No matter what any so-called “expert” tells you, having someone outside of your company manage your “Internet Marketing” (man I hate those words put together) or manage your website’s SEO without you being directly involved, is throwing away your money. With every “Great SEO Strategy” there is Google, working hard to filter it out with it’s next update. Why? b/c they aren’t interested in giving organic results to perfectly optimized sites. They want to remain the world’s top search engine (and earn $60+ billion/yr) by delivering top results to sites with the best content. (from experts in their specific fields… not SEO Nerds nor Internet Marketers)
LET ME BE CLEAR:
I’m not saying you shouldn’t have an optimized site, nor should you not hire experts to you help you build a great site, learn the ropes about social networking, how to optimize content or even pull the trigger for you… you absolutely should. But once you’ve learned the basics, YOU need to produce your content… because YOU are the expert at what YOU do. Show off your expertise by helping people solve problems and publish content about what you know. . It doesn’t mean you can’t hire someone to help manage and organize this for you, but the valuable information you’ve accumulated over the years in experience needs to be digitally published online. THAT is what gets great results on Google.
The excuses I’ve heard from smart business people about not being able to write:
- I’m not good with technology & computers
- I’m not a good writer
- I don’t know what to write about
- I don’t have time
My answer to those excuses:
- You don’t need to be good with technology and computers. You just need to keep an open mind about learning. (fastest, most economical way to learn is via Lynda.com)
- You don’t need to be a good writer. You DO need to be good at what it is you do
- Write about what it is you do and have decent experience
- You don’t have time NOT to get involved
The game has changed, and the name of the game is great content. Your customers are looking for it and Google will never filter out great content… they promote it with great search results. (for reasons mentioned above) You certainly could go with just the expensive, shotgun approach with Adwords way and get thrown into the bottom 5 percentile of clickers, but why wouldn’t you spend more time showing customers your expertise and get rewarded with new customers? (HINT) Ask yourself: “How often do I click on those ads compared to the organic search results?” Well, the same goes for most everyone else.
Here’s some honest truth: If you want to connect with more customers online and make more sales, BLOGGING and Social Networking are the best returns on your money, time and effort.
Is blogging, seo, and social networking hard work?
No… It’s very hard work. Don’t kid yourself.
But, if you’re organized, plan your work and work your plan, you can be effective by setting aside 1-2 hours per week. (I don’t know many smart business people that wouldn’t give a couple hours a week to truly increase sales as well as *efficiency.*)
Is blogging, seo, and social networking worth the investment of time and resources?
Absolutely, yes. If you write optimized articles that actually help people solve problems or inform them and share them via social networking (especially something that taps into some serious traffic) you will find that your Google and social rankings go up and sales increase dramatically. It’s really that simple.
Signs that your web pro may be taking you for a ride:
- You aren’t seeing results you were promised
- Your social accounts aren’t being updated
- You aren’t given direct access to online reporting or your “expert” wants to deliver static and or printed results. You should instead be given access to a free Google Analytics account (connected to YOUR Google/Gmail account) which will provide more reports than you can ever read.
- Your calls or emails aren’t being returned or you’re getting B.S. answers to your questions
If you must hire some help with your social and seo, here are some things you can do to protect yourself before hiring them:
- Perform some local Google searches for what you are looking for, in YOUR city and see if they rank on the first 3 pages of Google.: e.g.: “seo roseville ca” If they don’t rank themselves, they might not really be experts
- Don’t hire someone who uses Google Adwords to rank on Google… they are paying to play and you are trying to find someone to help rank your business organically. (the exact opposite of advertising)
- Check their testimonials and reviews. (Use Google reviews and ignore Yelp. They don’t offer reliable reviews) Call current and existing customers. Ask them everything about their experience
- Ask to see examples of their work and search results, but don’t view these on their computers… view it on your computer with a clear cache and private browser. (You might be looking at personalized, cached or logged in results if you view it anywhere else)
- Don’t sign long-term contracts. If you like what you see and hear give it a test drive for a month or two. At that point you can decide whether or not the investment with a third party is worth it
- Read proposals/contracts *very* carefully. Some unethical types love to throw in sneaky addendums which can render you helpless if things get sticky. (like you aren’t seeing results and want to dump them)
Finally, unless you completely trust your web pro, here are things you should NEVER DO:
- Don’t give your domain name registrar login info (You risk having your name stolen) Typically the only thing that needs to be done within a registrar is “update nameservers” which is simply pasting in a couple of lines of information your web pro can give you
- Don’t let your web pro register your domain name for you. (same reason as above)
- If possible, don’t let them host your account. Instead, purchase your own web hosting account in your name and then give them access. There are so many choices out there. (We like Acenet) Here are some tips on how to choose a webhost.
I hope that helps dispel some of the many myths that seem to run rampant in my industry. I also hope you aren’t currently dealing with or already dealt with unscrupulous web jerks who may be holding your web properties hostage or have attacked your site with nasty Blackhat Tactics. If so, please feel free to comment below and I’ll see what I can do to help. (my treat) =)