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Marketers: Stop Hypothesizing and Start Testing

SEO is a lead generation technique.

Blackhat

James Obermayer the host of SLMA Radio interviewed Judy Key Johnson from the Key Marketing Group as she discussed Lies, Myths, Falsehoods, Deceptions and Snake Oil promises surrounding discipline of search engine optimization.  Judy covered:

  • What to expect.
  • What not to expect.
  • What not to do.
  • How much doing it will cost.
  • How to choose someone to do it.
  • And how long it takes to see results.

Judy Key Johnson, KMG’s founder, has been a company president and a chief operating officer of several companies and has served on a board of directors and raised venture capital.  Everyone on the KMG team meets her high standards of performance.

Some show highlights included: 

SEO is a lead geneation technique.
It's more like PR.

What NOT to expect:

  • You MAY influence getting a nice spread in the paper about your business, but that doesn't guarantee a front page mention or interview.
You have a technical firm and they coach you in the activities for Google to rank you favorably, it can only be INFLUENCED - there are no guarantees - don't expect them.
  • Search engine listings where you can force the link to go to a specific page - not happening. Although, you can do this for ad campaigns.
  • What you cannot expect is that you cannot always know that the leads cames from a search engine, because SEO cannot essentially know who picks up the phone or emails.
  • It can't say you got this customer directly unless you as the customer track that.
  • For SEO, you can influence the page that is suggested by the search engine, but it cannot be forced. This requires good programming skill and assistance from the client.

    What to expect:

    • SEO is a lead geneation technique.
    • You should expect you will get sales leads based on SEO.
    • There are ways to get a lot of value out of your SEO service.

    CASE STUDY about a Los Angeles company in a niche market:

    Industrial liners for big pipes is their service, they chose the keywords:
    Los Angeles Rubber Lining

    This brought in VERY QUALIFIED sales lead because it was VERY niche both in what they do and in the area. Their business worked best with LOCAL clients with LOCAL needs for their products.
    The company earned 20% of their annual revenue with the one deal.

    You get actionable leads, but you only get that when you select the right keywords.

    You should expect regular reporting for rankings including Google Analytics

    LISTEN UP:

    Your search engine vendor needs access to your website - select a company you trust - NOT those sending you unsolicited spam. If you didn't seek them - don't hire them. It's spam when they contact you to hire them - especially if you've NEVER heard of them before.

    What to expect from reporting:
    Regular reporting - data that shows where your rankings are for major search engines.
    5 keywords are typical along with the first three pages analyzed of results
    Analysis of what your change is.

    Beyond the canned report is the added piece of interpretation - where they meet wtih you to make suggestions. This includes ome periodic review look at analytics datas, make suggestions, ehnancements to keywords, landing pages.Perhaps your secondary keyword is driving more traffic - if so, you can adjust the site to take advantage.

    Your SEO company should not just a technology partner but a marketing partner.

    13:00 When searching for SEO firm what advice - how do you judge?
    AVOID: people you don't trust to get on your site. This eliminates all unsolicited email contacts.

    14:20 Marketing element helping people look and redo landing pages online marketing partner
    RECURRING services. Google changes algorithm 20% per month on average. Otherwise you are wasting your time with the one time optimazation companies.

    15:00 Selecting the keyword is exceedingly important. you may rank number one, but if the terms are so obscure and you only rank there 400 times per month, that doesn't do you a lot of good.

    New SEO customers - RED FLAGS:
    If you are promised so many number one terms per month - that's total snake oil.
    This is such a narrow, unsearched term because only two pepole are interested.
    RUN!

    Have to spend two - five weeks going over your terms and matching it up to your goals - THIS is a good sign. Has you more involved.

    19:30 Large volume from pay per click, but it's not really focused. You have a high conversion rate with the RIGHT keywords.

    How can you be the best possible SEO client?

    23:00 Quality of the client's participating can make a 50% - 300% impact on getting a good sales lead. THIS is a long-term relationship.

    1. TAKE THE TIME to select the keywords - choose, analyze, review, refine, repeat.
      5-6 is one thing, but long-tail marketing involves up to 50-60. SEO can take 4-12 months. Put the time in early so you don't have to change your terms often.
    2. Have a system so that you can find out from people how they found your company. 
      SEO is just one way. You have other Lead Gen techniques. Some as simple as asking, some mor einolved like SalesForce.com, analytics. IT TAKES DISCIPLINE.
    3. Developing landing pages that support conversion. 
      You cannot stipulate landing pages to SEO, but you can develope landing pages that match the SEO to give them a satifactory experience when landing there - it goes with the terms. How many times have you gone to a page expecting one discussion and it wasn't even close to being related?
    4. SEO provider - heavy software company, yet the business value comes from your interface person - they are a marketeer - they are working directly with you, looking at landing pages, reviewing, home page anlaysis.

    "Only people who think change their minds. We have to make constant adjustments to the system." - James Obermayer

    25:50: BLACK HAT:
    Businesses that employ BLACK HAT technique can result in getting you delisted from a search engine. ROLEX on home page 100 times -- are pepole still actually doing this on their sites?

    Newer one: tabloid celebrity of the day added to home page prominently. REALLY? This is really a bad idea. Search engines don't like being gamed. Current topics related to your actual business - perhaps. Stick with evergreen and good content!

    32:50 Jim asked her directly about pricing
    Based on number of keywords you select $3500 one time implementation fee which includes the 3-5 week process, intial optimization.

    Service fee: $550/month - they go in multiple times per month - alter the code depending where you are in your lifecycle and rankings.

    They also have an offering with more keywords for higher fee. 30-40 keywords optimized. This is for the technology side. Pricing is on the VALUE side. They've been doing this for 14 years and yet their prices are lower than a lot of reputable companies - they have the experience and share their ingrained knowledge, hand-holding and discussions. Client benefit from the years of experience.

    35:00 KEYWORD RICH TEXT is defined as ... not for rankings. You don't have to rely on this. But you want to focus on good content experience for those who typed in your keyword phrase. An example: Aerial Imaging creates aerial maps for real estate professionals. But, they are also sought after for litigation purposes - have to have that term or pages specifically talking about and explainig that service, even though the bulk of their busienss is from real estate professionals.

    36:50 PR Releases - same content in first paragraph, tradeshow copy too - THIS IS BEST PRACTICE.

    37:30 - How often should you change your site and home page content?
    Typical B2B where things are fairly static, there are changes in copy for newsletters - does not have to be changed on home page as frequently. There are 200+ factors from Google - that they do not publish -- how frequently it is updated is one of them. Once a week is sufficient. Incremental changes will still make a difference.

    HIGH rank is given to large, long-lived website. Chips are stacked for large companies.

    Good, solid companies that may be small have to employ these SEO techniques to rank higher - especially newer companies.

    40:49 Localized SEO - separate offering - slightly lower start up fee, same monthly .very different goal. competes against online yellow pages. Lots of rankings with city names in it. techniques are very different. Can be a difference maker for a plumbing company.

    Find Judy at info@keymarketinggroup.biz

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