SEO (Search Engine Optimization – basically, how high does a site rank on a Google search) is a field I know about, but I’ve avoided it considerably over the years. I also usually avoid content development, too. I mean, sure, I write plenty of stuff for myself, but I don’t usually do it for clients except for when I create the initial site. And, even then, I do a lot to get the client to write as much as possible, so that I understand their tone and direction. It’s actually kind of complicated.
So why don’t I do SEO?
SEO has always been a sleazy field in general. I’m not saying everyone who deals with SEO stuff is a sleaze bag, just a large portion of them. They use a lot of totally not kosher tricks to temporarily increase search rank. Ever seen a forum or website where people would link to seemly random websites? That’s “link builders” that spam the crap out of places to gain rank on Google. Unfortunately, stuff like that is fairly crappy (to the readers, and the website owner), since those rank increases are usually temporary. Or, worse, they become toxic links.
That’s just one facet of the problems they cause. It’s a money mill – they charge a considerable amount, and then as the site’s search rank drops because Google invalidates the old links (and marks them toxic), so you have to pay more for them to do it again. It’s a cycle that they get companies on, and keep them there. And they charge a hell of a lot of money to do it.
There are no long-term shortcuts to search engine rankings – sure, short term stuff works in the short term, until Google changes something. And Google changes things quite often (or, reduces the impact of older sleazy techniques.)
So, why am I doing SEO?
Because someone is paying me to do it, and to do it RIGHT.
See, there is a formula that works, and it works on a very long term basis. It’s not as fast as the short-term tricks (that end up failing quickly), but it’s solid results.
See, I never wanted to do the sleazy thing. But, doing it right, and making a solid, long term impact? That I can get behind. I won’t do “turn a quick buck” or “I know it’s wrong” sort of work. I hate it. But, I’ll do SEO if it’s done right.
What about content development?
Of course, writing I can do. For both clients I set up a plan, and mainly I just have to follow creating content along the proper content plan. Nice part is, I don’t have to follow the tone of the rest of the site, per se, since they are technical articles for the most part.
Part of the project is that I get to research most of those topics so I can write them. Some things will be dead simple, but some of them may be topics I have to pass on – they don’t fall within the amount of time I have available for the research and writing.
Writing on a schedule is sort of new for me. Usually, I write in my head first, on fictional topics, or on a blog topic, then spew it out when I’ve got the time. Kind of fun, actually – I pounded out one today for Plumb Crazy on the importance of reviews and social media mentions.
Who I’m doing SEO for?
So, the first two unlikely clients are fairly diverse. The first one is my friend’s plumbing company, Plumb Crazy Kansas. I designed his original site with SEO in mind, doing it the right way (content, keywords, etc.) But, we never continued on with the content portion of the plan, so, nothing interesting happened with it’s search rank (particularly with such a competitive field.)
Advanced Mobile Healthcare is a home healthcare company that I’ve done other stuff for – their website, their network, and their HIPAA compliance. I laid down a plan for them for the SEO and content development portion, which was a great idea. But, like a huge portion of my clients, they don’t have time to follow that plan and do the necessary content development that’s required. Unlike other clients, they did something incredibly smart: they just hired me to do it.
Yeah, it’s far from enough to cover all my bills, but having a weekly gig definitely helps a bit.
Why SEO Tuesday?
Since I have to kind of “gear up” for this differently than I do most of my other work (seriously, it’s a completely different segment of the market and work), I just lumped both of them on the same day. Technically, I’m not making my usual hourly rate – I’ve discounted it for both clients, so the job gets done right. For one, it’s a “for now, I’m making this much, and as business increases, my pay increases.” The other one, well, I’m having to be very careful to stay at least close to my usual pay rate.
I decided to structure it so it all lands on the same day, making my life a little easier. No other meetings get scheduled on Tuesday unless it’s really important. For an entire day, I focus just one one thing.
Given my ADHD addled brain, this should be a fun challenge. It mostly worked today. 🙂
Added Bonus: SEO work on my own sites
Want to see some of my worse SEO work? Just look at my own sites, like Midnight Ryder Technologies. I get to spend a little time on Tuesday working on my own sites, and actually *GASP* writing some content. I actually did write some content last week on the company site (on the Forge TV that Razer sent me), but didn’t get any more written today.
Hey, I can’t always win. 🙂