One of our company values is to “create raving fans”. Not for just our key accounts – for ALL of our clients. And, while we have high satisfaction rates, we can’t claim that every single one of our clients is a “raving fan”. Like any company, have a few campaigns that have not gone as well as planned. From this point of view, we saw that “great” is not good enough. We decided that we wanted something that would be – as Steve Jobs would have said – “insanely great”.
So we set about asking ourselves what the common feedback is with the SEO side of our business. Some of the (paraphrased) feedback that we found that we heard on an ongoing basis:
- Can you take care of SEO so that I don’t have to write content?
- Can you get me ranking high without compromising the look of my website just to have SEO content?
- Why do results take so long?
- Can you get this seasonal keyword ranking, pronto?
- Can you just get my one or two money keywords ranking, fast?
- Will the work that you do now still be effective in 6 months or a year?
- What if someone sees that link?
- What if none of the link “submissions” get accepted?
In the weeks since then, the team here at E-Web Marketing have been working extremely hard on revolutionising our link building service to address all of this feedback.
The SEO Revolution
The result is what we call The Grid, and it means:
- The emphasis on content is minimal
- Results happen in a matter of weeks, even days
- We can target competitive keywords on smaller budgets
- The work we do now won’t get re-evaluated by Google’s updates
- Every link submission will be accepted – guaranteed
So what is The Grid? Without going into too much detail, E-Web has created relationships with a large collection of online properties that we have authority to use in order to build the online reputation of your business. The result for you is that the links that we build for you are quality links, as described in my last post. There’s a lot more sophistication to it, but that’s the guts and essence of our new approach.
From an insider’s perspective, the changes have been both cutting edge as well as incredibly fast. It’s hard, if not impossible, to convey to an outsider how exciting the changes are, and I’ve been finding that a great deal of my clients don’t understand why we have to change things around so much. After all, change is like cough medicine – it’s good, but it ain’t easy to swallow!
So WHY are we are making these changes? Before we get into that, let’s revisit who we as a company are.
Who We Are
Our company vision is “We exist to bring Happiness, Success and Fun to everyone we encounter”. This is the driving force behind everything that we do. It’s the E-Web difference. Anyone that has been to our St Leonards office will know that we’re a fun-loving and happy bunch that are more than willing to spread that effusive energy.
More than just our energy, it’s a deep-seated passion drive to succeed that motivates us. And, since we’re in marketing, we succeed when you succeed. It’s a nice, convenient way to keep us motivated in your best interests, innit?
It works well because we are like a family and our clients are our extended family. When you aren’t succeeding, we aren’t succeeding. That hurts us to our core so much that our CEO, Gary Ng, has gone on record to say that he will personally field a call from any unhappy client, no matter how big or small, and no matter what time of day or night it is.
It’s this passion that drives all of the changes at E-Web, including this latest change. So, if you take anything away from this blog post, take this – we only make changes to the way we do things if we have a genuine, heartfelt belief that it will bring you more Happiness, Success and Fun. We are constantly evolving what we do so that you get the best possible results.
Now, moving on to the common “why” questions that we have been hearing…
Why We Are Changing Our Approach
The only thing constant about search engines is change. The search landscape is in a state of perpetual flux. Search engines are constantly updating their algorithms in response to new research, engineering breakthroughs, new media formats and, of course, to stay one step ahead of black hat SEOs (what I like to call the “Red Queen” phenomenon).
Google updates its algorithm 1-2 times per day on average. That’s a phenomenal rate of change. We have constantly been evolving our SEO to keep up with these changes – for example, the types of links that we build has mushroomed in the last 6 months to include social bookmarks, video links, document links, web 2.0s, niche blog posts and more in addition to the article submissions, directory submissions and blog commenting that we used to do.
This has gotten us some pretty great results, and happy clients. It’s worked well to date, but from all of the research we put into evolving our link building, we realized that what we were doing was just the tip of the iceberg. Here’s why we are so confident that our new approach is a revolution:
- It’s algorithm-proof – we are building a natural link profile around the powerful links we build
- Control – we no longer rely on independent third parties to submit articles to, meaning all of the links we post are guaranteed to be accepted and indexed
- Maintenance – we are continually building up the authority of the domains that we work with
The benefit of our new approach is so huge that it would be downright irresponsible of us to not do it!
Why This Will Be Better For You
As Simon Lissa, our Search Strategy Director put it, “Our approach will build the authority and power of your website and brand online through attaining more votes and increasing the visibility of your reputation…enough said.”
How important are these votes? Although Google’s algorithm is still strictly confidential, industry experts have attributed off-page factors as having the following weighting:
- 22% to inbound link anchor text
- 22% to page authority
- 24% to domain authority
- 5% to social metrics
That’s a lot of weighting given towards the authority built up from inbound votes. Also note that, while we’ll focus on specific keywords with our links, it will also build authority to your entire domain. With 24% of Google’s algorithm attributed to domain authority, the added benefit of our approach is that feeding the authority of your website will help you rank not just for targeted keywords, but also for the thousands of variations on those targeted keywords. And it makes sense too – the CNN website is more trustworthy that a one-man band blog.
