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Old 14th September 2007, 12:55 PM   #1
scsurfguy
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Default What Type Of SEO Company Would People Want To Work With?

Just being curious. I have read a lot of negativity about SEO's and was curious about what type of SEO would you be willing to work with if any.

For those of you who do your own work, input would be appreciated for those who do not.

This is for positive informative feedback. NOT FOR THE NEGATIVE DISLIKING of SEO's.

Thanks

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Old 14th September 2007, 02:42 PM   #2
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SCSurfguy,

I'm not an SEO. I'm an online marketer. I "do" search engine optimization, but I focus far more on viral marketing, blog marketing and social media marketing these days.

I think the issue with SEOs is that many people feel like they're being sold a line of goods. There's way too much focus on "we'll get you rankings" and way too little focus on what you'll help them do with those rankings.

Companies aren't interested in seeing themselves high up on search results. They're interested in driving sales and conversions. Find a way to present your offerings in a way that proves you deliver on more than just rankings and you'll have taken a huge first step.

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Old 14th September 2007, 02:45 PM   #3
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I don't dislike SEOs. My primary job may be as a "humble webmaster," but many good friends of mine are SEOs. I am the in-house SEO for my employer. Heck, I've even been a presenter at a site optimization seminar and I'm also a moderator at another forum, the entire focus of which is site optimization.

So I have nothing against SEOs per se.

The thing is, in the words of an annoying commercial here in the US, "it's all about the O." And in this case the "O" stands for Optimization. As in making my site better. Not just "placing" it higher. Making it better.

The kinds of SEOs I would consider bringing on board to help with my company's optimization are those who are up to date with what's going on in the industry today. Those who understand it's not about rankings or "positioning." That stuff is old school, and not in a good way. "Positioning" seriously went out years ago, dude.

What really savvy webmasters today demand from their SEOs are RESULTS. And by results, I mean the bottom line. Revenue. Sales. Profits.

I want somebody who can talk to me about tactics to improve my conversion rate. (It's already well above average, but I figure until I get to 100% there's always room for improvement. )

I want somebody who can help me decide whether I need multivariate testing or whether a simple A/B test will get the job done for my landing page optimization project, and either way is prepared to help me set it up and evaluate the results.

I want somebody who can analyze the traffic flow through my site and identify bottlenecks and drop-off points. And help me figure out how to fix them.

I want somebody who can help me identify hundreds of useful, traffic-generating phrases to target for optimization. I want them to help me improve my on-page copy both to incorporate these phrases and to me more persuasive in marketing and selling my products. I want them to help me optimize my title tags, my link anchor text, my site navigation and any other relevant page or site elements -- not just for better "placement" but to better attract and convert human visitors.

(You know, the kind who carry credit cards and buy stuff.)

If all somebody's got to offer me is "placement," they can take a hike. I've got good placement already. And even if I didn't, I'm smart enough to know that rankings without traffic and sales are worthless.

If all somebody's got to offer me is "traffic," I invite them to enjoy a long walk on a short pier. I've got traffic, too. Besides, I've heard all the stories about unscrupulous companies hiring an army of cheap overseas labor to click through to client sites to make the unsuspecting client think traffic has gone through the roof. I'm savvy and experienced enough to know that traffic without sales is simply a waste of bandwidth.

If an SEO firm wants my business, they need to talk my language. And when it comes to my company's website, I speak fluent ROI.

--Torka

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Old 14th September 2007, 03:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
If an SEO firm wants my business, they need to talk my language. And when it comes to my company's website, I speak fluent ROI.
Torka, I think you're my hero.

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Old 14th September 2007, 03:27 PM   #5
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I have an issue with anyone who wants to guarantee me rankings. In today's world of Universal Search, 3d search and blended search -- there's no such thing. It's literally impossible to guarantee a ranking, and to market a company that way is only asking for a lawsuit or a total reputation management pounding.

How can a rank be guaranteed when I'm in Portland Maine and maybe my coworker in San Diego, California type in the same phrase .... and we get two entirely different results. What if the CEO is in Philly and the SEO company is in Spokane WA? How do you explain to the CEO "well it's ranking here in Spokane" - he won't give a rat's arse as soon as he hangs up with the SEO company he's on the phone to his corporate lawyers telling them he's cashing in on that money back guarantee.

And Torka's definitely got a point - who cares about ranking and traffic unless is qualified and converting? There's no point. It's just like getting to the front page of Digg with your article about a new line of chairs that propel you to the ceiling by accident, if you are selling thousand dollar chairs and no one buys any that come in from Digg. Front Page, Top Ranking .. mean zilch unless that traffic converts.

Customers are getting savvy to this. We no longer are in 1995, 1999, 2003 or 2005 when being #1 in Google was what it was all about.

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Old 14th September 2007, 07:14 PM   #6
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Count another one here for the analytics and conversions camp. I do a lot of SEO at the FT job, and our contacts are normally marketing managers or something similar. It's their job to provide their bosses material showing that they're getting a return on their money and they could care less about rankings. Sure the search engines play a role in it, but rankings don't equal profits.

As a consumer, I'm writing this from a motel in Duluth, MN (it's freaking freezing up here! But I digress). I didn't choose this motel because of where they rank for "Duluth MN motel". I did wind up doing a vertical search, checking out user reviews and people generally liked the place, saw right away that their location was close to what I was looking for, and the price is reasonable (all I really need is a bed, shower, and WiFi).

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Old 16th September 2007, 07:04 PM   #7
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Torka,

I agree with everything you've said. But IMHO all that is way more than SEO. It's really everything ecommerce is about. Traffic is one thing, optimizing the site for humans and getting the sale takes real skill, and time.

I don't think we should call that SEO.

BTW, I do SEO, but I prefer working on the sales.

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Old 18th September 2007, 11:31 AM   #8
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I think the key is to maintain the first page placement not just a week or day shot. Business are looking for consistency.

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Old 23rd September 2007, 05:20 PM   #9
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Call me stupid, but I always thought SEO was something that in a sense did itself. As long as you're getting more and more links then that is SEO. There are obviously page changes you can make, but as far as I can tell the search engines don't really seem to care overly about them. I dunno. Maybe I should hire one I just don't think I'd be impressed with the overall results.

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Old 23rd September 2007, 11:47 PM   #10
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Effective SEO is not all about links. There are many things a skilled SEO firm can do with code and on-page content that enhance SEO results. Part of the problem could be that when the on-page stuff is done correctly, it's not obvious (subtlety is the hallmark of good on-page SEO). Just because top ranking pages don't leap out at you screaming how their on-page factors have been optimized, this doesn't mean they haven't been.

The way I see it, it's like a three-legged stool. The strongest and most stable results occur when all three legs are equally strong and long.

Relying on only one factor opens you up to a lot more volatility in the results. It's like running a business selling only one strong product versus a business that sells multiple strong products. As long as demand for that one product stays high, you're fine either way -- but if that one product ever drops, you'll appreciate having those other products to potentially take up the slack.

My

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