Why SEO Experts give Conflicting Advice
If you talk to a dozen different SEO experts about how to improve the ranking of your website, you are likely to hear some very different – even conflicting – advice.
Is it any wonder that business owners are confused about the whole subject of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), and are often reluctant to add this valuable strategy to the other eggs in their marketing basket?!
Before we answer the question of why SEO experts give conflicting advice, let’s start with some background about how Google ranks websites.
Shhhh! It’s A Secret
Google has very complex algorithms for deciding which websites to give preference to in search engine results. It’s said that there are over 200 factors taken into consideration, and the exact details are a closely guarded secret.
However Google does give us some guidelines in their Google Search Essentials (previously Google Webmaster Guidelines) on best practice, technical considerations and their spam policy.
There is one over-arching theme, what I like to call the Golden Rule of SEO:
“Aim to please the user, not the search engines”
Google is constantly changing and updating all the time. You may have heard of some of the major updates like Panda, Penguin and Bert, but in reality, small tweaks and adjustments are happening on an almost daily basis. In such a fluid environment, it’s a challenge to dominate in search results. As I’ve posted before, any “How To” book for SEO would be out-of-date before it was even printed!
SEO experts and agencies use different strategies because there are multiple ways to improve your website’s rankings. There’s no “one size fits all” strategy – it doesn’t exist!
Hopefully most will start with Google Search Essentials, but beyond this, the best they can do is make an educated guess on what is going to work to get your business ranking highly in search engines.
In a nutshell, it all comes down to one thing: experience.
I’ve been ‘playing’ in the SEO sandbox for over ten years now, and have studied thousands of websites. I’ve seen:
- strategies that work and those that don’t;
- “black hat” strategies that may work initially but end in tragedy (a Google penalty, meaning the website disappears from search engine results altogether!);
- strategies that used to work, but now aren’t as effective;
- lots of trends come and go – “Google Plus” or “Google authorship” anyone?!
I’ve worked on hundreds of websites, and during this time I have tested things and run experiments to find what works. I’ve undertaken courses, workshops, and am constantly reading industry journals.
I look back on some of the advice I gave clients in the early days, and while it was sound, I know much more now. I can see the big picture on how to get your website ranking higher on Google.
SEO Tailored to YOUR Business
Your SEO consultant should, based on their experience, tailor strategies to suit your business and meet your goals.
If you come to me for advice, I might recommend strategies A, B and C, while a different SEO professional might recommend strategies X, Y and Z.
What I recommend for a pump and irrigation business will be totally different to an online cosmetics retailer, because they are vastly different industries.
The other issue that I hear about ALL. THE. TIME. from business owners, is that their SEO agency doesn’t LISTEN to them. The agency then targets certain keywords that they are confident will rank well – despite the fact they aren’t keywords the business wants to pursue. A classic example is the medical practice in Melbourne which didn’t offer bulk billing appointments, yet guess what keywords they were mostly ranking for?! Their reception team HATED constantly having to tell disappointed callers that in fact, it was NOT a bulk billing surgery.
How To Choose An SEO Consultant
If you are in the market for SEO services, I recommend doing your due diligence before paying a cent; find out:
- Where did they learn?
- Who have they learned from from?
- How much experience do they have?
- What sort of industries have they worked with?
- What are their results? They should be able to provide graphs or examples from other clients.
- Ask to see some case studies.
An ethical and honest SEO consultancy will be happy to provide contact details, references, and/or recommendations from previous clients.
With no regulation in the industry, pretty much anybody can set themselves up as an SEO professional; yet another reason why so-called SEO experts give conflicting advice.
I’m proud to be a genuine SEO expert, and love helping other businesses to succeed by increasing their leads online. If you’d like to find out more about how we could help your business, I invite you to book a free 30 minute Zoom consultation with me!