Due to running Linkvanareviews and Marketer’s Relief, I’m coming across more and more people who run SEO services. Some of them I already know as they are the experts I’m interviewing, and some of them are new to me.
Anyhow, it got me thinking that I should start reviewing seo services and not just tools, services and stuff that is starting to make me look like a pied-piper leading folks through one blog network after another, kind of like MLM leaders herding sheeple towards next best thing all the time.
As of right now, it really does like like 80s and 90s style seo, link building is what we need to get back to (in a way). But we’re NOT going all the way back to the seowaybackmachine, 80s style, because social signals weren’t deemed necessary back then.
I digress, sorry… There’s a lot of points I want to make in this post without giving away some stuff I’m keeping private (MR members know most of this and will know rest of it once site format changes).
Here’s what I would do if I were running my own seo service: Invest in my own infrastructure, meaning that I would be aging social accounts, working them into a nice solid, stable, authoritative state, and do same thing for websites that are owned and controlled and under the radar.
I was talking to an affiliate manager for a certain seo service yesterday on the phone and he said his company does these things, and more..which got me thinking…Man, for what they charge, it’s a pretty good deal especially since it’s truly hands-free and footprint-proof…
…but here’s one thing that I’d recommend all seo services do, especially since they preach that they offer linking “diversity”. If blog commenting on relevant sites is offered and providing good results, then do same for forums and web 2.0s.
If seo service has 5000 clients, how can that clients list be broken down into categories, hobbies, sports, home, health, business. faith etc…?
Let’s say 5000 clients can be broken down into 20 major categories, 20 general niches
Join 20 forums/web communities per niche, = 400 sites to join and participate in to serve your entire client base.
If an SEO service can make intelligent blog comments, then useful forum threads can be made, too. If Xrumer can do it, why not a human? This really isn’t that hard to do! When a new client comes on board, you see their site, you know their content, what they’re offering, and their niche, therefore it’s pretty easy for the staff member to drop a link in a forum about this client’s url.
Not a lot is needed, just age the accounts, participate in the community to gain trust so link drops if allowed stay there. Social signals aren’t just reddits and bookmarks, they’re yelp reviews and forum mentions, and to a lesser degree hubs,lens, tumblrs etc….
Believe it or not, this is infrastructure building, it’s resource building and does have traffic-generation and rankings value.
Yes, do this yourself if you’re a DIY SEO-er, but if you’re an SEO service this is time-consuming up-front asset building that gives long-terms benefits to clients.
If you were to do this yourself, you’d have to spread your energies across many platforms, areas… and would need to be smart about interspersing non-self-serving mentions of other’s sites, too, whereas the more trusted forum members and commenters and tweeters and bookmarkers are the ones that aren’t self-serving. The seo service that builds trusted social accounts, is also building authoritative, traffic-generating assets that pass value down to clients.
Now, I know a lot of people here on linkvanareviews who are DIY-ers, do-it-yourself-ers. we want control, we want to be self-serving in our seo efforts, we wan to see our link lists, we want to order fiverr gigs, buy scrapebox blasts, plus 1s, FB likes and the like…
We want to cut costs, which means cutting corners, to practice “shortcut-seo” to give it a name…
But here’s something I told someone the other day.
“Dude, I read a thread on trafficplanet the other day talking about the methods used to do a negative seo attack on a couple of websites, and some of those methods used for NEGATIVE SEO, were methods I was using a while back for my own sites. I was applying negative seo tactics to my own sites! (before they became truly negative practices)
WTF… If I was doing that then before it was widely known as having negative effects, then I can only imagine what “shortcut seo” is doing to the DIY SEO-ers now, today… I think people spending money on several different services are failing to realize that their costs are adding up to more than what an affordable seo service would cost them. 147/month to get one site ranked solidly and properly, ie, stably… with no effort expended by the client, and no time spent solving captchas, spinning articles, submitting them doing comments etc… is money well spent. If the niche is good, if the conversions are there on client’s end, then 147/month is nothing, it’s a “wise-spend” outspend.
Naturally the person I told this to, as an seo service provider replied, “Exactly”
Look at it this way. I recommend SCN, Synnd, UAW, Backlink Banzai, Wiki Whirlwind as services you should get right now. They work well for me but of all those aforementioned services, only one (SCN) is a blog network, however it’s one that I had some accepted and implemented input on development-wise.
UAW is a shifting network, a moving target and valuable in the right hands but I’d have to do a lot of hand-holding and re-training to show people exactly how to make effective use of UAW.
