Top 10 SEO Gurus to Follow on Twitter


Everyone has a mentor, no matter what state in your career you are in. Perhaps you’re a new startup owner that needs some internet marketing help, perhaps you’re a blossoming SEO analyst, or maybe you’re an SEO expert that’s been around the block…

Either way, it’s good to check out what others in the industry are saying about Local, Link-Building, Content marketing, PPC, and all the other disciplines across SEO. Alphametic has curated a list of Top 10 SEO Gurus for 2018 that will ensure you’re always up to date.

1. Barry Schwartzbarry schwartz twitter


When it comes to essential reading, anything written by this guru is a must. Barry Schwartz is the CEO of RustyBrick, a web service firm. He is also the executive editor of Search Engine Roundtable, an advanced SEO forum for all the search geeks out there. He’s always on top of the latest Google news and can be seen posting on twitter regularly about different algorithm updates or sharing some of the seemingly hundreds of articles he posts every day.


URL: RustyBrick

Twitter: @rustybrick

Recent Post: Google Search Algorithm Shifts Around September 19th?


2. Bill Slawksi

bill slawski twitter

Bill has been in the business since 1996. He’s truly a veteran of the space and has been writing about SEO for decades. He is the founder of SEO By the Sea, as well as an administrator of Cre8asite Forums, one of the best forums about internet marketing and search engine marketing. He regularly contributes articles to Search Engine Watch and Search Engine Land as an expert.


URL: SEO by the Sea

Twitter: @bill_slawski

Recent Post: Quality Scores for Queries: Structured Data, Synthetic Queries and Augmentation Queries


3. Julie Joyce

julie joyce twitter

If you need some help building links, Julie’s your go-to. Julie Joyce is the Founder of Link Fish, a link-building agency based out of North Carolina. She has been working in SEO since 2002 and is a co-founder of the SEO Chicks blog. Nowadays she’s a monthly columnist at Search Engine Land and Director of Operations at Link Fish Media.


URL: Link Fish Media

Twitter: @JulieJoyce

Recent Post: Why isn’t my fabulous content attracting quality links?



4. Mike Blumenthal

mike blumenthal twitter

“All local, all the time. What else is there?” Mike Blumenthal is all about Local SEO. He is a leading industry-expert in this space and is the Chief Review Officer of  Gather Up, a business review site he founded with Don Campbell & Thomas Hasch. He runs the “Understanding Google Maps & Local Search” blog and is constantly shedding new light into the Local SEO world. He has over 30 years working with computers and in the internet space.  


URL: Gather Up

Twitter: @mblumenthal

Recent Post: What Percentage Of Verified Businesses Use Google Posts?



5. Neil Patel

neil patel twitter

No guru list would be complete without Neil Patel. With a blog that generates over 2 million users per month, it’s not hard to see why. He is a leading industry-expert in everything digital marketing. SEO, content, PPC, social and more. He is the Co-founder of KISSmetrics, Quicksprout, Crazy Egg and Neil Patel Digital.



Twitter: @neilpatel

Recent Post: The Secret Behind My 1,866,913 Monthly Search Visitors (It’s Not What You Think)



6. Tim Soulo

tim soulo twitter

Tim Soulo is the head of marketing and product strategy at Ahrefs, you know, that tool every single SEO uses? He consistently publishes research studies on the Ahrefs blog about keyword research, backlinking, and other studies with titles like “What we learned about’Long Tail’ by analyzing 1.4 billion keywords”. He speaks at SEO conferences, podcasts and runs the Ahrefs Youtube channel.



Twitter: @timsoulo

Recent Post: How Many New Backlinks Do Top‐ranking Pages Get Over Time [New Data by Ahrefs]



7. Brian Dean

brian dean twitter

As is evidenced by his company name, Backlinko, Brian Dean is an SEO-driven backlink guru. He’s become known for publishing high-quality blog content that is incredibly well-researched, data-driven and practical.  He’s worked with companies such as Disney, IBM, Amazon and more, as well as multiple founded many online sites.


URL: Backlinko

Twitter: @Backlinko

Recent Post: The Ultimate SEO Audit [Works GREAT in 2018]


8. Aleyda Solis

aleyda solis twitter

Aleyda has positioned herself in the vital space of International SEO. Aleyda Solis recently won the 2018 European Search Personality of the Year award and has been featured in the Huffington Post, as well as the Google Partner’s Podcast. She consistently puts out blog content and speaks at conferences all around the world sharing her experience and expert advice on global search marketing.


