How to Avoid Losing Money with SEO with James Schramko

Do you spend more money on SEO without seeing the results you want? 

You’re not alone. Many businesses lose money on SEO because they don’t understand how it works or what to do to make it effective. And worse, they put in the hard work but have no idea if it’s paying off.

It’s no secret that investing in SEO can be a costly endeavor. Although the long-term ROI is often worth the expense, many businesses simply can’t justify the up-front investment.

In discussion with James Schramko, founder of SuperFastBusiness, Gert Mellak shares his insights into making sure your SEO pays off with positive results.

Understand the biggest problems in SEO

Many problems can arise with SEO. However, some issues are more common than others.

With the rise in fake news and misinformation, it has become more challenging to determine what information is accurate. And this is what James agreed to be one of the biggest problems faced in SEO.

No main authority can be trusted when sourcing your own research online nowadays. So, what’s the deal with SEO? 

James agreed that getting the correct information is difficult, as he’s working in the online marketing industry. He saw that some people could sell you their product. But lack the technical know-how needed for a successful campaign. Others do good work without drawing attention from clients because they’re also great marketers themselves.

Gert’s said to get the correct information and know which tactics work so your SEO budget isn’t wasted. Every day, he gets calls from clients about these quick wins for their sites. However, Gert added, there really isn’t any kind of magic bullet or quick fix in SEO.

Additionally, if anything does exist, then chances are you can’t apply it to every website. As he mentioned, you can’t possibly apply something from Shopify to an online course or membership site.

What do you need

Gert cited two things to keep in mind when looking for information. 

First of all, make sure that whatever information comes from a trusted source. And secondly, it’s best if applicable in your specific situation.

According to James, the average business owner has a lot on their plate – from who their customer base is and what services will offer them. To which marketing channels do they want the company’s product or service provided. This is taking a comparison between paid advertising and organic methods.  

And then there’s hiring staff members plus managing where your website gets hosted; getting money set aside as capital investment. But what Gert is trying to say, you must take every new bit of information with reservation. You’ll want to validate or verify the source before assuming how accurate they are.

Keep up with the latest solutions in SEO

So how do you know the right place to go for the particular situation?

James agreed that there are SEO tools and the same way around publishing content. But that is a lot of information, and it’s not always easy to find out which tool will work best with your needs in mind.

Gert recommends finding someone you trust who can guide your SEO campaigns. He has a couple of calls with new clients before they begin working together to determine their objectives for conversions. That is, not relying on how many people will see his website but also if any person’s traffic might convert into sales for them.

Generally, working with a team that understands your business is crucial to search engine optimization. Whether working across different languages, regions, and industries, finding an individual whose experience matches yours will ensure optimal growth through increased visibility on SERPs. Perhaps, this may just save time too!

Don’t make any rash decisions - take the time to identify what clients want to achieve.

James says that sometimes you can invest a lot of time and effort into SEO without getting any results. So, what would Gert advise if this is the case?

Gert has seen it happen many times with clients who have gone through an agency’s process only to find themselves struggling after months or years stuck in place. Until now, they don’t know how their strategy compares to competitors’ methods- until now.

For example, he has recently spoken with a client about testing the plan he recommended they spend money on before the SEO and getting links or creating content for their business website. But then, the client is running Google ads campaigns to see if those keywords will actually convert visitors into customers.

But, there’s a big issue. The keywords they want to rank high up on Google are ego-driven. That is, you don’t know what people want when they type their search query; not even Google knows what they want. That’s why you need to define your customer’s ideal client, plus ensure that you understand what they want to achieve.

So, are you really wasting your money on SEO?

Here’s the difference between the two scenarios Gert sees:

Some people took months or years to write content. That is maybe 1500 different articles and come to them to say they have all the content. But, they don’t rank well on anything.

One client worked for 900 different articles and was asked to identify the terms of a possible search. The client then insisted on throwing everything. It’s because she never focuses on the people who search for something that needs an answer.

In a nutshell, Google is looking for experts who can show how they’ve solved specific problems. This means sharing your knowledge and experience is not enough. Google wants solutions.

If you’re giving a real quick win with SEO or solving someone’s problem, then it’s definitely not a waste of money. You’d better be ranked on SERPs if that’s the case.

Establish a relation between different articles

One of Gert's biggest mistakes when it comes to SEO is that people don’t create context related to their internal articles. It’s often a situation to write an article and then leave it on the website without connecting with other content you’ve created previously.

So, what happens internally within Google? Is using artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms helpful?

First, let’s dive into the problem with AI and machine learning algorithms.

Gert agreed that using this kind of tool is not as helpful. For example, Jarvis can create content using an engine that requires a lot of input before it begins producing text. It’s not only what you want the computer says but also how long each sentence should be as well. Then, you’re going to continue writing more sentences before going back to AI.

But this is not something everyone wants. What you need is to bring articles into context together. Like, if you write an article about email marketing, and you link it to an article about subject lines, Google can see that it’s relevant because it’s related to each other.

Moreover, by calculating the page importance of each page, you can see which will rank and which will not. By following the right process, you can start ranking for tons and eventually have a lot of keywords to work with.

Get authority with external links.

Let’s agree with Gert that external links matter if they’re relevant.

In the past, people would ask for 500 links to their website to rank higher than competitors with less web traffic. These days it’s all about relevance - you can have a lot of irrelevant backlinks and still outrank your competition if one of those pages is really helpful or engaging. 

According to Gert, Google’s algorithm is a complex and often confusing system, but the heart of it still involves links. These kinds of links transfer authority from one page to another on your website or on Google itself.

So, what should you do to get more external links?

Well, it’s all about content layout, which is a crucial analysis point. And it changes a lot over time, which means you can’t rely on any technique forever to fix your problems with content layout.

One client of theirs came in because their traffic had dropped significantly. Gert said that all they did was rearrange where certain pieces were placed throughout the website (pushing relevant info up top). That is to reverse engineer what works and apply the patterns.

Do images affect SEO results?

Gert says that images can be tricky because your CMS might change your image’s name. But on James’ surfboard site, they have lots of search volume for products, especially product searches, and it works pretty well. So, this really depends on your industry.

However, Google embeds images, videos, and other media. In this case, it’s pretty essential from alternative texts on images as well as names of products featured within those visuals themselves. This goes hand-in-hand with eCommerce industries and those specializing in visual searches more heavily.

Relationship between organic vs. paid channel

The relationship between organic and paid is a crucial one, says Gert. 

Paid channels are often necessary, but they come at an expense that you cannot rely on to grow your company’s revenue stream and bring in new customers. That said, it’s crucial not only to use them when possible - since there will be times when their high costs might make this impossible. But also leverage what resources exist so as much of the revenue potential can shine through.

Of course, paid is an integral part of most people’s recipes, James added. But what’s best to highlight are all the benefits that come from good SEO.

Don’t expect instant results - effective SEO takes time to work its magic

Gert added two pointers as your guide if you’re spending money on SEO. The following are:

  1. Create content or articles with an intent to serve the search user.
  2. Be consistent in executing the right things over time.

We all know that things are never perfect. But with a trusted partner, Gert says you can achieve SERP success without breaking the bank.

Gert has years of experience and is an expert in organic search optimization. And more importantly- he knows how to keep coming back again. So the conversion rate stays high enough to make any money off this stuff.

SEO results take time, so you might as well learn more about Gert and his ERICA framework. An excellent app he has created. The ERICA framework is so helpful in keeping track of all the results from doing little updates for his team.

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