10 years experience in SEO
CEO of a top White Label SEO Reseller firm
Search Engine Watch column for 4 years
Published at Academy of Management Journal - full background here Loves to help small businesses
Just a really nice guy (at least, I really try)
Book a few minutes to video chat
Talking to people about your SEO strategy is the place to start. Book a time today for a friendly conversation about SEO. You've read a thousand times that great marketing is formed around relationships. Why not start one today?
You have read about content marketing.
And you want to be effective.
You are not alone.
Marketers are putting more budget to SEO and Content Marketing.
Maybe you already have great content.
Maybe you don't.
If you are seeking an SEO consult, I suspect you could use more business.
This is real SEO data achieved through content marketing.
Results: Outstanding backlinks, great traffic, and leads that convert.
Here is the ranking data for their head term:
I am happy to tell you exactly how we got this result.
We believe every business can achieve their dreams.
Integrity is also our top value.
Which is why we are so transparent in our business.
Networking is a great way to learn new SEO techniques.
Let's jump on a video chat and spend some time discussing SEO.
How The Free SEO Consultation Works
Read about me
Do your research and decide if spending time talking to me is something that would benefit both of us. Review my case studies, professional background and personal style. Chad and I have shot hundreds of videos over the last 10 years. Watch a few! Adam's LinkedIn Profile.
As you can imagine, I talk to many, many people - every day. My calendar is very tight, but there is usually a slot available. Pick a time that works for you and plan to video chat via Google Hangouts during our appointment. I believe that face-to-face contact is the best way to form relationships.
We Video Chat About SEO
During our appointment, we will have a very casual discussion about what you are trying to do with SEO. If you want, I can look at your website and tell you what I see. I am also happy to look at your backlink profile and rankings. We can pull up ahrefs and SEMRush together and discuss the data. Most of all, I'd like to know how you think I can help you? What are your current challenges? What have you tried? What are your goals?
There is absolutely no obligation.
If you believe in business networking, you should book this meeting.
We might even find a backlink for your website ;-)
Schedule Free SEO Consultation
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Original Blog Post
Organic traffic can help you grow your business, but only if you put the work into improving your site's search engine performance. Yes, we're talking about search engine optimization (SEO).
If you're familiar with SEO, you know how confusing and time consuming it can be. Who can keep up with Google's constant algorithm updates, let alone understand the nuances of keyword rankings? And if you do, do you really have the time it takes to update your site, craft new content, and earn new links?
An SEO consultation can help you understand how your site's performing, what you need to do to improve, and where you can get started, but you're not going to learn anything new that you couldn't have learned on your own. SEO consulting services are also going to tell you the same things they tell everyone else.
What is involved with an SEO consultation?
If you'd rather skip the meeting and get to work, here are the SEO consultation spoilers you're looking for. Fixing Issues and Optimizing Pages First, your SEO consulting company is going to make sure nothing major is broken. They're going to check for the big errors. They're going to make sure that Google is indexing site, that the robots.txt file exists, that its canonicalization works, that there aren't any 404 errors, and that it loads quickly.
Basically, they're going to make sure the site works.
Uniqueness is also important. Duplicate title tags, meta tags, and header tags can hinder your site's search engine performance. Worse, they're missed opportunities. These areas are significant places to add keywords.
They'll also look at what keywords are generating clicks and impressions and what pages rank on those keywords. Depending on how thorough your SEO consultants are, they may even do a content gap analysis -- analyzing what keyword rankings your competitors have that you don't. Link Development Once your SEO consulting services are done going through everything wrong with your site, they're going to go through what's right or wrong with its links. There are three key things you'll need to know to make sense of what they tell you.
First, domain rating.
Each tool has its own name for this metric. Ahefs calls it domain rating, while SEMRush calls it Authority Score, which is perhaps the better name given that the number is rating each site's authority. On the one hand, we can depend on these tools to give us good insight -- good data -- because they, like Google, are crawling and indexing the web. Ahrefs (our personally preferred tool for looking at offsite SEO, measures a backlink profile's strength in terms of its size and quality by using a logarithmic scale measured from 0 to 100 (with 100 being the strongest. You can go more in detail here in their blog. On the other hand, Different tools will produce different readings because they use different formulas, but each represents the same metric -- how authoritative your site is in the eyes of Google. The higher the number, the more authoritative.
These are the actual links on other sites that go to your site.
Third, referring domains.
These are the websites that have links that go to your site.
Your domain rating is based the authority of your backlinks and referring domains. Naturally, the more authoritative the links, the more authority (or "link juice" as the industry calls it) they'll be able to pass on to your own site.
