A few weeks ago, as mentioned in a previous article, I launched a website in February for an Inside919 business networking group I joined, called Raleigh Business Connections. This was the first website I created while weaving in search engine optimization (SEO) concepts. I was a little intimidated doing this, since SEO is somewhat cryptic - to the point that even SEO gurus readily admit that they don't really understand every aspect of SEO. Nevertheless, I put my best foot forward, simply following the instructions from various "mentors" I have come across, like Eric Erikson, with Lizardwebs Computer Solutions, and Pat Howlett. I monitored the ranking of "my" website since launching it and got excited the first time it even ranked on Google (page 8!). A few weeks later, it was at the bottom of page 1 and I thought I would have to learn more to get it to rank higher.
I was wrong.
Last week, not only was our website #1 on Google's page 1 for the keywords “Raleigh business networking group”, but our Facebook page was also #1 on Google's page 1 for the same keywords, but in a different order (business networking group Raleigh). I didn't see that one coming!
I have noticed that the people in my business networking group are excited by the appearance and performance of our website. Even though I have been a member of our group for a short time, there seems to be an atmosphere of renewed interest in the group. Members are showing up more regularly and they tend to be more engaged within the group. I think part of this new excitement within the group comes from the implication that come from have a high ranking and effective website: our group is really going to grow this year. Not only that, but our members are getting some great advertising for their businesses through our website, since we all post our logos, headshots, and business information on our "Our Members" page.
Needless to say, I still have much more to learn about SEO. There are other keyword combinations I want to work on, so that our webpage and/or our Facebook page comes in near or at the top of those search engine results. However, it is exciting to learn new concepts, implement them, and then see successful results – particularly when those results are going to benefit a lot of people.
At our last meeting, I was publically thanked by a member of the group for making the website. I simply responded that I was thankful they allowed me to make the website for them, since it has provided valuable experience for me. Not only in effective web design, but also in effective SEO implementation. It is fun to learn something new every day, put that new learning into practice, utilize my creative side, and then see great results - which benefit other people in a myriad of ways.
I love my job!