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SEO Superstar

Posted on 2011-02-21
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Last Modified: 2013-11-19
I just met with a potential new client. This client could be worth a pretty large monthly contract. The one kicker though, is that they want me to take over their web and SEO stuff. This could be the deal breaker!!

Is there anyone out there who can help me with a "crash course" on SEO work? I have a basic understanding of keywords, backlinks, and search engines, but not enough to even know what to do with this stuff!!!

I have about 1 week to become a "superstar" with SEO. Can anyone point me towards videos, or quick learning materials?? Anything to help me so I can help this client and land this contract!!

I have searched Google, but it seems like there is a wealth of knowledge out there, but my problem now is weeding through what's irrelevant.

Any help would be appreciated!!
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Question by:Luuker
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by:lgg733
ID: 34946778
What kind of website is it? What are they expecting SEO wise? I mean for example are they a new start up selling something that a billion other people are selling and they want you to make them come up first in google?
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Author Comment

by:Luuker
ID: 34946839
It is a real estate company. They are doing things a bit differently than other companies. They have been doing their own SEO work and have managed to come up in the top 3-5 on certain searches. Now they want to stop doing it, and have someone outside do it for them along with everything else there.

So they have been fairly successful so far, but I do not want to blow it for them. They mentioned some software a web guy was running for them as well but they do not have a clue what it was.

Expectations, they either want to remain where they are or move up but not fall off the first page of results. It will be my job to keep them there or make them better.

They also have a start-up sister company doing something a bit different, and they want a site created for it, then the SEO work for that one as well. So I guess they have a bit of both scenarios.
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by:lgg733
ID: 34946884
I think that you should be all right. You can follow what they have already been doing and improve as you go. You know the basic things right? Like creating good page titles, creating site maps, nice looking urls etc...
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Expert Comment

by:lgg733
ID: 34946912
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Author Comment

by:Luuker
ID: 34947075
"I think that you should be all right. You can follow what they have already been doing and improve as you go. You know the basic things right? Like creating good page titles, creating site maps, nice looking urls etc..."

Uh.........not really! Build websites yes! Update sites yes!

Page titles, I think so! That would be what is written on the tab when the page is open right? If so then yes!

Site maps,.........not sure! What do you mean?

Nice Looking URLs,................wouldn't nice be a relative term based on who's judging it? I'm not sure I know what you mean by that either.

FYI - Just so we're on the same page, I am a networking administrator. I know networks and servers for the most part like the back of my hand. I have created 3 websites to date all using HTML through Microsoft Expressions Web. I am the furthest thing from a programmer known to man!! I can usually look at things and figure them out, but I couldn't write anything to save my life other than scripting for networking and printing purposes. I have been doing this for 8 years now and am very good at it!

Now that that's out of the way, the 3 websites I created seemed done right to me and the clients were very happy but they were not meant to be searchable. They were more for patients to log in and get documents from for doctors offices.

Knowing this, let's pretend I know very little (like that's tough) and assume not much.

Now what?
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Expert Comment

by:lgg733
ID: 34947508
Yes you are correct about page titles, the names should be relevant to the content on the page. What I meant by nice looking urls are nice looking to google as well as humans. So for example not having urls that look like realestatewebsite.com/somepage.asp?blah=p16st
The should look like realestatewebsite.com/listings/best-new-house-in-malibu.html

Sitemaps are an xml file that you create for google to make their crawlers aware of the urls in your site. There are a number of ways to create the site map but it depends on how many pages the site is.  You should also make sitemaps for yahoo and bing.

Are you building this new website? If so I would suggest trying to use a content management system such as wordpress, drupal, or joomla. These will take care of a large part of the SEO right out of the box and are free. I can give you some more specifics later but that link I provided above is pretty much what is involved. Remember it is always going to come down to their content. Hope that helps a bit.
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Author Comment

by:Luuker
ID: 34947553
OK, now we are getting somewhere!
The page titles are correct, very simple and match what's on the page.
Site maps........NOPE!! Didn't even know they existed but I do now!

All the sites are only like 7-8 pages or so. More informative  type data overall.

Yes I will be building the new site. I looked into WordPress a while back but if I recall, it didn't make much sense to me. I also looked at Joomla as well ,I just do not remember what the reason was. I will try again and see if I can figure them out.

You have helped a bunch! I know way more than I did when I posted this question. I am getting ready to read the article you posted in about 5 minutes. I'm sure I will have questions. Check back in 15! ;-)
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Expert Comment

by:Aaron Tomosky
ID: 34947802
You could sub contract the SEO stuff to someone. Either permanently or on a train you basis.
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Author Comment

by:Luuker
ID: 34947816
OK, I read the article and now I am more confused than before I think. This seems more to do with website design rather than SEO. I am also having a hard time trying to figure out how WordPress or Joomla will help SEO. I remembered after looking at Joomla, I looked at it before for a client to update their site a while back but it wasn't a new site. This is kinda the same thing.

Let's say for arguments sake, I use Joomla to create the new site. How is that going to help with SEO? I agree the site will be setup properly, but how will that improve rank?

I read on that site about backlinks, backlink monitoring systems, backlink generation, but it didn't say how or where to do it. I get it, that's their business and they do not want to give away secrets.

I am looking for secrets. I am trying to formulate a plan so I can go back to that client in a week and say here is our plan for your SEO and have steps laid out.
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Author Comment

by:Luuker
ID: 34947823
"You could sub contract the SEO stuff to someone. Either permanently or on a train you basis."

