Is Your SEO “Expert” Really An SEO Expert: 3 Keys To Verify Their Substance Factor

I am no SEO expert, no marketing expert, and no blogging expert but I do have expertise in all of these categories. In my travels around the SF Bay Area I attend upwards of 10 networking meetings or keynote events per month.

The hot topic is Web 2.0 SEO aka How to drive traffic to your site.

Unfortunately time and time again when I do my due diligence on the speaker’s background, their substance factor, and how their blog or websites rank I have recently been surprised by the results. Many speakers are knowingly misrepresenting themselves in regard to their credentials. Often times these speakers are leveraging their business accomplishments in other categories, unrelated to SEO or Web 2.0, as a means to securing these speaking “gigs.”

Cost

Simply put the average networking event keynote speech here in the Bay Area runs anywhere from $30-$65 per event. That adds up quickly and is of great concern when I am choosing events to attend

3 Key Factors To Check

When an “expert” claims they are going to speak about methods to increase your site’s traffic, Google rankings, and add links to your site you MUST perform some background checking if you want to understand if the speaker can deliver on his/her claims

#1 Alexa.com: Alexa.com (free service) remains one of the easiest, most telling sites in measuring traffic (page views and unique visitors) to a site either website or blog. Go to Alexa and input the url of your “expert’s site” for instant rankings. Alexa will return Global traffic, US rankings, and a mix of page view and unique visitor numbers.

Note: If an expert claims to be able to make your traffic “explode” then they better have an Alexa ranking of UNDER 1,000,000 at the very least.

Note 2: Alexa.com like any other measurement tool can not capture all web traffic. It is best to combine other traffic measurement tools with Alexa for a solid idea of a site’s traffic. Try Quantcast too

In my last two due diligence investigations on SEO “expert” speakers the first one came back with an Alexa ranking of over 19million which equates to about 10-20 visitors per day to their site. The second guy had a ranking in the 6million range which might provide 30 visitors per day

#2 Technorati: Links are considered the measurement of a site’s Google authority and a big part of the SEO formula. If you go to technorati.com (free tool) you can input the url and check on the number of hyper links which are coming into your “experts” site. If your expert has fewer than 10 links and they are old–he probably isn’t writing a worthwhile blog or he is not writing with consistency

#3 Evaluate their site: Do they write a blog? How often do they write per week? What is the date of the last blog post? Do they have a blogroll? Do they have widgets like mybloglog directory on their sidebar? Does the platform look dated? Do you like the way their sites looks?

Hits Myth

If your “expert” begins to speak about “hits” you might just want to bail. The term hits, although that is the only traffic measurement widget offered on wordpress blogs, is out dated and misleading. Hits can refer to any visitor who arrives at your site, clicks on any pictures, articles, or other documents. Each item is tallied as a hit.

You want to understand how many page views your expert’s blog-website receives; how many UNIQUE visitors, and their over all traffic ranking

Remember

If the “expert’s” site does not measure up in these 3 critical ways then how can the expert teach others how to increase their traffic and SEO power?

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Smashing Review For Inner Architect: “She Is Writing This So I Can Be My Own Life Coach!”

Author Susan Hanshaw left a successful 20 year corporate career that culminated in a position as Vice President and second in command of her direct marketing firm. During her transition she learned how to step into her current life as author, keynote speaker, and Founder of personal development firm Inner Architect.

The following is a smashing debut review for her latest workInner Architect: How To Build The Life You Were Designed To Live.Reviewer Lori Hoeck of the blog spaceagesage.com succinctly and accurately analyzes Susan’s work; with a honest and impacting style, Hoeck captures the true essence behind this book and the meaningful messages contained within. For further information and to order “Inner Architect: How To Build The Life You Were Designed To Live”

List price: $14.95
innerarchitect.com price: $11.95 (save 20%)
Also available at Amazon.

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Lori Hoeck:

“When I started reading Inner Architect by Susan Hanshaw, I was perplexed. Other books I have read on self-help or personal growth immediately delve into meaty matters of mind, body, and soul, such as “Here’s your problem, here’s every reason behind your problem, and here’s the answer to your problem.”

I assumed Hanshaw would follow this pattern in the typical parental or professorial or counselor-type writing style. She does not. After a few more pages, it suddenly struck me. She is writing this so I can be my own life coach! I expected this book to give me just a few new insights here and there. Instead, it gives me the right tools for me to kick my own life into gear.

Her writing style isn’t for the reader to passively ingest words and ideas. Instead:

  • It is about taking action.
  • It is about taking action right now.
  • It is about cutting through the hype and hyperventilation we often use to avoid change.

Her approach challenges the reader to actively progress through change in the form of over 30 fill-in-the-blank exercises. None of the exercises can be completed with superficial thought. For example in the section on Personal Obstacles, one asks, “What frightens you most about making this change?”

Her book is subtitled “How to Build the Life You Were Designed to Live.” Hanshaw uses the metaphors of designing, clearing obstacles for, constructing, and even moving into that life. I liked her stair-step process of beginning from the earliest point of considering a change to embracing, claiming, and enjoying a new life resulting from that change.

As I read more, I could easily imagine a life coach sitting across from me motivating me to think through all the steps. For example, in the finding purpose section, she helps readers find their passion by listing these “Clues:”

  • Activities that cause you to lose track of time
  • Unique talents and characteristics
  • Yearnings and dreams that don’t go away
  • Section in a bookstore you are most drawn to
  • Classes you enjoy taking
  • Complements you often get
  • Roles that you naturally take on with family and friends
  • Someone whose life you admire and wish you could be doing the same

Because of the straight-forward nature of the book and the mental work involved, readers may shy away from this type of life coaching in a book. If, however, you are ready to make changes and need a guidebook to your new life, Inner Architect will get you moving and thinking in more clearly defined, step-by-step, and motivational ways.”