Is SEO Dead? NoAnd Here’s 14 Reasons Why SEO Is Still Alive

Is SEO Dead? No…and Here’s 14 Reasons Why SEO Is Still Alive

If you spend a few minutes online searching for articles about search engine optimization, you’ll find one marketing expert after another saying SEO is no longer effective.

In fact, many of them will tell you this traffic generation method is dead.

Others will tell you it’s outdated and obsolete, but the overall consensus will be SEO is no longer worth your time.

It’s on its way out and you need to focus on other ways to get traffic to your website.

Now you could look at the current landscape this way or you can recognize SEO is always changing.

Some methods which used to be really effective no longer work, and Google continues updating their algorithms while leaving search engine specialists banging their heads against a table in the dark.

On the other hand, there’s still a group of experts who believe in SEO.

They realize if you’re willing to make adjustments, you can still top the search engine rankings with enough time, patience, and attention.

These experts believe SEO is going through a period of growth, but when all’s said and done, it will come back bigger and better and be a huge winner for those who don’t give up on it.

At this time, search engine optimization is still a great approach for local businesses looking to drive targeted traffic to their sites with an investment returning a huge ROI.

We’ll take a look at the top 14 reasons why SEO is still a killer marketing tactic, hands down.

Is SEO Dead? No...and Here is 14 Reason Why

Content and Design Support by OutreachMama

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YEAH! Local SEO Services

Just because your small business has a website doesn’t mean customers are knocking down your doors.

When it comes to generating more customers online, it’s not enough just to BE on the Internet.

You need to have a detailed marketing plan that turns your online presence into a customer-converting machine.

The World Wide Web is an enormous, busy place.

So internet users will leave your website instantly if you don’t engage them immediately … and that’s if they can even find your website in the first place!

We specialize in helping small businesses just like yours create an online marketing strategy that generates a continuous stream of targeted leads…

… as well as methods that are proven to convert more of those leads into new, loyal customers.

Our knowledgeable Online Marketing Consultants have the necessary skills to analyze, tweak, and transform your web-based marketing efforts to be more profitable.

YEAH! Local
1100 Peachtree St. NE #200
Atlanta, GA 30309

9 Eye-Opening Small Business Online Marketing Stats to Impact Your Strategy

9 Eye-Opening Small Business Online Marketing Statsto Impact Your Strategy

Trying to figure out where to spend your small business online marketing dollars this month?

With SEO, PPC, Social Media, and traditional offline marketing there are so many options it can make your head spin.

I put together the infographic and commentary below to walk you through the stats on what generates the best leads.

Take a look and hopefully it will impact your strategy for marketing this month or year.

9 Online Marketing Stats for Small Business

1) Average Cost to Generate a Lead With Inbound Marketing is $143:

Based on our experience it is much cheaper to generate an inbound lead.

The lead usually is already familiar with your small business because of your online marketing.

2) Average Cost to Generate a Lead With Outbound Marketing is $373:

Outbound Marketing does work, but your are putting your info in front of a prospect instead of them finding your information or company.

The costs and leads are usually a bit harder to sell and not as qualified.

3) SEO Leads Have a 14.6% Close Rate While Outbound Leads (such as direct mail or print advertising) have a 1.7% Close Ratio:

I have always seen SEO leads to close much easier than mailersor even cold email leads.

The prospect found you and reached out so process is smoother.

4) 97% of Consumers Search for Local Products, Services, and Businesses Online:

This should be a no-brainer.

We all are searching and buying online every day now.

Your company needs to be there when your prospect searches.

5) 61% of Mobile Internet Searches Result in a Purchase:

Mobile devices are in everyone’s hands and the prospectis searching for services on the go.

Once the research or decision is made the buyer purchases right then or travels to the local business destination.

6) 329 Million People Read Blogs Each Month:

People love blogs and the articles which feed them the information.

If you can write informative posts which solve a consumers questions you have yourself a hot prospect.

7) 66% of Consumers Have Made a Purchase via an Email Marketing Message:

Start a weekly email campaign to prospects or past clients.

Cheapest and easiest way to stay in front of people and make additional sales when the time is right.

8) 76% of Consumers Would Prefer Getting to Know a Company via Articles Rather Than Ads:

This goes along with #6.

Inform and answer questions with your blog articles and you will become a leader and authority in your niche….which leads to increased revenue.

9) 46% of People Say Website’s Design is the #1 Factor for Determining the Credibility of a Company:

Make your website professional, clean, and easy to use.

