What do SEO, Charles Barkley, two packs of chewing gum and The Right Street Digital have in common?
It’s very hard for me to write without optimising the sentences with keywords on strategic places as I go along. Not optimising the title and the beginning of this paragraph makes the back of my mind restless.
I want to write about Search engine optimization and why is it a bit special. When done right, it can easily become the best marketing move you ever made. By “done right” I mean this:
A year and a half (and continuing) of growth preceded by a year and a half of work. (I never liked showing off success stories. When it comes to SEO, every case is special – something that works for one client may not work for another. This screenshot is here simply to illustrate the power of search engine optimisation.)
I also want to write about – why give your SEO to The Right Street Digital. I’ll get to that shortly. But first to demystify some of the most common SEO illusions.
Why does SEO cost more?
It doesn’t. Proportionally to the work invested it’s a lot cheaper when compared to social media or other expert-level digital marketing work (like PPC campaigns).
When I set up a very complicated Google or LinkedIn campaign with three or more layers of precise audience targeting, I’ll spend 2-5 hours. When I’m trying to rank for a certain keyword, I’ll spend up to 20 times more time in exhausting concentrated work over a certain period. Not all of that time can realistically be charged for. But all of that work has to be done.
Why is it worth it? Once you rank high, you harvest the free traffic (the best kind of traffic there is – specifically selected for your type of work) for an unlimited amount of time (until someone does more and better SEO work and brings you down).
1000 words for two packs of chewing gum
I’m not a money grabber. For the first article I ever wrote for an online client, I got 1,50 USD for 1000 words. The amount of money that would buy me two packs of chewing gum. and I was ecstatic. I discovered it was possible to make money online. It may seem silly now but in the early days of the internet, for me, it was close to a miracle.
Back then I was a known journalist, half-crazed by the years of the never-stopping hectic rhythm of daily journalism in the news and politics desk of the most-watched TV station in my country. For years, on average, I made a feature per day. Every day – a new story. I felt spent and I wanted something else. Then digital marketing and SEO came along.
My current rates would probably make my younger self explode with happiness but now it just feels normal – fair pay for fair work.
SEO takes expertise, time, money and devotion
SEO can’t be done without time and money. Someone who knows what to do (and has experience doing it) needs to spend a lot of hours hunched behind the laptop – researching keywords, following the competition, optimising, building backlinks and – often ignored – thinking. Someone needs to devote themselves to the project at hand.
In The Right Street, I never charge for all the hours I spend on a project because it would simply go way over the client’s budget. And I can’t half bake the work. The manic, obsessive, workaholic, perfectionist side of my personality can’t do it.
One size fits all in SEO – a delusion
There is no one size fits all in SEO. In order for the mighty Google algorithm to recognise a piece of content as relevant for a certain user intent – reflected in a certain keyword, the content must:
1. be relevant for the certain keyword
(read: more relevant for the user intent compared to the competition)
2. be optimised in the right way so that it has a chance of ranking high on Google (optimised both on and off-page with some sort of a strategic approach)
The mistake clients often make is assuming that no. 2. is enough and that SEO’s do only that – the extensive list of weird tech-related details and inserting keywords. And that’s where work gets sloppy for all those willing to compromise and make a buck or two.
It gets sloppy because it’s not real.
In order for the pursuit of a certain keyword to work, SEO experts (together with clients) need to think – how can we spin this piece of content for it to match closely to the user intent while still keeping the essence of what the client wants to say.
And that is not easy. But SEO is not easy.
Even 10 years back SEO wasn’t easy. Compared to that period, now it’s super hard, getting harder every day. Google is changing its algorithm 500-600 times per year, competition is growing – SEO is becoming a standard practice.
What if you don’t have the time and resources for SEO?
All those that need a good alternative to SEO should go for Google Search Ads. In my opinion, if you don’t have the resources to tackle SEO, it is the best value for money you can get.
