SEO Snakeoil

by Peter Sickles

If you work in SEO you are familiar with the jerks that have given you a bad name. Con-men with laptops have already given many of your clients SEO complexes that you now have to work through. Companies that market online are going to be targets for these slimy salesmen. For every real SEO webslinger you are likely to find a baker’s dozen selling snake oil, promising they can make the crippled walk and the blind see.

Unfortunately it is impossible to punch every single one of them in the face. This being so, my goal in this blog is to give a couple of hints as to how to tell the difference between a qualified technician and a quality con-man.

1. One of the easiest indicators that someone selling SEO is in fact selling snake oil is how you get approached. An SEO cold call is often a good indication that something’s up. Be more worried if they promise instant results. They might just tell you that they can get you a spot on Google’s first page right away. Often this means they set up a pay per click program. Pay Per Click is a sponsored listing. You get on the first page because you pay to be there. Once the money dries up your ranking disappears as well.

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Top 5 SEO Mistakes:

by Peter Sickles

If effective SEO is a concern of yours (and it should be!) there are many things to avoid when building a website, many of which will have a very serious impact on whether someone can ever find your site using a search engine. Some of these are simple fixes, and some not so simple.

Boy… where do I start! There are so many… hmmmm… Here goes, and be advised that these are not in definitive order.

1. Not having sufficient on-page content. This is amazingly common. The causes could be a variety of things. Pages built in Flash, text buried in graphics or design that doesn’t allow for the use of many words. But, the effect is the same. Google needs to find the words on the page in order to assign relevance to your website when compiling the search results. While lack of content can potentially be offset through other means, for the most part, you have to show Google and your customers what you are all about. And that means words.

2. Not developing a website with SEO in mind. Jeez, I wish I had a buck for every website owner that came to me for SEO services for their brand new, swanky website after it had already been built with a host of problems. Potential problems are many and varied, from having insufficient text (as in the above), excessive and clunky coding which hampers indexing, excessive javascript, or poorly designed pages with high bounce rates, etc. I even saw a site once that was built in such a way that you couldn’t implement H Tags! The truth is, many programmers/developers just don’t know the requirements of the search engines.

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Selling SEO

by Peter Sickles

One of the problems with SEO is that few people really understand it, and some may even not appreciate its value. When dealing with complicated projects with sensitive budgets and many hands in the pie, getting everyone on board with the project may be… uh… “challenging”…

The problem with convincing clients and management to use SEO is twofold. First of all you have to convince them that SEO actually works. They have the right to be skeptical when so many people have used complicated SEO jargon to sell their services without providing the results clients expect. Once you convince them that SEO can work, you have to convince them that you are the person who can make it work for them.

How do you do it? To put it simply, do the opposite of the jargon talkers who have burned your prospective clients in the past. Avoid the clever buzzwords and explain briefly why your process works and then show that it works. Instead of talking the talk, make your numbers speak for themselves.

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