If your website looks like it was built in 1998 then how is the prospect suppose to thinkall your services are up to date.

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Big Brands Crushing Your Small Business? How to Compete Using SEO & Social Media

SEO Small Business

It’s frustrating, isn’t it?

You know you’re selling a better product, one which not only performs better but has a genuine story behind it.

You’re also running an ethical business.

You give back to the community and truly care about your customers.

But you still can’t seem to break through the noise created by the name brand competitors.

Their inferior products are filling store shelves and your target market doesn’t even know the grass is greener on the other side.

As a small business, it can be tough to stand out when you’re competing against big brands which have seemingly endless marketing budgets and troves of people whose sole job is to increase sales.

I know it may seem dark right now, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

There is a plan for small businesses to hop into the ring with the juggernauts and hold their own.

And the truth is, there has never been a better time in history for small businesses to carve out their place in the market.

Why, you ask?

Because of two relatively recent marketing channels:

SEO and Social Media.

The playing field may not be “level,” but these channels are slowly tipping the scales towards small businesses.

The amount of attention available to be grabbed in these channels is astounding.

Even a tiny niche market can feel gigantic and generate profitable returns from these channels if you’re savvy enough to take advantage of them.

In this article, I will break down how small businesses can use SEO and social media to compete with the big brands and grab a piece of the market share for themselves.

It may seem like a daunting task right now, but hopefully after reading this article you’ll have a clear picture of how you can do it too.

Let’s break it down:

Why SEO and Social Media Are Leveling the Playing Field

SEO and Social Media

Don’t get me wrong, money does play a role in both of these channels.

You can buy your way to a lot of exposure on Google, Bing, Facebook, Twitter, and other search engines and social platforms.

But paid advertising is only a part of the equation.

A big brand can place their ad in front of anyone on a social platform, but will it be personal?

Will it be empathetic to that customer’s true needs?

Will it feel genuine and authentic?

And does that customer feel a personal bond with the brand?

In terms of SEO, a big name brand can easily rank for competitive keywords, but do they have products which cater to a niche audience?

Can they only serve a general market and thus, not benefit from targeted search phrases?

It’s this space where small businesses can stand out, build a name for themselves, and grow beyond their local market.

How Small Business Can Compete With Big Brands in Social Media

Small Business Social Media

Most big brands use social media just like they use radio, television, and print advertisements.

They say “Here’s our product and here’s why you should buy it.”

They don’t say:

  • “I genuinely want to help you, so ask me anything.”
  • “I thought you would find this valuable, even though it’s not my own [content] [product].”
  • “Here’s the story behind our company. Maybe it relates to your life as well.”

Consumers are good at identifying authentic brands from brands who only have a sales agenda.

Social Media has allowed small businesses who genuinely care about their customers and their service to showcase this sentiment and build diehard fans.

All else being equal, many consumers would rather support a business who cares about certain values (such as creating eco friendly products, sourcing locally grown produce, etc) than a large company who forgoes those values for profit.

Small businesses can’t compete with the advertising reach corporations have in television and print.

But in social media, you can create a Facebook page or Twitter account, put out content, and attract free attention many times more valuable than TV or print.

Here’s how to compete on social media as a small business:

1. Use social media to build personal relationships

Large companies are slowly catching onto this, but it’s not too late to make it a cornerstone of your business.

Use social media to engage with your audience, one on one, and build personal relationships with them.

This connection is still rare in the digital business-to-consumer world.

So if you respond to a consumer’s comment or question, that’s a big deal to them.

From their perspective, it shows you’re taking time away from “regular business stuff” (sales/marketing) to make sure your audience knows you care.

This type of engagement hasn’t been commoditized yet, and probably won’t be for at least a few years.

Take advantage of it now.

2. Differentiate yourself to a niche audience

You can’t compete with big brands in the general market, but you can stand out to a niche audience.

And this doesn’t mean your products have to differ greatly from the big brands.

For example, let’s say you sell toothbrushes and you’re competing with a large corporation.

This corporation uses harmful plastic which ends up in landfills, while you use a renewable resource or reclaimed plastic to help reduce landfill waste.

You’re selling the same product, but your niche market is anyone who’s environmentally conscious.

You can stand out on this front by creating content which touches this audience and gets you exposure.

3. Focus on social networks your core audience uses


Just because a network is “hot” right now doesn’t mean you should be on it.

You should be wherever your core audience is, because that’s where you will reach them best.

If your core audience is on Instagram, and your big brand competitor is spending all of their time/money on Facebook, there’s a huge opportunity for you.