Backlink Banzai and Wiki Whirlwind aren’t networks per se, they’re lists of entities that get posted to for you, with your anchors mixed up in such as way as to appear more diverse and natural, but to use this properly you’ll have to realize that some of these links will disappear over time and that Wiki and Banzai should be used as part of a tiered linking strategy (Jason educates his people very well of best practices for Wiki and Banzai use but sometimes we’re our own worst enemies and decided we don’t want to follow best practices as it seems unproven and who wants to spend MORE time and money building stuff and scattering our focus by building tiers then adding them creatively into our linking mechanisms?
Synnd, it’s a social network not like Facebook, but more like a Stumbleupon exchange (bad. weak comparison there actually). The GOOD quality sites I applied Synnd to received great results but maybe only because I have the Enterprise version and took myself out of the equation thereby letting them do the spins and anchor text choices for me…
What does Synnd say to do? build content worthy of being syndicated, and get it syndicated for you, with inherent hopes that your truly useful valuable content will get a life of its own post-Synnd effects. Doesn’t matter if your good content does NOT go viral though, Synnd effects alone on good quality websites and content have worked for me, every time. and has had good effects on new, virgin sites that only got Synnd attention.
Wiki, Synnd, Banzai, SCN… add all of those up and that costs more than an seo service that builds permanent links for you, but for one site for each 147/month spent. If you’re working on 10 sites then using Synnd, wiki banzai scn etc… may make more sense financially because frankly speaking they’re a lot of power on a per service basis, and maybe more power than is truly needed for most readers/sites owners.
What I like to hear when I interview SEO services is, “we have an infrastructure in place, we have private networks, web 2.0 networks, aged social accounts, traffic-generating tweets, manual article submissions and promotion of, etc…”
DIY SEO is great, don’t get me wrong, you get to learn by doing but at some point you have to take yourself out of the equation to see best results, myself included…sometimes
I know you, I know my target audience here on linkvanareviews.com. We have pro-seos looking for new networks and tools, and advice, we have noobs looking for next best shortcut seo, intermediates looking for a little of both etc….
Warning: Lame Aweber subject line joke ahead: FIRSTNAME, I know how some of you build websites, I know some of your websites are crap. Thin affiliate sites, 5-page MFAs, piss-poor on-page optimization, borrowed, scraped content, non-original content, shoddy design and infrastructure, on-site content outsourced and all of it boring and exactly 500 words, for example…
…AND I ‘ve built sites like that not only due to sheer laziness but also as a way to ascertain what effects the services I test and recommend will have on the types of sites some of you are building (see list above). I could use just about ANY service, use it to link up this blog you’re on right now and show good results, but you’d then go off to join a service that doesn’t have same results because your site is different, or rather…not many are like mine/this one.
That’s not fair, it’s misleading and if I did that it would eventually come back to bite me and you in the ass. So I build sites out in different ways in order to test them out in different ways. If/when I ranked 5 page MFAS with Banzai, I mentioned they were thin MFAs and also mentioned that Banzai worked for me. What I didn’t mention was that thin sites historically get hit, rankings-wise unless more is done to them, like adding link diversity, variety, and more content…
I IMPLORE you, if you want to DIY SEO by using various recommended services… to UP YOUR GAME… Add manual to your automation, don’t get lazy, add content, review your traffic logs, rank for new keywords, build tiers as time allows, focus on your conversions, learn that too.
Build a list to TALK to so if/when rankings drop you have relationships and easily contacted audience. Email marketing is a method not often spoken of as a site resurgence/revival method by the way. If your sites tank in ranks, please remember that traffic TO a site, activity ON a site, is one of the actively measured, albeit low on the algo scale of measured metrics for ranking stuff,. therefore building email lists not only is a way to build long-term asset (contact list) but also as a way of sending traffic you control to sites you control.
This is why I run Marketer’s Relief. I don’t know everything, and the experts contributing there haven’t mentioned email marketing as a way of getting sites some positive momentum again. They don’t know to tell you this because in most cases they either don’t know if their clients are building lists, or just don’t have access to client’s email marketing tools to facilitate doing this for them.
To be clear, in case the point was missed if you use email marketing to send emails to your list to read something on your site(s), you’re sending traffic to your sites outside of the Google/Bing organic traffic source. Now mind you, this traffic IS seen as non-organic, (in AWStats you will see this traffic with AOL, Yahoo Email and other email providers as the traffic sources) which is why it’s not a super-powerful/effective method for reviving site’s worthiness for regained ranking in some search engines’ “eyes”.
