SEO, search engine optimization have generated a lot of criticism over the years because of bad linking, spinning and baiting. But the question is whether to follow Google’s guidelines or just keep on making back links.I am associated with SEO for quite some time but in today’s time when SEO’s ranking metrics are not clear it is very difficult for small agencies to get desired ranks.
First let me list a few of my concerns:
- Content Marketing is not for everyone: Google have clearly mentioned that the most important ranking factor is original-fresh content and big SEO names like MOZ advocates it too but content marketing is not for everyone. Consider a client who does not have a great reputation nor does he have a great product. We all can think of these clients as most of our client base fall into this category. These clients do or have huge twitter following or Facebook influence. These clients are not willing to spent not more than, say, $500 weekly on SEO with over 10-15 keywords to be ranked on first page. Ranking for these clients is a really difficult task, creating 4 blogs monthly will not give them ranks, not in any case. These clients are our livelihood and we are failing them by doing content marketing for them.
- Is link building still works? : Whenever I tell people that I do SEO work, they consider me a spammer, it is just a stereotype. SEOMOZ changed its name for the same reason (just my opinion). Many SEO gurus consider that link building has ended and whether you create too many links or not, it doesn’t matter but in fact it does. Link building still works; believe me when I say it. Most of your clients cannot afford to create Info-graphics or quality content that cost around $20 a piece. For these clients what you need to do is to create back links. Just remember the good old days of creating bookmarking, directory submission, blog commenting. You need to create back links, as many as you can; just don’t create spam.
- Have Meta tags lost their value? :- No Meta tags are still a great way to tell search engine about the page and you can improve your ranks by adding right Meta data to the page. What should be the length of Meta data Title: 60 char? Description: 150? Absolutely not! You can add as many character as you want (do not stuff keywords) to describe about your page and provide relevant informative data. Search engines choose the most appropriate words and show on SERP it doesn’t matter how long you write it.
- Social Media?:-Social Media is a big thing but it is not for SERP ranking but it certainly help in branding and generating traffic. Which social Media should I use? Refer to Following data:
|Client Type||Social Media Platform|
|Clients selling services||Linked IN|
|Natural Products/Eco Friendly||Pinterest/Facebook|
|Adult web pages||Reddit/Facebook|
|Fun Web Pages||9gag/reddit/pinterest/Tumblr|
*This is just a primary phase of the investigation on which I am working so feel free to analyze for yourself.
Difference between quality links and Spam:-
We all know this one, right? Yes we all do, a link that is created on irrelevant page with no geographical context is spam link. I don’t need to get into details as we all know this very well, but creating bookmarks on sites that have same “c class” IP ? Is it spam? Technically it is, but I know may SEOs that still do it and rank in search engines. So what to do? Should we just play it safe or do it bad, I am not saying that you should do it but if nothing is working for you than why not give it a try.
- Blog commenting:- Do not worry about do-follow rel just post good comments on relevant blogs. I dedicate 5% time on blog commenting that is 3-4 blog comments weekly.
- Content Creation:- Considered as most important but is rather painfully useless still I do it more often to impress bosses and clients. I give it 20% of my time that give me 2 blogs weekly.
- Bookmarking:- Helpful and quick in getting result but its lifetime is short. Watch-out for spammy web pages. 5% weekly that is 10 bookmarks weekly.
- Directory submission:- Free sites activates link after 3 months, not very useful instead use local citation and local business listing. I dedicate 10% time on it, 5 submission weekly.
- Forum Posting:- Great, just find those 3-4 forums that are of your niche and make a community there, results will be great and will help you get ranking also. I spent 5% time on it, not too many links but I participate and answer 10 questions weekly.
- SMO:- Helpful for some clients like a political leader who’s SEO I am doing currently. I used Pintesest for a eco-friendly web site and response was great. Search your Social media first and see great results. 10% weekly. Create a weekly posting calendar, it will really help.
- Guest Blogging:- If you have quality content, go for it, if not than it will consume your more time and generate less result. 10% weekly 1 guest post weekly.
- Onpage:- Not a one time job, keep changing your on-page and analyze results. Refer Moz’s on page tricks guide. 10% time on it. It also includes analyzing Search engines, reading other blogs etc.
- Q&A:- yahoo answers- yes, if you have a client that provides technical services than stackoverflow will not only help in back-links but will also give you some Business. Go for it, great way to get answers. If you do not find appropriate questions create some your self. 10% time I spent.
- Reporting: I generate weekly rank, work and traffic analysis report. These reports are must to analyze my work and targets. Irrespective of clients requirement we generate these reports and create future strategies with them. 15% time spent on reporting and analysis.
I know for big brands content strategies work but for small businesses that constitute for more than 70% of seo clients we still need to do aggressive link building. SMO is a costly affair and have limited scope. So if you are having trouble playing it by Google’s rule, start doing it old school.