Posts Tagged ‘Wil Reynolds’
A lot of small businesses are trying to improve their natural search rankings against their competition (i.e. competition has a page rank of 3 or 4, they’d like to be 1 or 2). Sometimes they are handling SEO themselves, which can take time to produce results. What can SMBs do to meet their goal, yet not spend their entire budget?
Understanding this core issue and not fooling yourself into thinking you are succeeding at SEO (if you really are not) is how to best determine if doing it yourself is worth it. There are two types of ways to get help if you are not doing it yourself
1. Get a consultant to help hourly or
2. Get a consultant to do the whole thing
SEER only works with clients in the second phase, as we want to own our successes and own our failures too. Having someone else responsible for doing things that we could be doing gives us (and any other search company) an out if things don’t work out as planned. We try to do as much of it ourselves as possible, allowing us to have more ownership over the result. And at the end of the day, results are really all that matters.
Should use always use industry keywords or is it okay to mix known industry keywords with keywords specific to your business?
I typically recommend going HARD after the industry keywords, SEO is a game where you go where the cows are grazing. If people in your industry are all calling something by one name and you want to use another term be prepared to not drive max value from your SEO efforts. This is one of the ways people get ripped off by SEOs. The SEO gets you ranked well for the terms you want to coin that no one is searching for instead of going after the more competitive terms. This usually results in great rankings, but little business. If you are tracking your SEO efforts by rankings only you wouldn’t even realize that you are getting ripped off. A good SEO company will outline what is most queried on search engines and if you choose to go for your new terms that are industry terms that is always your choice.Is it better to stick to industry keywords on main website pages and use topic or keyword specific words on landing pages (i.e. for specific products or promotions)
I believe that you should work the words in naturally, pages that are written for users before bots often get more links! Whatever you do, your pages targeted for SEO must be easily navigated to from the homepage, even if it is 2-3-4 clicks away, but putting a page up as a landing page that is not a core part of your site will not usually work for even moderately competitive terms.
When it comes to analytics most companies use Google Analytics, what other packages are available?
Omniture, WebTrends, IndexTools, Unica NetTracker are some of the majors. I tend to believe that almost every company should start with a free tool like Google Analytics or IndexTools first, as they are VERY robust—if you start running into major limitations THEN you should look into upgrading. I find that 85% of clients who have an enterprise analytics package are typically only using the features and reports that would be easily replicated in Google Analytics. Why spend the money on a big tool without first seeing if the free one gets you what you need to make good decisions. And don’t take the reasons from analytics companies why you SHOULDN’T use a free tool; many of them are full of it. I had one rep tell me that Google Analytics doesn’t track Streaming Video as a differentiator, but guess what sales guy…I don’t care about that. I need to track to sales and leads, my clients videos at this point aren’t major revenue drivers for their businesses. Google Analytics works fine.
Are there any down sides to using analytics software? What should small businesses keep in mind?
None, other than you REALLY need to know how to get the RIGHT data. Our analysts know when we are getting false positives—its in them to look at the data and say…hey this doesn’t look right, its that gut feeling that they have, its innate. Whereas the SMB that is trying to use these tools on their own are more likely to run with the data and make an incorrect judgments leading to believing that a campaign did better or worse than it really did.
What are some SEO rules that small businesses break and how can we get them on the right track?
I think the #1 mistake small businesses make is NOT OWNING THEIR DOMAIN NAME. I have seen so many small businesses have relationships go south with the original designer and that original designer keeps the domain hostage.
The next mistake is not educating themselves enough on the process and types of questions to ask any of their Internet development or marketing partners.
Another big one I see is not finding specialists and letting your web designer, also develop the site, write the content, do the SEO, and the analytics. While finding specialists will create more project management work on your end, working with specialists will help you get the maximum return—you might be able to find a web savvy project manager to contract out to work with all the specialists.
Worrying about rankings before worrying about usability and revenue. While it is fun to sit on the golf course and tell your buddies where you rank, its much better for you to be seeking out ways to get more of that traffic to convert and to be tracking to revenue. This leads me to my last mistake:
NOT tracking all Internet efforts down to some level of an accountable metric (page views, leads, sales, etc). Think of the questions a bank would ask you if you went in for a loan—they aren’t going to list rankings as an asset!!
When it comes to setting up a blog, and keeping SEO in mind, is it better to have a blog that is separate from your corporate website?
Personally (and I highlight personally), I prefer a blog on the same domain, as it helps improve your deep link ratio (links to the blog are automatically “deep”). I also think if you have two domains, you have to have two promotion efforts, thus giving people more options to link to you. Instead of having just one site to link to you are now giving me two or more, thus splitting up your link juice. Again, just my personal take.
Thanks for your time today Wil and for helping SMBs with smarter SEO!
Want to learn more about SEO? Watch some of Wil’s videos:
- SEO Best Practices
- FREE SEO Tools and how to use them
- Start thinking like a search engine to futureproof your SEO
- SEO Tips – Keywords in the domain vs Keywords in page names