Offline SEO Specialist Question

18 replies
I've just been given a position as an Advertising/Marketing/SEO Specialist for a growing company. In the past I've always just done seo for my own sites and I'm no expert by any means.

My husband and his partners have just purchased a business and they think I'm a good fit for the position. So, now I need to become an expert for this currently small but established business ready to expand.

Can anyone here offer any suggestions, such as, very professional online training/courses to help me become an Advertising/Marketing/SEO expert? I can't screw this up...
#offline #question #seo #specialist
  • Profile picture of the author mrmatt
    What type of business and what kind of training are you looking for?

    Is it local or national?

    Ecommerce based?
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  • Profile picture of the author Jill Kane
    It's a local business but they are wanting to expand geographically (northeast mainly). Type of business is quite specialized in waste water management. So, targeting is quite specific. They are looking for branding, website re-design, seo, email marketing.

    I'm looking for quality online marketing for offline business training...
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  • Profile picture of the author mrmatt
    It sounds as thought you are targetting municipalities.

    I can't think of any particular course or product off the top of my head that is all inclusive. Nor can I think of any course that has really "wowed me". Hopefully some other folks can chime in about this.

    Branding - If you are talking about logos and such there are a ton of great people on Warriors for hire. If you are talking about branding through advertising etc. it is expensive and hard to track and unless you have a massive budget which I doubt you do I would not focus on it.

    Website Re-design - Again there are a ton of people in the warriors for hire that can redisgin the site in expensively. If that is not your strong point hire someone else to do it that is a pro.

    SEO - On page optimization targetting states and cities with your keywords. Directory submissions, press releases, video, infographics, articles, etc.

    Email Marketing - Not sure of any training or courses. But I am assuming you are talking about capturing the email and then doing follow up. Personally I would try and cpature their address and phone number as well so you can do direct mail and call.

    Suggestions -

    Linked In - Find out the people you want to target and start adding them into your network. See of their are any groups you can join.

    Direct Mail - Again targetted to the people you need to get in front of. Buy the list or make calls and find out who the person would be that you should be targetting.

    SEM - PPC is great way to target specific niches and needs of that niche.

    Conferences /Seminars - Are there any for this niche, can you go, can you be a vendor, can you sponsor any of them. Can you buy a list of attendees? Are there networking events?

    Trade Sites - Are their any sites where you could guest post or advertise on. Are their any forum/discussion groups you can join and be a part of.

    Trade Associations - Can you provide content of their site or newsletter. Can you advertsie on the sites or newsletter. Could you buy a solo add to the members.

    Trade Mags - Can you be a guest author? Can they do a solo email? Advertising is expensive in the trade mags but worth looking into.

    Joint Ventures - Are there other businesses that target the same people as you do that offer non-competing services or products. If so get with them and have them promote you to their list and vice versa. Promote each other on your sites. Do direct mail for each other introducing and recommending each other.
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    • Profile picture of the author bawls
      sadly you really need experience to be an "expert" because there is so much flawed information out there that it would take expertise to know the difference.

      might just look around here and find some that offers a service "that gets results" and hire them then figure out what they are doing.
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      • Profile picture of the author benbro
        Originally Posted by bawls View Post

        sadly you really need experience to be an "expert" because there is so much flawed information out there that it would take expertise to know the difference.
        I'd tend to agree w. Bawls. Experience is what will help you. But the good news is that you already have some with your own sites that will help you.

        However, as you will quickly observe once you're getting paid to be someone's resident SEO expert there's a difference between the type of SEO that is done for your own sites vs what you will be expected to do as an in-house SEO specialist.

        I was an in-house seo specialist for a little over 3 yrs - both within an agency environment and an end-user setting. So I'll try to share the topics/challenges that you may want to familiarize yourself with, sooner rather than later.

        This way you can preemptively seek and address these challenges before they find you

        These are the things that often get overlooked when you're doing niche sites, that you won't have the luxury of ignoring when you're an SEO specialist:
        • Learn How Various CMS's/Coding Impacts Your On Page SEO - Because let's face it, not all code is created equal.
        • Teach Yourself the Ins and Outs of Solid Website Architecture - This is a biggie. For example, would you want your URL's to look like this domain.com/My_Widgets.html or like this www.domain.com/my-widgets/ <---this one will please the SE's more.
        • Get in the Habit of Always Spot Checking for Bad Content - For example, before you add new content to the site, always plug it into copyscape first.
        • Familiarize Yourself w. How to Stave Off Duplicate Content Penalties - For example, everyone knows that you can use copyscape to check your content for uniqueness. But how many people know that you can do this and still get hit with duplicate content penalties if your site uses dynamic URL's?

