Sometimes, especially in the new digital world (the one past election) we have realised that SEO is not dead, far from the dark art it once was.
Now its a necessity for a business, especially if it wants to remain relevant in the world.
SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is really just following best practice rules when it comes to building content for your website. Followed by linking to that content from sites that are interested in your content. This builds trust, trust shows Authority, and trust is only provided if you show expertise.
Its a rock/paper/scissors function.
Once you show your expertise, your readers will show their trust, and once those 2 things combine, you will show your authority to the search engines. It really is that simple.
Combined you will rank higher – because at the end of the day, for an engine to work properly, it needs to provide the content that is relevant to what is being searched for.
If you think about it, that is exactly what you as the searcher wants. think about the size of the population, and the number of voices that want your attention.
A good SEO can and will charge $5000 or $6000 up to $20,000 per month (USD) – we looked at a few and found one in our home town www.splittest.com.au – this isnt a plug by the way, we hadn’t used this mob in the past.
He offers a free on-site assessment as well as add ons like targeting and reputation management (more on that later)
So we took the bait, and we werent expecting much (the site is nice but not flash like a lot of the others).
First requirement was out name, phone, etc our domain url and the urls of our competitors, as well as a post code. – and he blew us away – interestingly not something that a lot of SEOs offer was a ‘one way non disclosure agreement’ meaning we can talk about him, but he won’t talk about us.
He said this does impact his ability to get reviews or testimonials, but it does mean that with an NDA he charges more – and he said it is usually only/mostly taken up by ‘reputation management’ clients.
https://www.youtube.com/user/backlinko <– worth checking out
So, first things first, when you ‘book’ you get to pick a spot in his calendar to call you and have a chat about your requirements.
He seemed to use most of the tools we would expect a good SEO to use, MOZ, MAJESTIC, SEMrush, he also used ‘Crazy Frog’ which was an interesting experience.
So lets begin – he ran our domain and out competitors through the MOZ open site explorer, he then explained what the Domain Autority is, and also what the Page Authority is – then…. warned us about ‘Spam’ – which we didnt think was an issue, but he said it actually will negatively affect us – but luckily it was just that we hadn’t had any contact details on that page.
Next he showed us the competition, and that they had higher Domain Authority than we did – he gave advice on how we can work towards increasing ours – by getting links from sites that have authority in line or above ours. This can be done ethically by trading links with clients and providers. Optimising a page for search is an art, and we now see where the value lies
Next up was MAJESTIC – and here he showed us what the search engine sees when it looks at our site – it shows the trust that our site is blessed with and the trust associated with the links we are getting. Luckily our trust number wasnt too low and the citation number was middle of the road.
Similar to the last process he described how we can grow both of those numbers.
The most interesting part though, was explaining how we can show both our readers and the search engines which content we think is important by ‘inner linking’ – this involves linking to content within out own site using anchor texts.
This was fantastic, we put it into play and almost immediately ranked higher than we ever had in the past.
So here we had a – SEO who had eplained the inner linking and external ranking factors displayed by our competitors, next he explained how to retarget.
This was crazy, so when you come to our site, a pixel fires and that pixel gives you license for a little while to see our advertising – this is completely not how I figured that would work.
So after the pixel fires, if we have joined the ‘display network’ we can show our advertisement either in the search engine or accross its partners like YouTube.
Last but not least is ‘reputation management’ – this my friend, is one where if you have not paid a bill, or someone has taken exception to your way of life, and left some bad news online about you – Everhardt (the SEO guy from splittest) will find alternative news sources, or create them and submit them to other publishers/ blogs etc so that the bad news gets shuffled off of page one of Google.
This blew my mind, I had no idea that this kind of thing even exhisted, but it seems it does, as we hinted before, these tactice are for the more cash ready people that are able to move and expand their business in a hurry.
We were under the impression that it was all rubbish, or like meditation, but its not, its a science as much as it is an art – A good SEO can save your business and bing relevance back into your game. We recommend Splittest 5 stars – its a cut above the rest. We asked about ‘black hat’ but he stopped us mid sentance and saif ‘black hat doesnt last, its a rippoff dressed up like a house pet – before you know it that SEO will be on his horse and out of town – and then your rankings will drop – so avoid avoid avoid’
We thought that this was nice, a decent thing to say and it made us feel that his tactics were in line.