Hot At Sphinn: Inspiring SEO Clients, Content Farmhand Confessions & More

sphinn-logoThe “inspiring” in the headline isn’t about SEO clients that are inspirational; it’s about how to inspire SEO clients to take/continue action. That was the subject of the “Discussion of the Week” last on our sister site, Sphinn. It may have only generated a handful of comments, but there were plenty of quality ideas in the conversation.

Our choice for best comment comes from Sphinn member Alan Bleiweiss of Search Marketing Wisdom, who talked about the impact of pricing on client response:

The first step I took to inspire SEO action was to start charging for every audit, regardless of size and scope. From there, I adjusted my audit rates based on the size of the site and competitiveness of the market. It turns out my intuition was correct – the more a site owner has to pay for an audit, within reason, the more likely only serious site owners will get the audit done. At the same time, the more they pay within reason, the more respect they give me for my recommendations.

You can still join that discussion, or check out some of the other hot topics on Sphinn from the past seven days.

Most Comments

  • Discussion: How Do You Inspire SEO Action? – We all know how it goes, a client signs up for SEO and is extremely excited about the potential it offers their site.  After the initial on page optimization is completed you get into the 'tough' SEO aka content generation and link building.  At this point its not always easy to get the client to participate whether it be additional content generation or investing additional money for related tasks.  Rankings eventually get stale and site stats starts to flat line. So, in our latest "Discussion of the Week," we ask: What do you do to inspire SEO action?
  • What Visible Quality Score Isn't Telling You – There is a metric named ‘quality score’ that appears for every keyword in your account. In terms of that quality score, the statement above is true.  But there are other ‘quality scores’ that are used inside the AdWords system to determine whether or not your ads are eligible for auctions, which position they appear in, and even how much you pay per click. The above statements are not true for those versions of quality score…
  • How Can I Convince People of the Value of SEO? – I have a client who was called by [one of those online Yellow Pages–type companies] that would build him a website for $39 a month, which he wants to look into. The website that he initially hired me for is not built yet. In other words, he is considering "firing" me.
  • Avoiding Unscoped Work from Unreasonable Clients – Have you ever had a dispute with a client? Most freelancers and contractors will answer this question with a resounding "no" because we tend to think of disputes as something which results in court proceedings….

Most Tweeted (not already listed above)

  • Confessions of a Content Farm Hand – Ex-Mahalo staffer recounts his journey from liberal arts grad to online seo hack to content strategist and the lessons he's learned about creating quality content that can stand the test of time and the wrath of the almighty algorithm update.
  • The new Google Analytics Beta – a detailed review – Get up to speed on some of the new features of Google Analytics with this comprehensive article by Dan Barker.
  • How to Buy Links Ethically – Yes, Google hates paid links, but as the author says "… there are still other risk-free link buying techniques that are patterned to indirectly acquire links through the same form of incentives – cash."
  • 7 Google Quality Score PPC Myths – #2 – Search & Display Quality Score Are The Same –  This is not true. Search quality score and display quality score are calculated separately and one doesn’t affect the score of the other.
  • Starting Your Own SEO Company – A very real-world look at the issues faced when you are your own boss.

Hot On Sphinn: April 18 to April 24, 2011

  • 89 Great Link Building Resources – Looking for some link building inspiration?  This post has 89 resources to inspire you!
  • Google Testing Instant Previews On Ads (Here’s What It Looks Like) – Google is testing a new feature that marries its Instant Previews with AdWords. The test gives searchers a chance to see the ad’s landing page without clicking on the ad.
  • The Anatomy of a Perfect Landing Page – I absolutely love design tips and I think this could be really helpful for those of us that need a guide on creating catching and classy landing pages for our websites.
  • Social Media for SEO vs. Customer Engagement – The topic of defining social media came up and one area of interest was the difference in outcomes when it comes to incorporating both social media and search engine optimization. The social media tactics and expected outcomes when used for a SEO program are very different than social media intended to improve customer engagement outcomes. I think this is an important distinction because while social media and SEO work great together, the outcomes and business value can be very different.
  • What’s New About Landing Page Policy? Google Responds – Andrew Goodman asks Google for some clarification on their new way of communicating violations of its Adwords landing page policies.
  • Post-Panda, Your Original Content is Being Outranked by Scrapers & Partners – A weird thing has happened as a result of panda. Something you might have expected Google's Search Quality testers to catch before rolling the update out. Due to the domain-wide nature of the signal, high-quality, original content produced by the websites who were negatively impacted are now being ranked below the exact same content, republished by partners to whom they syndicate. Even more egregious, they are also being outranked by scrapers who effectively steal and republish the same content without permission or credit.
  • Is Social Media an Empty Tech Revolution? – An interesting take on the social media industry and how it might impact advertising and marketing in the long run.
  • Google Panda Update UK – Caution with Price Comparison Data – The price comparison sector's Pandalization is epic according to SearchMetrics and Sistrix data, but State of Search's Nichola Stott argues that this could be a bit overblown and may not be as volume and revenue limiting as previously thought.
  • Link Acquisition: Nine Ways To Get Them For Cheap – #8 - Offer a student discount – Do you have an e-commerce client with a minimal linking budget? If they have a section on their site where you can input discount codes, create a special code that you can distribute to local colleges. A 5-10% discount really doesn’t affect the bottom line much and it brings in business that you wouldn’t have had otherwise.
  • Google Places and The Rise of the Vending Machines – A really smart article outlining how some kiosk (aka "vending machine") based businesses are benefiting from Google Places, and how you can too.
  • The Post Your Fellow Bloggers Don’t Want You to Read – Phenomenal post describing in great detail how Glen makes money online (and how you could as well…)
  • Small Business SEO: 45 Experts on the Biggest Mistakes SMBs Make with SEO – Where a large number of top SEO experts discuss the SEO mistakes made by small businesses.
  • How to Make Your Website Look More Legitimate – Michael Gray tells you how your website will pass the sniff test on the Graywolf SEO blog. Of course it involves work, and some thoughts, and no true shortcuts… but following his advice is worth it if you're on the Interwebs to make serious money.
  • Are You Following a Bot? – Can one person controlling an identity, or a group of identities, really shape social architecture? Actually, yes.
  • What We Learned From a Pills Link Hacker – You may not like it, but the fact is that you can learn a lot (and cut through a lot of the fluff and opinion masquerading as fact on many mainstream SEO sites) by analyzing black hat SEO case studies like this one.
  • Google Holds Out Against ‘Do Not Track’ Flag – Apple made it clear this week that the next version of its Safari browser — which will ship with the upcoming version of Mac OS — will include the ability for users to tell websites not to track them, by using what’s known as the ‘Do Not Track’ header, according to The Wall Street Journal. That leaves Chrome, the browser created by the online-advertising giant Google, alone in not supporting the nascent feature. And according to Google, it has no plans to do so anytime soon.
  • FBI seizes online poker websites; customer funds on lockdown – We’ve seen the FBI and ICE seize websites in the past, though they were usually related to pirated or copyrighted material. Today, we get a different spin. The FBI hasapparently seized four large online poker websites — PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker — claiming bank fraud, money laundering, and illegal gambling offenses.

This is the latest in a weekly look at the stories that were “hot” on Sphinn in the past week. We’ll post these recaps every week.

Related Topics: Channel: Other | Sphinn


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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