Be aware and try to seek pockets of opportunity like this.

4. Create content which fits the narrative of the platform

Not all content is created equal on each platform.

A video on Snapchat could seem unprofessional on Instagram or Facebook.

Yet, an Instagram or Facebook video could seem inauthentic on Snapchat.

Create content to fit the platform.

If you don’t know which type of content fits the platform, follow the popular accounts (in and out of your niche) and study what they’re posting.

5. Be consistent

Your audience has a limited amount of people/brands they can pay attention to.

You need to be consistent in order to enter and stay in this coveted list.

Consistently put out content, engage with your audience, and promote your products every once in awhile.

By pushing out content and engaging, you will naturally spark curiosity leading to sales.

But you should also do direct promotions to build awareness to your offerings and encourage people to buy.

At the end of the day, social media marketing is about building connections.Click To Tweet

Small businesses can stand out in a big way by forming real human connections with their customers and scaling it using these platforms.

How Small Business Can Compete With Big Brands in SEO

Search Engine Optimzation

SEO is a different landscape than social.

It isn’t personal, the most visual aspect are blue links, and you can’t engage with your audience.

But you can still stand out and gain exposure.

Have you ever been in this situation:

You keep finding the perfect keywords to rank for, ones that would send a flurry of buyers your way, but every time you check their results you see 7-10 big-brand websites with impossible levels of authority ranking on the first page?

Here’s the biggest mistake I see small businesses making:

They’re trying to rank for the wrong keywords.

Not only are these keywords hyper competitive, they also don’t have the right buyer intent for their (most likely, niche) product line.

These keywords are what the industry calls head or core keywords.

Keyword Core or Head Term

Images by CoSchedule

They’re one or two words long, and they are typically very competitive terms.

The sites ranking for them have a lot of authority (lots of high quality backlinks pointing to their website) and are tough for a small business to replicate.

Despite being able to rank for these terms and bringing in a ton of traffic, the big brands can be outranked for another type of search term.

These keywords are called long tail keywords.

Head Keyword or Long Tail Keyword

They usually get less searches per month and have lower traffic potential, but they may actually be more profitable for you to rank for than head keywords.


Because your line of products or services probably fits a narrower, more niche audience.

And this is who uses these long tail search phrases (core term + modifier).

Here’s an example:

The keyword “drink bottles” is a head keyword.

As you can see, large brands are ranking for it:

Drink Bottle Google Search

Drink Bottle Brand Google Search

However, the keyword “environmentally friendly drink bottles” is a long tail keyword, and most of the websites ranking for it are smaller niche brands:

Environmentally Friendly Drink Bottles Search

Why does this happen?

Because Google has become good at identifying relevancy.

It can tell how relevant a page is to the target keyword, and how relevant a website is to the searcher’s intent.

So if your business specializes in selling eco friendly drink bottles, and your pages/backlinks are telling Google this, then you’re more likely to rank for related terms than a large general corporation.

And the other websites ranking for these terms probably have less authority, which means the keyword is easier to rank for.

On top of that, your conversion rate will be higher when ranking for these keywords, because you’re attracting your exact target market.

Not people who are looking for the general version of that product.

What do I do if big brands are ranking for the long tail keywords I want to target?

If this is happening, you’re in a bit of a bind.

But it’s not a lost cause.

Here’s what you can do:

Big brands usually have a lot of domain authority.

That is, their overall domain has a lot of trust and ranking power in Google.

I like to call it “Google Juice”

However, their individual pages can sometimes lack direct backlinks and, therefore, ranking power.

This is where you can get a leg up.

In the image above, the red rectangles indicate high authority domains with low page-level links.

The blue rectangles indicate lower authority domains with higher page-level links.

These websites are also more relevant to the search term (oriental rugs) than their big brand counterparts, and with some more page authority they’ll be on their way to knocking them down the search results.

Oriental Rugs Google Search

Relevancy and page authority are how small businesses can compete with authoritative websites on long tail keywords and SEO in general.

Time is On Your Side as a Small Business

You may not have a lot of money as a small business, but what you do have is time.

You have time to invest in the things which really matter.

In social media, you can devote your spare time to creating content which really touches your audience, engages them, and creates personal relationships.

For SEO, you have time to invest in creating a relevant website with relevant backlinks to specific pages you’re trying to rank.

Big brands don’t have this time (or don’t care for it) so they rely on domain authority alone.

Keep pounding away at it.

It’s always hardest to gain initial exposure.

