Why Expert Search Engine Optimization is Really Important to You
Back in 1996 when I first learned it was important to rank highly in the search engines it was super easy. There was a whole lot of search engines in those days, Google was not even a word yet.
One day I looked at the top ranking site that I wanted to beat. I went to their site and simply looked at their HTML code. This revealed to me that to get to the top they were stuffing the meta tags of their site with keywords.
So I copied their meta tags and simply pasted them twice onto my site. My logic was if I had twice as many mentions of the keywords in my meta tags then the search engine must rank me higher.
Guess what happened
Hard to believe but it worked. The very next day my site was ranked number 1 and the visitors to our site more than doubled.
Those days are long gone, now SEO is hard and has plenty of traps for the uneducated and inexperienced.
Just 2 years ago my site, Apache Leads, was at its usual rankings for a bunch of search terms (keywords) when Google decided to update their algorithm.
Without any warning Apache Leads absolutely disappeared from Google!
I honestly thought I was going to have a heart attack.
I searched everywhere on Google and found Apache Leads still ranked on some keywords, but trust me, no one is looking for you at rank 67, 73, 84 and 98. Nope no one is looking for you after the first page, let alone on page 10.
This was a total disaster because the majority of visitors to my site come from Google, the rest are from email messages and Facebook advertising.
I was furiously reading all the SEO forums with topics pertaining to just disappearing after this latest algorithm change. The opinions of the experts was not encouraging.
Time was flying by and nothing good was happening, site traffic had plummeted and so had sales.
It became apparent I needed to hire a professional to help me diagnose the problem.
Without knowing exactly what the problem was there would be no way for me to rectify it.
I engaged an expert and he had a swag of really powerful software tools which analyzed Apache Leads as well as all the hundreds of websites which linked to Apache Leads. Remember kids, links form other sites are super important. They tell Google a lot about your site, both good and bad.
Yes, that’s right, there are good and bad links these days’ kids, just like good and bad neighborhoods in a city. Turns out if you are getting links from bad sites then Google just assumes you are also a bad site.
Remember when your mother told you not to hang out with those bad kids back in high school? Same thing for your website. If it hangs out with bad sites, its considered bad too.
The software revealed that there were hundreds of links to Apache Leads which were from sites with very bad reputations. Finally we felt we had located the source of why Google had lost its love for my site.
OK now that I was pretty sure that I had the cause, what the heck was the cure?
There was no way in the world I could manually get rid of all these bad links. There were hundreds of sites involved. What was I supposed to do…call the owner of each one and beg them to go to their site and delete the link? Where is their motivation?
Why would they care?
They wouldn’t, it’s a lot of work going and finding a link and removing it manually. So that option was a non-starter.
Because I had used my brain enough to engage a professional SEO expert he gave me the answer.
Google has a tool called the Disavow Tool which is simple to use. You make a CSV file of all the bad links and upload them to your Google Webmaster account.
Basically you act like a school snitch and tell Google these bad sites linked to you and you want them to go away. Google then disregards those links to your site because you have been a good boy and snitched. I know that sounds weird but it’s true.
A few days later Apache Leads bounced back to all its high rankings and the crisis was over!
This entire drama had lasted nearly 2 months. It cost me tens of thousands of dollars, sleepless nights and a lot of high anxiety.
If my story was not enough to convince you that SEO is important and you need the help of professionals, then here’s 7 more reasons to convince you. This article was published on Entrepreneur
Search engine optimization (SEO) has long been an important strategy for business success, and it’s becoming more relevant. More people are ditching desktops and laptops in favor of mobile-only devices, and conversion rates on smartphones are 15 times higher from searches than as a result of social media recommendations.
Need more convincing? Take a look at these statistics:
- 81 percent of B2B buyers start with a web search, and 9 out of 10 B2B buyers say “they’ll find you” when they’re ready to make a purchase.
- 78 percent of internet users in the U.S. researched products and services online in 2013, with more than 10.3 billion monthly Google searches.
SEO can bring a lot of value, so whether you should be managing it yourself is worth some thought.
Here are seven compelling reasons to hire a pro.
1. SEO is not easy.
Read an article about on-page SEO best practices and you might think you have it all figured out. In reality, an effective SEO strategy covers a lot of ground. There are technical considerations specific to your website, content optimization, user experience and effective back linking. Not to mention optimization for other emerging rank factors such as RankBrain and social. And what about your local SEO efforts? A professional can recommend and execute the best strategies for each.
2. The rules keep changing.
Even if you take the time to read five books on SEO and become a self-taught expert, it’s a temporary expertise at best. Google regularly rolls out major and minor algorithm changes.
Image credit: Digital Information World
That doesn’t even include the changes they don’t tell you about. Some of them effectively rewrite the SEO rulebook. RankBrain is one of the top three rank factors now, and Google didn’t clue in marketers for months.
As an online marketer, you likely don’t have the time or resources to identify, understand and optimize for every change Google makes. It’s an SEO pro’s job to pay attention to algorithm changes and how they affect search engine results pages (SERPs). True experts understand how to monitor for under-the-radar updates as well.
3. Mistakes can hurt you.
Not all SEO is good SEO. Some tactics actually can hurt your rank in search, or worse, get you penalized. Steer clear of these:
- Getting artificial backlinks
- Stuffing keywords
- Using unrelated keywords
- Duplicating content
An SEO pro knows how to avoid these pitfalls and fix any implementation mistakes you’ve already made.
4. The pros have the right tools.
Resources abound to help you develop an effective SEO campaign. But you’re a busy marketer, so you might not even know about some of them. Others cost more money than your budget allows.
Advanced analytics programs offer features that Google Analytics can’t provide. Phone Interviewed keyword research tools provide greater context and extra insights into keyword relevance, competition, search volume and more.
Image credit: Wordstream
A professional SEO expert invests in the most important software to improve your SEO. On top of that, she or he will know the best application for every tool.
5. They offer robust analytics.
SEO software helps you see the nuances of your efforts. It identifies which keywords and placement strategies are driving results and which aren’t. This information is invaluable because it allows you to tweak your SEO efforts for maximum impact on your specific audience.
But SEO software can be complicated. Seeing your analytics doesn’t mean you’ll have a clear picture of what it means for your SEO or how you can fix it. You might notice a high bounce rate on your landing page, but can you determine why?
SEO professionals understand the relationships among your key performance indicators. They’ll use that knowledge to tease out a strategy that improves the customer journey through your online presence.
6. They keep track of your competitors.
Competitor analysis is a big part of getting the most from your overall SEO efforts. A professional can identify the best strategies to set you apart from your competition. Even better, an SEO expert with experience in your field will know what has and hasn’t worked for similar businesses.
These insights can inform other aspects of your business efforts. Suddenly, your SEO professional is an integral part of helping create a unique selling proposition, decide which audiences to target, brainstorming content topics and more.
Image credit: Cooler Insights
7. There’s serious ROI potential.
SEO offers a unique opportunity for return on investment (ROI). Unlike any other kind of offline or online advertising, SEO targets people who are specifically looking for the products and services you offer.
Traditional advertisements — and even pay-per-click models (PPC) — can require a significant financial investment to be worthwhile. Professional SEO services, on the other hand, can be quite affordable. And they can deliver results that continue boosting your bottom line down the road.
Hire a pro who knows how to do SEO the right way and take advantage of more dividends than with any other marketing strategy. Know any other reasons why it’s a good idea to hire a professional to manage SEO? Comment below to add your voice to the conversation.
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