Who Needs Cyber Babble?


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By Carl Weiss

English: seo block
English: seo block (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
If you think that cell phone-speak is an arcane corruption of the English language, you will appreciate this article where we cover how cyber babble got its start and how it continues to proliferate online.  Ever since the first computer geeks started noodling around with computer code, there has been a disconnect between the way technical people communicate with one another and the Queen's English.  As different as the language was back in Shakespeare's day, to the present idiom, the question is one of whether cyber babble is just a flash in the pan, or whether it represents a true evolution in our mother tongue.  So, if you don’t know a SERP from an ALT tag, this is the article you’ll want to read.  OMG, LOL (Oh my God and Laugh Out Load or Lots of Love depending on how you use it).

When it comes to my day job, which is helping people succeed online, I am often confronted with prospective clients who are dazed and bewildered by online marketers who make themselves seem important by spouting cyber babble when asked even the simplest of questions.  I don’t know if they do this simply because they are dyed-in-the-wool computer nerds that speak a language all their own.  Or maybe it’s because they want their prospects to think that all SEO experts are part of some secret cabal. All I can say is all it does is undermine the job that I and other legitimate online marketing professionals have to do.  More importantly, when I question most of their clients about what it was that they were paying for, they look at me like deer in the headlights.

What is SEO Cyber Babble?

optimizare SEO
optimizare SEO (Photo credit: optimizare-seo)
Make no mistake, today’s so called SEO experts love to spout cyber babble. While intoning mantras like SERPs and Keyword Density may sound impressive, what it means for generating online visibility is absolutely nothing.  (As far as I know, you put SERP on your pancakes.)  When it comes to making your website sticky, well that is another matter altogether.  Naming something its acronym, (i.e. SERP’s) does nothing to make it happen. SERP stands for search engine results page and just means where you are currently showing up. Other terms you'll hear bantered around are cloaking, sandbox, link sculpting, link bait, SEM and link farm among others. Here is a link to an article that provides lots of these cyber babble words and their definitions, (which are more often not any better than the words they define).

Now here are the facts! Search Engine Optimization has changed so radically in the past few years that it is hardly recognizable. Almost all old methods of using trickery for achieving page rank is useless. Unless you did it the best way in the first place. This has always been by producing the best quality content that is relevant, timely and useful for your particular industry. Most SEO tech primarily dabbled in trickery because it product the greatest results for the least amount of effort on their part.

Go back five years and ninety percent of everything you needed to please even the most finicky of search engines was on your homepage.  (The other ten percent being backlinks.)  Today, only twenty five percent of what the search engines use for ranking is contained on-site.  The other seventy-five percent is contained off-site, including blogs, social networks, videos, podcasts and authoritative backlinks. 

While it is still important to include Meta tags (code contained at the top
Delicious Tags
Delicious Tags (Photo credit: Matthew Burpee)
 of the page that identifies the site’s content) and ALT tags (used to identify images), it is just as important to provide prospects with everything they need to make a buying decision on the homepage or landing page.  Gone are the days when people will spend five to ten minutes clicking around your site to decide whether or not to do business with you.  Statistics show that you have less than two minutes to dangle the bait and reel in the fish.  If the prospect has a tough time finding your phone number and/or address because your website contains twenty five unrelated links, or if they are confused in any way, they are gone.

The Five Must Have Elements For Web Page Success

If you want to turn clicks into cash, then what you need are the following five items in plain sight, (i.e. above the fold):

Photo Credit: techmerry.com
1.      Phone Number – Nobody wants to click onto a subsidiary page to find your telephone information.  That is so old school.  Make sure your phone number is highly visible at the top of the page, especially if you want to do business with anyone online.
2.      Address – With all the cybercrime going on, people need to know that your business is on the up and up. This means they want to see a physical address. If you don’t want to be taken for a fly-by-night operation, make sure your street address and a Google map is in plain sight.
3.      Intro Video – Since 99% of the people that click onto your site have never done business with you and since you have less than 2-minutes to get their attention, why not commission a unique selling proposition video that tells your prospects why they should do business with you. At the end, asks for the sale?
4.      Testimonial Videos – Want to turn your best customers into your best sales people?  Create a short interview video that lets them tell the world what kind of experience they had with you. Companies who rely on testimonial blurbs don’t realize that most visitors don’t believe these quotes and write them off as fake.
5.      A Compelling Offer – Many times when prospective clients ask me what they need to do to start selling more products and services online, I tell them they need to provide prospects with an offer that takes the risk out of buying. It has to make them want to give your business a try.

Before You Trust a So Call SEO Expert, Ask Them These Questions

Like it or not, when you trust your online marketing to an outside agency, you are putting your business’ future in their hands.  Should they make one wrong move you could find your website delisted or even blackballed.  If this happens, it could take months or even years to climb back up to page one.  Below are ten questions you need to ask any online marketing agency:

1.      Ask how long have you been doing online marketing?
2.      Ask them to be specific for each service?
Asking Questions
Asking Questions (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
3.      Ask what services do you provide? (Web design, SEO, blogging, social networking, email marketing, video production)?
4.      Ask which services they out source, if any?
5.      If they say they provide SEO services, ask them to explain exactly what mean by SEO and they will be doing for you?
6.      Ask how many clients do you currently have?
7.      Ask about their experience in your industry?
8.      Ask what kind of guarantees do you offer if any?
9.      Also, ask what the recourse is if they fail?
10.  Ask If you can view some video testimonials from their clients?
11.  Ask if you can contact some of their current clients?
12.  Ask if they have ever won any awards?
13.  Ask how often can I expect to hear from you once I sign up?
14.  Ask how long do you the client have to continue using their services to get results?
15.  Ask what do you do if you am dissatisfied with one or more of their services?
16.  Ask to see content they have created? This can include landing pages, blogs, videos, podcast, slide share and social network post. The more the better. Not seeing tangible evidence of online efforts is a dead giveaway that they are going to take your money and run.

You will be able to get off on the right foot if you have a clear understanding of the responsibilities of both parties. By being able to verify the answers to the above questions, you will be better able to make a wise decision. Not verifying the agency abilities and guarantees can lead to disastrous results, as Google will blackball and de-list any web property that they deem as using black hat trickery to obtain organic page ranking. Choosing the right company will get the results you want and you will be able to sleep better at night. Most importantly, you will have something tangible to show for the effort. 

In this article I have provided how SEO companies often use cyber babble to trick unsuspecting business into using their services. I further go on to provide five crucial elements every web page needs to improve ranking and customer conversion along with a comprehensive 16-point questionnaire that can be used to find a reputable internet marketing agency.

If you found this article to be useful, share it with friends, family, co-workers and associates. If you have something to add or a difference of opinion, place that in the comments section.  I hope this information helps you find a company that does not use cyber babble.

If you like this article, you can find more by typing “Internet marketing” or "SEO" in the search box at the top left of this blog.

Now please pass the SERP.


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Carl Weiss is president of Working the Web to Win, a digital marketing agency based in Jacksonville, Florida.   You can listen to Carl live every Tuesday at 4pm Central on BlogTalkRadio.

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