After a certain point, it snowballs and almost begins to run itself (with monthly maintenance).

Giving up too soon is one of the biggest mistakes I see.

Don’t Neglect Trial and Error

Succeeding in both SEO and Social Media Marketing is about one thing:

Testing, testing, testing.

You need to test different tactics and different ways of gaining exposure in your niche.

Don’t assume something is true simply because a big blog/blogger said so.

Test it.

See if it truly works for your business and your niche.

Trial and error is how you will really figure out what works and what you can scale to achieve amazing results.

Over to You

What has your small business been struggling with in regards to SEO and social media marketing?

What are the successes you would like to share which other people might benefit from?

Let me know in the comments below.

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The Business Card is Dying (and how Google is replacing it)

Page One on Google

We’re all doing business in a digital world.

Even if you run a brick and mortar store with no website, customers are still discovering you and telling people about you in digital channels (whether you like it or not).

This means your online presence and reputation is just as important as your physical one – maybe even more so.

A vast majority of the people who interact with your business probably do so online as well as in person.

Your online presence and reputation are just as important as your physical one!Click To Tweet

And this trend is only increasing as the population becomes more adept at navigating online information sources.

This has lead to some interesting and profound changes in how we do business.

One aspect in particular, in my opinion, is dying a quick death:

The business card.

Why The Business Card is Dying

Google Page One

Business cards used to have a distinct and important purpose in the world.

They served to tell us the business’s name, what it does (briefly), and contact and/or location information.

They were great for keeping this information handy so it could be accessed when needed.

However, an extremely disruptive force of technology has evolved to do this infinitely better than a business card ever could:


Google search results do exactly what business cards used to.

They tell you who the business is, what it does, who it does it for, how to get in contact, and where it’s located.

You can even get directions or call it immediately with the click of a button.

Except, this business card can be accessed anywhere, any time, and by anyone with an internet connection.

It has also evolved into the natural first place prospects turn to when they want to learn more about a business.

Not the Yellow Pages or digging through their wallet for a ripped, worn-out piece of paper they received 2 months ago.

Your Google search result has replaced your business card, and whether you’ve noticed it or not, this is having profound effects on your customer’s perception of you.

How Your Google Search Results Affect Potential Buyers

Even if a potential customer hears about you through word of mouth (whether it’s positive or negative) they will search for you on Google to find out more.

What shows up either aids or detracts from their impression of you.

And this impression isn’t solely affected by reviews like these:

Google Reviews

It’s what’s in your tagline, meta description, images, and the other structured data Google displays:

Google Tiles and Meta Descriptions

If your search result doesn’t look clear and professional, this is like handing every potential customer you meet a bland, unorganized business card.

What’s worse, is they can immediately see the other “business cards” (i.e. search results) next to you and compare their options.

If those business cards are clear, professional, and attractive, prospects will weigh them against you more heavily.

Here are a few tips for improving your Google search result:

  • Make sure your business’s name and what you do is clearly displayed in the SEO title. For example, “Mystic Massage – Massage Therapy Austin Texas” is a good title.
  • Don’t include unnecessary words or phrases, like “Home Page” or “Click Here.”
  • Describe your business in further detail within the meta description.
  • Fill out all of the details in your Google My Business page, especially location, phone number, and operating hours.

Reviews of your business will also be prominently displayed.

If they’re below average, a prospect could quickly and easily find a competitor with better reviews (sometimes on the exact same page), despite first searching for you and you alone.

This isn’t an ideal spot to be in.

Thankfully, there are ways to improve your customer reviews, which we will discuss in a bit.

However, there is something far worse for your business than below average reviews or an unattractive search result…

Not Showing Up in Google at All

What’s worse than bad reviews or an ugly search result?

Not showing up at all!

If you don’t show up it’s an even bigger red flag than if your result gives off an unfavorable impression.

Not showing up sparks an instant flurry of questions in the customer’s mind:

  • Why aren’t they showing up in Google?
  • Is it worth my time to keep searching for more information about them?
  • Here’s a similar business nearby! Should I just go with them instead?

Unfortunately, most small to medium-sized business owners do not understand how to get ranked in Google.

The ones who do end up on the first page (for the keywords they want to rank for) do so on accident.

The rest are left wondering why their competitors continue to grab a bigger slice of the market share.

So if you’re not showing up in Google, it should be your number one priority.

Here are several resources to help you understand the SEO (search engine optimization) process further:

Or contact us here and we will explain how it works.

Once you’re showing up, that’s great, but it’s only step one in your customer’s sales journey…

Whether or Not to do Business With You?

