Are you a service professional, doctor, lawyer, coach, trainer, business owner or executive? If so, it’s very likely you are considering, have considered or even already hired a third party for your Search Engine Optimization.
We started providing SEO services in 2012 and have seen the technology evolve over those 7 years. In 2012, SEO was still relatively easy, easy in terms it was easy to GAME THE SYSTEM.
SEO professionals historically have used an assortment of “grey hat” and “black hat” techniques to achieve rankings.
White-Hat vs. Grey-Hate vs. Black-Hat – White Hat SEO are tactics that are within the rules of search engines with little (or no) risk of penalty. Black Hat SEO are tactics that are explicitly against the rules of a search engine (or search engines) and with a high risk of a site being penalized. Grey Hat SEO are tactics that are somewhere between those two extremes.
The obvious question – WHY WOULD SOMEONE USE BLACK HAT, OR EVEN GREY HAT, TACTICS?
Because SEO is a LONG TERM PLAY! Good SEO may take many months or years to produce results. If a business or person is looking for FAST results for their website, they do not have the time, patience or resources (money) to throw at SEO while waiting months or years for results.
Companies and people that operate companies know this, SEO pros know this – SO – it’s a constant quest to “GAME THE SYSTEM” and produce faster and faster results – AND – the only way to produce FAST RESULTS is to operate using black hat or grey hat tactics.
Search engines DO NOT LIKE THIS! The purpose of a search engine is to serve results to consumers based upon RELEVANCE, PROMINENCE, AND LOCATION. When a website uses artificial means to manipulate rankings for that site, it is frowned upon by search engines. Search engines, such as Google, now have built in automation to detect artificial ranking manipulation and penalize the offenders.
SEO as we knew it in the 2000’s, is indeed dead, the tactics (i.e. link wheels, PBN’s, link exchanges, etc.) that worked in the 2000’s no longer work and run the risk of being penalized.
SEO in 2020, and beyond, will follow a more strict set of rules. These rules will more strictly enforce RELEVANCE, PROMINENCE, AND LOCATION.
SEO RELEVANCE – Website content that is RELEVANT to a topic, or topics, that is well formatted and presented as per ON-PAGE SEO BEST PRACTICES.
SEO PROMINENCE – Prominence, in the most simple terms possible is OFF-PAGE SEO, where OFF-PAGE SEO are both quality and quantity of links to the respective website, and more importantly links to any individual given page.
SEO LOCATION – Search engines are smart, VERY SMART! Search engines are able to discern if a consumer is searching for something (i.e. doctor, lawyer, retaile, etc.) locally. Local SEO is a separate, yet VERY IMPORTANT, part of this conversation. For this article, we will NOT expand upon Local SEO, but it’s imperative for small businesses that do business within a local geography to have all local assets (i.e. Google Business Page, Facebook Business Page, Yelp, etc.) properly published.
SEO is NOT dead, it’s just had a face-lift and an attitude adjustment.
In 2019, I developed two new websites for my new business(es);
The intent was to implement ALL OF MY ACQUIRED INTERNET AND SEO KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE for both of these sites, and create an ORGANIC lead generation machineS!
WELL – Fast-forward to New Years Eve 2019, and the results for these two websites could not be more extreme.
The content on both site is very high quality and on-page SEO standards and best practices were strictly adhered to.
SO, WHY SUCH AN EXTREME DIFFERENCE IN RESULTS?
There are five tactical differences between the two websites. For the sake of simplifying the conversation, I will refer to Affordable Final Expense as GOOD WEBSITE and Leave a Legacy, Not Debt as BAD WEBSITE.
NOTE: These are published in order of IMPORTANCE, which factor has the biggest impact on search engine ranking and performance. #1 being the factor with the biggest impact, and #5 the factor with these least impact.
The GOOD WEBSITE (Affordable Final Expense) performs so well on both a local and national level, I get 3-5 inquiries per week for AUTO INSURANCE, even though I do not promote (or even mention) auto insurance anywhere on my website.
Affordable Final Expense generates 10-20 organic (FREE) leads PER WEEK from a total quantity of 150-300 visitors per week, roughly 10-20 visitors per day. The Leave a Legacy, Not Debt website (on the other hand), might be lucky to get 1 organic visitor per week!
So the obvious conclusion is that there is a direct connection between the 5 differences mentioned above, and website performance/results.