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I smell something foul.

Please, don’t get all excited.  I’m not bringing SEO back; I want to move forward.

Seek Danny Sullivan posts, tracing the evolution of SEO for better understanding of history.  What I want to do now is call shenanigans on some real SEO stuff currently taking place.

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In the beginning, search engine optimization called for an occasion, an opportunity to make money from a burgeoning search tool, the Web.

Like all dark and well-lit corners of business, we’ll find all kinds of good and bad intentions.  Is it (so) foul to imagine (some) TOP SEO providers and their clients saw the Web as moneymaking opportunity?  (Don’t worry capitalists; I’m with you, needing my low-fat mocha lattes and helicopter rides to the jet as much as the next guy.)

I may entertain some blue-collar ethics, yet I’m no angel, far from perfect, but I’ll give you the straight dope if I can.

Today, I want to discuss how I would market.

I don’t believe (traditionally) SEOs were much concerned.  The scope of services did not call for it.  It was more of a manipulation of the SERs.  Clients knew consumers were using the web, most consumers had a grand perception about the first page and numbered listings, and clients paid pretty pennies to ANYONE who could higher rankings.

All the real SEO shit came later.  We needed Matt Cutts to hear it coming from us and needed to ensure potential clients that we were not only magical, but also marketers now.

Really?  Why didn’t many study traditional marketing?  (Some did, like AJ Kohn. He’s one of the keenest people I know in the space, with approach diverse and heavily meditative.)

Most of us (myself included) didn’t traditionally study marketing.  (I will say my years studying psychology, education, literature, and teaching, addressing a room full of capricious teens, definitely helps.)

But enough introduction.  Hopefully, I’ve tickled your emotions and hooked you in.  Now, I’m going to show (not tell) how I currently help clients drive attention (and hopefully more sales) to their product/services.

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What am I willing to do for my clients?  I use creativity more than anything, rather than technical expertise.  So, I’ll rely on tools to help me with some diagnostics, while leveraging creativity and free tools at hand.

Spy on the Competition

To date, I have a Moz account, but the good people of SERPS.com offer 30-day free trials, the owners return my emails, and are probably willing to show up to their own parties.  So, I want to compare some like features while considering saving myself $50.

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SERPs’ meta site explorer allows a look at incoming links of the competition.  Let’s say I wanted to help a young professional take root in his new small business area.  Dan Shure is a friend of mine, recently investing in the city of Worcester, Massachusetts.

Quickly, I want to see some of the competition.

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Looking under my Moz tools hood, I’ll take a closer look at his competition.

Wow, one of his competitors has over 300,00o links, stemming from over 1,800 root domains.  Really?!  Well, I’m sure it was all organic link building, so let’s take a look using Moz tools.

We shall take a closer gander at some of the top-linking domains, viewing individual pages ushering the competitor’s incoming links.

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I’d study these incoming links, note story lines, and individual reporters as well as the media outlets.  Can I align Dan with some of the same opportunities, doing outreach?

Something tells me Dan is a bit more savvy in providing SEO, but I’m biased.

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Evade Link Building

I still endorse link building, but I’m going to see if we can leverage guest blogging opportunities for Dan.  I don’t believe he does it often, and specifically, Dan may not want or need to guest post for links.  Rather, I’d advise him take a look at those who admire him (maybe from afar), not realizing the following are giving him attention, linking to his Twitter handle, not his site.

This is SERPs tool, like Moz’s above, listing incoming mentions of Dan’s handle as well as metrics related to domain and links hosting them.

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If he wanted, I’d see if any of Dan’s social handles are making impressions on potential hosts.  Would it be advantageous to expose him to other readers?  Maybe not in the SEO space, but maybe he’s getting mentioned outside of the bubble as well.  I want to get him increased exposure, widening his chances of attracting clientele.

I’m trying to augment exposure rather than hunt for links.  As we see above, though a site has more links, the on-page impression and pending services could be wanting.

Endorse High Speeds

Here is part of an infographic from Kissmetrics, showing signs of user experience and dissidence.

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Would you wait for Rand’s tweet?  I wouldn’t wait for the wizard or anyone.  More importantly, would potential customers wait for my client’s page to load?  That’s mighty important.

SERPs hosts intent of broadening its toolbox; I suspect page and site load speed is something they view of monumental importance.  Some agree.

site speed example

As suggested by SERPs, let’s use PageSpeedInsights, placing EvolvingSEO within.  Dan is keen regarding technical SEO, and he may only need to devote a bit more time in improving his speed score.

Dan’s technical SEO resource page currently gets 85 out of 100, which is good, but Shure’s the kind of guy who seeks to continuously evolve.

page insights example

Aside from his main site, I would ensure he attend to the mobile version of his site as well, estimating more business professionals are perusing for related services as mobile usage rises.

Take Words Out of Consumer Mouths

I oft use Ubbersuggest and listen to queries preying upon the minds of potential customers.  SERPs offers a free keyword search tool.

Dan does SEO videos, which is keen.  It gives potential customers the opportunity to see and hear him, experiencing him better.  As a PR guy, I highly endorse being transparent, allowing your target market to experience you.  Good character is nothing but an advantage.

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Note how the suggestions are divided (Google Suggest, Google Related, YouTube, etc).  I would toy around with more suggestions, peering specifically into YouTube; Shure is not shy to complement text suggestions with video.

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These are things I do for clients interested in content and PR services.  I use tools, like those above, specifically helping me understand my clients’ present and potential situations.

I’ve heard enough backstreet discussions.  More importantly, I believe clients want better value. I’m beginning seoxy back.  Who’s coming with me?

shakespeare willieI don’t do guest posts that often but when I do, they have to be good. So, when Shakespeare Willie told me he had an article with my name written on it, how could I say no? You can find him cruising Atlantic City’s boardwalk for women, drink in hand, waxing poetic. And anywhere he goes, I can pretty much guarantee the content muse is not far behind.