If a customer’s interest is peaked, they won’t simply stop at your search result.

They will look at the first couple reviews posted on Google and then dig even further.

This survey found that 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.

And 90% of consumers read less than 10 reviews before forming an opinion about a business.

Customers take reviews very seriously because the best way for them to get an idea of what it would be like to experience a business is from other people’s experiences with it.

Reviews Online

Word-of-mouth is one of the strongest forms of marketing.

Reviews are the online version of this, so it’s imperative you take action to make sure your reviews are as positive as possible.

This can be achieved in two main ways:

  • Provide an amazing service
  • Use a review system that maximizes your positive reviews (and minimizes negative ones)

Hopefully you have #1 handled.

Providing an amazing service will always garner positive ROI, both tangibly and intangibly.

If your service is lacking, there isn’t a review system in the world, other than buying fake reviews (not recommended), that could improve your rating.

However, if you provide a great service, setting up the following system could maximize your reviews:

A Review System To Maximize Positive Reviews (and Minimize Negative Ones)

First off, what’s a review system?

A review system is a step-by-step process to make it easy for customers to leave reviews about your business, whether it be on Google, Facebook, Yelp, or any of the other review websites.

However, here’s the important part:

It also helps maximize the number of positive reviews you get while slowly minimizing the negative ones.

To set up your review system, you first need a webpage to accept customer reviews.

Review Funnel

You then encourage customers to leave reviews on this page after they have engaged with your business.

Make sure they can give you a rating of 1-5 stars (like most review websites offer).

Review Marketing

Anyone who leaves a review of 3 stars or less is then asked for feedback about their experience.

Here, you ask for reasoning behind their review and what improvements they would have made.

This allows you to address negative reviews as quickly as possible and you get consistent feedback about your service.

This slowly minimizes your negative reviews as your service continually improves.

Anyone who leaves a review of 4 or 5 stars gets redirected to a page where they can leave a review on a multitude of review websites.

These people already view you in a favorable light, so making it easy for them to leave more positive reviews on other websites helps maximize your positive reviews.

Once set up, the success of this system is about getting as many people as possible to fill out a review on your webpage.

Here are a few ways to do it:

  • Place notices within your store with instructions on how to leave a review
  • Include links on your website that point to the review page
  • Ask your social media followers to leave a review
  • Automate an email to be sent after purchase

After this, your review system should be ready to go.

Moving Forward

Once you’re showing up in Google, your search result is clear and inviting, and your reviews are positive, you are ready to make your new digital business card work wonders for you.

The best part?

This all works in the background while you continue to man the front lines and handle the rest of your business.

However, organic search and online reviews are only a part of your online presence.

Showing up for your business name is just the start.

Showing up for what your prospects are searching for is the next step to help you get a leg up in an ever-growing field of competition.

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WordPress Resources at SiteGround

WordPress is an award-winning web software, used by millions of webmasters worldwide for building their website or blog. SiteGround is proud to host this particular WordPress installation and provide users with multiple resources to facilitate the management of their WP websites:

Expert WordPress Hosting

SiteGround provides superior WordPress hosting focused on speed, security and customer service. We take care of WordPress sites security with unique server-level customizations, WP auto-updates, and daily backups. We make them faster by regularly upgrading our hardware, offering free CDN with Railgun and developing our SuperCacher that speeds sites up to 100 times! And last but not least, we provide real WordPress help 24/7! Learn more about SiteGround WordPress hosting

WordPress tutorial and knowledgebase articles

WordPress is considered an easy to work with software. Yet, if you are a beginner you might need some help, or you might be looking for tweaks that do not come naturally even to more advanced users. SiteGround WordPress tutorial includes installation and theme change instructions, management of WordPress plugins, manual upgrade and backup creation, and more. If you are looking for a more rare setup or modification, you may visit SiteGround Knowledgebase.

Free WordPress themes

SiteGround experts not only develop various solutions for WordPress sites, but also create unique designs that you could download for free. SiteGround WordPress themes are easy to customize for the particular use of the webmaster.

50 Shades of SEO: Black Hat, White Hat or a Shade of Grey?


What On Earth Do the Different Shades of SEO Mean For Your Business?

There is a lot of hype and mythology out there about SEO, but what does it all mean?

With all the different shades that SEO can take, from content marketing white hat to link farming black hat, it’s difficult to know what ‘real’ SEO is.

Search engine penalties, algorithm changes – the SEO world moves fast and it’s hard to keep up with the latest best practices.

