you. Don’t worry, there’s a method to my madness. I allow a week for this.

Then I ask that you get out a smart phone and record the questions and answers one at a time. We’re aiming for 2-3 minute videos each. If people are asking the question, who better than an expert in the field to answer them? And who better than you? I can process up to 25 videos of you doing this.

Now, I could actually make the videos from the conversation I have with you initially, but I find it’s more authentic coming from the horse’s mouth so to speak. Plus you become the instant expert in your area. When people see you on the street, you’ll be the guy (or gal) they saw on TV (even though you may never have been on TV in your life). It’s labor intensive but it’s very effective. I will then turn those videos into articles and spread the articles and videos all over the internet. I also gather your Google+Local information and spread the exact information to 50-100 online directories. This really is enough to satisfy the search engines.

In less than a month, you should see results in the search engines, and probably in about two weeks. Videos tend to “dance around” the search engines a bit for a while until they find a home.

I mentioned that I can only process 25 videos, and there’s a reason for that. You see, the secret sauce is these videos. What goes into them, how they are edited, the search terms used in the descriptions, the number of links and views going to the videos. With editing and posting, it can easily be 4-5 hours per video, but worth every minute I put into them. I can do up to another 50 videos for an additional charge because it’s so labor intensive.

Let’s take the plumbing industry as a great example of some questions I would encourage a plumber to ask and answer.

  • Is it okay use a chemical drain cleaner to unclog my sink?
  • Is it necessary to drip water in the winter so the pipes don’t freeze?
  • Why do you charge so much (by the way, the honest answer to this question will endear you to a lot of people)?
  • Do I need to filter my water?
  • My toilet won’t flush. What could be wrong?
  • Are there alternative ways to unclog a bathtub than to call a plumber?
  • My garbage disposal is making a lot of noise. What could be the problem?

Now, I just thought of these off the top of my head. A professional could easily come up with twenty more without thinking about it because he’s an expert at what he does and gets these questions all the time.

If you think you have 100 questions that you can ask and answer, then it’s well worth the money to do this. It pays off almost immediately. In fact, if you have 200 questions, you could probably dominate an entire metropolitan region, and that’s not an exaggeration. The important thing about these videos is that they don’t need to be elaborate or sophisticated, just you defining a term that is already on someone’s mind or answering a question that the same person would ask. You know these answers inside and out, and even though they seem like basic questions, people will still ask them. If they’re asking them when they come to your business, then why not answer them and be the go-to company who has all the answers! I can certainly help you with those questions because the more videos you post online without “selling” your company’s services, the more you are perceived as a giving, caring person.

So we have articles, videos, and directories all pointing to your company, niche, and location. Plus I’ll build a site or two to get another web property ranking. With all of those properties beginning to show up in the search engines, who will your customers call when they need your services? As an added bonus, all of your competition will go to pages 2 and beyond. If you are not on the first page of most search engines, hardly anybody will search for you anymore. Not only are you ranking, but your competitors are NOT ranking. They’ll seriously wonder what hit them.

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