I was on a Facebook group ” White Hat SEO ” and one of my fellow SEO trainers Mark Preston put out a post/rant saying ” Don’t believe everything you read. Even if it has been written by a top influencer.”
So I’ve decided to write a blog on this as Mark Preston was right, you really can’t believe everything you read about SEO. I’ve often said that what SEO’s tell you and what they actually do are two very different things and having been in this industry, working for agencies and having trained both agencies and freelancers I would say I’m well positioned to say that it is the case that what some SEO’s are saying, and how they actually do work are very different.
There are many different strategies out there and these can work. It’s not a one-way works service, the big thing in SEO is continuing to learn and test, refine your process and test again.
Some things to remember when listening to an SEO speaker or Influencer:
- If they can’t back up the claims with proof and evidence then this is an opinion
- If the influencer or expert does not rank themselves, question their tactics
- Many conferences allow paid speaking slots and at times the speakers know nothing more than the basics.
There are SEO’s everywhere at speaking events, seminars, webinars, on forums and everyone seems to have a different opinion, so who is right and who is wrong? That’s up to you to decide. I wasted 5 years of my SEO life figuring that one out and it cost me a lot of time and money but was a good grounding and it allows me to see SEO in a different way.
Big Brand SEO vs Small Business SEO ( Is It The Same? )
The quick answer here is no, before people jump on and say SEO is SEO and the methods are the same, they are not. The strategy is different, how you gain links is different so it’s not the same. It’s much easier for a big brand to dominate than some one man band with a brand new domain name that no-one knows.
How SEO works for a big brand with an established reputation and a massive marketing team, PR agency and all of that stuff is very different to how SEO works for some local tradesmen with a low-end budget that has to catch up with the big boys.
Previously I was having a debate with someone who works for a massive brand. He claims SEO is all about white hat SEO ( and for him it is ) The website owner said he attends/sponsors 20 industry events per year, speaks at these events and his software is one of the leading tools in the SEO industry.
So how does he build his links? Well they blog and do some influencer marketing, they have a PR agency, get featured in the press and have so many other links that actually come very easily as a result of their tool, their brand and the fact they are all over the conferences and webinars and then they have influencers promoting their products for affiliate fees and just generally promoting the tool too so gaining links for a big brand is a breeze compared to a much smaller organisation. Even things like Link Reclamation and going after mentions is much easier when you are a brand with lots of publicity.
Small Business SEO
Small business SEO is very different, you are starting with a domain name with no history or power, you have no social media accounts, nothing to utilise to help get your website some decent instant traffic. The option for the small guy would be to sit back and allow the big guys to run riot and take up all of the work that’s out there, or you can hire an SEO who knows what they are doing and invest in a strategy that is going to work for you.
It is pointless saying they are the same as small business SEO is going to result in some practises that others might not appreciate or like. You may have to use your resources cleverly to get some links and you will utilise your experience in a very different way for this type of client.
The point of me mentioning the above is that there are 2 ways of doing SEO, and the chap doing big brand SEO may be telling you things to do that are not that relevant to a small business’s SEO and what worked for one guy may not work for you. This is always about testing, trying new things, adding more content and gaining more links, so never stick to what an influencer says, they are there to be proved wrong and maybe one day you can train people and show them how you went about SEO and actually show them some decent proof and evidence that your tactics actually work.
Now there are many great SEO influencers that speak a lot of sense and share a lot of knowledge, but there are easily as many who talk a good game but are very poor in reality and very forceful with their opinions on how SEO works.