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Watch #techtuesday Episode #10 Part 1 and meet Shawn Swaim of Shawn the SEO Geek.
Shawn Swaim aka “the SEO Geek,” helps eCommerce businesses get more qualified traffic, eliminate conversion dissonance, increase conversion rates, and build a follow-up sales funnel to increase revenue with a process called Reverse SEO. He has worked with 150+ eCommerce companies ranging from six-figure solo entrepreneurs to multi-billion dollar Fortune-500/IR-500 Organizations.
Shawn developed the moniker “Shawn the SEO Geek,” (it’s also the name that his company goes by) because of his personality. He knows he is predispositioned to take things a little bit too far. The definition of a geek is somebody who really drills in and goes overboard with something just like him who admits he has a very obsessive personality that he carries through with a lot of things.
What got Shawn into SEO
He got started in the world of digital marketing just as he was about in seventh or eighth grade. Somebody showed him that you can write a couple lines of code in a notepad and that becomes the beginnings of a web page. He became obsessed with the idea that he can build things that are going to live in this world and would write code for people back when Myspace was a thing. Shawn started building websites for people to promote their businesses and eventually somebody asked him the question that would change his life and trajectory forever.
He was asked the question “what's this thing that you can do to get websites found on Google so that it starts generating business?” Though he has no idea at that time what it is, he wants to figure it out. He went down the rabbit hole, drifted away from building websites and became obsessed with all of that. He liked hacking a little bit in high school and was fascinated by the idea that you can poke around corners that you're not supposed to be in. Shawn thinks that SEO is definitely a much more productive way of having that hacker curiosity in knowing its impact and how the things he is doing show up on Google.
SEO Then and Now
Shawn shared that the difference between SEO then and now is night and day. The biggest change that he noticed that's happened is that in the beginning it was very formulaic. You could basically put together the equation of “do this expect this”. It means that if you had the right tools, you could know that if your competitor has 30 backlinks, you just have to go out and get 40 and you'll win that ranking. But it's not that easy anymore.
Jonathan: What are the other things that people have to know to get onto that first page?
Shawn: “The tongue-in-cheek way that I describe it is to give Google what Google wants. Think about what you need to feed Google in order for them to have a clear picture of what it is that you can provide to their customer. Essentially what Google wants to do is make sure that when they send someone to your website, that person has the best experience possible. If that person isn't having a good experience, Google knows and it's going to impact where you are displayed. Make sure you are saying very clearly what it is that you do as a company or an individual or whatever your website is, and be very clear to Google and there is no gray area.”
Be very clear about:
- What is it that you're bringing to the table?
- What is your website all about?
- What is the intent behind?
- What it is that you're bringing to your market?
If you are selling blue widgets, make your content and the user experience crystal clear that blue widgets are for sale on your website. If it's an informational website, make sure that you have longer form content that talks about the history of widgets and the uses of widgets. Be very clear about what the intent is behind and that would be the absolute starting point. Make sure that you know you're just crystal clear on what it is that you're bringing to your market.
“People in my industry, they try to make it like a big, complex, confusing process. My whole thing this year is to open people up that there is no hack, there is no trick. It's just doing the right things and doing the right things means doing a lot of work but there's no secret sauce apart from giving Google what Google wants.”
When you learn the principles and the basics of what SEO actually is, it actually is not the hacky stuff. The core fundamentals of what SEO is and what causes people to succeed in SEO is creating and really thinking through content. It's getting other people to talk about you. There's elements of PR in there. Making sure that your website is loading fast enough. You have to reconfigure what's in the back end of your website. Is it warming as well as it should? There's a lot of elements to it.
If your page isn't loading, that goes back to that negative experience and Google's going to know about it and your website is going to get docked down.
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