By 2020, research shows that businesses will spend $80 billion dollars on SEO. If you’re going to put out big bucks on SEO, you want to know what you’re getting.
Since you want to know what you’re getting, you ask, “what is an SEO specialist?” and “What am I going to get out of these SEO efforts?” These are great questions and if a service you’re working with won’t tell you what they’re doing – run the other way!
Continue reading this article to learn what true SEO specialist will do for your business.
What Is an SEO Specialist?
An SEO specialist is a professional that keeps up with the latest and great in the SEO world. SEO stands for search engine optimization. Search engine optimization is the practice of helping your website get to the top of the search engines such as Yahoo, Bing and the almighty big G – Google.
Common Best Practices for SEO
Here are some of the things you can expect your SEO specialist to do for you when they start working on your campaign. While you might need an SEO specialist, you should know not everyone operates the same way. Some companies operate differently than what we mention below and you should know we can’t speak for all SEO companies.
Keyword research is one of the most important things you need to do before you even get started on your SEO. You need to focus on getting specific terms mastered so you can get to the top of the search engines.
An SEO specialist uses various tools to look at metrics for keywords. If the metrics are favorable, it is time to see where in the buyer cycle these keywords are. Even if a keyword is a high volume keyword, if there is little to no buyer intent, you likely don’t want to target this keyword.
If you have more time to build your base and can wait to get more clients, you may target keywords that are further up the funnel. There are more keywords at the top of the funnel where people are searching for information but it can take a long time for them to convert.
If you’re a local business, the SEO specialist will help you determine which local terms you need to focus on. If you’re a lawyer, you might find that there are more people searching for XYZ city attorney vs. XYZ attorney. If that’s the case, your specialist will advise you to focus on the term with the highest search volume.
Link Building Activities
Link building is one of the major points of SEO. Link building is getting other websites to link to your website. There are good ways to do this and bad ways to do this.
A true SEO specialist will do this through what is called white hat SEO while less than reputable people may try black hat methods. Black hat methods are spammy and won’t render long term results.
Some of the ways a good SEO specialist will build links are the following:
Broken link building
Guest posting is when you or someone else guest posts on your behalf. When you guest post, the website will link back to your site within the article. You may get an in-context link or you may get a link in the author bio.
Before you commit to doing a guest post, make sure to ask where the link will be. An in-context link is worth more than a link in an author bio.
Broken link building is when you find sites that have broken links on their sites that linked to similar content. Your content may be helpful to replace this information thus giving you a link from this website.
Press releases can get you hundreds of links from sites all over news websites. Even though the content is the same, you’ll still get credit for the links.
Citation building is important, especially if your business is a local business. Citations let search engines know where your business is located so you will show up in the right place in the search engines.
On Page Optimization
While link building is important, on page optimization shouldn’t be ignored. If you ignore on page optimization, search engines will be confused about your site. Without on page optimization, your website isn’t likely to make it ways in front of any of your target audience.
What is on page optimization?
A couple of things you need to pay attention to when you want to get SEO results with on-page SEO is your metadata and your alt text. Your metadata is things like your page title and description. Alt text is text that shows up in case a photo doesn’t load.
When you want to rank for a keyword, include the keyword in the title, description and alt text of images on the page.
A good SEO company isn’t going to allow you to rank your website with a low rating. You need to work on getting a higher rating if you have low stars or even a lack of reviews.
Most of the time companies have enough business to get the ratings they need, it is just a matter of getting the customers to leave their reviews. When you make it easy for customers to leave reviews or simply ask, you are going to get a much better response.
Get the Help That You Need
Now that you have the answer to your question, “What is an SEO specialist?” and you understand a little more about what they do, you likely have more confidence in the service.
Understanding what SEO is and how it works can be complex, but we’ve done our best to break it down in simple terms. Most people need help with their SEO efforts. If you need help with SEO, contact us today for a free SEO audit.
Who is the best digital marketing expert in Reno as well as Nevada?
Top SEO and Digital marketing strategist, Sandy Rowley, continues to lead the way in Northern Nevada for those looking to rank their websites high in search engines.
Her down to earth attitude has won the hearts of many local Reno businesses as well as world renowned brands.
“She is candid, funny and really knows her stuff.” Brittney S. Hi Line Travels
“With Sandy’s expertise our company sky rocketed up the search engine list. Her professionalism, SEO skills and customer service is second to none. Thanks to her the Pure Glow Salon has experience a substantial increase of web hits, phone calls and most importantly dollars to our bottom line. If you are looking to do the same for your business the only option is Reno SEO, Marketing & Design.”
Winner of two honorary Webby Awards, Rowley brings more than digital marketing expertise to the table, she is a world wide acclaimed website designer with clients like Patti LaBelle, David Wolfe and Gwen Stefani just to name a few.
