GrowTraffic has been sat at position 1 for freelance seo consultant for quite some time now and to be honest I’ve not done a lot to maintain the position, on Sasturday however for the first time in a long time the site dropped to position 3, I had a sneaky suspicion this was going to happen as GT dropped to position 2 for about half a day a week or so ago, this dance is a sure fire indicator that you’re about to be dropped slightly.
It happens all the time, you spend loads of time and energy getting a site to rank for a keyword that you know has search traffic and you get little if any extra search traffic. This investment can then seem like a bit of a waste. What’s more it can seem like you’ve been lied to, either by the people doing your SEO or by your traffic estimating tool.
How have Search Engine’s Ranking Signals Evolved?
- 1996 – 1999 Rankings based on onpage keyword use and meta data
- 1999 – 2002 PageRank and onpage keywords
- 2002 – 2005 PageRank, onpage, domain name and anchor text of link portfolio
- 2005 – 2009 PageRank, onpage, domain name and anchor text, diversity of linking domains, domain authority and topic modeling
How will search engine ranking signals evolve in the future?
In 2010 we saw the inclusion of Facebook and Twitter signals as ranking factors. In the big hooha between Google and Bing recently, Bing admitteded using click stream data as a ranking signal – this means making the rankings match the sites users actually find and stay on for certain keywords (and Google’s been doing it more subtly for the past couple of years).
I’ve been writing copy for years, all my working life in fact, I’ve written copy for ads, I’ve written brochure content, I’ve written articles for magazines and newsletters (at one point I was a part time journalist), press releases and I’ve written a lot of content for websites.
It’s only because the marketing work I did so early on in my career that I’m a search marketer, without that focus on content I may never have had the drive to work with copy.
For years now I’ve been working with people who tell me text is about to be dumped from the internet but at the end of the day it remains. Copy is still an essential element of any website, text and copy are actually becomming more important when you take into account social media marketing.
I hadn’t really mentioned copywriting services through this website however after looking at my skill set I think it’s an important part of what I do, my freelance seo copywriter page is now ranking on the second page of Google, let’s see what a bit of focus on perfecting this page will do. Fingers crossed.
Good content is always the foundation to what I do, it’s what I’ve done all my working life and as such I think it’s important I concentrate on being a marketing orientated copywriting search marketer.
Ok in this masculine world of high flying business, it’s probably not fashionable to admit that from time to time I write poetry!
I realise that my poetry is probably only entry level amateur stuff but I’ve come to think that if I don’t put things out there for people to see, I’ll never be forced to make myself better.
I work with a lot of different types of businesses and I know myself that what I am really good at is working with other people to help them realise the potential of their business online in a consultative manner.
It’s about this time of year that I like to come up with a bit of a plan for the year ahead and work out what I would like to achieve, what I’m aiming towards etc.
It’s been a different 2010 for me, mainly as my son was born at the end of 2009 and is now growing up and I’m having to alter how I live my life to fit around him, also my wife has been ill for a lot of the year which has put a lot of emphasis on me role as the provider which means it’s even more important I work out what I want and how I’m going to go about it over the next 12 months.
I’ve been thinking about how I can improve the design of GrowTraffic for a while. It needs it, but the thing is I’m a search marketer, not a designer or a developer and although I can build a website I feel there is a quality about the GrowTraffic design that reflects what it is I do as an SEO.
Instead of changing the design of GrowTraffic I decided that I would experiment first with another website, I bought a domain and started the building process.
I decided that I would create a website about a specific element of the SEO process and that’s why I bought seoaudting.co.uk – it’s built in WordPress and built using a theme I found on the internet that’s relatively similar to the GrowTraffic layout just a bit more up to date.
Check out my new SEO Audit website at seoauditing.co.uk.
I try and take a step back on a regular basis and ask myself what have I learned about myself from the things I’ve just done. It always surprises me that people are happy to plod on allowing themselves to get into the same situations where they have to make the same mistakes because they haven’t learned anything about themselves from their experiences.
The ancient Greeks had a saying and although the spirit of the original meaning is lost to time, Gnoshi Seauton or Know Thyself still resonates with me today. I remind myself of this on a daily basis, whatever I do I approach it from a situation of how I will best cope with it, where it is likely to test me and how it is likely to enable me to develop, both professionally and personally.
Agency vs. In-house Marketing
I’ve worked for agencies and I’ve worked client side and it’s fair to say that when I’ve found myself in the position of a client side role I’ve hated it. There are a couple of reasons, firstly I love the variety that working a number of different projects brings, this gives me loads of opportunity to develop and hone my skill set, f I can do it in one industry I can do it anywhere. The second reason I prefer agency work is that I like being in the role of being an industry expert, maybe this is an ego thing, but I think it’s good to have that ego sometimes, I make the things happen through my advise and strategy. There is no real difference as to where this advice goes to a client or to a marketing director / managing director however it’s often harder to advise the guy that’s paying your wages than the guy that’s paying for your service, especially if you work for someone who has used various internet marketing techniques in the past.
Plan the event in advance or plan for the event / Overview vs detail
I probably bang on about this too often. One of the reasons I think I’m so good at search marketing is that I can disatach myself from the detail and see what’s going on as an overview. It’s a useful skill, sure it’s important to get a little bit fixated on the percentage of keywords on a page and where they are located however once you’ve done that you’ve got to be able to say “what’s the bigger picture, what are the general trends”.
I used to work for a guy who asked me how I knew what was going to happen with PPC, I explained it was experience, I also explained the reasons and he looked a bit blank – then I said “I just know, I cam’t really 100% tell you the complexities of how I know, I’ve been staring at this date for so long I can see the patterns.” He seemed quite happy with that response and let me carry on.
Quite often I’m talking to people and they tell me they don’t want to do pay-per-click (PPC) as they don’t like paying for traffic, it’s at this point that I tell them that there is no such thing as free organic traffic.
Sometimes you are lucky and you write a blog post or a page and it ranks really highly and you get loads of traffic from it, this is the exception, normally you have to spend ages tweaking your onpage content and building links, it can take months to get onto the first page of Google and often about the same amount of time to get from the bottom of page 1 to the top 3 (which is where the money and traffic is).
I’ve met a load of designers in my time as an internet marketer, I’ve steered them in most cases to get from them what I want, however I think it’s fair to say every now and then you come accross someone that you want to take a step back from and say “there you go, do what you got to do”. That’s trust, trust in their abilities and their understanding, I’ve come to realise recently how important this can be in getting a fantastic web design and not just a mediocre web design.
I’ve been working in marketing for the past 8 years or so, specialising in internet marketing for much of that time.
Recently I was given the opportunity to move from my position at 2am Media to join another company as their Internet Marketing Manager with an emphasis on search, it was more money and represented a good move however there was something not right about it, I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what it was.
For some time there has been a growing number of content farms that are able to produce a lot of content for next to nothing, the benefit of this is that they are able to suck up lots of traffic and serve it with plenty of adverts.
When I first meet with a client to discuss Pay Per Click, after all the excitement is over I have to have the conversation of how much, it generally goes like this:
Me: What kind of budget do you have?
Clients: Well how much do you think we should spend?
Me: You can spend as much or as little as you want, how much does your average sale cost you at the moment?