Im a student faced with an SEO opportunity, need some advice, anyone??

by asc
7 replies
Ok quick rundown of me. got into affiliate marketing around 3 years ago, made a few sales, got a few keywords ranked but had nil technical knowledge - fast forward and im coming up to the end of a 2 year foundation degree in new media and design. Looking for a placement where there would be a mentor who knew about SEO and IM techniques to learn from. That is me now.

Sent to a bed shop in a small town who asked for a student, they want their sales increased. No mentor, 2 guys who are in their 60s and have been in their business for over 30 years. They have some understanding of SEO in that they know what it is. They are computer literate and use magento themselves to update stock - they paid a web designer to do that bit. They wanted someone to get their sales up.

Ive never really done SEO work in this manner. I've got an understanding of keyword research, some link-building via forums, article marketing - as i say not the best but a decent grounding in the different methods and some of the application.

I declined the placement but did a bit of keyword research and seems there is some easier keywords to rank well for....

Today the guy called me and offered me paid work to spend a day or two a week at his shop doing SEO. For a skint student this is a good opportunity

Anyway i did look at one particular 3 word keyword and it gets around 90 exact visitors per day, and a domain is available to buy. I was thinking of employing these tactics and if it gets visitors and i direct them to his already existing site, then i could charge on a results basis, ie if they get more visitors and sales. I have also considered going to fiverr and buying a few links. And article marketing - they have the subject knowledge and info available to market.

Thing is other than this (and looking at onpage optimisation, keyword placement and content for their existing sites), im a bit out of ideas as to what i could offer.

Questions to you all

1. I feel like i may be out of my depth - do i sound like it? (be honest, but constructive please?)

2. Do my initial methods sound like a practical route to take?

3. Should i walk away or take this chance with both hands?

Thing is, apart from online, in my circle of friends and colleagues very few understand or even know what SEO is - i know far more than any student i know in my college and far more than the lecturers, but that is due to hanging around forums like this really

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated

#advice #faced #opportunity #seo #student
  • Profile picture of the author simplydlacruz
    Hi Alan,

    I'm normally a lurker on these forums but I registered just to respond to you. I am not a IM but I have a few sites that I am currently trying to rank higher for. Anyway, I think your situation is a just jump in and do it type situation. If your personality is the type to make the best of anything that you take on, then you will kick ass at this gig.

    My 2 cents is take the job and go for it. They obviously see something in you that they are willing to offer you the job. Have a great time dude and keep us updated how it goes.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kev Stevenson
    Hi Alan,
    I'd say go for it...
    They know you and have offered YOU the work.
    They know you are a student and not an SEO agency.

    Do the things you have mentioned. (concentrate initially on onpage SEO and see what happens to ranking and traffic - but that's only my opinion)

    Manage their expectations so they don't expect miracles from you as SEO improvements can take some time to manifest into improved sales.

    Best of luck with it,

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  • Profile picture of the author cleanerupper
    Make sure he knows exactly what you can offer so that there is no misunderstandings. It's better for him to have smaller expectations that will be fulfilled rather than large expectations that will leave him disappointed.

    I would check out the following SEOmoz whiteboard Friday videos and make a list of what you can and cannot do. Once you make the list, present it to the business owner in a professional fashion, along with timetables for each task. Make sure that you don't guarantee any rankings or you will both be stressed out beyond belief.

    An SEO Checklist for New Sites - Whiteboard Friday | SEOmoz
    Local SEO Checklist for New Sites - Whiteboard Friday | SEOmoz

    It sounds to me like on page optimization is not a problem for you, so it's just a matter of researching his keywords and market, making a checklist specific to his site, and hammering out the content. As for off page optimization, I've found that for quick and dirty high PR backlinks, the classifieds section of this forum can be a gold mine. There are plenty of people in there with networks of 20-30 high PR (PR2-PR6) sites that will place your link on every site for an average of $20 a month.

    Since this is a local business, I would definitely target keywords with the city, county, or region name tagged onto the end. This way, the keywords will be a whole lot easier to rank for due to low competition, plus the traffic coming to his site via organic search will be more targeted.
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  • Profile picture of the author asc
    Many thanks for your replies.

    Kev yes i will definitely be honest and concentrate on what i (hope!) i can do. And yes i have already wrote out some sort of timeplan for them to review.

    Cleanerupper - thanks for the links, ill watch and ingest asap!
    It is a local business but they started ecommerce some time ago (not sure how long), and want to do more of this business, uk and eurpoe wide. They tell me they do get sales but they say something like 2-4 per week if i remember right - ill establish this more next time i see them. As good will for them giving me the time of day - lots dont with students- i offered to do a bit of keyword research for them for free and go back for a chat to hopefully help them with finding someone and not getting ripped off, but with a view of declining the placement.

    It was there i thought about the 30 day challenge and did my research via market samurai and it gave out a few keywords that seemed to be of interest - if i were doing it for the challenge then i'd probably choose some of them. Good volume of searches with low competition.

    At present i have made a draft tonight, with screen shots of some figures, and a suggestion that rather than pay me, provide the minimum costs for domain and maybe some link building gigs, and the content and i set up the domain and see if it provides them with more custom - the keywords are pretty targetted ie a specific type of bed - if it works then we discuss a percentage? This way i also keep some control should there be any disagreements along the way. And if not then they havent paid me to sit in their shop 2 days per week (this is what they are suggesting at present).

    Any thoughts on this as a plan? Or anything in general about all this?

    On a plus note this was my very first ever paid job offer, so today is a good day
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  • Profile picture of the author cleanerupper
    That sounds good to me. If you're not 100% sure of your abilities, sometimes you need to offer your work for a discount in order to build up experience and credibility for future customers. Tell the guys that you are very confident in your ability to increase their online visibility, but this would be a job best delegated on a contractual basis. Being on a contact, you can work on your own timeline and set up meetings as needed.

    Once the results start pouring in, you can re-evaulate the amount of money you charge. I would think of it as a micro-internship. These furniture guys are actually doing you a favor by assuming that your services actually have value, which is a huge boost of confidence to an independent consultant-type business person like an SEO. Hopefully this interaction pushes your confidence to the next level for future customers.
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  • Profile picture of the author pdrs
    As long as they have realistic expectations about the keywords and stuff I'd say go for it with the experience you have. The ideas you have mention sound like a solid starting point and should allow you to show them some results fairly quickly. Just make sure they know it's a 3 month game at least (sure you may get quick rankings on the domain but give yourself the time in-case something invariably goes wrong!).
    RemoteControlHelicopterReviews.(com/net) - Up for sale! No reasonable offer refused. Great branding for a super hot niche!
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  • Profile picture of the author pdrs
    btw - in your case don't forget to think about local optimization and videos! don't know for sure but there is probably a ton of long tail traffic/advertising to be had with some easy youtube vids of the products in the store
    RemoteControlHelicopterReviews.(com/net) - Up for sale! No reasonable offer refused. Great branding for a super hot niche!
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