I have met Guus at an international SEO conference I attended in Singapore a couple of years ago. I was looking for a SEO consultant to help me improve my clients’ search rankings and offer me advice on the best practices I should consider when starting a blog. My online marketing experience and my passion for technology were a good starting point, but I needed someone helping me to see the bigger picture and to handle strategic and operational aspects, too. I was in need of a SEO expert who knows how to produce good results and not just show me some statistics that would satisfy my vanity, and I found all I needed with Guus.
I have always thought that a good business partner is someone who teaches you new things and shares with you their knowledge and expertise. Of course, most people prefer to hire someone to get the job done while they can mind their own business, but my expectations are usually a bit higher than that. I don’t claim people I work with to share all their professional secrets with me, of course, but on the other hand, I am very pleased when I manage to expand my knowledge with the help of my business partners.
And Guus proved to be one of those people that I’ve worked with and taught me lots of things. I wasn’t unfamiliar with SEO, but with his help I managed to get a clearer and larger picture of the process instead of applying disparate tactics and obtaining mediocre results.
First of all, Guus explained me all the mechanisms that leads to a website being discovered by search engines, and divided them in two categories: relevance and authority. Ensuring relevance was not a very difficult task for me, as I am an experienced writer and content strategist, but the technical part of SEO had always been a bit more challenging. Guus provided me with a solid strategy including link building (good incoming links), social bookmarking, social proof, directories listing, comments, and collaborating with reputable websites. So, instead of feeling confused and not knowing what to start with, I had a clear plan involving objectives, strategies, and their corresponding tactics.
As I already knew, having a company blog can get you even 500% more indexed and we focused on the relevant content part in the first place. Improving user experience was another major point of our discussions and I realized that writing the kind of content that your users are interested in is just as important as on-site SEO techniques which are aimed at optimizing your website and eliminating any technical issuea. Surely, nobody wants their visitors to hit the “Back” button or search engines to avoid their websites or give them penalties.
But the most important thing I’ve learned is that you must optimize for people rather than for search engines. After all, it’s people, respectively qualified prospects, which you want to attract, rather than those invisible search engine spiders. SEO is after all a means, and not the purpose. Your aim consists of improving user experience, attracting interest for your business and eventually increasing conversion rates.