Is Your Online Marketing Guru for Real, or Just Blowing Smoke?

DentistWould you go to an orthodontist with bucked teeth?

Not that there's anything wrong with bucked teeth, but would you really expect someone who doesn't seem to care about his own tooth alignment to do a good job of straightening yours?

That is what you are doing when you hire Internet marketing consultants who do not achieve high traffic results or high search engine results for their own key words.

Does Your Consultant's Website Rank Well on Alexa?

It's really not as difficult as you'd think to check the traffic most websites are getting. Go to Alexa, a well-known and respected site that monitors traffic for websites worldwide. Type or copy and paste any url into the search box and you will get a ranking for that website.

If your Internet marketing consultant's website ranks under a million, it's a good sign. That means less than one million websites worldwide get more traffic. If he ranks between 1 & 2 million, he has an idea of what he's doing. If he ranks over 2 million, run! It's unlikely this consultant will be able to help you rank near the top of the page for your key words in search engine results.

Am I being harsh? Maybe. But remember, Internet marketers who are specifically touting this expertise should be shining examples of what works in online marketing.

Do They Really Know SEO?

Many so-called "experts" have gotten away with being ignorant on the subject of Search Engine Optimization by focusing our attention on other shiny objects such as beautiful websites, PR packages and words you don't understand. But the proof of what they really know isn't hard to find. They are all graded equally by sites such as Google and Alexa. So if you want to rank number-one for a specific key word and you expect a marketing company to help you do that, check to see what their rankings are for their key words. Or, if you aren't sure what their key words are, check their Alexa rank.

A low Alexa rank number says the website owner knows how to draw traffic. It does not tell you whether the website owner knows how to convert that traffic into a sale. However, getting the traffic is a huge first step - one that is still a mystery to many so-called Internet gurus.

Content, Community and Keywords

An effective way to increase your website traffic is to post interesting content on your blog at least once a week and promote it where your potential colleagues, friends and clients are already interacting on social media. Make sure you are contributing more to that community than your own content, promoting others as well.

Once you are getting a good amount of traffic, refining your content and doing a little search engine optimization will help you to rank higher for the key words you want to be found under.

Discover your optimal keywords by using a tool such as the Google Keyword Tool. Then write some interesting, useful blog posts that include these key words in the text and in the title. You can also create pages around key words you want to rank for. The search engines love sites with lots of pages. But make sure each page you create is filled with quality content because Google is penalizing sites that aren't.

Achieving the holy grail of a high-ranking website isn't easy. It's also not rocket science. You can certainly do it yourself, but it will take you some research time and effort. There are many experts out there who can save you that time and effort. But there are also a lot of charlatans who don't really know how. It pays to do a little research to ensure your consultant is capable of doing what he says he will.

(Photo by US Army Africa)

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