| SEO, Web Design

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Conflicting and confusing SEO adviceSometimes when we are talking with our current clients or putting together proposals for prospects we get the question:

Why do I hear different advice from every different web developer we talk to?

I understand how confusing and frustrating this is. Different web designers, web developers, SEO experts, marketers, bloggers and other professionals all seem to suggest different things to help improve your web site and web traffic. Initially, this is baffling and it can be hard to know who to trust. Here is how to sort through the conflicting SEO advice.

1. Is the SEO advice current?

There is a lot of information on the internet about improving your web site and your search ranking. But search engines such as Google are continually refining their algorithm for determining how search results are served up. So if you read an article that is more than a couple years old, the advice may no longer be valid.

For example, for years SEO experts pushed creating lots and lots of links back to your site. They pushed this even if it meant buying links or submitting a link to your web site from poor-quality directories. Recently, Google has penalized for this type of behavior.

So if the advice is old, it may no longer be a best practice.

2. Who is giving you the advice?

If you are considering improvements to your web site you may be reading blogs about web design and SEO. You may be getting estimates from professionals who can help you. Each of these people have a certain area of expertise that they are most comfortable with.

A writer is likely to suggest you create original blogs. A PR professional may suggest online press releases and pitching to media contacts. A web developer may suggest back end improvements to the speed, or URL naming structure. A designer may point out usability issues.

Any or all of these may be valid ways to improve your site. It depends on the current state of your web site. Some SEO tactics may have more impact than others. Some may take longer, be more expensive, or have longer or shorter return on your investment.

It can very hard for you to evaluate which of these (or a combination) will be most effective on your site.

3. SEO is subtle

This is the part that really bugs me. Why is it so hard to understand that to deliver the most relevant search results, Google must be subtle in the way it works?

Like so many things in life: a little is good, some more may be better, but at some point there is a limit. This goes with eating, drinking, exercising, hot sauce, the playing of pop hits and so many other things. It definitely goes for SEO.

Therefore, link building is still beneficial, but only if the inbound links come from quality sources. Guest blogging can still be a great way to build your audience, but only if you write for reputable web sites. Using keywords within your text is great, but only if it makes sense to a normal reader.

As you can see, there are a lot of “buts” in there, that require an understanding of the subtleties.

How to evaluate the SEO advice?

Listening to the advice of others is a good place to start. You may decide there are pieces you can take on yourself, and others require the services of an expert.

If you’re looking for our advice, you may want to watch our recent webinar on: Branding, Content and SEO.

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