As the title explains, this piece is about the dangerous myth of the SEO GURU. Are there people sufficiently knowledgeable to be described as an SEO GURU? Of course, they are. Sometimes the best answer to your problem is to engage the services of such an SEO Guru and have him/her take a fresh look and suggest different approaches or solutions to the issues you have encountered.
This article was never intended to debunk the idea of an SEO guru to suggest that SEO Gurus are in some way a bad thing. The point I am at pains to make is that SEO is 90% sweat and a maximum of 10% brilliance. When intelligence is called for, it is often because basic practices and procedures have been neglected for one reason or another. The most typical exception to this is when bad actors carry out negative SEO attacks against your site.
Suppose you find yourself doubting whether you have been doing things right. Believe me, this is a widespread feeling and always, without fail, results from poor performance and, in particular, a scarcity of web customers or visitors. In that case, the best approach is to take a little time out and start again as though you were me and you had just been called in to find out what is wrong and find a solution.
As a sort of SEO Guru, though I wouldn’t encourage using that term, I would ask a real GURU, my man Martin, to run a technical review, covering every aspect of the site and looking from the viewpoint of a search engine bot. This approach effectively tells you what needs to be in place and what is missing in ranking each page highly. It is a great starting point, but it is only relevant when you have an objective discussion about your goals for the site,d whether they are realistic, and what resources you do or do not have available.
Equipped with all this knowledge, my approach would then be to list the things I can realistically do that will significantly move the needle, create a timeline with dependencies for getting this done, and then review the situation again.
Putting together a revised strategy and plan is similar to forming a system in this piece. If you get time to read that piece, and I recommend it, you will notice that the last section emphasises defining the expected outcomes and putting in place a decent measurement strategy. It’s essential to align your goals very closely with the measurement strategy. For example, if you are complaining about no sales, then clearly your goal is sales; that is how you will judge this new SEO Guru; therefore, it is what you should measure. You will probably also want to count visitors and many other things as essential building blocks, but they are not the ultimate definition of success and failure; only sales and revenue can fit that bill.
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