SEO Strategy Guidelines
The first step of any SEO strategy is to focus on the onsite optimization aspects such as keyword research, content optimization, navigation, and internal structure of the site. One reason for this is that the best link building campaign can drive visitors to your site, but if the site isn’t prepared to handle and convert your new found traffic then all your off-site efforts will have been for nothing. The main function of SEO is to drive targeted traffic to your website; however, it’s your website’s job to do the selling.
When working with a new client on their onsite SEO, it is a good idea to present a document that outlines all of the high level SEO changes made, such as internal linking issues, design and layout, call to actions, etc and page-by-page SEO recommendations that I would help their site do better from both an SEO and user experience perspective.
However, at the end of the day these SEO recommendations are just that, recommendations. You cannot force a client to implement the changes suggested. Furthermore, it is best to explain the “why” behind each SEO recommendation, but it’s up to the client to approve and implement them.
So many site owners that I have spoken with want to wash their hands completely of SEO and leave it up to their SEO provider. Unfortunately, SEO doesn’t work that way. It is really best to build a sites’ SEO when designing the site in the first place.
Nevertheless, a white hat SEO provider is going to provide their best SEO recommendations that they can and then guide you through the whole process, but in the end, it is up to the site owner to decide whether they want to implement those recommendations.
I have had a number of clients that have struggled with me every step of the way and have gone so far as bringing another SEO professional to get a second opinion to see if I would change my recommendations.
Please keep in mind, when you hire an SEO company or Social Media consultant to manage your SEO campaign you will have to trust that they have your best interests in mind. I know it’s hard for a site owner that has been burnt in the past, but there comes a point when you have to decide whether you are going to take the SEO recommendations or not. If you aren’t willing to at least heed to the recommendations, as well as consider the potential value of making those changes, why did you hire the SEO company in the first place?
It’s important to understand that there are few hard and fast rules to SEO strategies and tactics. However, the Google webmaster guidelines give us a pretty good idea of where they draw the line between black hat and white hat SEO, but remember that is the reason they are called guidelines and not rules, is because what works for one site might not work for another.
There is not a set formula that one can follow to guarantee success. Your SEO provider creates SEO recommendations based on their knowledge and experience, as well as your unique situation and online goals. It’s up to you to decide whether or not to listen to those recommendations.