Although she has helped some of the worlds leading brands, her love is to help small businesses, like herself, out rank the big guys.
“A true SEO expert will be able to prove their skills early on. If you have any doubts whether your SEO expert is actually helping your company rank well in Google, then you have a problem.” Sandy Rowley Voted Best SEO Expert
Schedule a free 15 minute phone consultation with Sandy Rowley, leading digital marketing pro by calling 775-870-0488.
A real SEO expert, Sandy Rowley, goes above and beyond what your typical ad or advertising agency will do for most clients. Traditional marketers are late to the online marketing game. Most of them outsource their SEO because they are lacking in those skill sets. SEO strategy is a skill that takes years to master.
Most of her SEO clients come from Google search, social media and referrals. Usually a company will hire the largest or most well known ad agency in town, trusting that this old school marketing agency also understands technical SEO. The shocker comes many months later and after spending thousands of dollars for nothing.
View verified 5 star reviews on Sandy Rowley and her SEO services on Google.com here.
SEO is a Part of All Good Web Design and Here’s Why
New websites can often lead to less traffic for one major reason: web design and SEO go hand-in-hand.
Quality web design starts by determining what will bring people to your site. When people Google something, you want to make sure your website is the first thing they see.
So an effective search engine optimization (SEO) strategy is vital for any online business, and it should be implemented within the web design process, not afterward.
This means that the way your website looks is the second part of the web design process, and it is just as important. Here are some traits of good web design.
Starting with the SEO
Good SEO means knowing your business well. Before writing the first line of HTML code, designers should know what will drive traffic to the website.
SEO does not stop at keywords, however. An effective SEO strategy accounts for the ways other websites will link to it and makes content easily parsable. The best SEO strategies also have the best content.
Basically, before designing the user experience, good web designers will consider how the website will reach the user.
Designers should try to ensure that websites are relevant and applicable to whatever the user is searching for, and are presented to them before other websites.
Designing for the User
After figuring out how to get information to users, web designers should make sure their websites presentable.
You could have everything a user could ever need on your website, but it would not matter if users can’t navigate it.
Difficult user experiences can doom a website, no matter how effective its SEO strategy is. Users will simply leave a webpage if they can’t use it.
So while designers must consider the website’s content, they must also find ways to make it presentable while staying true to their client’s web design branding. A website about something like make-up probably should not have an impact font, and tech blogs may not want to use a Jacques and Gilles typeface.
Designers should also stay ahead of the curve in web design, which includes designing websites for mobile.
Knowing How Web Design and SEO Go Together
Google mentioned recently that it favors responsive designs for mobile platforms over adaptive designs, and designers should keep that in mind while building websites.
So while users may enjoy scrolling through many pages at once and it can be a neat gimmick, the design loads a website’s URL with keywords and raises SEO alarms. This can harm the website’s SEO ranking in ways that responsive design do not.
An SEO audit can help show you how your design is impacting your ranking.
A seemingly good design choice can negatively impact the overall website, which is why web design and SEO should not be treated separately. They go together to make a successful website.
Making Your Web Design and SEO Work
SEO is an important part of any web design, and it should be a part of any web design process. No designer should neglect a website’s SEO strategy while building the actual web pages since SEO can make or break a business.
You can contact us if you want to view your current SEO rating, or if you want to know how to improve your web design and SEO strategy.
Is it easier to rank for some keywords over others?
Yes it is!
SEO is very competitive. Businesses in each city know how important it is to position their website in the #1 position for their products and services. Each clamoring for the top position. Some keywords however are easier to target than others. The goal of most small business SEO marketing plans are to find those hidden jewels (keywords) that are not as competitive, but have plenty of search traffic. Use these long tail keywords to rank your website in Google.
How does the Google search engine decide which website will rank #1 for a particular keyword?
Google uses artificial intelligence named Rank Brain to automatically keep track of what a user (person) does while using the Google search engine. RB (Rank Brain) monitors how well your website provides engagement and information for their users.
An example of how RB determines what pages from a website should rank #1 in the search results:
Once she decides to click on a search result, Google keeps a note of this and then follows her actions even closer. What happens next on her journey to find something fun to do in Reno tonight.
After she clicks onto the listing, she notices that the website is easy to navigate, she also sees that there are a number of things she can do tonight. She then starts clicking around in this website. She even finds an art class and decides to sign up to join this class directly on the site.
These actions tell Google that the page on this website is a relevant match for the keyword phrase ‘Things to do in Reno’. So, if this trend continues, where other users find what they are looking for on this site, chances are, this website will continue to hold their #1 position for this popular keyword.
What does Google think of SEO experts and the service that it provides?
What Are Some Things That Could Cause A Website to Lose their #1 Rankings?
