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Advice To Client Dabbling In SEO
A Real Client Email This Week

Posted by Charlie Recksieck on 2021-01-28
Just this morning I was emailing a client with some advice and, as per usual, I wrote 6 paragraphs where probably only 1 was expected. As you can read below at the end, the thought occurred to me to cannibalize the long message as a blog post.

Hopefully this is either of interest to you about modern SEO (Search Engine Optimization) or for a glimpse at one of our communiques to a client.


The message is from a longtime client with a small business in town for whom we do web hosting, web design/maintenance, occasional computer and network support. We are in the midst of redesigning their web site to have more dynamic data and a new look.

Our primary contact there, the owner, had mentioned to us that his girlfriend was looking for a career change and actively looking at SEO as a career path. She’s just getting started in the tech world with little to no background, but she’s intelligent and enthusiastic. So, the owner was looking to us for a little advice. And some files to see how we currently handle their SEO.

The Message

Hi [redacted],

The HTML file for the site is attached. Right now, that’s the content on the visible site - although we’re about to add a lot more. And probably be going to more dynamic pages (.PHP server-side code, instead of simple HTML).

One suggestion for [redacted] on SEO and learning the web: About 90%+ of all sites will let you just open (and later save) the HTML. So, I would advise that she can go to any site that she thinks is doing a good job of SEO or doing well in rankings and look at their HTML to see what they’re doing. Screen shot of right-click action is below.

That said, as we mentioned on Sunday, organic search only does so much ... or the SEO that we all kind of learned in 2005. Web designers don’t really "fool" Google anymore. But it’s still worth doing things as right as possible on SEO. "SEO" has expanded into so much more, it’s a world unto itself. There are months worth of reading on the subject if she sticks with pursuing that path. This is a article: good starter article. My take is that there’s a misconception that "SEO" [b][u]only[/u][/b] means meta tags in the page ... where what’s called SEO right now is 1) On-page content, 2) high-value links from elsewhere, 3) solid in-page SEO practices - and is also tied to 4) paid search.

For your site, our plan is to goose the system with a couple small, targeted ads (4), do as good as we can with 3 (maybe that’s where [redacted] is trying to start), and the site itself will have good relevant content (1). As for #2, whenever we can have SOME links on other pages back to where we can, that’s huge. That’s a whole vein of consultants too. Not sure if [redacted] wants to be in that business, but she definitely needs to be aware of it.

My last take: For so long, Google results are the only ones that mattered ... so being on first page for your keywords were the goal. Advice will tell you to not necessarily worry about being #1 in results. But the trend I personally see is that voice-based search like Alexa, Siri, in-car voice assistants, etc. aren’t talked about enough and are continually getting bigger. The paradigm there is completely different - the only thing that matters in voice search is being that 1st result, there’s no such thing as #2, it’s not even spoken/returned. That area of SEO is the Wild West, relatively neglected and maybe a good growth opportunity area to get into.

Wow, this was long. I think I’ll turn that into a blog post for Plannedscape!

Let me know if you have thoughts vis-a-vis your site or if you or [redacted] have thoughts for her direction.