Amy Farris - Sunday, December 28, 2014

In the old days small business owners would view search engine optimization and associated marketing techniques as tedious. They would not understand where to start, or they wouldn’t have the time to learn all the correct techniques. The small business owner would then employ the services of a professional virtual assistant, whose very job was to ensure they were up to speed with the latest techniques.

Times have certainly changed, as online marketing techniques are in the process of a vast transformation. Now, it is not only smart for the small-business owner to engage a professional virtual assistant, but it is even more critical for their success.

In relation to the landscape of today, old- style search engine optimization could be said to have been relatively straightforward. A lot of it was based on specific techniques and numerical analysis, associated with keywords, ranking and back links. Today most of the old style approach has gone out the window, as Google leads the way in transforming the very look and feel of the Web. Now, if you focus too much on “the numbers game” you’re likely to find your site will be penalized. The new SEO look has a much more professional feel to it and basically your site needs to be seen as natural and contributory.

The virtual assistant today understands search engine optimization is much less a focus on link building and much more a focus on brand building. The search engines are looking for social signals to see just how your brand fits in your particular niche. Social media engagement is critical today and you cannot expect to operate without it. You need to be able to reach out to other experts in your sphere, to contribute. For example, Guest blogging is a great way of going about this.

Does this mean you should seek to join as many blog networks as possible? No, that could be a fatal mistake if you go about it alone and decide to be your own SEO expert. Many old blog networks were made up of fake blog sites specifically created to generate income through clickable links. Google can quite easily determine whether or not you’re making an effort to create links to such sites through substandard blog networks. If this is one of your homemade strategies, don’t be surprised if you see a significant drop in your rankings overnight.

Remember, the professional virtual assistant is there to help you engage in practices that are sustainable. Without the help of a VA you may find you have to spend a lot of time in the future working out how you’re going to recover from a catastrophic, overnight drop in rankings caused by your inability to understand. Once the damage is done it will be no good trying to plead ignorance as the search engines are very unlikely to listen. Wouldn’t it be better to engage the help of a professional to start with?

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