And different SEO’s say different things depending on what hat they wear.

So, what does white hat, black hat, and gray hat SEO really have to do with ranking a website?

And what do these different types of SEO mean for your business?

Once, There Were No SEO Shades

OK, that’s not 100% true, but before the mass search engine penalties & algorithm updates of 2011 and 2012, SEOs were a more unified bunch.

The early iterations of SEO were all about ranking sites using any means possible, and as search engines were not that sophisticated; SEO methods were repetitive and simple.

Ranking sites would involve questionable, outdated methods like keyword stuffing and throwing loads of low quality links at a domain at a high velocity.

In their defense, the SEO industry was growing fast and people were constantly testing out different ways to rank sites and earn money online – some methods weren’t that great, but they worked.

Thankfully, things changed as search developed, and some of the old tactics felt less like a good idea.

Google put out successive algorithm updates (Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird being the main ones) that targeted low quality content and excessive links.

SEOs realized their methods were misleading users and devaluing brands, and new ideas about user-experience SEO and content marketing took hold.

When these search engine penalties hit all the big sites and took out the blog networks used for cheap links, most SEOs cleaned up their act and resorted to not using mass production of links or user manipulation for rankings benefit.

A new breed of SEO was taking hold.

Search Engine Optimization

The Rise of the White Hat SEO

Since those turbulent days, white hat SEO has become the norm.

Now, most SEO companies and service providers market themselves as only white hat SEOs – offering penalty-proof, risk-free, long-term SEO strategies.

The risk of causing damage and harm to a branded website because of outdated SEO practices keeps most white hats on the straight and narrow (bar a few experimentations)

SEO is a Financial Investment:

You should see SEO as an investment in future business growth.

Organic traffic is a great way to safeguard your business’s future, but it’s something you need to spend money and time on.

Because of how search has evolved, white hat SEO has become more time-consuming (and expensive) as a service.

There are still some SEO elements (especially local SEO) which are very cost-effective, but on the whole the financial commitment needed to get great online marketing results has risen over the past few years. (This is partly due to the growth of the online marketplace).

SEO is Constantly Moving:

Something that was an accepted practice a year ago, may no longer be worthwhile.

SEOs have to constantly evolve to remain up to date, and this extends to white hats too (a good recent example of SEO development is latent semantic indexing and topical SEO).

Stating they are a white hat SEO may not mean they are 100% confident with all the latest SEO tactics.Click To Tweet

Delve a little deeper to unearth their true SEO credentials.

White Hat SEOs are Prone to Specialization:

Find an agency who have worked in your type of business.

It’s great to work with SEOs who understand all your unique business challenges and have experience of your specific search environment.

SEO is Part of the Bigger Picture:

White hat SEO is often part of a digital marketing and content strategy package.

Good SEO should be closely integrated with long-term discussions about your business and can help you launch into new marketplaces.

Black Hat SEO Community

Black Hat SEO

Most black hat SEOs are very open about being black hat – there is a whole underground black hat SEO community where sharing link building tactics and search engine loopholes is common practice.

For black hats, experimentation and testing are central SEO tenets and they are much more likely to take risks with search engine rankings in the hope of making a profit.

Black hats rarely surface outside of online marketing circles because black hat SEO is rarely client-focused.

So there isn’t much risk of your business website getting into black hat hands – unless you answer one of those emails that promise to rank your website number one in Google for $100… (never answer those!).

Is There Such a Thing as Gray Hat?

Gray hat SEO is a term that’s been doing the rounds in the SEO community more recently.

Being gray hat is often a reaction against ambivalent industry and search engine guidelines and it’s driven by a curiosity for more mass-scale SEO.

Gray hat SEO might be more risky, but it’s a method some SEOs feel is justified in today’s commercial search market.

In can be much harder to spot a gray hat SEO, but often it comes down to how they prefer to build links or market themselves.

What Shade Matches Your Business?

Search Engine Optimization Analytics

It’s probably worthwhile thinking about whether you want to invest in SEO because you see SEO as a great way to grow your online brand, or whether it’s something you’re just testing the waters with?

SEO ALWAYS works best when it has your full commitment and is a long-term investment.

All the things that accompany modern SEO – video content, social media, paid advertising, design and development – are all part of the overall marketing mix for your business.

Embrace your business’s online potential outside the world of SEO too.

And leave the black hat SEO methods to people who are willing to take the risk!

Do SEO providers make their intentions clear enough?

What industry guidelines do you think would help consumers?

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