SEO is not a report generating business. It’s a roll your sleeves up and dig in kind of activity. What’s sparking this post is that a few times recently I have been shown the large formal reports that some SEO firms offer. Very pretty. Glossy. 80% to 90% completely filled with non-unique content (i.e. not specific to the customer, but instead consisting of general SEO advice).
But reports do nothing for you. There is plenty of free SEO advice out there, being shared by people who regularly break new ground. The client could read those free reports and figure out what makes sense for their business themselves if they had access to the right type of resources and time. But they don’t. That’s why they went looking for an SEO firm in the first place.
Action drives results. Here are just three examples of typical client needs we have seen over the past few months:
- Duplicate content issues. To help you understand the complexity of this, here is a list of 12 ways webmasters create duplicate content. Figuring out where the duplicate content is, and how it is generated is a hard core exercise requiring real effort.
- Site moves, with significant renaming of URIs. This requires developing a specific and detailed map of the old site and the new site and defining the 301 redirect plan to minimize any collateral damage.
- Saving the best for last – link campaigns. There is no way that this is anything other than a custom activity. It’s too wrapped up in the content and tools available on the site, the budget of the client, the availability of resources to generate new content, and the topic area of the site.
An SEO really needs to be someone who is a business analyst, with a strong mix of both marketing and technical skills. They also need to be able to dig in and get their hands dirty. If you don’t there is no way that you are going to help your client increase the level of traffic they get from search engines.