Seriously Want or Need to Learn SEO? Bottom Line Basics

SEO – A Way of Life

by Dave Curtis on 09/13/2010

in Every Day SEO,Search Engine Optimization,Small Business SEO

As with many serious professions in the world today, ongoing study and acceptance of constant change have become a way of life. SEO is more intense in this area precisely because it relies on keeping up with the cutting edge changes that happen every day on the web: with social media, with Google, Bing & Yahoo, with government regulations and with mobile device renderings of web sites and handling of various file and application code formats.

In a typical 12 to 18 hour day, often working seven days a week, we may spend more than 55% of the time providing actual client support SEO service work, 45% or less seeking new clients or working to keep existing clients informed and satisfied, and the other 4 hours of our waking day doing SEO research and studying new ways to code our client’s pages more effectively. Weekends are much the same as week days… more work mixed with more social media – and article writing – aimed at building more contacts, stronger internet relationships, and learning what’s working / not working for those in situations similar to our own.

SEO isn’t glamorous work and it isn’t instantly rewarding financially. Many times rewards come in the form of seeing clients sales increase to a point where they can survive completely from their web site(s) alone and don’t need to commute to a rented office or store front somewhere miles away.

So what if you can’t afford SEO right now but need it?

For those who are retailers and must keep a brick and mortar (B&M) store, bringing in more walk-in business and adding sales from the web could mean the difference between maintaining (and improving) your bottom line and being forced to go out of business.

For those who are webmasters trying to help their clients do better and are confused about how to perform SEO with all the thousands and thousands of sites out there offering helpful advice it gets very technical very fast as you’re hit with more and more posts about ever greater amounts of minutia – so where do you start?

Whether you’re just a business owner with a blog, know a little bit about HTML and can design a halfway decent site – or are a webmaster trying to earn more money while doing a better job helping your clients you need to start with (and stick to) the basics, and that means get it in print – all of it – organized and laid out in front of you so you can highlight it, underline, write in the margins and take notes, the old fashioned way.

SEO changes happen all the time and five years from now, just like five years ago, some of what was won’t be valid any more – but much of what’s most basic to SEO still will be.

I recommend that you pick up Bruce Clay & Susan Esparza’s “Search Engine Optimization All-In-One For Dummies“. Its 746 pages are broken down into ten separate books and it’s as up to date (for 2010 and 2011 anyway) as you can get in print.

Beyond the Basics

Over time good SEOs, through design and by accident, discover little secrets that work for them and not all of those secrets are shared. Most are kept close to the breast and may only be revealed to small groups of other professional SEOs at professional gatherings. Essentially what I’m saying is that SEOs who work in a vacuum are at a disadvantage.

If you’re a business owner looking for to hire an SEO ask questions like “what SEO/SEM (Search Engine Marketing) groups do you belong to and participate in?” “Do you belong to and participate in any LinkedIn SEO related business groups?” “Are you following any important SEOs/SEMs on Twitter or Facebook?” and “Do you go to SEO/SEM Meetups and SEO, SEM related conventions?”

Conventions are expensive investments, so if you’re getting a “yes” on those questions you will be paying a premium price for the work you need done. If your sales are national and you have it in your budget in my professional opinion it’s worth the extra money.

The knowledge shared at these PubCon, SMX and other conventions and expos is in depth, delivered by today’s leading edge experts in SEO and Marketing, and generally not available to the public except (to some extent) to avid professionals who keep track on a daily basis.

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