          A great example is ecommerce websites - when you search for a product using the ecommerce site's search box, the URL that comes up will have a question mark followed by a long string of characters (http://www.domain.com/?storeid=16878...D=yadayadayada).

          This page with the funny url represents one version of the product page, but there's also the other version of the page - that doesn't have the weird url (www.domain.com/widget/) - same content on both pages...but two different URL's=dupe content.

          In this case you could either re-write the dynamic url's, use google webmaster tools to tell google to ignore url's with certain strings or no-index your results pages. But the bottom line is that learning the unsexy stuff- like this will help you.
        • Pay Special Attention to Google Penalties & How to Avoid Them - For example, let's say your employer has multiple sites and they were adamant about using them to get backlinks to their other sites.

          You should make sure that if you did link them, that each of the sites is hosted on separate hosting accounts. Otherwise you could risk Google determining that you're running a link network and "linking" your sites, which could result in all of them taking a beating in the SERPS.
        • Learn Creative Ways of Getting Backlinks - Again in the niche site setting when you want to get backlinks senuke and things like that may be adequate.

          But in the setting you're heading into, doing things that way could bite you in the rear. For example, here's something we're doing for a client now...Tying a really big story about an entertainer who did something silly, in Atlanta, into a press release and shopping the press release around to see if we can get some good high quality mentions.
        • Local SEO - I can't say enough about the importance of local seo for businesses that sell to local customers. This is the type of thing that you will only learn about by doing it.

          A good example of something I would have never learned unless I did it was that you can use AdWords Express to fast track your listing local listing's appearance within Google Maps (Google+ Local).
        • Video SEO - There are some things that you can do with video that will just blow your employer away. Practice ranking videos within YouTube's search engine and then getting them to come up in the natural SERPS.

          That will come in real handy later on. Also make sure you teach yourself about the intersection of local seo and video seo.
        • Testing and Conversions - Everything else is cool but if you can't get your visitors to convert into buyers then like Metallica's song - Nothing Else Matters.

        Hope that helps mate.
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        • Profile picture of the author Paul Barrs
          Originally Posted by benbro View Post

          I'd tend to agree w. Bawls. Experience is what will help you. But the good news is that you already have some with your own sites that will help you.


          etc etc etc etc
          Benro - nice post.

          I haven't been around the forum for a while now; got ticked off with the number of responses from wannabe whoose-i-whats-its who though they had some clue about what they were talking about.

          Worse yet the absolute idiots who were believing and buying their sh*t -

          Your post however restores a little of my faith!

          Well said!

          My reply to the OP - don't look for the easy way out... DO THE WORK and the results will speak for themselves.

          Paul Barrs

          BTW. It really doesn't matter what "niche" or "industry" you're in - the principles of SEO DON'T CHANGE from market to market.
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          • Profile picture of the author benbro
            Originally Posted by Paul Barrs View Post

            Benro - nice post.

            I haven't been around the forum for a while now; got ticked off with the number of responses from wannabe whoose-i-whats-its who though they had some clue about what they were talking about.

            Worse yet the absolute idiots who were believing and buying their sh*t -
            Wow Paul, thanks! I'm really flattered. But I know what you mean about leaving the site for a while though. I did the same from some time in 2011 until a few months ago and was also pleasantly surprised to see some bonafide conversations taking place.

            Glad I could take part in the same! Re: different niches and seo you are correct the principles don't change. But do you think or have you noticed that some industries emphasize/practice "complete seo" more than others?
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            • Profile picture of the author Paul Barrs
              Originally Posted by benbro View Post

              have you noticed that some industries emphasize/practice "complete seo" more than others?
              There was a really good explanation to that in last week's Whiteboard Friday.

              Why We Can't Just Be SEOs Anymore - Whiteboard Friday | SEOmoz

              Paul
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              • Profile picture of the author CandyxLand
                I am not sure what kind of budget this company has for marketing, but I would say you need to learn about PPC campaigns if it's a fairly large budget. It's a great method of instantly getting traffic, and one that doesn't rely on the (often illusive) hope of SEO tricks working.

                Otherwise, if you're bootstrapping it, I would look into SEO since it can be done quite cheaply. Make sure you understand link tiers, spun content, and research all the sites to get free links.

