I wanted to start 2017 with an important message. One that’s based on the pain of thirty-three businesses that I worked with last year.
This post could save you many thousands in lost revenue.
If you know me, you might not be surprised to know that I track more or less everything. Spending, weather, sleep, exercise (or lack of), mood, music, daylight, exchange rates and more. I know it’s not always a healthy obsession, but at least I track that too!
Which is why I can tell you precisely how much sleep I had on any given day in the last five years or so. Admittedly that isn’t so useful, but I’m still drawn to it.
I also just finished categorising every one of my SEO training sessions and consultations for the whole of 2016, and as often happens, I found the results fascinating.
Fourteen of them had problems from their own questionable or dodgy SEO strategies.
Four of them had problems from a third party handling their SEO, and they had no idea anything was wrong.
Eight of them trusted a third party or employee too much – they had vague concerns that what they were doing wasn’t a good idea, but allowed it to continue anyway.
One of them had an incredibly over-complex system that not only caused problems but effectively shielded them from understanding what was happening.
And six of them were simply paralysed by indecision and/or inaction for too long.
Despite having dramatically different causes, all of them ended up in the exact same position.
They belatedly realised that they had a big SEO problem that was hurting their business.
The tragedy is that every single one of the problems could have been dramatically reduced or even completely avoided by following just three very simple principles.
Principle 1: understand the most important basic rule.
If the person or agency handling your SEO mentions, implies or suggests anything to do with tricks, shortcuts, hacks, clever-techniques, undetectable, guarantees or fool-proof, stop them in their tracks. Do not let them go ahead with what they’re suggesting, and at least consider passing their role on to someone else.
I’m not trying to be clever here. These are seven phrases that were used to get a number of businesses into some serious trouble. They should have been read as warnings, but weren’t picked up on at the time.
Principle 2: keep an eye on what’s happening to your website.
You might have already seen the video I posted on An instant SEO diagnosis – no tools required.
If not, please watch it. Watching the whole thing takes less than two and a half minutes.
And then carry it out on your website at least every two weeks. It will take you less than two minutes. 32 out of the 33 consultations would have severely limited the damage caused to their businesses if they’d done so.
Principle 3: always do something.
Paralysis by analysis is very common in SEO, and last year I helped six different companies who were eager to do something to improve their SEO efforts, but had no idea where to start. So they did nothing. And half of them did nothing for years rather than months.
If you don’t know where to start, doing anything is better than nothing. Your competition would celebrate if they knew you were just never getting round to it; even though they’re probably guilty of the same thing!
If you’re stuck for ideas, and you’ve already used my SEO Easy Pickings technique, then have a look at the How to carry out an SEO audit for free video. The systems I demonstrate have been updated since the video was recorded, but the principles are still relevant today.
One last thing.
Just in case you think this was a cunning ploy to sell you our services, you might notice that I haven’t linked to our consultation or training services. Admittedly it’s been hard – especially just now!
I know that 2017 will see plenty of businesses bring plenty of SEO problems my way, so I don’t need to entice you with bait.
But in the nicest possible way, I really hope that you’re not one of them.
I hope you have a wonderful 2017, and look forward to sharing plenty of useful gems with you throughout.
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