Why I will not “do SEO” for you

I published this in 2014, people liked it. So I decided to revisit the topic this year.

This is one of those posts that has been in my drafts folder for some time and while it probably should to stay there, I am publishing it anyway!

I will not “do SEO” for you

Not now, not in the future, never again really.

Not if you ask me nicely, say please and take me out to lunch.

Not if you wine me, dine me and <redacted> me.

Not if you say “yes” to the ridiculous ballpark estimate I provide you that is for 10x more than you should pay.

I will not “do SEO” for you… because I can’t do SEO for you anymore

Because your vision of SEO is dead.

I can’t “do that meta tag thing” and get you to the top.

I can’t add keywords to your existing website content and reasonably expect them to rank.

I can’t take it anymore when you say “I just want to rank #1 for this keyword, it can’t be that hard!”

I can’t give you an easy solution, because there is no easy solution.

I can’t do SEO for you, without you.

I can’t get you to commit to marketing your business, and that is why I can’t do SEO for you.

SEO in 2017 is simply marketing your business

Back in 2014, Google search rewarded authorities, entities and experts. It’s pretty much still the same in 2017.

Who is more likely to become an authority in your industry? The consultant or you; the person who knows your business the best?

You are the key to your own SEO success, because you are already the expert.

Are you prepared to give what it takes to become an authority?

Are you going to write down your thoughts, experiences and solutions?

Are you going to make marketing a priority this year?

It’s not that hard

Seriously, here is the blueprint for how I went from 0 to 10,000 organic search visitors a month on Jeffalytics:

  • First order of business is to throw your website in the trash if it’s not using WordPress as a CMS.
  • Now build a WordPress site with the basics: a modern and fast HTML 5 ready theme, the Yoast SEO plugin, Google Analytics and a Social Media auto-poster.
  • Then start writing for 30 minutes each morning while you are drinking your coffee. At the end of the week, piece together your thoughts into a comprehensive post of 800 to 1,200 words and set it to publish on Monday or Tuesday morning.
  • When your post publishes, share it with individuals and groups of people who will find it directly relevant to their experience.

That’s all there is to it: If you write a 1,000 word article about a topic related to your business once a week for a year, you will receive an extraordinary number of visitors from organic search.

All the above still stand true in 2017. But here are a few more areas where you should take note.

  • Make your website is both fast loading and mobile friendly. All of the rankings in the world won’t save you from the ire of a slow website experience.
  • Pay attention to page speed. Use tools like tinypng to reduce your image sizes, and remove unnecessary scripts. Moz has a guide on page speed that is very helpful if you are unsure where to start.
  • Search through your website analytics to find low value pages. Add content upgrades to the equation. Start by finding content with high volume/low value combination (look into your Google Analytics for clues) and add more value to increase conversion. You can find more detailed information in our video guide to lead magnets and content upgrades.

Here is how the above blueprint has helped my organic search traffic grow in just two short years:

JeffalyticsTraffic Organic
This version of SEO is what has worked for my small business.

When to hire an SEO agency

If you follow the above strategy, you don’t need an SEO agency, right?

Not exactly. There are plenty of ways that an SEO agency could make my efforts grow even stronger.

An SEO agency could help me research topics that are trending with searchers.

An SEO agency could point out holes in my strategy and propose a solution to fix them.

An SEO agency could propose strategies to optimize my site and draw more conversions.

An SEO agency could bring more revenue and profit for my business.

This description of an SEO agency reminds me of the tagline for BASF:

We don’t make a lot of the products you buy. We make a lot of the products you buy better.

Do SEO for yourself, then bring in help

The first step in SEO success is a commitment to marketing your business. That commitment should come from the inside.

Nail down the process and then you can start thinking about bringing in help to provide services that compliment your current efforts.

This is exactly how every business owner should invest in growing their business.

Over time, you can build out a marketing organization to take these tasks off of your plate. That’s where consultants and employees come in..

Just remember that SEO isn’t a miracle cure or a hail-Mary pass. It’s marketing your business.

I still won’t take on your SEO project

Because I’m not an agency. I would be happy to refer you to some agencies that I deeply respect, but only if you’ve taken it upon yourself to do follow the steps outlined above. Until then you are the only one who can help your SEO efforts.

About the Author

Jeff Sauer is an independent Digital Marketing Consultant, Speaker and Teacher based out of a suitcase somewhere in the world. Formerly of Minneapolis, MN and San Francisco, CA.