SEO Experiences From the Dark Side

Hands up if you have had a bad experience with companies claiming to provide SEO services?

If the answer is no, your probably luckier than most. I recently had the terror of dealing with a local company (whose name I will omit for the pure and simple reason that I don’t want any legal trouble) who charged my client over 7k a month to do what I do as part of a basic website setup.

And this is by no means the only example. I know many, many companies offering SEO solutions that deliver absolutely zero when it comes to a decent SEO service.

Now, I’m not an SEO expert. I dare say there are but a handful of real SEO experts out there, because doing it properly is a clever business. I also know enough about SEO to know that you can never ever know enough about SEO.

There are so many aspects involved in making your website search engine friendly it’s mind boggling.

I guess that’s why SEO services are considered valuable, which is the perfect opportunity for the snake oil salesmen that would take advantage…

How Smart are Search Engines?

There are hundreds of capable search engine out there, but in the interest of this article let’s talk about Google. Google is so intelligent, not only can it tell exactly what content is on your website, but also whether or not that content is any good. That means looking at everything from sentence structure to the quality of websites that are linking back to you. So the people who used to hire second-language copywriters to write reams of content at $2 an hour are really coming short now. Moreover, where back-links to your site could be bought for $9.99, today Google will actually mark you down now for irrelevant content, or even dropped you from its index completely.

SEOMoz’s How Google’s Panda Update Changed SEO Best Practices Forever is a great insight into how smart search engines are becoming.

What Can I Do to Improve My Search Engine Results?

There are a few simple things you can do to make a remarkable difference to your SEO. In fact it makes me wonder why there are still companies around shamelessly applying underhand tactics that can get their clients penalised or even banned from search engines altogether.

4 Key Points to Note When Looking At Your SEO:

  1. Spend time on keyword/keyphrase research. Figure out what your target market is typing into the search engines when they are looking for your services. This is probably the most important step you can take. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.
  2. Use these keywords everywhere and experiment with updating them and looking for alternative options that may work better. Put them in your Web content, in your website metatags and consider running a Google Adwords campaign with them – still by far one of the best methods of getting exposure on search engines quickly.
  3. Work on becoming an authority in your field and posting quality content – that way people will link to you and boost your website’s standing with search engines (which means better rankings). SEO is exponential, the more trusted you become, the more trusted you become.
  4. Consider developing a social media presence. Again, be careful of hiring a company that claims to be able to do this for you. Only you can engage with your market authentically, which means only you can develop the relationship. Done properly, social media marketing drives even more qualified traffic to your website – and that’s all you need from your SEO.

This is a shortlist of things to look at when you’re planning an SEO strategy. If you want more detailed information, get in touch and I’ll help you with information more specific to your business.