However, if you send controlled (email) traffic/visitors to viral-worthy, social-sharing-worthy, FB-like, G plus 1-worthy Content, then your email traffic sent to site content usually converts into blog comments (on site activity seen by search engines) , the occasional sharing on social re Tweets, FB likes, forum mentions, which are also seen by search engines…
Looks like my ADHD pill is wearing off a little early during this ramble-writing….
Oh yes, SEO service will be getting reviewed on this space soon. The reason I wrote about some of your sites being crappy is that I get as many complaints from Wiki, SCN, Banzai, Synnd people about low, low-quality sites (design and content-wise) as I do from you FIRSTNAME about the services not working as advertised by me, or them.
Please don’t be offended, I know there’s more and more intermediates and realists on linkvanareviews than ever before and you have quality sites, aged sites and DO indeed employ a mix of automation and manual activity. I know you’re all dedicated to your online businesses, I know you’re looking for no-BS to the point stuff from me.
I also know Google is still a mess, that they’re trying to go back to the 80s and 90s, that’ they’ve thrown a lot of babies out with the bathwater in the Penguin update, and that new sites rank well merely because they’re new and untouched for now (by your self-induced negative SEO) whether it was due to my past recommendations, or other stuff like BFSOs, WSOs, SEnuke blasts, or blackHat forum pyramid build-outs that are tantamount to link blasts…which didn’t work well even in the pre-algo change once/month days.
FIRSTNAME , (joke’s getting old I know, I just like making fun of my own mistakes), what are your takeaways from reading this rambling o’ mine?
If your site tanked…. Remove old links or spend more useful time building new links that are more diverse in variety (link type), implement new multiple, diverse, random, long anchor texts to dilute past uniformity of anchor text links obtained. On-site, I would personally stop using auto-linking cross-linking plugins like I do on this site, go back over your entire site, and while tweaking content (adding to it, removing keywords, analyzing url’s on-page seo) edit the cross-site linking to anchor text links that are more conversational, think fragmented sentence format such as, “yes Synnd works for some people, most SEOs who trust me still use it ” as your anchor text.
If you decide to rebuild anew in same niche, you can re-purpose/transfer content from old site to new, and if it MAKES SENSE,
remove content from oldsite url 1234,
put it on newsite url 1234,
and 301 the original oldsite url 1234 to the new content url newsite url 1234.
NOTE: regarding 301s, Google says that penalties can pass from/through a 301 so I’m not sure if this is even worth doing since new sites seem to be getting lots of love without 301s. I’ve received Skypes saying 301s are a BEAST right now for reviving sites. If you go the new site-build route then less is needed here at least for right now, and just get social on them right away and look for some manual link opportunities, or just hire a service to build some trust links for you on a per link basis.
Whether you go new site angle or revive suffering-site revival method, I strongly recommend building for the future.
Build a list with your MFAs, thin affiliate sites, affiliate marketing sites; use email marketing as an seo tool to cause and demonstrate traffic influx, a target audience-engagement method, and as a mechanism for new content generation.
Focus on conversions, something I hate to personally devote attention to because if I did then linkvanareviews.com would probably seem a bit more hyped up and you probably wouldn’t be reading my ramblings every so often, but this site is a passion, and passion begets quality, which begets trust, which begets conversions anyways, but this post is 2592 words long right now, there’s nothing I want you to buy due to reading this post, there’s no REASON for it, there’s no ulterior motive besides wanting you to NOT forget about me (sad huh! ), and if you’re doing DIY SEO, or SEO for others, it’s hard to tell you/them to write 3000-word content pieces for sake of publishing updated content that may or may not bear immediate financial benefits.
When you focus on conversions, your attention is shifting to monetary gain, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Pretty useless to rank for your chosen keywords if you’re not turning seo efforts into a mortgage-paying, sports-car buying back-end reality. eh? But there can be subtle changes made to increase conversions that don’t affect site quality in readers’ eyes merely by moving things around on your site (moving optin forms to top right of sidebar, to place banners in different spots, to send people to aff links using more compelling narrative instead of default, boring “visit official site” link which is really a hidden aff link)
Also, conversions can also mean paying attention to how-long visitors are staying on your site, bounce rates, what percentage of visitors on url1 are clicking on/going to another link mentioned on that url (on-site or otherwise) and those are metrics search engines can and DO measure and take into account… so conversions can be an seo measurement too not just a way in which to garner more profit$.
I know people who have sites getting 300 visitors a month, making 2-4k/month from that site using PLR content and free blog themes. Their sites don’t rank for anything awesome keyword-volume-wise, hence the 300 visitors/month stat, but do they care? are they killing themselves writing passionately about their chosen niche topic? Nope
What did they do then? they made a nice-looking site, they used their site like an article directory article that gave enough information to “make thirsty the visitor’s beak” and then they made their site work in such a way that of the 300 visitors/month to that site, enough would “wet their beak”..to the tune of 2-4k/month income.
