I learning SEO (Search Engine Optimization) 10 years ago when I was working at an infomercial channel as their web developer. The site was typically getting about 2-300 organic visits per day and I went on a mission to figure out how I could rank for specific keywords and increase overall qualified traffic. Eventually I was able to get traffic up to 2-3000 organic visits per day and ranking for almost every brand on the website.
I absorbed everything I could from reading online articles, reading books, chatting on forums and eventually took a course in SEO which was almost pointless since I had self-taught myself much of the course prior to taking it. I could confidentally say I have a good understanding of SEO, clearly NOT to the extent of somebody like Rand Fishkin or a Matt Cutts. Just enough to give my clients an edge.
SEO is still such an ambiguous topic. People think that I have the knowledge to get their sites ranked at the top of search engines for extremely competative keywords magically. If I really did have this power I would probably be sipping margheritas on the beach right now instead of writing this blog.
I’ve met people in the SEO community in Toronto who deem themselves to be SEO experts but I’ve always looked at many of them as snake oil salesmen. I always think “If you really could guarantee your clients top ranking in search then why wouldn’t you do this to your own website?” or more obvious, “why not use that knowledge with affiliate marketing and make a million dollars?”.
I believe most businesses that hire someone an SEO will typically be dissapointed with the results or at least how long it will take for them to be top of the search for a competative keyword. I’d much rather
I offer a BASIC on-page SEO setup with all my websites. I also explain to my clients how they can further optimize their website and that it takes a very long time depending on the popularity of the keyword and what the competition is like. My clients are typically happy with my service and tend to rank well for multiple keywords and do very well in local search.
I recently spoke to a successful digital marketer who admitted he got out of SEO because there were no guarantees anymore. Today SEO is mostly about creating quality content and less to with building backlinks, repeating your target keyword on a page or whatever tactics I was using 5 years ago when I was a successful affiliate marketer.
I get emails almost daily from companies (typically in India) who make false promises about how they can optimize my site. I once asked them to send me an example of the work they would do or paid them for a sample of what I can expect and to no surprise it was just poor backlinks and even poorer suggestions on how to improve my on-page SEO. If you get one of these emails just delete it. You can expect success from these companies as much as your chances of getting that money from the prince of Nigeria.
Don’t get me wrong, I still believe Search Engine Optimization is still one of the most important factors in building your online presence. Most clients are more interested in how their website will look in the end as their top priority while completely neglecting whether any SEO or internet marketing strategy was implemented. Hiring the wrong developers will likely get them a beautiful website hidden from the world.
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