Buyer Beware! There are a lot of “snake-oil salespeople” in the SEO world who’ll claim they know what they are doing. But when challenged, they have no idea. They’re “drowning” in the deep end of the SEO tar pits, never to be seen again.
Beware of the “Wolves.”
The SEO wolves in sheep’s clothing are preying on MSP companies with the promise of higher rankings and more business. After all, everyone wants more business.
But be careful. Get proof of their long-term success with SEO. There are a ton of “get- rich-quick” schemes out there that may get you ranked in the short term, but the next major algorithm from Google eventually lowers you to the bottom of the “rock pile” leaving you struggling to claw your way up. Plus, when you look around for help, the sheep in wolf’s clothing is gone.
I’d like to share our experience with SEO.
This morning I reflected on what my business partner, David West, from the early days of Ulistic always said:
“What’s the difference between a social media professional and a social media user?” Answer: About 5 tweets.
We’ve come a long way since those early days of social media—The market has matured quite a bit. But, not for some.
I thought the “black-hat days” were behind us. However, black-hat SEO tactics have resurfaced in the managed services community.
The one thing I’ve learned and want to share with you: SEO is a skill that requires mastery. You can’t be a telemarketing person one day, and a so-called SEO guru the next. It doesn’t work this way.
I’ve done nothing but study SEO for years, following experts like Matt Cutts, Neil Patel and others—And constantly sharpening my “saw” as an MSP SEO Expert.
But, do I call myself an SEO guru? Hell no! I still have a long way to go, and lots of learning to do.
Yet, SEO is my obsession. I regularly pour over days of analytics, looking for that gem that will make the difference. You see, with MSP SEO, you can’t just send out blogs with thin content and guest post your way to the top. Sure, it may work this week, but what about next week when the Google spam bots say “Screw you buddy!” and they send you to the bottom of the SERPs
Tip: Check out this voicemail recording from my early days working with BJ Farmer at CITOC. Click Here.
Here’s what you need to look for when outsourcing SEO:
- Where does your SEO company get their advice? No one has the “secret sauce” when it comes to SEO, however, there are some practices that have stood the test of time. Case in point, CTECH is an IT consulting company in Calgary, Canada. CTECH has consistently outranked many of their competitors in the Calgary marketplace.
- What’s their focus? There’s more to On-Page SEO than posting 4 or 5 blog sections. On-Page SEO consists of meta name and meta descriptions (for each page), alt text and much more. If your SEO company just wants you to add blog articles, it’s time to get another SEO company.
- What can they tell you about social media’s impact on SEO? Social media has a great influence on SEO today. If your SEO company isn’t asking about your social strategy, it’s time to get a new SEO company.
Here are a few more tips on SEO Strategy for Managed Service Businesses:
- Stop obsessing about keywords. Keywords, thank goodness are a thing of the past. Good riddance. It’s about time. Focus more on search traffic and analyze how much is coming your way. Keywords will vary from location to location and computer to computer. Basic tracking is good—But keyword tracking is definitely a thing of the past.
- Write, write and write HIGH-QUALITY content. Neil Patel claims that companies in the technology space need to average 800 to 1,000 words in each blog article. Other industries like real estate require almost 2,000. Thank goodness, we’re not in the real-estate space.
- Google Business is key—Don’t forget. How many reviews do you have on Google Business or Google Local? (Whatever they are calling it today.) Go after reviews on a consistent basis. Aaron Fox, from Globalquest in Buffalo, makes this a priority. It actually helps his clients provide the feedback he’s looking for.
- Leverage the media. Don’t worry about guest blogging. As Matt Cutts said in 2014, “Guest blogging is the thing of the past.” Go after and share stories with your local media, and work within these outlets so they’ll cover your stories, industry news and more. You should be sharing a local news story no less than 3 times a week.
The take-home message: You can’t be a telemarketing person one day and an “SEO guy” the next. These are completely different disciplines. SEO is something you need to master in order to do it well. Find an SEO provider who keeps learning and adjusting their strategies to what’s happening in the marketplace. And, beware of the “wolves!
Stuart Crawford serves as Creative Director and CEO with Sebring, FL and Fort Erie, ON-based Ulistic, a specialty MSP Marketing firm focused on information technology marketing and business development. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience pertaining to how technology business owners and IT firms can use marketing as a vehicle to obtain success.