With Google Search ads your content will be the first in front of the eyes of the targeted audience – targeted people who searched for a keyword you’re interested in. You will only pay for those that click and land on your website. In most cases 1 or 2 Euro per click. Perhaps even less, depending on the keyword (keyword prices can be as low as 5 – 10 Eurocents).
As mentioned, this recommendation was for those unable or not willing to tackle SEO.
All others – read on!
What you are paying for when hiring an SEO expert
“Read on” – something called a “bucket brigade” in the marketing
world. Action words are put in a piece of marketing text when the author feels
there is a need to attract readers’ extra attention. I don’t feel that now but the
commercial way of writing became a part of me, pushing my journalistic, my poet
and my personal voice into the background.
When Charles Barkley was doing a commercial, for the sake of recording, he
needed to miss a free throw. It took seven attempts for him to miss. His body
was programmed to put the ball through the hoop. All professional athletes are
programmed that way just as digital marketing, SEO and communication experts are
programmed to do things the right way that will push the client forward.
That’s what clients are paying for.
The magical “high” of SEO or – when the money goose comes in!
Ranking high on Google Search for relevant keywords is “a high”. Both for SEO’s and clients who start seeing the magic only SEO done right can bring.
#1 The magic is in the right people who start finding you in great numbers. You suddenly have more and more conversations with leads, stakeholders, people you are usually trying to reach. Organic traffic is the best kind of targeting you can have.
#2 The magic is in visibility – to rank high on relevant keywords means to be in front of the right eyes. Easier to influence, persuade or attract.
#3 The magic is in credibility – any organization or a company that ranks high on Google is considered to be more relevant than those underneath. Why? People trust Google. Google became Google because it provides the best answers for the specific user intent. (Remember the last time you used AltaVista, Ask.com, Bing or Yahoo search?)
Why choose The Right Street?
I earn cca 30% less per hour and almost 50% less per piece of optimised content compared to my past experience in the commercial sector. Luckily, I’m no longer under financial stress so I can afford to choose what I want to do.
Devotion, loyalty and reliability
I never liked huge marketing companies. It seems to me like a sort of a paradox but in my experience, almost like a rule – more employees, less devotion to a certain client. Companies tend to lose touch when scaled too much. TRS is perfect in size: big enough to do majestic work, small enough to actually care.
I like the devotion TRS has towards clients. I much prefer the retainer-based work compared to the unavoidable hack and slash of projects. It’s good to have time and space to help grow and develop clients work on a continuous basis.
That way, I get to do what I love and go much further – into the exciting complex work that brings the most benefits to the client and allows me to put all of my skills to use.
The right people
Also, The Right Street has something very important to me personally – the right people.
I’ve known TRS creative director Richard Medic for two decades now and have always admired his special personality, the creative spark and an occasional touch of genius that shines through a multitude of layers of his complex mind. He is the reason why I joined the company.
When I met TRS managing director Filip Lugovic, I discovered the powerhouse of the company. A very competent organiser, a natural leader and – very important for me, a man with a big heart. If he ever decided to go solo again and work for someone else, I’m sure major companies in the commercial sector would get in a catfight over him.
Lorenzo Marchese, projects director is new to me (I’m usually slow with people) but I’m starting to see how his strategic mind and powerful intellect fit in the TRS story.
And the rest of the guys. A team of young worker bee experts with positive attitudes and immaculate work habits. Personally, I especially like the misfits among the TRS staff – hungry, young and competent with sparkling minds and challenging pasts they’re destined to always run away from. In my book – a recipe for a great future.
How about a call?
Since it is practically impossible for me not to finish with a call to action – here it comes:
If you felt something while reading this, send us an e-mail.
We offer free SEO audits that are far more than the usual teaser. They come with a 5-6 page in-depth analysis and the 60 minutes SEO call with a load of recommendations and do-it-yourself tips.
Best of all, we offer the services of reliable experts that will devote you enough time to do the job right.
So, let’s talk?