Relevancy is becoming more and more important as well. The more relevant your links, the better they'll be. For example, say your website sells cookies. A link from a cooking blog is going to be more beneficial than the link from your alma mater's alumni website.
In the past, a lot of SEO consultations would focus on removing spammy, toxic backlinks. However, Google's last Penguin update, which targets sites using these links to manipulate rankings, made its valuations real-time, so spammy, toxic links won't work at all. They're pointless.
Now, SEO consultations will focus more on fixing broken backlinks, which can give a site a great, quick boost. (A backlink might break if -- for example -- the page on your site is 404ing. Getting the page live again or redirecting it would fix the link.) What will be suggested?
At the end of your SEO consultation, you'll most likely be pitched an onsite SEO project. It may involve optimizing existing pages for new keywords, creating new pages, or expanding the copy on pages with thin content, in addition to fixing whatever errors there may be.
Depending on the size and scope of the onsite work, you should expect to see an improvement in the number of keyword rankings. In other words, your site will most likely rank on new keywords.
However, more work will be needed. Fixing onsite problems is important, but it won't improve your site's organic traffic the way it needs to get better if you want to grow your business.
Link building will win.
Domain Rating is the rising tide that lifts all ships. Improving your site's authority will improve its keyword rankings, pushing them closer to page one, which means more traffic.
Small Business SEO Consultation?
Why Bother with Search Marketing?
Improving your site's organic traffic is a proven growth strategy. Consider the research:
Search users are just as likely to work with your small business as they are to work with a big, brand name. A study from Status Labs this past year found that 90% of search users haven't made their mind up about a brand before they begin searching. In fact, search may give your small business an edge. Google found in 2018 that local searches led half (50%) of mobile uses to visit stores within one day, and Wordstream found in 2016 that nearly three in four consumers (72%) who did a local search visited a location within just five miles.
Your business needs to be online to attract passersby. Google found that 79% of people took a relevant action on their phone -- be it a call to the first map pack result or a contact form submission to the first, organically ranked site -- before making a purchase.
Your business needs a search strategy if it wants to grow. Organic traffic captures over 40% of revenue, according to BrightEdge. In other words, if your site's online presence is currently lacking, starting work today could help revenues grow 140%. The Biggest SEO Consultation Spoiler
There are enough tools and resources out there to perform an SEO audit on your own. You can DIY the whole thing. The problem is that it's time-consuming. An SEO consultation can save you the time in figuring out what's going on with your site, but what you really need is the work it will take to improve your search presence.
Your site probably doesn't need SEO consulting. It probably needs work.
SEO Consultation Background
You are probably looking for free SEO consultation because you want to rank in google.com. This is understandable. Small businesses all across the country are struggling with their digital marketing. They look around at the digital landscape and wonder how their competitors are getting great volumes of traffic from search engines and social media and are looking for a way to participate in this growth. Google is a great source of online traffic for small businesses if the rankings are good. The right consultant can point you in the right direction so that your website becomes an integral part of your marketing execution plan. On the other hand, bad advice can position your website in a 4 light with the search engines and harm the probability that you will have business success.
First a bit about me. I am Adam Stetzer, PhD. I have been in digital marketing as a consultant for over 10 years. I have been in the technology field for 25 years. I've worked with large companies such as General Electric, Coca-Cola, Chevron Texaco, AT&T, Verizon and Ford. I am the co-founder of two businesses have grown to be more than 50 employees each. Have worked with thousands of small businesses in the field of digital marketing consultation. For more information about my career path please visit this link.
For the last 10 years HubShout has been helping small businesses with free SEO consultation. We have also concentrated on paid digital marketing channels for rapid customer acquisition as well. We have an entire division dedicated to search engine optimization for small businesses, as well as paid advertising on Google and Facebook. For almost every engagement we've had, free consulting has been integral. Because if it is our mission to help small businesses achieve their dreams, it is almost inconceivable that we wouldn't offer free SEO consultation to clients looking for better visibility in the searches.
So let's break down exactly what most people are looking for when it comes to search engine optimization.
On-site SEO optimization consultation.
The trends for on-site SEO have changed dramatically over the last few years. 10 years ago and on-site SEO experience was a fairly rapid technical endeavor involving an analyst and Technical changes to the website. The technician would review the website as well as the objectives of the small business and then make certain recommendations for changing how the code is organized the best position to website to the spiders.
