Looking for suggestions on improving the rank/search results positioning for my website.
My business is B2B. My target audience are very internet/computer savvy individuals... mostly software developers, architects, and ultimately (and best of all) IT managers, CTO's & other IT decision makers
I've put out a call on a few elance.com/freelancer.com types of sites, and quickly found myself in the shoes of a blond female first-time car buyer who walked into a neighborhood full of used car dealerships.
Vast majority of providers offered me, of what I think are "white hat SEO improving" techniques like: "we'll write some articles on your behalf with keywords spread out at appropriate density and 2 backlinks to your site and will post those articles on X number of blog sites and article sites. We'll also register you on Y amount of social bookmarking sites".
Some also offered, more controversial things like back-links from blog & forum comments, etc. Which, even I, with my practically non-existent SEO knowledge, realize are a HUGE no-no.
So, even for white-hat techniques, I know that these people will write total crappy quality articles. Websites that they'll post on will carry ZERO meaning to my potential users. It is purely an SEO trick.
My question is: is it worth it? Is there a better way? Is there a way to compete with sites that do this? Is this the only way to get SEO and can it be done without any negative impact?
I understand that backlinks from content-related sites are weighted better, and that links from articles that are popular themselves are also weighted better. But, I'm not looking to improve my organic traffic from 10,000 users per day to 12,000 users per day. I'm just trying to get to 500-1000 users per day.
Thanks for your opinions.
If you feel comfortable doing some of the management factors of SEO yourself, you could hire out each of the elements of SEO (article writing, keyword research) in order to cull the best of what is out there.
I'll tell you. From my experience, finding a good article writer is a pain. Resumes, emails responses, etc ALWAYS sound better than the stuff you actually get.
I ALWAYS have the writer write one or two sample articles (which I pay them for) before placing a bulk order no matter how good their correspondence is.
Because of the difficulty in finding writers, I've found my way into writing most/all of my own content and I do fairly well. I DO outsource the research, though, as having an outline makes the writing a billion times easier.
This is just the writing. You will want someone who knows about SEO to manage your campaign and perhaps then hire out.
I'll be honest, I've done my share of blog commenting (which is something I do only rarely.) But forum posts from my experience, while white-hat, is still a crappy way to do SEO.
Here's an article (I wrote it, actually, and it's actually related, not a plug) on how to avoid SEO scams... kind of some guidelines to go by:
http://hubpages.com/hub/Bad-SEO-Companies-SEO-Scams There are definitely more things than just what's in that article that raise red flags, but I think it covers a lot of the more common problems.
Best of luck in your campaign.
There are reliable writing services out there. For example, TextBroker is great. Apart from that, there are services which will distribute your content for you, which as long as you have valuable content that isn't ridden with ads (which you don't have to worry about with TextBroker), then it's all white hat and works out just fine. And since you don't have to write the content yourself, all you have to do is submit the content to a distribution service. Well-written content actually pays for itself in the long run.
As a SEO practioner, I'm very worry about the proliferation of SEO companies that offer links for $2 from pages that they have created. Link building is a huge part of SEO but, we are talking about quality links from authority and related pages.
However, the internet has plenty of tools to check what you SEO people have done.
"The Art of SEO" is a great book
The context is the most relavent of your SEO strategy. With relevant information you can get more backlink.
I recommend studying keywords, search volume, and competition for the given searched keywords.
There is a great video here about the SEO tool Market Samurai:
http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/webinar-replay-100623/ I have not used this tool, but I have watched the video and it gives a very comprehensive view of the SEO game.
In essence, find the right keywords where there is organic traffic and low competition, then write articles with these keywords in mind.
You are basically looking at do I outsource and risk a bad experience or do I keep this internal? And by internal... it doesn't mean you do it all yourself, just that there is oversite.
If I wanted to teach you about SEO or inBound Marketing... driving people to you naturally I would say the single biggest source would be hubspot.com. Go to their marketing blog and subscribe to their RSS reader. If that's your only exposure you will learn alot even in just a single month.
If it was me... oh wait... I have done this - I hired a full time inBound Marketing Associate to write blog articles on our site. Since he is under my control - I know the exact quality/quantity that I am receiving. I split his time amongst internal (new webpages/blog posts) and external link building. All the link building in the world will not help a 1 page site rank for 1,000s of keyword variations (longtail). If you continuously work on your site and give people a reason to visit and more importantly share your content then the marketing becomes much easier.
Ultimately a single article on your site that collects links from numerous sources because of its value is going to provide you with much more benefit than 100 articles outside of your site of questionable value that barely generate any additional traffic/links.
Your niche certainly provides some context to whether 500-1000 visitors a day is feasible. Some niches that might be all the traffic in the search engines for the whole day.
SEO is about research, measuring, and the long haul. Trying to cheat the system doesn't work long term. It can get you from one major update to another... but is that worth the potential loss in the future?
I recommend first that you spend a few hours on a good SEO book (this one for instance : http://oreilly.com/catalog/9780596518875 ). You'll see what you can do and what you should outsource, but most important, you'll know what you (or the seo agency you will hire) must NOT do.
Otherwise, a smart step is to hire a consultant with expertise in managing SEO project. He will plan your SEO strategy, advice you on the agencies to contact, etc. Basically, this kind of person is paid on a fix basis + a % of what you pay to the SEO agencies.