How Do You Avoid Throwing Away Money?
SEO is a term that is often misused by people who claim to be SEO specialists. Some of these people are real predators in our industry and make the rest of us look bad. For their behavior we struggle to defy the character assaults by industry experts who take a condescending tone with “the SEO industry” which makes people wonder if there is any value to this practice.
I have the same question about dental checkups. My toothpaste says if I brush daily I can avoid getting cavities. Done deal! I don’t need a dentist.
I will admit that there is more schooling involved in being a dentist and maybe it’s not a great analogy.
SEO is for real people. What isn’t real are many of the folks who may lack the experience to be managing your particular business. One of the big factors in SEO can really only come with experience so the beginners need to be patient while they gain that experience. The experts can spend their time fighting naysayers.
This is how you avoid throwing away money.
This is the basic work that a reputable or knowledgeable SEO person should be doing to get you started. Beyond this some of us have very special and unique methods which make us more effective than others:
- Prepare and configure your local search
- Moz Local (optional but highly effective)
- Google Places, Google for Business – this may require waiting for a postcard or address verification
- Registration to local directories like CitySearch, FourSquare, Yelp, and others
- Many require phone verification
- Registration with sites likes Axciom for top level search aggregation
- Full optimization of any website which does go beyond just filling in some random meta descriptions and splattering your website with keywords and descriptions
- Full search engine registration to all manual and automated registered sites available. This may take 1-3 months or more depending on method of registration. Be patient. It’s not a one day task
- Social Bookmarking, social syndication, crowd marketing
- Paid Search.
- DON’T SPEND A FORTUNE right up front. Work into it. Slowly. Approximately 50% on Paid Search and 50% on SEO is usually a safe calculation.
- Facebook Ads can sometimes be helpful but don’t overspend on it either. Include it in your Paid search budget.
- Do Not allow an amateur to do this. It is not as easy as some people think it is.
- Organic Search indexing. Prudent. Slow. Take your time. Don’t get flagged for overdoing it and getting penalized.
- Spend 3-6 months building your presence. Don’t be impatient.
- LEARN how to read Google Analytics. If you don’t know how to do it then make sure you are very careful about poachers trying to get you to switch over to them by mis interpreting traffic statistics.
- If you ever have questions on Google Anlaytics we offer free feedback here. You’re always welcome to share a report with us to check for you. This is a skill that takes experience and many SEO firms will spin numbers to make a perfectly acceptable traffic report look bad so that they can steal business away from a legitimate SEO firm that is doing good work.
This is the base expectation for getting started with SEO.