Spiders are the slang name for the program that Google runs to crawl every website on the internet. This program calls out to every website and follows every linked to discover every piece of content, literally every word ever written, on the internet appropriately categorize the content and display it to users. As you can imagine this is a unimaginably large data set hey Google has representing the entire internet. Because of the technical nature of how HTML websites are structured, search engine optimization technicians have discovered how Google prefers to consume content as it is categorized by the spiders. Sharing this knowledge is the foundation of a high-quality SEO consultation. as non-experts, is impossible for small business owner to have the intimate knowledge of Google as an SEO consultant would.
What do you expect from your free SEO consultation session? At a minimum the consultant should look at your website and be able to immediately spot areas where the proven can be made. Especially for an optimized website, and SEO consultant can give you recommendations in as little as fifteen minutes based on a quick glance at some of the technical pieces of your website.
The first thing that croissant will probably ask you is what you believe your keyword space to be. You may not have the answer to this. If you're brand-new to search engine optimization is not uncommon to lacking the keyword research skills. Is it quite possible that the first consultation will consist mostly of keyword research as the technician tries to help you understand the tools that most search engine optimization specialist used to discover appropriate keywords.
Am I experienced many small business owners believe they know what keywords consumers will use to find their product or service. However when we test this against with the data actually shows, we are surprised to see that the small business owner has formed opinions that don't match reality. I would expect in your initial consultation data would be shared so you can test some assumptions about how you believe consumers will best find your website. It is important to keep an open mind and be guided by what the data suggests, merging this data with your knowledge of the business.
In this discussion there will also be a fair number of questions the consultant will ask about the product or service itself. Keyword research is only valuable to SEO if it's in the context of what the product or service actually delivers. Once this conversation has matured there will be potential Keyword targets. a quick scan of the website will reveal if these keywords are already resident in the code or better yet, have a ranking in Google. For most small sites that are just starting out neither of the above are true. So the task becomes quite clear, if we want to rank on these keywords we need to get them on the website.
Many beginners think they should build out one-page perkier they want to rank on. This was the case for a long time but Google has become more sophisticated and how they categorize websites and understand the content in the HTML. The most recent thinking from experts in the field suggests that understanding The Searchers intense, and then creating pages that will fulfill all the possible variations of that search and 10 is the best approach. In plain English this translates into creating fewer pages with more deep content, and then hoping to rank on multiple keywords with each page rather than building a page per keyword.
The technical aspects of turning the page have not changed all that much. You need the key words in the text of the Google can find them, how many variations of this keyword that are in similar semantic neighborhood. Google uses a process known as latent semantic indexing or LSI, to understand how the language on the page all relates to each other. Humans do this very naturally. As the contest being produced it is quite normal that several variations of the keyword, plural and singular versions, and synonyms and antonyms will present themselves in the content. This is all very natural should be allowed to flow freely so that it is usable for users. Most importantly, make sure the content makes it to the website and its useful.
Additionally, during your free SEO consultation there will be discussion of title tags and H1 tags. If you are not familiar with these do not worry, they are simple Concepts that any web developer will understand. The croissant will review these with you so you can make sure they are implemented correctly on your website. They will also probably talk to you about the importance of sensible on-site hyperlinks. It is important to hyperlink the pages on your site to each other in a fashion that is helpful to the users, and also directs the search engines from page to page better understand what each page is about.
If you're not familiar with the term anchor text, your SEO consultant will it certainly explain this to you. The anchor text is the English readable portion of a hyperlink that the user actually sees as they click on a link to take them from one page on a website to another. Google has evolved to use this anchor taxed heavily to understand what is at the other end of a hypertext link. Understanding how the spiders use this data to categorize pages will help you direct them to where information is and rank better in the search.
Even in a free SEO consultation there should be discussion about time on site and user experience. Goodwill has been recently pay attention to what is known as dwell time. This is another phrase for time on site or time on page. Essentially the Google program wants to know if a page is useful to user because pages that are not useful they prefer not to show in their search engine. Our Google is not a human and cannot discern for itself what page is actually fulfill a need. So they reach for data that is the best approximation or hint to whether a page actually satisfied the intent of the search engine user. Time on site or time on page is one such metric that many SEO Consultants will pay attention to. Small business owner should think about this to as they're constructing the contents of their website. Then copy and useless Pages built just to grab the attention of the search engine will not be useful to the end user. These are likely to have a low time on site, high bounce rate and represent bad content to Google.
Additionally, Graphics are an excellent way to help users have a strong experience while on the page. Infographics and visual assets are a great way to enhance the user experience. Humans get bored when reading large blocks of text in a row and need visual distractions to help them stay engage with content. Additionally, A visual representation of what is being conveyed in the text is a great way to present Concepts to people who don't want to read the actual text. Many users will skim the body of the text and their eyes will only stop on the pictures and larger fonts. An understanding of this user experience is critical to present a website is useful.