URL:  Aleyda Solis

Twitter: @aleyda

Recent Post: Avoiding Hreflang Issues by Following a 6 Steps Implementation Process


9. Dr. Pete Myers

dr pete twitter

Moz in itself is an authority on SEO, but Dr. Pete Myers brings the data to the table. He’s got a PH.D in Cognitive Psychology, so he knows his way around statistics. He is regularly publishing research studies with topics like: “New Research: 35% of Competitive Local Keywords Have Local Pack Ads” and the like. If you want a data-driven perspective to a new Google algorithm or a recommendation based on quantitative studies – he’s your guy.


URL: Dr. Pete

Twitter: @dr_pete

Recent Post: NEW On-Demand Crawl: Quick Insights for Sales, Prospecting, & Competitive Analysis


10. Jim Boykin

jim boykin twitter

Good old Jim – he’s been around since 1999 spreading his internet marketing knowledge. He is the founder and CEO of Internet Marketing Ninjas based in New York. He’s been featured in Forbes, the Examiner and has been recognized as a Top 40 Leader Under 40 by the Business Review. He specializes in Link Building, SEO, Blogging, Social Media Marketing and pretty much every other internet marketing specialization.


URL: Internet Marketing Ninjas

Twitter: @jimboykin

Recent Post: The Google Featured Snippet Optimization Tool by Ninjas.


11. (BONUS): Matthew Capala 😉

matthew capala twitter

We didn’t include Matt in the original top 10 list because he’s the CEO of Alphametic, but he’s definitely a person to follow for updates on the going on’s in the SEO world. He has been in the industry for over 12 years, written an SEO guidebook called “SEO Like I’m 5” and taught digital marketing at NYU. He’s a regular speaker at SEO & digital marketing conferences and offers SEO training courses for small and large businesses.


URL: Alphametic

Twitter: @searchdecoder

Recent Post: State of Search for 2019 According to Google’s Gary Illyes


That’s all folks! This list is by no means complete, there are many SEO experts out there that are putting out great content, but we wanted to keep this list to 10 gurus to start building your resource list. 

Alphametic has created a Twitter list called “Top SEO Gurus” which includes all these influencers. Follow @alphametic and subscribe to this list to get a curated feed of the best SEO content out there. If you have any suggestions for SEO gurus to add, tweet us your pick! 

For more curated lists, check out our 8 Digital Marketing Books to Read in 2018.

Are You Taking Advantage of the New Extended and Responsive Google Ads?

google ads trend update

New Extended and Responsive Ads

Google recently introduced further extending text ads by adding a third, 30-character headline, attached to the first two headlines, along with a second, 90-character description. This comes at the heels of Google announcing their “360 Suite” where we saw Google Adwords get a rebrand. This allows us, as the advertiser, to more prominently feature exciting benefits to the consumer with added messaging that enhances overall quality. Advertisers now have the flexibility to communicate added messaging like the brand name in the first headline, official site or similar in the second headline, and a third benefit, like free shipping or an offer for discounted orders online.

Google also announced the launch of responsive text ads, which combine an ad in real-time from a list of up to 15 headlines and 4 descriptions…we’ll discuss this in more detail below.

google ads 3rd headline example

Benefits of Increased Ad Size and Additional Messaging

Expanded text ads, along with ad extensions, like site links and call extensions, work in synergy to increase overall ad size and perceived value in the SERP. Google’s case studies are evidence for increased performance – praising expanded text ads for helping to increase user engagement through higher click-through rates and increases in other key performance metrics. With a further increase in ad size and messaging, Google’s expansion to additional messaging in ads creates more weight to paid ads displaying prominently. It’s a bullseye for brands looking to literally be front and center at the top of the SERPs.

Smart Performance With Responsive Machine Learning

Google’s exciting announcement is the launch of new responsive text ads. Responsive text ads answer the machine learning puzzle that has become more integrated with Google’s automated algorithms throughout the years.

With responsive ads, the advertiser now has the flexibility to add up to 15 headlines and 4 descriptions for a single ad. Google suggests, “for a responsive search ad, provide as many headlines and descriptions as makes sense for your business. If you’re having trouble getting started, we recommend focusing on creating at least five headlines.”

