SEO is a tricky beast. Like so many digital services and products in the internet age, it’s often a hard one to understand. Unless you’re an informed purchaser, things can get pretty ugly. Luckily, at least on the surface, SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is getting more transparent.
The SEO professionals who do it ‘for real’ are generally happy to talk philosophy and educate you about what they are doing. On the other hand, the backyard contractors or cheap guys want to sign you up to an ongoing feast of automation and nasty backlink strategies. And as always it’s buyer beware!
With over 200+ signals or clues that Google looks for to rank a brand online – it’s a complex animal. A cursory glance in search results for anything to do with SEO brings up millions of results. Many of these results are dated or simply wrong. As a business owner or digital professional how do you know what’s right? Truth is, you don’t. Even experts argue the point over what Google says and what Google actually does. At Mad Scientist Digital, we dedicate at least 30% of our time to testing, watching, listening, and testing again. It never stops. There are, however, some tangible things Google tells us in their guidelines that I recommend you read before you approach an SEO company. It’ll help you make a good decision and keep them honest.
I talk to business owners and digital agencies everyday and the conversation comes down to some key points:
To lay a great foundation, the SEO consultant has to understand your business
Proper keyword research and a strategy that aligns with niche subject areas is paramount.
SEO is a multi-media performance of optimised content – articles, video, photography, local listings, review sites and more (it’s not just link building strategies).
SEO must align with your brand initiatives and the content that is an extension of that – it supports thought leadership, influencers, and social media engagement.
SEO takes time but if you do it right from the start, you should see an increase in targeted traffic on your way to the first page.
SEO is not a bag of tricks, it’s a process of building credibility and trust through valuable digital marketing activities – finding a balance between ongoing user facing and google facing activities.
SEO is never done. You can’t build it up and then stop. You can’t freeze the internet or control Google’s algorithms, you have to stay curious and relentless.
SEO results are about more than measuring keywords, it’s about targeted traffic that ideally leads to conversions and sales
I could write a book about each of these points, each subject a whole volume in itself, however, the point is, cheap SEO could cost you dearly. You don’t want your reputation with Google or your customers tarnished by some backyard hack job. You and your business are worth more than that. So please take it slowly and treat it like any other area of your business. Do your due diligence, plan, invest, take time, measure, work hard at it, be consistent, remain inquisitive, measure, invest some more, and keep pushing. When that tipping point is finally reached, it’ll be worth every cent.
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About the SMART-Connect SEO and Digital Marketing Advisor
SEO and Digital Marketing Specialist
Musician turned Entrepreneur Ian Hopkinson is a Digital Strategist with expert knowledge from development through social media to SEO and analytics. The Mad Scientist Digital concept was born in the Silicon Valley out of the revolution Napster and the Internet created in the music industry. A professional musician since age 10, Ian toured Europe and recorded with iconic Australian musicians. He was working in the US when the the tidal wave hit – and he found he had the skills and the passion to ride the wave and have great fun doing it. His enthusiasm led Ian’s Californian community to label him a digital “mad scientist” and send him in to advise startups in a range of industries. He realised that he was an entrepreneur and a digital creative.
Ian returned to Australia to live and work, building Mad Scientist Digital to help local and global businesses navigate the disruptions of the digital revolution.