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
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.