The Ultimate Guide for Non-SEO people
We meet with a lot of business owners and marketing managers in Brisbane and all over Australia, and the general consensus seems to be confusion around the topic of SEO.
“Is it worth the risk?”
“Is it a long term solution?”
“What strategies still work?”
and the most common, “I don’t know who to trust.”
So I want to set a few things straight and provide clarity to understand SEO techniques which I can prove to you, actually do work. But first I think it’s important that business owners and marketing managers learn some of the basics so they are no longer left in the dark, blindly trusting SEO agencies to do the right thing. It’s time to take back control and learn how to audit these SEO activities and know what questions to ask.
We are asked on a regular basis to perform SEO audits and check if existing SEO providers are doing the right thing. While some are doing it right, many if not most of the low-cost providers are not. In fact, many of the low-cost SEO providers are putting at risk your Google Trust with out-dated and sometimes ludicrous strategies. If Google doesn’t trust you, there is no chance of your brand appearing front page for difficult to rank keywords.
So below is “The Ultimate Guide for Non-SEO people” to audit the activities, method’s and performance of your existing or past SEO providers.
STEP 1. ONSITE SEO
Think of Onsite SEO as the foundation that allows for everything else to function. Onsite SEO looks under the hood of your website to ensure Google can easily navigate, read and understand clearly what each page is about, what images mean and that the user experience is unique on every page. You don’t need to be an expert in this field but you do need to know what tools to use in order to check if your Onsite SEO has been done correctly. SEMrush is one of many programs that allow you to check if the onsite has been done correctly or if errors and warnings are still occurring. You don’t need to purchase this program but you can ask your SEO provider to send you reports or screen shots of the Summary page, Error page and Warnings page. Ideally, ask for this before they start so that you have a benchmark of comparison once they have finished, or progress during if your website has a lot of pages. This gives you the ultimate transparency and although some of the metrics may not mean too much, you will have a great starting point to ask questions to learn what various errors and warning actually mean. If you are seeing the overall performance increase from 50% to 80% then you know they are doing their job well. Never expect a score of 100%, but anything over 80% is a good indicator. In some cases, there are also false errors and warnings which are not really an issue, so be sure to question everything. If your SEO provider does not use SEMrush or other reliable onsite SEO analysis tools then chances are they are not a company you should trust to do your SEO.
Call us today to ensure your Onsite SEO doesn’t look like this:
STEP 2. OFFSITE SEO
Here is a simple undeniable truth about SEO that can’t be disputed, although some low-cost SEO providers will try, because they can’t do it cost-effectively or at all.
“High-quality, relevant, Google trusted backlinks are the only key to success with appearing organically on the front page of Google.”
Everything else on its own, WILL NOT ACHIEVE RESULTS. I can’t emphasise this any clearer, and to prove this to you I have set a little exercise for you to do which will show you without any shadow of disbelief that this is true.
First, let me provide you with some more simple truths which you will discover while doing this excercise. By the way, once you do this excercise it will be like taking the red pill and seeing the truth of how Google really values and ranks your Brand. Once you understand the logic behind these simple truths and see this trend with all your competitors on the front page of Google and those who are not, it will all become very clear. Are you ready to take the red pill?
Simple Truth #1
Finding opportunities to publish content about your brand, (with your brand or keyword embedded and clickable to your site) should represent over 70% of the ongoing activity you pay for each month. This is called Backlinking.
Simple Truth #2
The key to success is not about quantity of backlinks, but quality. One backlink can have more impact than 30 low-quality backlinks.
Simple Truth #3
The URL or Inner URL of your backlink should include major keywords in the URL and the Clickable link on each page should be mostly your brand or URL. The clickable link text is referred to as Anchor text.
Simple Truth #4
Each backlink should ideally be on a page that is either the top-level or second-level navigation page.
Simple Truth #5
Each backlink should be on pages that do not look spammy, have similar or the same keywords in the Title Tag and H1 Heading.
Simple Truth #6
There should be a number of methods for acquiring different types of “backlinks” so that your backlink profile is natural in the eyes of Google. At Kick Media we use 7 methods to acquire different types of “backlinks” however, all have relevant URL’s, Anchor Text, and Page Content. Some will have a lot of history with extreme authority and some will be for the purpose of building your brand authority to Google within specific locations.
Simple Truth #7
If location keywords are important to you, the first few months of Link Building should focus on building your brand authority within specific locations. This requires building a complex sequence of social profiles which link back to your major social profiles which also link to your local business listings and your Google My Business Pages. We call it a Social Fortress.
Simple Truth #8
Once your backlink portfolio has a natural appearance in the eyes of Google and we have implemented URL relevant NAP listings (Name, Address, Phone numbers) and social profiles with geo-tagged images, (so Google knows clearly that your business operates from a specific location); we then need to focus on extreme authority backlinks. I can’t tell you how, but our final triumph to SEO success will come from acquiring backlinks on extremely high authority domain pages. These domains have a long history of relevant links pointing to them with enough volume so that your rankings will be future proofed for a very long time. Our method for acquiring extreme authority backlinks is proprietary to Kick Media and is the secret ingredient which ensures top 3 rankings on the front page of Google very quickly.
Simple Truth #9
Avoid cheap SEO. It is better to do NO SEO than to do cheap SEO. Gone are the days where cheap SEO works and as the Google algorithm changes continue to roll out, if you are still doing cheap SEO it’s only a matter of time before you could receive a penalty and vanish from Google altogether.
SEO Excercise for Non-SEO People
Step 1. Ask your SEO agency to provide you with a list of the top 3 competitors on the front page of Google who rank for a major keyword you would like to appear for. Then ask for a spreadsheet of all the backlinks from these competitors. Included in the list of backlinks, you want to see the URL’s and the Anchor Text. If they can’t provide this to you, then switch agencies immediately, chances are they don’t know how or are not willing to show how poor their link building really is.
Step 2. Ask your SEO agency for the same list, but from 3 more competitors showing on page 3 for the same keywords. What I’m about to show you will prove to you without any doubt, why Simple Truths #1,2 and 3 above are so critical.
Step 3. Compare the URL’s in the backlinks of those on the front page of Google to those on page 3 of Google. Avoid any that say Link Deleted or No Follow. What do you see?
Step 4. Compare the Anchor text of the backlinks of those on the front page of Google to those on page 3 of Google. Again avoid any that say Deleted or No Follow. What do you see?
Notice a trend here? Yes, those on the front page have a higher ratio of backlinks with these major keywords somewhere in the URL of the backlink pointing to their site. They also have more branded text and keywords in the anchor text which links back to their site.
Remember that Google is not a genius, it can only read text and know if the text in your backlinks are relevant to the keywords people are typing into Google. SEO is not difficult to understand once you have taken the Red Pill however, what to do about it is where the real skills in SEO will make a difference. That’s where we come in.
Now you are armed with the knowledge to call out the SEO scammers and save you a lot of misery in paying for Cheap SEO which simply doesn’t work at all and could be risking your ability to show at all in the future.
Call us today for an SEO audit to check if SEO is being done correctly or to find out the true and honest reality of how long it will take and much it will it cost to achieve results.