10 years is a pretty good amount of time to do anything, especially if you’ve worked really hard in those 10 years. When I started in Internet marketing I knew it was what I wanted to do right from the start, never a question. It is creative, its fun, it’s analytical, it fits me perfect. SEM is just an aspect of the puzzle but for some reason I have done a lot of it. I guess it is because the ROI can be so high. Regardless, here are a few things I’ve learned.
Get Rankings for Big Keywords is Hard Work but Doable
If anyone tells you that they can get you top rankings immediately they are either a liar or a spammer, especially if it is a newer website. I meet people all the time who want to rank #1 for a huge keyword like “Credit Cards” or “Coupon”, so many people want to rank for coupon its ridiculous. But the thing is the people who rank high earned it over the years and if you want to get there you’ve got to pay your dues. Is it possible, yes, but in most cases it is an investment of 6 months to 2 years for a big one. All of that depends on the individual factors for that keyword.
You need an SEO who studies like a crazy man, because the rules change everyday. Google is always looking for ways to reduce the control of SEOs and the things that worked in the past just don’t work today. Today you’ve got to be in social, considering schema, building natural links, creating amazing content that cuts through the crap on the internet like a diamond on glass. You need a guy who is a hungry and capable marketer who stays up-to-date on everything, otherwise its like entering a cycling race with the bike your dad gave you when you were five. Recently, linking and over-optimization have big topics. Read a great post on changes in linking post Penguin update by Neil Patel. I am sure Neil Patel will be linking back to this blog as well 😉
Google Only Pretends to Care about SEO
Oh Matt Cutts made another video did he? That was SO nice of him to throw us a bone… Google really does not care about SEO. Bing on the other hand has stepped it up with this new webmaster tools, it is really amazing. But Google has always been anti-SEO and they always will. Good news though, now that they have created a more quality and thorough set of rules for the ranking algorithm it does align them a little more with the search marketer. They have set it up in a way so that it is a quality content race and if anyone goes too overboard and tries to manipulate the rankings with links or purchased shares Google just might catch on. But overall, they want you to buy ads. Hey if I was the head of that company I would want the same thing.
Get Rankings Fast Schemes Always Come Back and Bite You
When I was a young SEO many senior SEO strategist told me, and you know what, they were right.I’m not going to waste too much breath on this one. But now that I’ve been doing this for 10 years I can say that yes, I’ve seen many get rankings fast schemers get burned. But in their defense some did make some great money for a short time.
Some People are Horrible at SEO
There is a wide gap between people who say they do SEO and people who really do. Most website developers will say they do, but don’t know a darn thing. Sad really how much money has been lost by companies this way.
There are Snake Oil Salesmen
I was talking to a prospect the other day. Said he had been paying a guy $1,000 a month to build links to his website. So I took a look at his backlinks to see what the deal was. Little did this guy know, he didn’t have one link pointing at his site. So basically someone had taken thousands of dollars from him and he didn’t even know. That is like if I came to your house and said, “I train dogs. If you pay me $1,000 a month I will train your dog during the day when you are gone” and then I never train your dog, but say I come by everyday. I would never do this but that guy did. These snake oil salesmen give SEOs a bad name, because honestly it is hard word, a great industry and a rewarding line of work to be in when you make a client the big bucks.
There is a Bigger Picture
It is not all about SEO, it can’t be. If you don’t have an excellent product SEO will not do it long-term. You need a great product, a great site, excellent SEO, solid social media, killer content, pay per click, email marketing, affiliate marketing, a conversion rate that delivers a profit, an offline strategy and more. Just doing SEO will never be the solution for an online business. I promise. At least not long-term, there is just more to the puzzle.
Honesty is the Best Policy, Always
People make mistakes, algorithms change and things get harder, but if you are honest about what is really going on with a search engine optimization campaign with a client they will appreciate it, respect you more and it will be the right move in the long run. You have got to be honest with clients, co-workers, everyone, if you want respect. My dad taught me that.
Fluctuations are Common
Some SEOs are up in arms about this and others are one with it, I am the latter. So what do I mean, well, Google rankings now fluctuate on a regular basis, so you will not always be #1. If you change a couple positions don’t freak out, just take a chill-pill for a few days and then reassess. I know that is hard when you are loosing traffic, but it is the right thing to do. If you are really concerned you can check webmaster tools for notifications, make sure you have no blocks with no index, robots, Google URL removal, whatever. But just know, fluctuations occur in rankings and the way things are ranked and if you don’t freak out you’ll be in a better place. Still don’t believe me, read Google’s latest patent technology that jumbles results.
SEO gets Closer to Traditional Marketing Everyday
This is my favorite part about current day SEO. It’s not place a global link on a site and watch a result rise like buoy that just broke off the side of a sunken ship. Today it’s all about good marketing. Run an awesome viral campaign, create link bait and a promote the heck out of it, run a TV ad that generates links some how! Either way, its about marketing now and less about old SEO methods, so you better recognize the change. If you waste your time on little details instead of big campaigns and solid site architecture changes you will never beat that competition.
Summing it Up
So these are just some thoughts. Hope you enjoyed the rant. SEO changes everyday and Ignite Visibility works hard to stay at the front of the pack. Contact us today. If we can’t give you one big idea that will take your web presence to the next level I’ll eat my hat, so to speak.