                Edit: what is offline SEO? By its definition (search engine optimization), SEO is an online affair?
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              • Profile picture of the author benbro
                Thanks Paul, that was an awesome video. Rand nailed it on that one and its one of the reasons I've started referring to myself as a corp communications specialist as opposed to an seo specialist. Have a good day!

                Originally Posted by Paul Barrs View Post

                There was a really good explanation to that in last week's Whiteboard Friday.

                Why We Can't Just Be SEOs Anymore - Whiteboard Friday | SEOmoz

                Paul
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  • Profile picture of the author CoachManny
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  • Profile picture of the author JackCurtis
    I'll simply add my input on the SEO front. You will need both good onpage seo and offpage seo to be successful.

    For on page seo you really can't go wrong if you follow these guidlines Perfecting Keyword Targeting & On-Page Optimization for SEO | SEOmoz the post may be from almost 4 years ago but everything here still holds true today.

    Once you have followed these guidlines it is time to test. Use these two sites Crawl Test Tool - Free SEO Web Crawler | SEOmoz PRO
    On-Page Keyword Optimization | SEOmoz PRO

    and follow their recommendations.

    Off page SEO is far more complex. If you are looking for some good training on this then I highly recommend these videos LinkLove 2013 Conference Videos
    they are $249 to buy or if you sign up to distilled U for $40 a month you can simply stream them.
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  • Profile picture of the author tinyreal
    I would just take the Bull by the horns and learn as you go. Dont look for quick fixes, and don't look to learn from anyone but the best in your journey.

    Its nowhere near as hard as people make it out to be. its a skill set, but people are always looking for quicker, no work nonsense, and that doesn't work.

    take a program like SENuke. Highly useful and awesome. But, most people just want to push a button, create 10 billion links and move on, then cry when Google figured out they were gaming the system. But if you use it to create 20 web 2.0 properties or whatever, its a huge time saver, and so if Fiverr. There are people that will make you link wheels, not connect the spokes and give you the log in details. How liong will it take you to do that yourself? an hour? So are you worth more than $5 an hour?

    Whatever, off on a tangent, but I hope it was kinda useful info.

    Mike
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  • Profile picture of the author Voasi
    I'm not sure SEO is the direction you want to do. SEO is always so "attractive" because it's free, but if there isn't a lot of searches for whatever you're trying to rank, it's not the best solution. I'm always the first to recommend SEO. I'm also first to tell my clients that SEO isn't the best direction.

    For you, since it's highly specialized service, in a local radius, the time might not warrant the work to do it.

    Having said that, I think you'd be better off focused on more direct marketing approaches. Like a 3-piece direct mail campaign. Build a list of prospects in the area and do a dripped direct mail campaign (postcards).

    I also think a little Linkedin networking, along with Linkedin PPC would be a good idea because you can target exactly the right demographics. You could also start a Linkedin Group called: How To Save $100's with Water Waste Management.... (something like that) and then target people to join the group who are "perfect" clients.

    My 2 cents...
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  • Profile picture of the author DaniMc
    Who decided that SEO is the best way to market this business? How was this decision arrived at?

    I'm asking because a failure to make SEO produce results for this company would look like a failure on your part, when really there may have been failure to really analyze the marketing needs of the business.

    I work with small businesses on their marketing plans full-time. It's what I do. Often, the first thing people want is SEO. I have to constantly tell people that SEO is NOT a marketing plan. It is not even a strategy. It is a tactic. And as such, is not right for every business. It should be a tool in your tool belt - not the only tool you have.

    The situation this business is in, small but ready to grow, is a critical moment. They cannot afford to spend a ton on your salary and the budget you need, if it is the wrong direction. This is a common but critical flaw. The owners really need to bring in someone who can help form a real plan, then create a position to help execute that plan. Make sure your job description covers more than just SEO and you explain that there is far more to marketing a business than SEO.
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    • Profile picture of the author sallan
      If you really want to learn SEO, I DistilledU (DistilledU | Online SEO training) it is put together by Distilled, who are industry leaders. However it is not a "follow these 3 easy steps" type of course, it is well laid out and gives you great skills but you will have to be self motivated, and prepared to do some reading and research of your own.
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  • Profile picture of the author FA8891
    i can suggest "SEO Profiler" , i used it for many websites, it helps get the maximum benefits from any website keywords and more.
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