Given that Google’s algorithm is now approximately 72% based on the authority of your website, why wouldn’t we do it this way?
Why We Are Not Doing Hands-On On-Page SEO Anymore
Wait, so up to 28% of Google’s algorithm is on-page – why would we move away from doing on-page SEO? Good question Jimmy! Let’s look at the breakdown of on-page factors:
- Keyword Usage – in content, title tags and H1 headers
- Traffic Patterns – is your site showing traffic patterns of visitor engagement, such as a low bounce rate?
- Registration/Hosting data – is your website hosted in a trustworthy data centre?
Looking through these, what becomes apparent is that two of these major factors, keyword usage and traffic patterns, are related to how engaging your business is. We don’t claim to be the experts in your business – in fact, we believe that YOU are the expert in your business.
Given that Google is interpreting content better and rewarding engaging content, we feel that it’s best for us to share the knowledge that we have on how to tailor your content to be friendly to Google. After all, knowledge is abundant! Our new approach is to empower you with the tools and knowledge (such as tips on setting meta tags, writing H1s and keyword density in content) to convey how compelling your business is.
You know your business better – so ask yourself, would you want your SEO company telling the world about what you do, while battling with your web developer about who is making changes on the site? Or would you rather :
- Trust yourself (as the expert on your business) to spread your own message
- Trust your web developer (as an expert on web development) to make changes on your website
- Trust your SEO company (as the expert on search) to deal with the tricky business of building your brand online
To me, the answer is simple – what about you?
Why We Are Building “Less” Links to your Site
In conversations with your contact at E-Web, you may find that the quantity of links we are building now seems to be dropping. This may be setting off alarms in your head – is E-Web doing less work?
I invite you to ask yourself, would you rather your business was recommended by 10 people that had no affiliation with your industry and a small network? Or would you prefer to be recommended by an industry expert with a huge reach and network?
There was a time when thousands of automatically spammed directory submissions would have gotten you ranking for your targeted keywords. Ranjit who is emailing you from his Banglalore office might do 10,000 directory links for $2. But will that help you? Not really. In fact, it will probably get you banned in time.
The links that we build will have very high authority and relevant, quality content, making them far more valuable (in Google’s eyes) than a ton of less authoritative links. If you’re still unclear, I invite you once again to read my last post to get a better understanding of why sometimes less is more in the world of search. And at the end of the day, your improved rankings will tell the story.
In addition, we will be building other links in the form of web 2.0 properties, social bookmarks, article submissions and a whole host of other link varieties. These links will point to:
- The links that we build, to increase their page-level authority and yours in turn
- Your website, to build additional authority and maintain a natural link profile
We are constantly changing what we do, and I completely understand my clients’ frustration with not being able to peg down a specific number of links we will build for them. At the same time, I know that it would be irresponsible of us to grant them that peace of mind if it meant compromising their results. So if you want a specific number – I’m sorry, but we won’t compromise our results based on our knowledge. Perhaps I could refer you to Ranjit in Bangladore?
Why E-Web Controls the Links
Imagine you’re a boxer and you get a recommendation from Cassius Clay. That’s pretty cool, huh? Now imagine he retires straight after he hits the big time. How valuable would that recommendation be? Pretty valuable! On the flipside, how valuable would it be if he continued boxing and building his reputation? That recommendation would then be INVALUABLE.
That’s exactly what we’ll be doing with the links that we build. While the links that we create for you are on properties that we have strong relationships with, we will grow their reputation. And in the long run, that’s what’s gonna get you to the top.
As any seasoned SEO worth their salt will tell you, that’s all very true. They will also tell you that the following facts are true:
- Links will deteriorate naturally as the internet changes and is re-indexed. We have to maintain these links for them to remain powerful. Unfortunately, this costs money. As a colleague of mine put it, “If you pay for half a cheeseburger, you’ll get half a cheeseburger”. As the experts, it would be irresponsible of us to “give” these links to our clients if we weren’t confident they would be maintained.
- Your link volume and velocity will no longer be growing steadily. This will have a further negative impact, as Google will see your site as no longer receiving a steady stream of votes to it – and if it ain’t growing, it’s dying.
And hey – in six months, one year, two years – we will have evolved and revolutionized our approach to keep at the cutting edge. At that stage, what’s best for you may be to control your own links. At this stage, having links on authoritative properties that we have built relationships with is the best thing for your business. It comes back to who we are – if we didn’t think this was the best thing for you, we wouldn’t be doing it!
Besides – if what we’re doing is working, why would you want to stop working with us?
Wrapping It All Up
Thinking about the “why” of our new approach has been a personal journey and a transformation for me – it has clarified to me why we do what we do and why I love coming into the office every single day. We’re here to make a difference in people’s lives through not just what we do and how we do it, but why we do it. That’s the E-Web Marketing difference, and that’s why it’s a very special company to be a part of. So come join us for the ride!