I was asked a private question on Google+ today and after replying thought it was too good not to share.
The question was from a young SEO who was working at an agency and wanted my advice on what to do to progress within the agency
This was my reply
1. Treat SEO like a hobby – When you get in at night don’t sit and watch the telly get out on forums, google+ etc. engaging, learning and constantly running SEO tests and experiments on throw away sites.
2. Never be afraid to help people out – Try to build up a network of like minded people.
3. Realistic expectations – You’re not going to rank top 10 for Car Insurance so don’t even target it, look for niches and traffic generating long tails.
4. False expectations – Similar to above, but don’t make promises to clients if your not 100% sure it is achievable.
5. Waffle – blog 2 or 3 times a day about whatever’s on your mind and spread the waffling over multiple websites.
6. Spread your hosting around and don’t interlink your own websites too much.
7. Research, Test, Research, Test – Don’t believe all you read, always test on your own sites.
8. Always remember SEO is a form of gambling – If doing SEO for clients ALWAYS make them aware of webmaster guidelines and make them decide how far over the line they want to step (especially with regard link building) If doing SEO for your own sites always have a back up plan, be prepared for Google filters and don’t keep all your eggs in one basket.
9. Keyword research, keyword research, keyword research.
10. Mix your anchor text up if link building.
11. Don’t let sales staff talk to your clients about SEO if they don’t know what they are talking about and will say anything to get their commission.
12. Realise that basic SEO is becoming less and less relevant and learn more about the old Google Places system (now Google+ Local), social networking, image search, video search, product search, etc.
13. Offline is as important as online.
14. And most important if wanting to progress in an SEO agency – Ignore all the above, learn to smooth talk, know all the terminology, learn how to take credit for others work and how to pass the buck when things go wrong.