That would be great!! Now, if I can only find someone to hire, to teach me how to do what they do so I can fire them that would be awesome!
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Author Comment

by:Luuker
ID: 34947835
I re-read my post, it sounded kinda hateful. That's not what I meant.

I would not let someone hire me, so I could teach them to do my job just to let me go later. I do not even like people over my shoulder when I fix simple things. If I have someone watching me, I always drop to cmd and start typing in random commands like ipconfig, netstat, arp.... all sorts of them until they realize they do not get it and walk away.

I wouldn't feel comfortable doing that to someone else is all I meant.
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LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:Aaron Tomosky
ID: 34947886
I I knew up front that I was training someone and it was a temporary gig and I charged a higher rate because of it, I would be fine with it.

Do it on the sly and I'll notice and start typing random commands too.

If the SEO person is cheap enough, maybe just keep them on permanently. A big part of SEO is new content and constant blog posts and press releases an such. Do you really want to be doing that stuff?
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Author Comment

by:Luuker
ID: 34947940
I am a relatively small company right now with only 1 employee (me). Lately things have been a bit slow. I wouldn't mind doing it myself if it will keep me busy and my client happy. When I get to the point where it is too much, maybe i'll look to join forces with a web company for this kind of stuff but for now, i need to keep as much in house as possible.

So with that being said, blog posts? Press releases? I'm listening..........
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:freshcontent
ID: 34948826
Luuker - other lthan Experts Exchange and looking at the Articles on SEO, the other good investment would be the website SEOmoz.org.  Their membership has a 30-day free trial, and they have great articles from the basics, to the very advanced topics.

EE Articles on SEO - http://www.experts-exchange.com/viewTopArticles.jsp?taID=5385

www.seomoz.org
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Assisted Solution

by:Tiggerito
Tiggerito earned 125 total points
ID: 34950538
I'd go with the sub-contract vote.

If your still learning about title tags their in-house guy will spot you a mile off.

Real estate is very competitive and there is a lot of money involved. I would not like to be the guy being sued for loss of revenue when traffic stopped due to a rookie mistake.

Just considering the issues of website upgrades and choosing the right way to develop a website is way beyond 1 week of asking questions on a forum.

I teach my clients how to do what I do, so I am an example where you could hire someone to learn. I'm fully booked for months so I think my policy is working.

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Assisted Solution

by:lgg733
lgg733 earned 125 total points
ID: 34952182
The reason I mentioned a content management system is that most have many seo modules available. For example search engine friendly urls is just a matter of using a plug in or module, also sitemap generators. Another benefit to CMS is the wide selection of free themes you can use, heres a bunch of real estate style themes http://slashmarks.com/free-wordpress-real-estate-themes/ just to give you an idea.

Reading what others said I have to agree that it may be wise to sub contract someone to at least come up with a plan for SEO and you could implement it.

If that is not an option for you I would suggest you find out as much as you can about the current guy who has been handling it. Is he/she paid for only SEO work? I think if it is an SEO company that they have had working for them then you will have a difficult time keeping up with what they have done and improving upon it. On the other hand if it is not an SEO company or specialist maybe you could pick it up and do a better job? For all we know the person doing it before you was a complete beginner. You mentioned they come up 3-5 for certain searches but what are the searches. There is a big difference coming up in that position for say a search for "buy home" as opposed to a search for "hot dog cart rentals in florida" you know what I mean?

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LVL 16

Accepted Solution

by:
Geoff Kenyon earned 250 total points
ID: 34967671
What Tiggerito said. He was spot on. Real Estate tends to be really competitive so if you are just getting into SEO now, you probably will have a difficult time (and spend a lot of effort) doing SEO. It would probably be more cost effective to sub it out.

That said, knowing SEO would be a good skill and may help you get more business down the road. If you want to learn about SEO I would suggest to following resources:
Reading Blogs Regularly:
SEOmoz Blog
SEOBook Blog

Reading some solid SEO articles as well
SEOmoz Beginners Guide - This serves as a great foundation; I would recommend starting by reading this entire document
101 ways to build link popularity - Some of the info in here is a bit outdated, but in general, lots of good info

I wrote a couple articles here at EE that are a pretty good beginner level (at least that's what I was shooting for):
Intro to SEO
How to Build LInks

I found myself referencing a lot of different really useful blog articles to answer questions and use in reports. Since I always had to search for the title name and sometimes had difficulty, I started a list of SEO Resources/Knowledge base.

There's really no better way to learn SEO than by doing it; I would recommend that you buy a new domain and start a site/blog on a hobby of yours and test out your new skills here (this is safer than learning on a client's site). As you practice and read more, continue to ask questions if something is unclear. Learning SEO is really about getting out there and trying it for yourself - you can only learn so much through reading.

While software like SEOmoz, Raven Tools, or Majestic SEO can be really helpful, they are just tools and they won't "do" SEO for you. I would stay far away from any software that will do SEO for you or makes and huge promises.

-Geoff
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LVL 16

Assisted Solution

by:Geoff Kenyon
Geoff Kenyon earned 250 total points
ID: 34967699
Forgot to mention....

>>>I am looking for secrets
Unfortunately there really aren't any SEO secrets. Wish there were but it's just a lot of hard work...
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Author Closing Comment

by:Luuker
ID: 35100697
Thank you all for your help. It has turned out to be a ton of work! We are moving forward though with the understanding I'm a learning rookie.
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