Machine learning is designed to predict which ad combination in real-time will result in higher performance for a matched search query.
The recommendation from Google is for every ad group to have at least 3 ads, including a responsive search ad to accommodate and increase the likelihood that you’ll have a winning combination between all variant ads, headlines, and descriptions.

Responsive ads are a win-win for the advertiser and searcher. They provide freshness through instantaneous Ad combinations to the eyes of return visitors familiar with the brand and new visitors alike that are “window shopping” at leisure in the SERP.

Best practices from Google

google search ads best practices(Source: Google Blog)

Tips for entering your headlines

• Keep in mind that headlines and descriptions may appear in any order.
• Try writing the first 3 headlines as if they’ll appear together in your ad.
• Be sure to include at least one of your keywords in your headlines, and create headlines that are relevant to the keywords you’re targeting.
• Try creating headlines of different lengths; don’t try to maximize the character count in every headline.
• Focus on providing as many distinct headlines as you can. More headlines give Google Ads more options for assembling your messages into relevant ads, which may increase performance.
• Try highlighting additional product or service benefits, a problem you’re solving, or highlight shipping and returns information. Learn more about creating responsive search ads
• If you can provide even more headlines, try creating variations of the headlines you’ve already entered. For example, try a different call to action.

With more Google Ad options your PPC Ads can become more sophisticated and targeted to your consumers. What do you think about these new changes?

If you want to read about more Google Updates, check out our 2018 SEO Google Trends post.

Global Search Engine Market Share for 2018 in the Top 15 GDP Nations

global searche ngine market share infographic

Evaluating your International SEO efforts sometimes involves stepping out of the Google bubble. In this post, we’ll share the percentage of market penetration of individual search engines across the top 15 GDP countries.


Our Methodology:

A list of the 15 nations with the largest nominal GDPs in the world (as of 2018) was compiled. StatCounter was then utilized to calculate the percentage of search engine market penetration within those nations. The resulting percentages were rounded to the nearest tenth and the top 5-6 search engines were reported.


According to the web analytics service, StatCounter, its tracking code is installed on more than 2 million sites globally. “These sites cover various activities and geographic locations. Every month, we record billions of page views to these sites. For each page view, we analyze the browser/operating system/screen resolution used and we establish if the page view is from a mobile device. For our search engine stats, we analyze every page view referred by a search engine…No artificial weightings are used. We remove bot activity and make a small adjustment to our browser stats for prerendering in Google Chrome. Aside from those adjustments, we publish the data as we record it.” – StatCounter FAQ


We chose not to utilize ComScore for this exercise, which uses a different tracking methodology, relying more on user panels. ComScore data shows higher market shares for Bing/Yahoo! in the US.



Within the United States Google continues to lead the pack, with a 16% increase since 2010. Bing and Yahoo make up the majority of the resulting percentages with a combined approximate 12% of market share. Although, compared to the other nations on this list, Google has a higher penetration in 9 other countries. In China, Google makes up a measly 1.5% of market share with search engine Baidu taking the lion’s share at 70%. In fact, Google places 4th after Shenma, Haosou and Sogou. Yahoo! continues to demonstrate a strong presence in Japan.


If Eastern Europe is a strong market for your brand, make sure to pay attention to Yandex, which is the search engine market leader in Russia, although Google has a 45% search market share as the 2nd highest. Nonetheless, with over 90% market share, Google dominates the search engine landscape in most of the top GDP nations in the world, including India, Germany, Mexico, Spain, Brazil, Italy and Australia.


When you’re thinking globally, Google is a great start. But, depending on your market, you might find that you need to pivot your SEO efforts into a different search engine altogether, such as Bing, Baidu, or Yandex, to capture the largest amount of traffic. Use the data below as a reference when determining your next global SEO strategy.


