In order to rebel against top ten lists, I have decided to publish this post describing the 8 most important things that I have learned since becoming an Search Engine Marketer a couple of months ago at Site Visibility. Hopefully my experience might come in handy wether you are a trainee SEO, PPC campaign manager or a SEM Vetran.
“There was a sign at the counter saying 8 items or less, so I changed my name to Les” via flickr
Know your tools. There are many SEO tools out there, ranging from complex keyword research programs all the way to little green bar of the page rank on Google’s toolbar. Using them is essential, but try them and select the ones that perform best for you, as overloading your desktop and browser with unnecessary tools will cloud your judgement. Your head is always your sharpest tool, you need to keep that one clear.
Focus on the white hat. There are some SEOs out there that undertake less than ethical techniques such as link buying, doorway pages… Your job is to help companies become more visible in search engines, you have a responsibility and duty of care to only use best practice proven techniques which won’t damage their business. Black hat techniques will in the long run bring you more problems than solutions.
Have a yearly calendar. Use a yearly calendar to write down any significant dates in your client’s industry (events, shows, awareness days). Traffic will increase during those events, so if you are running PPC campaigns, make sure you keep some of your budget aside for those busy periods that will generate genuine interest. And take advantage of seasonal opportunities which present themselves in every sector.
Know your industry. Whether working in SEM or Takeaway Pizzas, it is important that every professional knows his industry. This means competitors, technological developments and training opportunities . This will also help you …
Mingle! Socialise, whether online or offline, in order to increase your reputation as an SEO as well as the traffic to your selected websites. Socialising and the Internet are like apple pie and custard: a truly symbiotic relationship!
(Don’t) Believe the hype. Make sure you constantly stay informed not only in SEO / SEM but also in new media generally. The world moves fast, and you need to follow the latest trends if you want to be successful. (Recently: New algorithm formulas, Google Phones…) But don’t believe everything you read, behind every piece of linkbait there is a marketer has their own agenda…
Have a good personalised avatar. I have seen many SEO chicks’ blogs take off on Sphinn because they have a sexy avatar… take advantage of what you have or at least try and make it recognisable and memorable.
Remember your friends. When you get feedback, whether a Sphinn or a comment to your blog, always have a look at who left the comment and return the compliment. I always reply/link to other users’ pages if they have left positive comments/Sphinns/Diggs/Stumbles because sharing the social media love is the whitest shade of grey.