As long as there have been search engines there have been people claiming to be SEO pros/gurus/wizards/ninjas. These so called “experts” make amazing claims and promise you the world of rankings. However, in the end these charlatans often do more damage than good.
So, in hopes in saving a few souls from the dark side I introduce 6 tips in unearthing a true SEO Jedi.
6. Realistic Results – It is not uncommon to desire to have thousands of people to come to your website overnight—it’s human nature. However, it is also unrealistic, particularly with SEO. Yet, the SnakEOil salesperson will prey upon this desire in hopes to make a quick sale. A true Search Engine Optimization Jedi knows that SEO takes time and grows slowly. He or she will layout guidelines that must be met in order receive results that are realistic for your website.
5. Measurable Conversions – A true SEO Jedi knows that rankings and traffic mean nothing without conversions. Having conversions should be the real purpose of your website, and a SEO Jedi should work with you on converting the traffic that comes with rankings. Also, measuring the efforts for these conversions are absolutely critical. A SEO Jedi is not afraid in having his or her efforts measured (in fact, he or she should demand it).
4. Balanced Efforts – There must be balance in the SEO Force. Only optimizing your website without focusing on external factors (or visa versa) is a strong signal that you are not working with a SEO Jedi. A whole picture approach is a must and SEO Jedis knows this. A SEO Jedi also knows that they cannot always provide the entire solution, and will work closely with many others who can. Any one person who claims to have the entire solution should be seriously scrutinized.
3. Proven Results – Does one become a SEO Jedi without practice? Of course not, and therefore you should ask to speak with past clients and see current rankings. If he or she dances around this request than there are two possibilities: 1) there are no past clients, or 2) there are no past clients who are willing to validate the SEO expert. Both scenarios are bad and should be avoided. A SEO Jedi may not have hundreds of clients or rankings (since SEO takes a lot of work), but he or she should be able to provide satisfied customers for you to speak with.
2. Transparency – There really isn’t any great secret source to SEO. A SEO Jedi is willing to showcase any method that is used and shouldn’t be reluctant in sharing them with you. Most SEO Jedis realize that people need knowledge to make educated decisions. Not knowing what techniques are being used on your website can lead you down a dangerous path.
1. Ethical Techniques – This ties in well with #2. Many SEO Jedis have gone to the Dark Side and this is not where you want your website to be. Spammy backlinks, cloaked pages, stuffed keywords, and many other tactics will get your website banned. Demand that your SEO Jedi is 100% white had and with the Force. The stronger the white hat the stronger the Force is with any SEO Jedi!
Blah, blah, blah, everyone is doing it. The web is littered with unoriginality. Find what makes you unique and stay with it. Vow to be unique. Example:3 Doors Down—A True SEO Music Video Ü
2. Blog imperfectly
Give yourself a time limit when writing a post and then publish it when you hit the deadline. Published imperfection is progress. Unpublished perfection is worthless. Vow to have flaws. Example: My Imperfect Plan
3. Blog the future
Anyone can tear apart the past. Look into the future and take a chance on what might not be. Not only does it help you look for possible opportunities, but it also gives your blog unique perspective. Vow to guess the future. Example: The Day Search Engines Died!
1. Be unique 2. Give more than you take 3. Do one task at a time 4. Find and resolve problems 4. Access others' knowledge 5. Listen to feedback 6. Learn to be inquisitive 7. Test, test, test 7. Distinguish sense from nonsense 8. Grow from mistakes 9. Accept change as inevitable 10. Befriend your competition 11. Study different industries 12. Learn to build not game 13. Understand the motivation of emotion 14. Work for yourself 15. Build loyalty 16. Don't fear failure 17. Study the past, critique the future 18. Ignite users' curiosity 19. Allow creativity to flourish 20. Never give up
Top Search Marketing Mistakes
* Mistaking CTR for Conversion * Not using negative keywords * Unoptimized landing pages * Using all default settings * Ignoring tracking results * Not using Geo-Targeting * Not using Day Parting * Not proofreading your ads * Only using Broad Match * Giving up too soon
* Unoptimized title tags * Poor content * Slow site speed * Ignoring social media * Forgetting about conversion * Not staying current on SEO changes * Using splash pages * Overuse of Ajax * An unbalanced backlink profile * Ignoring site structure