1. United States

Google: 87.28%

Bing: 6.91%

Yahoo!: 4.65%

DuckDuckGo: 0.59%

MSN: 0.21%

Other: 0.36%


2. China

Baidu: 70.26%%

Shenma: 19%

Haosou: 4.26%

Sogou: 3.71%

Google: 1.47%

Other: 0.98%


3. Japan

Google: 70.31%

Yahoo!: 24.03%

Bing: 4.78%

Baidu: 0.58%

DuckDuckGo: 0.1%

Naver: 0.06%


4. Germany

Google: 93.31%

Bing: 4.49%

Yahoo!: 1.03%

DuckDuckGo: 0.51%

t-Online: 0.24%

Yandex: 0.14%


5. United Kingdom

Google: 89.67%

Bing: 7.24%

Yahoo!: 2.27%

DuckDuckGo: 0.49%

Yandex: 0.09%

MSN: 0.06%


6. India

Google: 97.35%

Bing: 1.68%

Yahoo!: 0.91%

DuckDuckGo: 0.04%

Baidu: 0.01%


7. France

Google: 91.15%

Bing: 5.07%

Yahoo!: 1.92%

DuckDuckGo: 0.83%

Qwant: 0.56%

Yandex: 0.35%


8. Brazil

Google: 96.37%

Bing: 2.02%

Yahoo!: 1.51%

DuckDuckGo: 0.06%

Baidu: 0.02%

Yandex: 0.01%


9. Italy

Google: 94.81%

Bing: 3.52%

Yahoo!: 1.17%

DuckDuckGo: 0.15%

Arianna: 0.14%

Yandex: 0.12%


10. Canada

Google: 90.85%

Bing: 5.64%

Yahoo!: 2.49%

DuckDuckGo: 0.54%

Yandex: 0.22%

Baidu: 0.13%


11. South Korea

Google: 84.41%

Bing: 4.84%

Baidu: 4.84%

Shenma: 2.42%

Yandex: 1.88%

Yahoo!: 0.81%


12. Russia

Yandex: 51.08%

Google: 45.27% 2.12%

Bing: 0.57%

Yahoo!: 0.48%

Baidu: 0.25%


13. Australia

Google: 93.16%

Bing: 5.12%

Yahoo!: 0.6%

Baidu: 0.48%

DuckDuckGo: 0.35%

MSN: 0.11%


14. Spain

Google: 95.11%

Bing: 3.4%

Yahoo!: 1.26%

DuckDuckGo: 0.15%

Yandex: 0.02%

Baidu: 0.02%


15. Mexico

Google: 95.27%

Bing: 3.23%

Yahoo!: 1.39%

DuckDuckGo: 0.05%

MSN: 0.02%

Ask Jeeves: 0.01%


Want more statistics? Check out 18 Eye-Opening SEO Statistics to Prove the Value of Organic Search.

12 Content Marketing Statistics Based on Recent Studies [Infographic]

content marketing statistics 2018 infographic


If you’d like to embed this infographic on your site and share, you can use the embed code below:

<div style=”max-width: 1080px;”><div style=”left: 0; width: 100%; height: 0; position: relative; padding-bottom: 399.9074%;”><iframe src=”//” style=”border: 0; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;” allowfullscreen></iframe></div><p>Credit: <a href=”” target=”_blank”>Alphametic</a></p></div>



8 Recent Digital Marketing Books for Your 2018 Reading List


Every once in awhile, a book hits the shelves and shakes up the world in a way that changes our collective imagination.

In the digital marketing world, these usually include books that inspire, and teach, all us marketers out there who are just trying to make that positive ROI happen.

At Alphametic, we have a reading list of books we think are the most relevant to read at the moment that will help us reach our day-to-day goals. Our criteria are 1) Recency and 2) Relevance! The books below have either 4.5 or 5 stars on Amazon, are tied to digital marketing in some way, are RECENT and most importantly, interesting! As we embark on our reading journey, we wanted to share this list with you.

Without further ado, 8 recent digital marketing books you can’t miss!


1) Hit Makers: The Science of Popularity in an Age of Distraction by Derek Thompson



4.5 Stars on Amazon

This “National Bestseller” from 2018 gets at the nitty-gritty of what makes something “viral” and why “going viral” is actually a myth! Since this book doesn’t just focus on advertising campaigns, but also other cultural phenomena, like the rise of Facebook and why so many blockbusters are sequels and reboots. It gives a holistic view of the cultural market that can (and will) influence your content marketing.


