SEO (search engine optimization) is a tricky thing just by nature. Typically speaking, we have to explain it a few times just in layman’s terms… Read More »Why Should You Work with a Local SEO Firm in Hampton Roads?
When it comes to SEO, you have probably heard a lot about local SEO as essential factors and concerns in digital marketing. It’s part of… Read More »5 Content Improvements That Can Boost Your Local SEO
SEO Scams, SEO Email Marketing Scams – For Shame!!
Have you ever gotten an unsolicited email from a so-called “SEO expert” telling you what your website is missing and why you need them to improve it? Does it seem like a scam? Or is it just an ambitious person scouring the web for business doing you a courtesy? How do you know? Here’s the deal with that…
I get about 5-10 of these SEO spam emails each day. There are generally two types of these messages I receive.
1.) The “I happened to notice your site needs SEO improvement” Spam Message
2.) The “I’m wondering if I could help you improve your site” Spam Message
Regardless of the message, first thing’s first. I RUN AN SEO COMPANY. Clearly they are not even paying attention to whom they are sending their unsolicited SEO spam emails to, because if they’d just take a second to look at what type of business I am while they’re on my site hunting for the contact form, then they’d probably realize that hounding my business about SEO is a waste of their time. It would be like me emailing a taco shop to tell them why they’re making their tacos wrong (when I’ve never even tried their tacos) and that they need me to make them better for them.
So clearly there’s the evidence that these “seo experts” are not even paying attention to who you are and what kind of business you have. But step back another few feet and think about this. I am getting about 40 of these SEO spam emails per week and not only am I an SEO company, our website is optimized extremely well. We show up 1st page for just about every keyword that we target. (I’m not saying this to brag, it’s just what we do for a living). So when I get that email that says “Hi, I noticed your site is missing key SEO components and you’re missing out on traffic and leads, etc, etc.” I know that’s a pile of bull because they obviously didn’t take a second to look at my site or run any kind of SEO diagnostics on it. It’s simply just unsolicited email spam.
Do some of these companies know what they’re doing as far as SEO work goes? Who knows? Some probably do, some probably don’t… but if sending blind emails and acting as if you’ve done someone some complimentary research when you haven’t is their idea of marketing, that’s a big red flag to me.
If you think your website might be in the need of SEO improvement, the best thing you can do to find a quality, reputable SEO professional is to do a Google search for a local SEO company in your area or even in your market segment. Who shows up on the first page (not the paid results but the natural ones) probably knows what they’re doing. Call a few places and get a few quotes. Work with whom you feel the most comfortable with that seems like they can accomplish what you want within your budget.
Avoid anyone who quotes you one price and then says they can do it for substantially cheaper when you balk at their original price. I turn folks down for SEO as much as I win their business because I refuse to sell them something that I know won’t work just in order to fulfill their budget needs. Skimping on something might make their wallet happy but they’ll only be disappointed if you can’t deliver results!
Ask for references or look up their reviews and testimonials. Contact those people if you know how. But whatever you do, don’t reply to an unsolicited email about improving your site’s SEO because 10 times out of 10 it’s a scam.
Marc Bethel is a Partner at Commonwealth Creative Marketing in Norfolk, VA and a leading SEO Professional
Blogging for SEO using WordPress
By now someone has probably told you that you should blog. They may have mentioned that it’s “good for SEO” if you blog but they probably didn’t tell you exactly how or why. Here’s the deal… you can blog all you want but if you’re not optimizing your blog the right way it won’t do much good.
There are basically two reasons to blog. 1. You want people to read what you wrote about a topic. 2. You want to help increase your site’s SEO and traffic. Personally, I could almost care less if anyone read my blog. I blog for SEO purposes mainly. So how do you blog for SEO?
Well, the first step in blogging for SEO purposes is to write blog posts that people will want to read. That’s right… do the exact other reason for blogging I just mentioned. That’s the first step you can take. If you write on a topic that people will want to learn about, or read about, you’re much more likely that people will stay on your blog and read it. But most importantly, by writing something well about a topic, you’re thereby creating content on the web that is relevant to a specific topic. This builds credibility on the topic with search engines like Google, therefore making your blog post much more likely to be indexed as a relevant link for the keywords your blog is about.
Now that you’ve written a blog post about a topic that you want to rank for in the search engines there are other things you need to do to optimize it. I recommend using a WordPress Blog because they’re the easiest to optimize for SEO and they already come with features and plugins that can help you out. Start by giving your blog post a title that contains your keyword phrase. For example I want my site to rank for people searching on SEO blogging, so hence the name of this blog post.
Next, (and write this down… it’s an important one) be sure to create one keyword hyperlink somewhere in your post. Make it link to your homepage, or another page on your website as long as it’s a page that is relevant to the keyword. For example, right now as a web designer in the Virginia Beach area, I’m trying to increase my presence on search engines for the keyword phrase web design Virginia Beach, so I’ve made it a point to create a link in this blog for ‘web design Virginia Beach’. What does this do? When Google bot crawls the web it will crawl my blog post and see I’ve associated a link for web design Virginia Beach with my website. Google now deems my site a little more relevant for that search term because another link now exists pointing to it for that term. This is something you want to do for your own keyword term of focus just one time per blog post. Don’t put a ton of different links in a single post. Search engines are very wise and they’ll see this as being spammy. They don’t like that. You’ll be better off building up your internal blog link-building over time by making a relevant keyword link once per blog or so where it makes sense. Also, (a little tip)… Don’t just make the keyword phrase a link… also give it a title of the same keyword term. For example your hyperlink code should look like this: <a href=”https://ccm-web.com” title=”web design virginia beach”>web design Virginia Beach</a>.
There are two more things you need to do. WordPress gives you the ability to categorize and add tags to your blog posts. Create a list of “Categories” to choose from. These should include the usual subjects that you blog about. I blog about Marketing, Web Design, SEO and Printing a lot… so those are some of my categories that I choose from. If you guessed that I categorized this post you’re reading now as an “SEO” blog, than you’re picking up quickly. Lastly there are tags. This is where you can add really specific keywords that you want your blog post to show up for. But similarly to the links… you definitely don’t want to go overboard with the amount of tags you use in a blog post. Use 1-4 tags. Preferably about 2 unless your blog honestly pertains to a bunch of things. You can create a new tag every time you blog, but WordPress is smart enough to remember the tags you use the most often and shows those to you to simply click on to tag. For another example, I’m going to create a tag called “Blogging for SEO” and a tag called “WordPress Blogs and SEO” for this particular post.
So that’s it in a nutshell. Remember: Write a well-written post on a topic that you want to be known for. Give it a good title that includes the important keyword phrase. Add a text hyperlink to your main url from within your blog post’s content. Give that link a title=”” tag. Properly categorize your blog post with a Category that pertains to it. Tag your blog with the top 2 or 3 keywords that are relevant to your post that you want it to show up for.
Oh… and one more important bit of advice before I wrap this up. Please, Please, Please… Don’t forget to proof read your blogs. There’s nothing worse than trying to look credible on a topic while sounding like you can’t write using basic grammar. In fact, that can be pretty detrimental to your efforts. So please take a minute or two to read over what you wrote. If you’re not a good writer/speller and you know it, there’s nothing wrong with admitting that to yourself. Have a friend or coworker proofread your post for you before posting. A second set of eyes is always a good thing!
Good luck with your SEO blogging and blog away! These practices over time will help push your site up in the rankings for your keyword terms.