Google’s ball hiding; counting clicks and cutting through the jargon

Reading for Week 3

I’d long known Google was the big dog in the SEO game, and was struck watching the video guidelines https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/35769 what an odd scenario: Follow these rules (which kind of boil down to be transparent and honest and tell us who you’re suiting up for the game, i.e. give us an index) and you’ll have a better chance at winning our game, but by the way, we are gonna hide the ball and we aren’t necessarily the best referees.

So no wonder SEO consulting is a growth industry! But how does a website know whom to hire for SEO or what to expect? I envision even  not-terribly-effective consultants or  scam artists with just a little know-how could probably make a quick buck, particularly from a small business. With the frequent changes and increasing sophistication of search engine algorithms, it will only become more common that companies will hire SEO consultants. But how do you find a good one and how do you also ensure their recommendations actually make it into the day-to-day workflow in your company.

QUESTION: For those classmates with more familiarity with this industry and service: How would you approach hiring an SEO consultant? What should you look for and verify versus what they might tell you they are capable of achieving? What are the best strategies for taking a consultant’s vision and implementing it into the internal workflow?

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Wow, the analytics now available for testing website visits. http://www.conversion-rate-experts.com/split-testing-software/. (I needed a basic primer on split-testing to just get a grasp of what we were talking about and found one here https://www.optimizely.com/ab-testing?utm_medim=cpc&utm_campaign=Shiva&utm_content=wist) .) I’m fascinated by the real-time analysis that can be done to improve web pages, like a focus group only much, much better.

But a broader theme I took away from Conversion Rate Experts, by clicking through to its case studies, was that no one does this alone and you dare not stand still.

It was illuminating and affirming to know that even a leader in one form of web-production – SEOmoz.com (now http://www.moz.com) – might still benefit greatly from tapping outside consultants to help them with another production aspect they’re not experts in – conversion/visitor duration to website.

In the recommended reading, the current site (moz.com) which looks very different from the iteration in the case study, highlighting if you stand still on the Internet, you’ll wake up the next day five days behind. More and more I’m reminded of something Jeff Williams tried to impress upon us in the Photoshop class that we will want to decide what we’re good at in this field and be prepared to ask for help for almost everything else.

QUESTION: Just how affordable are these conversion expert services for a small business or a web designer looking to improve a client’s conversion rates?

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Finally, I found the glossary from Anvil Media http://www.anvilmediainc.com/search-engine-marketing-resources/search-engine-marketing-glossary/ a welcome addition to the reading, helping me compartmentalize SEO vs conversion testing. Perhaps after I am more used to this vocabulary I will not feel this way, but much of this week’s readings was so laden with jargon that Anvil would get a serious look for any business I had because they took the time to help me understand!

QUESTION: Anyone else feel that way?

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2 thoughts on “Google’s ball hiding; counting clicks and cutting through the jargon

  1. As expressed in my blog it is a relief and a great help the vocabulary of the third article and I agree with you that eventually it will not be so overwhelming and it will become a everyday vocabulary. I also would like to know what are the guidelines to follow to hire a company that specializes in SEO if you have a small company because when something is implemented and its effectiveness becomes “IN” is very likely that pirate companies offer services that they can not really accomplish. As you said, maybe one of our classmates can help us with this information.

  2. You bring up an excellent point in your blog! How do companies hire a good SEO consultant? When I listen to people talk about SEO, I look for someone who is going to stress how important original, related, well-written content is — basically, I want to know that this person is going to keep organic search results in mind. If it just starts becoming a links game (of course links are important), I take a step back. Consideration for you — Is it ethical to pay someone who is credible to link to your site?

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