Here’s an excerpt taken from the Amazon summary:

In his groundbreaking investigation, Atlantic senior editor Derek Thompson uncovers the hidden psychology of why we like what we like and reveals the economics of cultural markets that invisibly shape our lives. Shattering the sentimental myths of hit-making that dominate pop culture and business, Thompson shows quality is insufficient for success, nobody has “good taste,” and some of the most popular products in history were one bad break away from utter failure. It may be a new world, but there are some enduring truths to what audiences and consumers want. People love a familiar surprise: a product that is bold, yet sneakily recognizable.”


2) Killing Marketing: How Innovative Businesses Are Turning Marketing Cost Into Profit by Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose


4.5 Stars on Amazon

Written by two top marketing experts, the founder of the Content Marketing Institute and the founder of The Content Advisory – this book claims to reshape the way you think about your marketing efforts. If you’re in a  slump about how to use content in your marketing plan, this book is DEFINITELY worth a go.


Here’s an excerpt taken from the Amazon summary:

Killing Marketing provides the insight, approaches, and examples you need to understand these disruptive forces in ways that turn your marketing from cost center to revenue creator. This book builds the case for, literally, transforming the purpose of marketing within your organization. Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose of the Content Marketing Institute show how leading companies are able sell the very content that propels their marketing strategy. “


3) Top of Mind: Use Content to Unleash Your Influence and Engage Those Who Matter To You by John Hall


5 Stars on Amazon

This one is all about branding and how to keep your business’ name “Top of Mind” in your particular industry. The founder of Influence & Co., John Hall, gives you a step-by-step guide on how to deliver the best content in front of the right people.


Here’s an excerpt taken from the Amazon summary:

“Whether you’re a marketing leader engaging an audience of potential customers, a business leader looking to humanize your company brand, or an industry up-and-comer seeking to build influence, maintaining a prominent spot in your audience’s minds will increase the likelihood that the moment they need to make a choice, you’ll be the first one they call. There’s no better way to drive opportunities that result in increased revenue and growth.”


4) Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers by Jay Baer


4.5 Stars on Amazon

Have you ever just…ignored a bad review? Said to yourself “you know what, I have so many other good reviews that this will be a drop in the bucket of my business’ awesomeness”. This book tells you why you SHOULDN’T do that and how to turn those haters into happy customers.


Here’s an excerpt taken from the Amazon summary:

Whether you work for a mom-and-pop store or a global brand, you will have haters—and you can’t afford to ignore them. Baer’s insights and tactics will teach you how to embrace complaints, put haters to work for you, and turn bad news into good outcomes.”


5) Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence-and How You Can, Too by Gary Vaynerchuk


4.5 Stars on Amazon

Usually, anything by Gary Vaynerchuk needs no introduction, but we’ll do it anyway. Gary Vaynerchuk is a well-known and well-respected social media marketing guru and this book seeks to help anyone with an idea in their mind “Crush” their goals through personal branding. If you want tips for utilizing different social platforms and other social media tips and tricks, this is the boom for you.


Here’s an excerpt taken from the Amazon summary:

In this lively, practical, and inspiring book, Gary dissects every current major social media platform so that anyone, from a plumber to a professional ice skater, will know exactly how to amplify his or her personal brand on each. He offers both theoretical and tactical advice on how to become the biggest thing on old standbys like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat; podcast platforms like Spotify, Soundcloud, iHeartRadio, and iTunes; and other emerging platforms such as For those with more experience, Crushing It! illuminates some little-known nuances and provides innovative tips and clever tweaks proven to enhance more common tried-and-true strategies.”


6) Lost and Founder: A Painfully Honest Field Guide to the Startup World by Rand Fishkin


5 Stars on Amazon

The title says it all – this leading expert on SEO gives an honest overview of what it was like to begin a tech startup and all the up’s and down’s along the way. If you are someone struggling with the “Hustle Blues”, or just an up and coming entrepreneur, this book can be the pick me up you need.


Here’s an excerpt taken from the Amazon summary:

“Fishkin’s hard-won lessons are applicable to any kind of business environment. Up or down the chain of command, at both early stage startups and mature companies, whether your trajectory is riding high or down in the dumps: this book can help solve your problems, and make you feel less alone for having them.”


7) Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade by Robert Cialdini


4.5 Stars on Amazon

Robert Cialdini is the mind behind “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” which was wildly successful and explained the 6 principles of persuasion, determined by his years of research on the topic. In this sequel-of-sorts, he goes into how to prime individuals into being receptive to whatever message you’re trying to communicate. There are obvious implications to advertising in this book, but it also works on different levels of life. Whether you’re negotiating a raise, trying to impress a CEO or convincing your kids that you don’t need to get another puppy …this book is a must-read.


Here’s an excerpt taken from the Amazon summary:

What separates effective communicators from truly successful persuaders? With the same rigorous scientific research and accessibility that made his Influence an iconic bestseller, Robert Cialdini explains how to prepare people to be receptive to a message before they experience it. Optimal persuasion is achieved only through optimal pre-suasion. In other words, to change “minds” a pre-suader must also change “states of mind.”


8) They Ask You Answer: A Revolutionary Approach to Inbound Sales, Content Marketing, and Today’s Digital Consumer by Marcus Sheridan


5 Stars on Amazon

This book was written by a pool company founder who discovered the magic of internet marketing after the 2008 financial crisis and grew his business to be the leading Pool Installer company in the United States. How did he do it? By answering questions.


Here’s an excerpt taken from the Amazon summary:

They Ask You Answer is a straightforward guide to fixing your current marketing strategy. Regardless of your budget, you are almost certainly overspending on television, radio, and print ads, yet neglecting the number-one resource you have at your disposal: the Internet. Content marketing is no longer about keyword-stuffing and link-building; in fact, using those tactics today gets your page shuffled to the bottom of the heap. Quality content is the key to success, and you already have the ingredients in-house. This book shows you how to structure an effective content strategy using the same proven principles that have revolutionized marketing for all types of businesses, across industries.”


7 Deadly Sins of Choosing the Wrong SEO Agency That can Cost You (A LOT)

7 deadly sins of choosing seo agency banner


I have been in the search engine optimization game for over a decade now. Clients come to me with one chief objective: to win at Google and crush their online marketing goals. Sounds simple, right? Well, there is more to it.

It takes a very agile SEO Strategy to keep up with Google Trends. It took me years to develop a team of experts, tools, and processes at Alphametic to effectively optimize the SEO, SEM, content, and local campaigns to keep our clients on top of Google. When a new client comes to us, we often spend a good amount of time correcting careless SEO mistakes of the past and see a number of SEO sins from prior agencies that could have been easily avoided. We’ve worked with clients in the past that experienced an outright penalty from Google because they did not know that the previous agency was buying links on spammy blogs or that the services were outsourced by the agency they worked with to an overseas provider. I also witnessed many prior agencies providing many sound recommendations but they turned out to be “non-actionable” – and as a result, a “non-factor” on performance – because the agency never managed to execute on their ideas.

Choosing the wrong business partner can cost you a lot of wasted time and money. Before you choose your next search marketing agency (hint, hint), read our special report on the dos and don’ts of the selection process and criteria, and don’t let these sins affect your business or impact your bottom line.

Sin #1: Bandwidth: Not considering your ability to execute on the best SEO plan on the outset.

Many clients come to us with specific objectives: to set them on the right path in their SEO strategy, analyze their performance gaps, or perform an actionable audit and provide “quick wins” – the 20% of strategies that produce 80% of results. This is the first stage and if this is all your business requires, a consulting project is adequate. However, if you are looking to increase your rankings by creating new (and more) content and building relationships with bloggers, you need much more, and you need to be prepared to invest in content, tech, PR, and outreach at the outset of any SEO project.

Otherwise, make sure that the agency you choose has the capabilities to support you in implementation. At Alphametic, I started with the consulting services and quickly realized that our clients need support in creating content so we brought onboard a talented digital copywriter to help our clients write content on landing pages, creating blog posts and long-form guides.

Today’s SEO climate is dynamic, competitive, and highly specialized. Teams that think it is a few keywords to the top are sorely mistaken. If your team does not have the bandwidth to create extra content and strategize effectively and cohesively with your SEO provider, you will commit the first sin – not being able to execute an SEO plan.


deadly seo agency sin 1

Sin #2: Vetting: Not thoroughly background checking your agency.

