Renegade SEO Consultant

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People like things easy. The easier the better. At least it’s a common trait here in America, where the common perception is that life is hard, and we “deserve a break”. Work is hard. Relationships are hard. Saving money is hard. Having to get up, clean your body, get ready for work, drive to work, work all day, drive home, remember to eat, remember to pay the bills…

I am an SEO RenegadeRebelling against all that hard stuff is expressed in many ways. Procrastination, self sabotage, picking fights, not caring… I could go on and on about how hard life seems to be, and how people react to that perception.

But that would be too hard. There’s too many concepts, too many considerations to deal with! Instead, I’ll focus in on just one concept. Because it’s an easy one for me to talk about. Or rant about. – That’s SEO Audits. :-)

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Being a renegade means expecting push-back

My SEO audits usually reveal that entire sites might need to be scrapped.  Or re-engineered.  Or countless other tasks that can add up to hundreds of hours of time and footwork.  Clients are busy – they’ve got a full plate already.  So sometimes there’s push-back.

Because I’m a renegade, I understand client limitations, yet I don’t waiver in my communicating the importance of my recommendations.  And sometimes I need to be brutally honest when it comes to explaining the ramifications of failing to implement my recommendations.  Us renegades believe it’s important to be honest about such things.

But “person on a pedestal” or “my friend” says…

Sometimes clients challenge me based on some such nonsense they heard from an SEO “expert” who provided consulting to them or offered them “free advice” before I came along.  Or maybe it’s a company or person who they heard “knows what they’re talking about”.  Or they read an article online…

When that happens, I usually do my best to explain REAL SEO according to current REAL industry best practices.  In a way that helps educate clients.

Renegades are easily entertained

As a renegade, I sometimes laugh.  Out loud. In business settings.  Because some of the things people hear about SEO is just downright hilarious.

Like recently when I was asked by a client “What about using nofollow, and how it helps your Google Juice?”

Most “experts” just want to make a buck

Because I’m a renegade with “Captain-Save-A-Client” leanings, I don’t like hearing that – it probably means that “expert” just read a few or a bunch of articles online – the vast majority of which go so far beyond over-simplification that there’s no “real” answer to be found in them, and decided “I can sell this stuff to site owners as ‘consulting’ and make a buck, easy peasy!”.

The worst kind of nonsense people in business hear comes from people who just want to sound like they know the “secret” to SEO. Or they became enamored with an industry player and put them on a pedestal of idolatry.  And if that person happens to have a lexicon of buzz words, they spread like an infectious disease…

Renegades deplore secret buzz words

I’ll be honest.  I’m not a pirate.  I don’t think it’s cool to have special “industry-speak”, and I don’t need to prop myself up with “PageRank Sculpting”, “Link Juice”, “Google Juice” or any of the industry generated buzz phrases that some people seem to believe makes them smart, or “in the know”.

Because clients, the people who we’re here to help, don’t need to be impressed by such things.  They need real solutions to real problems.  And if you need to impress them by referring to the process of passing along authority weight as “passing Google juice”, it means you’re not a renegade, you’re a pirate.

And if that’s the case, consciously or otherwise, it means you just want to make money.  You don’t actually want to help clients. Or maybe you’re otherwise uneducated about the importance of choosing words that clients can understand rather than “be impressed by”.

Renegades have to be unique

Being a renegade means I don’t want to pass off your stock canned “best practices” as my own either.  Because truthfully, that’s not an audit.  It’s a 25 cent consolidated copy of countless free for the reading articles already available.

No – being a renegade means that I actually only detail in my audits issues that really are a concern on each unique site.  And when I give examples of those, I don’t even use generic examples – I’ve got to be unique, as a renegade, so I actually take real examples right from the site I’m auditing. Examples that clients can understand.  And because they come from that clients site, they’re examples the client can immediately recognize.

From what I’ve seen put out by others, apparently that makes me unique – a rebellious sort when compared to the majority of “audits” most site owners get.

Renegades don’t need to be popular

As a renegade, I don’t need to be popular.  Sure, I’m human, so my ego enjoys the attention.  Yet what I care about more is stepping outside the box, because I know when I do it my way, I get results.  Results that others couldn’t or wouldn’t bother trying to get. 

Are you a renegade?

What about you? Would you rather take the easy way out, or do things that sets you above the competition?  Would you rather think you’re cool for all the Google juice you’re spewing out onto clients, and your “skill at sculpting”, or would you rather communicate in plain English, based on real world best practices that your clients will get more value from?

Would you prefer to bang out cookie-cutter audits, or provide unique information your clients can benefit from while everyone else is only providing limited value?