2) Offsite SEO / Backlinks
A free SEO consultation will certainly include a discussion of off-site SEO or backlink building. For the uninitiated, backlinks are links on other websites that point back to your site. Expert SEO consultant will help you understand the importance of links to your website as you pursue rankings in the search engines. Many small-business owners do not understand this portion of search engine optimization at all and find it to be confusing.
Backlinks are essentially votes for your website on the internet. Google's large contribution to digital marketing was that a use these boats to determine the best resources to show to users in a fashion that other search engines could not figure out. The mathematics behind this process are very complex and highly guarded as a corporate Secret at Google. Expert SEO Consultants who has spent years trying to understand how the Google algorithm Works have become familiar with which backlinks will help a website and which backlinks may potentially hurt the rankings in google.com.
As a novice in the area of digital marketing, it is tempting to buy the cheapest source of backlinks to a website with the hopes of enhancing rankings. However this is a very bad idea. Google has penalized several websites to achieve links in a fashion they don't approve of. To make matters worse, Google will not tell you exactly which Lynx they like or dislike. The entire process is fairly convoluted, which is why your SEO consultant will need to spend time educating you on how this process work.
If you have only started building links to your website is likely your rankings are not very good. An expert SEO consultant will introduce terms do you such as domain Authority and domain reading. There are several independent third-party audit tools available to tell you how your domain Stacks up against others when it comes to how many backlinks have been earned and the value of those links. Understanding how to use these third-party metrics is a critical portion of search engine optimization. Most Consultants have access to the same tools as they are standard in the industry and will be useful to show you exactly how strong or weak your domain is when benchmarked against others you may be competing with for rankings.
At this point in the consultation the question naturally arises: "hey if these links are important how can I get a whole bunch real fast?" SEO consultant will point out that Google is not only about which links used to cure a butt about how fast they are secured to a website. They believe it is fairly on natural for a small unknown website to go from obscurity to being well-known with many many backlinks in a short amount of time the consultant may talk about terms such as link equity and Link velocity in explaining how Google likes to see a website grow in popularity on a natural glide slope.
3) Content Marketing
Content marketing is the natural extension of high-quality SEO and Link building. It represents the merger of public relations efforts and search engine optimization by way of high-quality backlink building. It is an advanced topic so I'm not sure that it will be approached in a free SEO consultation session.
However, if you are interested in understanding how content marketing fits in with the search engine optimization landscape here is an overview. If you think through how Google has evolved to dislike low-quality links that can be achieved in a short amount of time, combined with the changes in their desire for deeply enriching on-site content with very long text and high-quality Graphics, you can see that what Google is pushing us toward is a world with very high quality content on the internet so they can avoid showing thin and unuseful pages. Content marketing is essentially a philosophy of trying to give Google exactly what it wants by playing by the rules.
High quality content would be defined as content that users find useful, deep, enriched with statistics and facts, insightful and well presented with graphics and video. If that sounds hard to produce, that's because it is. It is much harder to write a 3000-word blog post than it is to write a 300-word blog post. Likewise it is much harder to produce a video of your concept then to punch out 50 words on a typewriter. Google tends to reward that which is harder to make because they believe effort equates to quality.
Free SEO Consultation
It is hard to imagine that all the concepts I have described above will be covered in a free SEO consultation. My final point is to have appropriate expectations for what you get for free. People's time is valuable, and SEO experts are actually quite hard to come by. Many people claim to have strong knowledge of search engine optimization, but if you are found an expert who really understands online marketing and has demonstrated strong results with rankings in Google, be respectful of their time. There's only so much information you should expect to get for free and then you should expect to be charged for their time as you would with any such as a lawyer or a doctor.
As a promotional activity, we are starting a free website SEO assessment program. For a limited time, we are offering free website SEO sessions. These are one-on-one sessions over the phone where we will specifically analyze your website and discuss critical SEO components and strategies. We know from our participation in forums and discussion groups that there are many questions about both on-site and off-site SEO. We consult with our high-end clients regarding search optimization every day. But we're also aware that many smaller and medium sized businesses could benefit from some training on the subject. Thus, our free website SEO program.
There is an online sign-up form with our schedule and availability. All you need to do is pick a time slot that works for you and give us your web site URL. We like to do a little homework ahead of time to gather some of the critical SEO statistics for your URL before we get on the phone so we can maximize our time together. This is free, no cost, no obligation, no credit card required (you get the point). Click below to schedule or read more about our free website seo program on our home page. If you are more of the do-it-yourself type, you should start with our on-site SEO discussion. But in the end, we think you'll be move much faster with some live help.