It's every business' delight to get on the front page of Google - without paying for advertising. I achieved it this week for my client CATitude. As I've mentioned before in this blog, Sharon of CATitude runs a cat-sitting business on Sydney's lower north shore. She is a startup who has performed thorough competitive analysis and her direct competitors in her geographical niche aren't many. Getting a good response from search engines should not have been a difficult task. Our biggest hurdle was pushing Google to respider the site once it was built. We'd put a custom 'coming soon' page in place and it took almost four days following completion of the site to encourage the search engine to swing by again. Other pages in the site were showing up in searches, albeit on page 3 and beyond when you typed in a search such as 'cat sitting services Sydney lower north shore'. One way to encourage a respider is to join online directories and get your social media happening. Sharon started to advertise her business on gumtree, I got busy adding CATitude to other directories and search engines. Needless to say we had already tweaked as much as we could for Sharon through Google Analytics and Webmaster tools and got Google+1 happening. We did use some other SEO secrets but well, secrets are secrets, and Sharon has paid for my service so secrets they shall remain unless you'd like to hire me too. As I write this, CATitude is on the front page of Google not for just 'cat sitting services Sydney lower north shore' but for the more general search of 'cat sitting Sydney', where there are MANY competitors. As with any search engine there is no guarantee how long it will stay on page one; we have coached Sharon in making sure new content is added frequently, which does help. But for a startup business who has just secured its first client as a result of an internet search, it's gratifying and rewarding. Another of my recent SEO jobs has been to elevate the search engine results for Harris Crime Prevention Services, and that site is also currently on the front page of Google when you search for 'security consultants Sydney', which is owner Leon Harris' preferred search term he wanted improved results for. He was already doing well with 'CPTED consultant Sydney' (a specialised area of security and crime prevention) and it's been a long hard slog inching him up to the front page. SEO isn't something you do once and forget about. It's like a plant or tree, it needs regular nurturing. Typically I will put in several hours initially establishing a SEO presence for a client as well as building SEO into the content of the site itself. It's a complex animal as search engine algorithms change and improve on a regular basis. If you're wondering why I no longer do sites for $495, SEO is the reason; it takes time and keyword research. It's also worth the money, if you do care about getting a good search engine ranking. I would recommend that clients revisit their SEO status on a regular basis, particularly if their site is slipping back in the search engines. There is always some tweaking we can do to get you back up there.