I point this out not to tease you, but to illustrate the importance of paying SOME/more attention to conversions.
Forget the forums, fugheddabout ranking for your top 5 highest volume keywords for your mini-sites, fugheddabout links links links, and crush some long-tails that bring in less traffic albeit may more targeted. Get long-tails, which inherently are EASIER to convert anyways, to convert into more sales, optins, or just more time spent-on site, THEN move on towards your higher volume keywords and your seo, link building social etc…
Some conversion pros say to do the opposite, to have enough data, ie. traffic… prior to testing conversions so here we are again with differing points of view, right?
Well, they’re correct, no doubt, as am I…but conversion pros are mainly concerned with pages, not sites. SEO involves multiple pages and living breathing dynamic entities called websites. Yes, it will be easier to gauge the effects of your conversion tweaks when there’s more traffic in the first places, but when SO many people are starting off trying to rank for keywords it should take months to rank for… if at all… I’m recommending the wiser course of action here.
Long-tails convert better, rank easier and are usually more permanent.and allow the webmaster to learn/tweak conversions for seo and money benefits as the dynamic entity changes. The larger a website becomes, the more diverse the traffic sources, the more interest in different types of topics, content, and then conversions need to be re-assessed because a wider spread of topic coverage leads to a less targeted optin form, banner ad, aff link…
OK, before I make this more complicated than it seems, remember I’m writing this to you for hopefully immediate or soon-to-be-had SEO benefits… If your site converts better, you’ll rank better, for longer and more stably, and income and traffic should grow hand-in-hand…thus allowing you more time to do manual stuff, more manual link building, more traffic-generating strategies outside of link building attempted, more JV-getting, more-site-building, more guest-pots, more time for personal community involvement, or maybe more income will motivate you to pursue passions more aggressively, versus half-heartedly building and linking.
Authority sites- Meant to write about this in a separate post but the fingers are click-clacking away here so…
There’s several types of authority sites- SEO Authority sites, content-authority, hybrid content.seo authority sites, and personal authority sites.
SEO authority site is one that’s ranking well for everything it choose in this particular niche. They’re “owning” the SERPs. I’ve seen MFAs (made for Adsense/Ads) like this, and they’re nothing special in most cases. Their content is above average, their sites are boring and they’re ranking well for lots of major niche keywords.
The Content Authority site is one that on a informational-quality level, is above par, trusted, and take-to-the-bank type of information.
There’s another kind, one that many of us aspire to, which is the hybrid SEO/Content authority site, and this is difficult to achieve yet attainable, over time.
…and a 4th kind of authority site, what I call the Personal Authority site.
I can’t tell you how many people have told me they’ve ditched site after site and primmed their sites list being paid attention to down to a few they keep due to income generation or due to passion/interest-level. If you were using investor-mindset, you’d do same thing but based on income-generation reasons alone, ditch the low ROI, keep the high-performing ROI site, passion reasons cast aside, ignominiously.
So, if you’re thinking of ditching some sites to turn to less sites or just one site to devote your time to, please realize that “authority site” is a much-ballyhooed term and it means several different things. If you have a core set of loyal 20 or so readers, YOU are their Personal Authority and if you achieve this then you got yerself an authority site.
If this is the direction you want to go in, make sure you know what the term means, it’s different variations and connotations and which one would make most sense to you, just don’t say, “hey I’m gonna build one authority site, work my ass off on it like Dan seems to do, and make my monetary vision into a reality this way” without taking into account all of what I mentioned above regarding this idea/type of site/endeavor.
It’s Saturday morning where I am… been writing this post for an hour or two, with no clear objective except to share information and passion via this written medium. That’s the kind of effort that goes into a passion-niche Personal Authority site, FYI.
Can’t outsource this, can’t even dictate it really… just real-world info in my cranium passing through to you via blog post. It’s rewarding not scalable, not outsource-able, but did I mention emotionally rewarding?
If I didn’t enjoy doing this, I’d be irked that such stellar content didn’t go viral, or tweeted, retweeted, bookmarked to the level that I expect it SHOULD. OK so maybe it irks me a little bit, but also just goes to show you that even stellar content almost 4000 words in length won’t always go viral or spread through the blogo-sphere, twittersphere..
Which is why we self-generate our SEO, to varying degrees of success and failure…
Feel free to remove my cynicism via sharing this however you think appropriate though!