SEO Agencies and consultants all have capability statements, testimonials, white papers, and client lists to recommend their work and explain their strategies. Reading these materials is the bare minimum of research that should be part of your road to hiring an SEO agency or consultant. Check the references by reaching out to past and current clients to obtain full reviews of their SEO wins. Further, make sure that your agency or consultant knows your business, or has the bandwidth and staff to become experts in your business. Agency or consultants specializing in consumer products may not be the right fit if you are looking to gain placements with service-focused, B2B needs, and vice versa.

Check the references and client testimonials before you commit the second sin of choosing the agency partner that talks the talk… but no track record of walking the walk.


deadly seo agency sin 2

Sin #3: Missing the Point Man: Not Having an Identifiable Team or Point Person

If you actively detach from the process of searching for an SEO agency and instead view the search as a simple sales funnel, you miss an opportunity to gain insight into how a reputable agency should acquire new business. Depending on how you find your SEO agency (referral, online, or direct) you will deal with a leadership team in sales, often the founder of the agency like we do it at Alphametic. You may be very happy with the sales pitch and the level of skills the SEO pros are pitching you… but will they actually work on your business or meet with you when the work begins?

Make sure that you understand who exactly will work on your business and who is just selling you. During the sales process, you should meet your “account team” and make sure that there is the right chemistry between your team and your daily agency contacts. Your needs may require just one person, or it may require a combination of skills. However, it is critical for streamlining work and keeping communication clear that you have a point of contact at your agency you can trust. Otherwise, you are missing the point, man!


deadly seo agency sin 3

Sin #4: No Numbers: Not Setting Clear Goals

Quantifiable metrics are the key to success. If you have not set a goal in SEO metrics, you should not be in the market for an SEO agency. Whether they are percentage increase monthly or annual goals, engagement, or conversion, these benchmarks are motivation for an agency, in addition to being integral for your agency to assign team members to accomplish them. With goals and timelines, comes accountability. It is the fourth sin for the client and agency relationships to not assign goals because the chain of accountability starts at the goal set by the respective teams. Outline your goals and observe them at intervals.


deadly seo agency sin 4

Sin #5: SEO is your Savior: SEO Cannot Solve all of Your Problems

Your SEO Agency is not going to solve all of your problems, make your product a success, make your sales team convert more phone calls, and sadly, we are not magicians either. Your agency should show up for you and provide the tools, customer service, creative content, winning ideas, and organized communication to supplement your team. However, the agency needs a point of contact on your team to grow your business. An SEO Agency should develop an intimate understanding of your business as your work progresses, with the development and implementation of keywords. However, they will need guidance on the personas and micro markets you are looking to target, among other strategies.

If you have a product or service that does not have a natural client base or does not service a need, then you should likely refine your business model before you hire an agency or a consultant.


deadly seo agency sin 5

Sin #6: SEO What?: Not Gaining a Basic Channel Understanding

Lots of people think SEO is like a sausage they all love to eat, but they don’t want to know how it’s made. If you are hiring an SEO company blindly after seeing an online ad and without a working knowledge of what SEO is and what’s involved, you cannot expect to make an educated decision. Some SEO shops will promise you the la-la land, outsource all the work, and bank on the client’s lack of any technical knowledge to keep accountable.  Organic SEO driven unique content, strategic keywords, and real links takes time, but the realized gains are never penalized. Ask questions about the scope of work and specific monthly deliverables to get insights into the process and what is being done for the budget you commit.

Keeping it simple, try asking this the next time you interview an SEO agency or consultant: “this is what my company wants to achieve, how will you help us get there, and what are your methods?”


deadly seo agency sin 6

Sin #7: Devil is in No Details: Vague scope of work

Once you have vetted an agency, have numerical goals, understanding of who is on your team, and set aside time and resources to execute on the strategy, you must be clear on the scope of work that your new agency is delivering. Whether you agree on billable hours or a detailed scope of work, it is up to you to diligently follow up on what exactly is accomplished during the hours and exactly what the work entails. At Alphametic, we use detailed project trackers and reports to keep our clients in the loop on what we are working on and expected timelines.

SEO Agencies typically will need one to two months to perform an audit on your existing site and digital footprint, then they will implement a new strategy when they have the digital lay of the land for your business, market, and competitors. The scope of work needs to be defined monthly or for the term of your contract, then the expectations on both sides are easily managed. Without a scope of work, it is unlikely work will be done as you intended.

deadly seo agency sin 7

What’s your experience choosing the right search marketing agency for your business?