Alan Bleiweiss
Alan Bleiweiss is a Forensic SEO audit consultant with audit client sites consisting of upwards of 50 million pages and tens of millions of visitors a month. A noted industry speaker, author and blogger, his posts are quite often as much controversial as they are thought provoking.
Alan Bleiweiss
  • http://twitter.com/websiteconsult Marcus Interactive

    I’ve found that by speaking in plain, clear English and educating my client, rather than talking at them or down to them, assures them that I am working for their best interests.

    • http://searchmarketingwisdom.com alanbleiweiss

      Marcus,

      It’s all too easy to toss around words that sound important. Believe me – I know from experience. Yet I agree there’s more value in that assurance process.

  • http://twitter.com/troyredington troy redington

    Alan, both of these terms are industry speak. “process of passing along authority weight” and “passing Google juice”

    As much as i dislike the term ‘google juice’ or ‘linkjuice’ – i find that non seo folk can at least understand the term.

    • http://searchmarketingwisdom.com alanbleiweiss

      Troy, “authority weight” is plain English. “Google Juice”? It’s a made up phrase. Like the term “juicing” used to describe the use of steroids to artificially inflate muscle mass, as used by people in the body building industry as a “code”. It’s only now, after years of public trials and hearings on the matter that main stream society even potentially knows what “juicing” is, and it is NOT a positive butchering of the word “juice”.

  • http://twitter.com/Markdb_sem Mark Barrett

    I’m very much in support of the plain speak. Not sure why but use of the term “Google Juice” always makes me cringe.

    • http://searchmarketingwisdom.com alanbleiweiss

      Same reaction here Mark.

  • http://twitter.com/lvstrickland Leslie Strickland

    Joining a new company, I had to be brutally honest with them on some of their clients’ SEO campaigns and progress. Sometimes it meant new sites, sometimes it meant more work without billing. It’s difficult but sometimes necessary to tell someone their baby is ugly.

    Being a renegade can be tough in a world where clients’ don’t necessarily understand your service as well.

    • http://searchmarketingwisdom.com alanbleiweiss

      “to tell someone their baby is ugly” – #Priceless

  • http://www.unidev.com/ Software Development

    Being straight forward is the best practice.

  • http://www.crearecommunications.co.uk/ KJ

    An old boss of mine used so many buzz words I couldn’t tell if he was asking me a question or making a statement!
    Not all the answers may be what a client wants to hear but answering their questions in a clear and straightforward way should show you have nothing to hide.

    • http://searchmarketingwisdom.com alanbleiweiss

      KJ,

      I can honestly say that sounds scary to have to deal with. Talk about buzz-word overkill!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for sharing your experience.. Nice post..
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  • http://www.ribbun.com/ seo services

    Hi Alan Bleiweiss ..

    Nice to see you post…Would like to talk more on SEO soon

  • http://www.sitereviewboard.com/ Elton Sites

    It always pays to be honest to your client. I always make sure that they got the value of their money that is paying me. And if they insists on something that is against on what I believe in, I would tell them that is their decision and whatever outcome is not my responsibility.

  • Natalie

    great post, i’m definitely a renegade!!

  • Anonymous

    As usual, Alan….spot-on!

    A great read and I’m printing same right now to ponder over later…

    :-)

    Jim

  • http://twitter.com/ClicksIM Clicks Internet Mktg

    I’m definitely a renegade, but what to do when a client doesn’t want to listen to the loooong explanation — they just want the idiot SEO who makes false promises and wants a quick buck. Then they come back to me 6 months later and expect me to fix their problems…it’s frustrating.

  • http://www.saucyhorsesocialmedia.com Tracy Thomas

    Briiliant post – a lot of your observations apply equally to the world of Social Media Marketing – “Gurus” – henceforth to be known as SM Pirates 😉 springing up after dark, armed with their meaty tomes of SM buzzwords, and crumbling into the mist at the first sign of sunlight (or a client request for evaluation of results),,,Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/LinkFishMedia Link Fish Media, Inc

    “Passing juice” has always, always grossed me out.

  • http://infowick.com/services/seo SEOservices

    I like u r open thought on being a renegade seo I echo the same

  • http://www.webfective.com SEO Services

    You are very correct when you talk about most experts wanting to make a “quick buck”. The goal should always to a consultant. The money will come by itself. GREAT post

  • Peter

    This is an excellent article. For a long time I have despised the tactics and bullshit that some in our industry use to bamboozle clients. If you can’t sell it or explain it in plain English then there’s a pretty good chance your clients don’t need it!

  • http://blog.catchcheatersfast.com/ Lola Stephen

    Marvelous Work by you (Alan). Thank You :)