Top 10 SEO Tips – Confessions of a Googleholic
This is my top ten tips, guidelines or whatever you wish to call them. They are not the normal “rules”; they don’t tell you to “do this” or “do that”, instead, they are my confessions if you like. They are a top ten legacy that I can pass onto to anyone looking to get into SEO or web marketing as a whole. I think you really need to be able to put a big tick next to all ten, if you are looking to form a serious career in SEO.
Do you know SEO?
Don’t get me wrong but a lot of people out there know how to do some basic SEO, but that is different, it is like knowing how to change a tyre and then calling yourself a mechanic. The problem we face as full time SEO specialists is having our industry reputation damaged by lots of web designers, flash experts and hosting companies all claiming to rule the SEO world and then simply failing.
If you are an influencer in your company and are looking for SEO advice, please please please go to an SEO firm who only do SEO. More than likely these are the guys, who don’t have the best business websites, don’t have the top clients; simply because they are too busy working. But dig deeper, in my opinion, anyone who can dominate a competitive SERP (search engine results page) for a small company or brand, has far greater skill than his opposite number with the big clients.
SEO Is Easy!
SEO is easy if you have budget, brand and company awareness. It is easy for IBM to rank for their top keywords, as they have all that authority and power and most importantly, have all those links. My vote though goes to the SEO Company behind the regional IT specialists who appear just below IBM in the results.
Top Ten SEO Tips
- Time – I am not talking the time spent on each client or the time to rank a page, I’m talking how many hours you put in on Google. Literally sitting down searching, no matter what the search is and just analysing the results. I would estimate that I spent 10,000 hours in front of Google before I could rightly class myself an expert. If you haven’t got the time to sit down in front of Google because you are too busy making websites, then you aren’t a SEO expert, you are a web designer or a develope
- Be an Extrovert – In my experience the people who do well in SEO, I mean do really well, are all extroverts, you need to be able to talk to people , be bold and not be afraid to try something new or pick up that phone.
- Networking – You would not believe the size of my dedicated SEO email contact list, I have hundreds of people who I can rely on, to deliver what I need and when I need it. Anything from article writing, web design and logo creation to investment opportunities and advertising contacts. All of whom I talk to as much as possible, I probably spend half of each working day talking to people, finding out about any new websites they have, how many advertising spots they have available or simply asking about their other half. I believe if you invest time in people and help them, then you will get that little helping hand, when you need it.
- Negotiation – In my last assessment I spent 27% of my turnover through PayPal, paying for articles, advertising or whatever it may be. I know how much something costs in this world, don’t be afraid to say no if your latest contact can’t do something for $xxx, find someone else who can offer better value. The market is competitive, the more people you know, the cheaper you can get things.
- Know your market – Working on most projects, the first thing I do is pick up the phone and talk to my client’s competition, posing as a potential SEO supplier. I like to understand how they operate, if they are actively using SEO or if they are simply drifting. This can also be identified by looking at their websites, but by talking to them you would be amazed how many times I have found out how much a company spends on SEO, who they use, if they are buying links, using spamming emails or cloaking websites. It never ceases to shock me how much you can find out. Try it, you won’t be disappointed. A lot of SEO is about finding out what your competition are doing and doing it better. Working on a recent client’s project, by picking up the phone I identified that their main competition on the web was one man and his wife. The company I was dealing with had 150 staff and owned the offline market. Putting this into perspective, it was easy to compete by producing more content, being dynamic and outstripping his ability using time and quantity.
- Be honest – It may be news to some, but no one (Unless you name is big daddy Google) can guarantee top rankings for ever. Google are constantly changing the goal posts, as soon as people start to realise the dos and don’ts of any algorithm it changes. This market is very unique in the way people openly lie about SEO. They simply get away with it because of the belief by the consumer that Google is “just a search engine”, not that it is basically a “human algorithmic database” which constantly changes its make-up, in order to meet the demands of profit.
- Don’t be a sheep– It is a great tactic in SEO to get that initial ranking boost by mimicking what the site at number 1 is doing. When you get to number 2 don’t just rest on your laurels, now you know exactly how to match them, you now also know your weaknesses. Exploit your gained knowledge.
- Expand with each client – If your average client is $100 per month, then this is not an option but in the early days if the profit from an individual client is enough to employ someone, then do it. If your client is paying a monthly retainer for your services, then you can bring in someone and have them dedicated to that project, freeing up your time to find the next client. You can easily hit 10 staff within 12 months using this policy.
- Get the right People – Leading on from 8, as we mentioned earlier you have to be really careful in looking for the right SEO providers to give you the best ROI for your company. So it stands to reason that you should bring the right people in house, if your interviewee cannot demonstrate a good history of achieving rankings then they are not right for you. Also look to employ honest, creative, extrovert networking types who can deliver the right experience for your clients.
- Don’t overdo it – Possibly the most important part of any clients project is not to overdo it. Google and SEO as a whole are very temperamental; you cannot achieve stable rankings in competitive markets in a few days, so why rush. Implement a strategy properly, then monitor and adjust it according to its success or failures.
In a Nutshell
SEO professionals, I mean real ones are hard to find. I’m sure you as well as me receive dozens of emails per week from offshore SEO companies offering services at cheap rates. SEO is exactly like any other market, you get what you pay for, you will not achieve overnight success and NO-ONE can guarantee rankings.
I will leave you with a few points:
- Don’t be a sheep
- Don’t overdo it
- Get the right people
- And be prepare to do your time
For any guidance, advice or information you can contact me on [email protected]