Client apathy in the face of who to believe
One of the major problems within the UK SEO industry is who to believe when there is not a single person within the industry who does not describe themselves as an expert. And as the years go on the number of experts increases and bizarrely enough that age decreases.
In a recent meeting we had in London, a client showed a proposal from another SEO agency which was exactly the opposite of what we were proposing. So who is right?
One thing we say to clients is to believe nothing we say until we can prove it. If something sits uncomfortably with you, or a piece of content is poor idea, or the reasons for the site architecture to be changed one way or another seems incorrect then we encourage clients to question. You are the expert in your business. You know what needs to happen with new customers to entice them to buy.
We like being challenged.
So many clients worry about what they can comprehend. Site speed, meta tags, title tags. Anything else is part of the dark art of Google optimisation.
We had one in-house SEO manager who refused categorically to believe that semantic search is an actual thing and that all keywords should be present within a page 7.1% of the time. There was no convincing this person that times have changed and Google, as one of the most insightful and leading software companies in the world had changed and improved its search engine since 2010.
We are active on Twitter
One of the wonderful things about Twitter is that any change within SEO (normally within the technical sphere) is jumped on. The people you know what they’re talking about invariably find out about it first and admit they are not sure of the changes importance. Then the wanna-be SEO repeat the same information as if they have just discovered it.
Within a month we are hearing it as gospel within meetings.
Google’s latest big news aka Twitter
The latest, Google only crawls and indexes 15MB of data before stopping? Twitter goes wild. Google admits it has had this limit for years. The size limit is only for HTML ‘content’ not images or additional code js etc. That is about 500 web pages to you and I or the average size of a business website.
What are the conclusions can be drawn from this news, keep your pages smaller? HTML-only content pages are already small so does this mean writing less?
Don’t worry Google comes back for the images etc in another fetch. We identified from this in 2017 that a website of less than 500 pages will never score all of the points that Google could award. Annoying for smaller websites eh!
Again it is a knee-jerk response to a possible elixir that will turn lead into gold, (or a poor website into a winner).
99% of these Google algorithmic changes concern technical SEO or code.
What they are is small improvements or more efficient ways of achieving a better understanding of a website and web page through lines of code to be added. The omit that content (words) is the most effective way! That these code snippets are Google code dances are the elixir of search is magical thinking. Technical SEO is seen as the be-all and end-all of SEO success.
It is as if it eliminates that hard work of web design, content that sells and a website that makes revenue.
SEO is too easy to learn
The problem is SEO is very easy to learn. I think I can teach anyone in a morning enough to get through an interview and get a job in SEO.
Ask your SEO company to show off their knowledge and they will wax lyrical about all of the SEO elements, metadata, header tags, canonical URLs, site structure, keywords, rich snippets, JSON, semantic search and backlinks.
The problem is they do not know what to write, or how to fill in the blanks. They know the database but have no idea what data to add. A little knowledge is dangerous as these “experts” can convince you to part with your money but cant deliver!
You can see how many people think SEOs are snake-oil salesmen if that is still a thing.
Vanilla’s working in the field for 13 years.
We have worked with over 500 clients. We publish over a thousand websites of our own. We have servers based across three continents. Every day is a school day. Every day we are learning and researching new algorithmic changes and improvements to our general optimisation.
- We are not experts we are specialists, there is a lot we do know but there is a lot we don’t know.
Our results are outstanding. Whereas other SEO companies are claiming SEO success by ranking your website for keywords like dentist practice Lewisham we are achieving results for #3 for cosmetic dentistry. But there is so much more to learn, to test and then put into practice.
Our approach is different.
Technical SEO is an ever-changing sphere dictated by a highly technical company that is driven by code and not content. That is Google. The changes and improvements to the algorithms that are made public are always slight technical tweaks that can help Google’s PR is the most advanced ever-changing search engine.
What is not spoken about is how Google is trying to deliver the right information at the right time via studying content and storytelling and overall web design and UX. The excitement on whether or not Google has improved its understanding of pages and where they fit into an overall site architecture is not exciting news. However, it is exactly the reason for Google search engine existing.
The narrative is to sell your company’s products and services.
It is to promote your company as their first choice to buy from. Practically every story we tell for clients are a version of “what we can do for you new customer” and “why you should choose us.”
The reason why Google ranks our content higher than other websites is that every piece of work we do is designed to promote, inform and convert a new customer.
To us that is magic. That is why we are called Vanilla Circus.