SEO Question: I have been submitting my articles to article directories and submitting my site to directory after directory, but I am not getting anywhere in the search results. What should I do to promote my SEO site and services?
Answer: Rankings do not matter.
The first thing you have to understand about getting good SEO clients (as in clients actually worth having) is that ranking is not the key to getting good clients. Building trust is the key. In fields which have a bad reputation (especially ones where there is high value and a lot of competition) you need to do more than just rank to sell. Here are four examples to back up this point of view.
- Ranking for SEO Book sends me far more traffic than ranking for SEO. Most generic searches in the SEO industry are automated traffic, competitive research, and low quality leads.
- When SeoBook.com did not rank for SEO Book for a while during an aggressive algorithm update that filtered out sites with too much similar anchor text my ebook sales were 85% of their prior month volume. Imagine selling almost the exact same amount of an ebook about ranking in search results when you don't even rank for your own brand name. That shows that my sales come mostly from recommendations, not search results.
- ClientsideSEM is a new site and we have not marketed it aggressively, and the site does not rank for many keywords, yet we already get more leads than we can possibly handle.
- I ranked in the top 10 for search engine marketing a few years ago and got very few leads from it. I didn't start getting many leads until I wrote a popular article about the Google Florida Update. Oddly enough, my rankings were worse when I was getting those leads, but because people were reading my stuff and talking about me I got more leads than I knew what to do with.
As an SEO you don't build enough trust just by ranking. And you don't build trust (or rankings) by getting an unlimited supply of garbage links on the edges of the web. The key to picking up clients is to be seen where the potential clients are. Participate in the active parts of the web and be seen as an expert. Submit articles to sites like WebProNews.
Target YOUR Audience:
Pick your audience and appeal to their interests. And while not all traffic is created equal you do not have to target Digg if you are looking for clients, it is easy to bias your demand toward the target market.
If you can come up for reasons people would want to talk about you then you will get more exposure than you can handle. There is still a lot of opportunity out there. For example, you can commission a study of fortune 500 websites to see which of them are using cloaking or IP delivery, and then market the hell out of it. If you do a good job a few weeks later you are suddenly one of the experts of SEO for fortune 500 websites.
Making the Invisible Visible:
SEO is largely painted as a bad hated field and SEO services are often viewed as an invisible service. If you know how to get people to talk about your brand and SEO you should be good at getting people to talk about other topics (for your clients) as well.
If you know how to make the invisible visible you have an endless supply of affordable quality links at your disposal.
And if you go to conferences and meet people in person it is far easier to build a solid trusting relationship. That is where the best potential SEO clients are, as they have capital, knowledge, and an interest in the topic. If they have enough resources to attend a conference they probably can afford to hire a good SEO too.
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