SEO is not an easy business to be in. The clients have unrealistic expectations and they have no understanding of the SEO world even if you have explained it to them. In this blog I will give you a real world idea of being in the SEO business. Some of it is good, some of it is bad, and a lot of it is ugly!
SEO is a skill that a lot of people don't have because they don't teach it in traditional schools. There is very little that the general public knows of SEO. I mean, you can read a bunch of SEO blogs and try to get an understanding but the truth is you probably just hit the peak of the iceberg. If you tried to dig deeper you probably found out that it was confusing, overwhelming and there not an easy guidebook to read about SEO.
SEO has taught me a lot and here is a long list to give you an example of what you have to know to be successful at it:
- Website development
- Website optimization
- Create unique content
- Keyword research
- In-depth data and analytics
- Maximizing user experience
- Utilizing the funnel processes
- Keep up to date with trends
- Maintain a social media presence
- Make pay-per-click campaigns
- Create promotional advertisement
- Understand ranking tools
- Crawling tools
- Analytics tools
- SEO software
- Link building
- On-page tactics
- Off-page tactics
- Reputation management
- And much more
The skills you have to learn to do SEO effectively is a long list but once you learn them you are very valuable to companies, people, your own business, and other organizations that simply need help online. Once you are a true expert of SEO you can help companies get maximum exposure online so their customers can find them easily and that knowledge in today's world is priceless.
White hat SEO is the best method to rank organically on the search engines. Without it, the odds of you ranking high out of pure luck is very low. Proper SEO make sure the websites are using the Google webmaster guides so Google can get the right information from your website and rank you properly. If you do good SEO for a long period of time and your visitors keep coming back to your website Google will give you the honors of ranking on the first page. There is no better way to rank on the search engines than by having an effective SEO strategy.
SEO is a process. Customers want to get ranked high under a keyword right away and they think that once they reach that goal their business will be successful. That's the idea, right? In theory yes that is the goal but it is not that simple. If you are trying to rank for a highly competitive keyword that has high search volume that could take six months to a year or more.
Most people are not willing to wait that long and so they go to another SEO company that lies and says they will get them the number one spot for that highly competitive keyword right away. The problem is they didn't tell that customer that it will be under the Google AdWords sponsor section and not under the google organic search section. Now there is nothing wrong with using Google AdWords but they just lied to this company because they don't know better. Now, this company has to do pay per click campaigns and for being in that sponsored section it is very expensive and does not have a high ROI if you do it incorrectly.
My advice to companies that want to do REAL SEO is it is a process and you are not going to see results right away. Especially if it is a competitive keyword. If you can't pay for SEO services for 6 months to a year then don't do it because you will be wasting your money. True SEO takes time because this is a natural process if your website and SEO strategy are doing everything right you will see progressive results for the keywords you are targeting. So the first month you might rank 50, then the next month you will rank 42, and the next month you might rank 35 and so on.
Don't expect to rank number one right away unless you are trying to rank for a low competitive keyword that has no search volume. Also, if you are a small business don't try to rank for a short-tailed keyword and is not specific to an area. These general national keywords are highly competitive and large companies spend millions a year to get the top spot. For example, if you are searching "car insurance" expect to see Allstate, Geico, State Farm and so on. Try to go after keywords in your area such as "car insurance Jacksonville, FL." You have a better chance to rank on long-tailed keywords that are geo-specific.
The ugly truth is even if you have the best SEO company working for you and they get you that number one spot on a keyword that is competitive or has a high search volume that does on mean they are going to buy from your website. There is a million reasons why your customers are not buying from your website. It could be because you have a bad click-to-action, a poor online reputation or your prices are too high.
JUST BECAUSE YOU HAVE A HIGH RANKING WEBSITE DOES NOT MEAN YOU ARE GOING TO MAKE MILLIONS OF DOLLARS A YEAR. Of course, you can narrow down the issues by testing the site but if you are a small business the odds are you don't have the budget to test a site out for a long time and make a lot of tweaks and changes to increase the user experience because it is expensive. SEO only helps you rank hight and get more traffic to your website it does not gaurantee that people will buy on your website.
Yes, SEO will help rank your website high under specific keywords and could get you more traffic on the website but it does not guarantee that people will buy whatever you are selling. That is up to the invisible hand and if you are selling a product that no one wants or that they can find cheaper elsewhere then you have other issues on your hands that is not SEO related. With that being said if your business is interested in doing SEO keep the good, the bad, and the ugly in mind because SEO is a rollercoaster and you are not guarantee anything in the SEO world.