Inspired by Majestic, I decided to present 5 of the most awkward and difficult questions that SEO professionals hear way too often, with a little bit of advice on how to respond.
1. When am I going to be in ‘The top 10’?
This is probably the most uncomfortable question you can hear while working as a SEO professional. If the client keeps checking their search rankings position and bothering you with this question on a daily basis – I’m afraid the relationship won’t be easy. Obviously, the higher the ranking the better, but this position can change over time. If your client is positioned first in the rankings for a considerable amount of time, any sudden drop means a potential call to your agency. These actions could possibly cause your client to keep ‘chopping and changing’ SEO agencies and even experimenting with Black Hat SEO on their own, which could achieve damaging results.
The best answer, whilst potentially unsatisfying your customer, is there are a number of unpredictable elements having an impact on Google’s algorithms. These elements include: page optimisation, backlinks pointing to your website and the sites of your competitors. As these elements are unpredictable we don’t know exactly when our SEO efforts will convert it onto particular places in search engine rankings. Working on SEO should be treated as part of a long term plan, focusing on achieving positive ROI rather than thinking about particular positions in rankings or the traffic to your website.
2. How many links do I need to be placed in ‘The top 10’?
There is no way to effectively compare the quality of links with its quantity. There are different types of links with a different power of their placement and quality of anchors.
If our competition has 50 referring domains and 300 backlinks; it tells us absolutely nothing. Only advanced analysis, with useful metrics like Trust and Citation Flow can help us to judge the scale of the link building project. Again, the results depend on the type of methods as well as their time frame.
3. Can’t you generate these links much quicker?!
The key lies in keeping the right proportions while building your backlinks. Google pays a lot of attention to it! It is possible to generate a huge number of connections in one single day; however, it doesn’t make sense if you think about the course of your long-term strategy. Many projects ‘link bait’, which brings a lot of interesting results with many links quite quickly. I didn’t say it’s bad, however, spreading this increase over time can help compromise lost backlinks compared to the new ones, becoming the best strategy. Elements like interaction with the user, outreach, content marketing and brand management can help create a natural, developing image of your website in the eyes of Google.
4. Why would I need a link from a fishing forum if I run a jewellery business?
Topics of the backlinks are still a matter of argument in the world of SEO. Some say that it’s a misunderstanding while others praise their importance. My observations along with 10 years of experience tell me that the topics of your backlinks help gain high positions within specific industries, whilst gaining a backlink from your supplier.
You can also position your website using non-related links, what most practitioners would call ‘the grey hat SEO’. However, if your client who sells jewellery has some backlinks coming from a fishing website, it’s not a reason to be punished by Google; but it doesn’t look very natural. It’s different when we start building hundreds of backlinks like that with exactly the same anchor text. I’ve seen penalties for these types of actions.
5. Excuse me, what I am actually paying you for?
Well, for work! As well as my knowledge in the field of optimization and potential link building strategies. It is best to present your client with a small comparison. SEO Specialists have knowledge that with the right techniques can be transferred into the results in search engines. The same is with a doctor, lawyer or a cosmetician. Whilst visiting the doctor, you pay for the appointment, advice, consultation and medicine; but no one can guarantee that you will get better straight away. Whilst visiting a lawyer, you pay for how-to-do information and representation for you in court; but again, no one can guarantee that you will win the case! It’s the same with SEO – only while investing your money into the best SEO professionals will you have a chance to succeed. Unfortunately, the same as with charlatans in medical fields, there are many ‘advisors’ in SEO who can waste your marketing budget and bring minimal results. Next time, before your doctor appointment or a visit to the pharmacy, ask if you can pay the bill whilst getting better. I wonder what their reaction would be…
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