If enough people went to Google and searched for ‘Things to do in Reno’ and clicked on the same website, but immediately clicked on the back button, this would tell Google’s Rank Brain AI, that this website or page on this website is not a good fit for that keyword phrase and over time, this website or page on this website would start to drop down to the 2nd, 3rd and eventually to the back pages.
Is there a way to outsmart my competitors SEO rankings?
Yes, yes there is. In the world of Internet Marketing there are the good gals and the bad guys. One SEO expert will promise you the highest rankings in Google for almost nothing. Or worse, sign you up for a long SEO contract and hope you never notice the fake traffic that they paid to go to your website to inflate your Google Analytics stats. These guys focus on the quick fix solutions, the dazzling sneaky SEO tactics that may work in the short run, but will most certainly cause a great deal of harm to the clients website rankings.
Then you have the good gals, the ladies who dedicate their time, energy and expertise to work closely with her clients, making sure that all the t’s are crossed and all the I’s dotted to the exact liking of the Google search engine. These hard worker bees deeply care about their clients success, and take it personally when their clients outrank the bad guys.
How does the average small business know who is who in the online SEO world?
It’s easy, you check out their Google, Facebook and Linkedin Reviews. If their reviews are from real businesses like you, then your golden. If the reviews are oddly enough from other SEO agency’s or Marketing Firms, something is off. Why is that? Think about it, why would your competitors, especially in the SEO industry, give their competitors 5 star reviews? It is a Ponzi scheme to fool the review site. See, the more 5 star reviews you have on your profile or listing, the higher your website will rank in LinkedIn and other review sites. These SEO experts all hop on this bandwagon of fake reviews because they are not direct competitors, so they all agree to give each other fake reviews to beat the system.
Also keep in mind the adage, “If its too good to be true, it probably is.”
I have had new clients send me their login information to some humongous SEO corporations dashboard only to learn that the SEO corporation did nothing, absolutely nothing for this small business SEO, but charged their credit card $99 a month for a whole year!
SEO should be a customized solution for each website. A one size fits all mentality is a big warning sign to run the other direction. There are hundreds of factors that determine whether a website will be ranked #1 or on the last page of Google search results. Even websites in the same industry. No two are alike, ever.
Is all of this necessary? Seems like a lot of work?
The short answer is of course, don’t be silly. The full answer is, it depends. Some industries are just too saturated for a small company to stand a fighting chance. Some keywords and keyword phrases will take at least 2 years to rank organically in their market or city. While, others can rank within 2 weeks in the #1 spot. An experienced and knowledgeable SEO expert will be able to give you an honest answer before signing you up for their services. Although they cannot look into a Google Crystal Ball and give you exact dates, they can give you a good estimate of the time it will take them to get the job done.
What if your small business wants to knock the local leader off their throne in Google? What if that competitor is doing all the right things with SEO?
This is where we get to the good part. The part that gets my blood pumping and lots of creative ideas flowing. A good, solid challenge!
The first step to take is to do a full SEO audit of your competitor’s website as well as your website. Why?
A full technical SEO audit includes analyzing the structure of the website, as well as a list of the top development errors and broken links.
Any errors that we can find with an audit, will be one more item that we can do better with your website.
Next step is to devise a custom SEO Marketing Plan for the next 3, 6 and 8 months. Assess what content is working for the competitor, then use this data to create more engaging and useful content. Maybe we create a customized calculator, or we create a video series… the goal is to assess your competitors CTR (click thru rate) and their bounce rate, then improve on those numbers.
SEO in a very competitive market requires more than building backlinks and creating articles. This is why it is super important to know what your up against, if you can actually accomplish your goals or maybe need to utilize other online marketing tactics to reach your goal like PPC (pay per click), Guest Blog Posts and other outreach techniques.
Can I just pay a local SEO expert to do this for me?
Yes! That’s the whole point of this article. One is to show you that yes, you can and need to have a solid SEO plan of attack in place for your business and Two, that you can do this work yourself, heck, I can even create the SEO plan, come into your office and train you and your staff how to implement the work. I even can check in twice a month to make corrections if needed.
If you are way too busy to do any of those items, I can totally take charge and make things happen for you as well.
SEO looks like it is too competitive, what else can I do to position my business in Google?
You might be surprised at what hidden gems, or keywords that I can dig up for your company. Say your target keywords are super competitive and you have a smaller budget and resources of time. I can look for related keywords and long tail keywords that are easier to rank for and if targeting enough of these long tail keywords, can send just as much traffic if not more traffic than the big, competitive keywords your top competitors are dominating in.
I have clients all the time use this strategy. I even use this myself, even though I dominate all of the top SEO related keywords in my industry and city, I still target the long tail keywords as well.