In 2015, Your Job As An SEO Should Be Just SEO (or Why Erin Everhart Is Wrong)

I will admit that I don’t know Erin Everhart extremely well. I sat beside her once at #EpicDinner and she seemed then super duper cool. She probably is still really cool, but unfortunately shes written a piece at SEL that has me a bit unnerved.

To sum up Erin’s post: SEO has changed so much that the role of an SEO now encompasses lots of things that haven’t been normally associated with SEO. The things that Erin list in her article are: Content Developer, UX Advocate, Digital Strategists, Creative Marketer. and Cheerleader.

To Erin’s credit, shes not 100% wrong. Because the reality is that, if executed correctly, all of the things that she mentions DO help with SEO. The problem however, is that too many people that don’t really understand SEO, are reading Erin’s article (and the 100s of others with the same message) and making the assumption that SEO is now just good marketing…. that SEO is now dead.

We hear it every couple of years, someone says that SEO is silly or dead because, what they understand SEO to be is just other forms of online marketing packaged with a trendy catch phrase. This is not only wrong, but very dangerous.

And yes I said dangerous….

Case Study #1: I once had a large eCommerce client who changed the URL structure of their site with out consulting a SEO first. As a result they lost tons of organic traffic from Google which equaled a loss of $7 million each month. I worked with them to develop a redirection strategy and implement it. As a result the client regained rankings, traffic, and revenue.

Case Study #2: I once had a small business client who lost around $500k in one month because of a rankings shift. They had to lay people off…. it was horrible. In around 3 months I was able to get them back to where they were before, and help them regain the revenue. They now rank #1 for the term in question and have also taken over several other niches.

Case Study #3: One time an eCommerce client decided they wanted a new “hip” web site. They spent thousands of dollars on a new design that used AJAX for everything. And when I say everything, I mean there were no URLs!! Every time you clicked a link anywhere on the site it would make a unique AJAX call, and load the content on top of the same HTML scaffolding. No title tags, no unique pages, nothing. This was a site that had a few thousand pages indexed. They called me in to give the design a “quick look” a few days before launch.

Case Study #4: I once had an eCommerce client that had lots of competitors, however he was the only one that actually manufactured what he sold. Because of that I started looking at his niche’s wholesale market and discovered that there was no one competing in that space. We setup a small SEO campaign around wholesale supplying and his business grew 400%.

Case Study #5: I honestly can’t even count how many clients I have worked with that have gotten hit by Panda/Penguin or manual penalty because they didn’t hire an SEO before making a change to their business/web site. This problem is so pervasive that some really smart SEOs have become specialist in helping businesses clean up their past mistakes.

All of the issues listed above were fixed by a SEO, not a: content developer, UX advocate, digital strategists, creative marketer. or cheerleader. All of those roles are very important to the SEO process, but they aren’t any more or less important than other things that we might find in a comprehensive marketing strategy.

And because all of the things that Erin mentioned in her article are important to SEO and marketing; SEOs should be working closely with folks that excel at those things, not trying to master them. One reason that SEO has a bad name is because too many SEOs try to do everything when they probably suck at some of those things. But it’s okay to suck at some things, because look at the amazing things (above) a SEO can do with out doing any of the things that Erin listed.

If you want to be a better SEO in 2015, then its time you start working along side other marketing professionals that truly excel at their jobs. In the end you will have more time to handle the things that only a SEO can, and will end up getting better results for your clients.




URL Parameter WordPress Shortcode Plugin


The other day I was setting up a form on the consulting page with Gravity Forms. If you haven’t used Gravity Forms yet, you really should. It has this really cool feature where when the user finishes filing out a form they can be redirected to a URL of your choice. This URL can then […]

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No Longer A Ninja, But There Is More To Come!

1 year, 8 months, 22 days ago I took the position of Senior Marketing Analyst at Internet Marketing Ninjas. It has been an amazing experience filled with awesome memories and opportunities. However, this was my last week working at IMN. Jim Boykin has done an amazing job assembling a stellar team of digital marketers that […]

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How To Switch To HTTPS URLs For Optimal SEO


Last week Google announced that the use of HTTPS or SSL security certificates will be added to their long list of ranking factors. How much influence will using SSL certificates have on rankings? Who knows. But because Google has formally stated that this is in fact a ranking factor, it now should be considered an […]

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Why I Support The Civil Rights Of The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Communities


I am a straight white man with a genetic disability, who was born and raised in South Carolina, and I support the full civil rights of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender communities. A lot of folks might not understand why I feel the need to express this support. Many may be confused why a […]

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Updated Design From Copyblogger/StudioPress :)

studiopress logo

I bought my first theme from StudioPress in April of 2009 and to be completely honest I have loved pretty much everything that Brian Gardner and the entire team at CopyBlogger has put out since. I started creating my own WordPress themes in 2007, so for me to put my name behind someone else, should […]

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Google Glass Review (Explorer)

Joe Hall wearing Google Glass

Here are my initial thoughts using Google Glass. I will likely form more opinions about the device as I continue to use it. To make this review as well rounded as possible, I decided to break it up into Pros/Cons. BUT if you don’t have the time to read all this, then here’s the TLDR […]

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UPDATED: Help Us Bring Eli Home


As most of you know I don’t talk very much about my disability online. But, I want to tell you all about a very special project that I have decided to help with. In previous posts I have mentioned that I have Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI), which is a rare bone disorder that makes my bones […]

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Identifying Patterns for Fun, Profit, and Rankings – Search Exchange 2013

Today I had the pleasure of speaking at Search Exchange 2013! I promised all in attendance that I would share my presentation, so here it is! Here are some great resources from the presentation: Random Color Algorithm Majestic SEO Gephi – open source graph mapping software for backlink analysis Post by Justin Briggs about using […]

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30 Day Challenge: Exercise Every Day

In this post, I am announcing two things: A new category to my blog, and a new 30 day challenge for August. During the month of August, I am going to exercise everyday. I used to swim three days a week, but for various reasons, I quit doing that. Now I want to get back […]

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Coffee, Clarity, and Art.

There’s a small table in the corner of the coffee shop that I like to sit at. My back faces the large floor to ceiling windows, but it allows me to face the rest of the shop. I can see everyone from that vantage point. I enjoy watching what seems like every walk of life […]

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30 Day Challenge: No Social Media

Several years ago I watched this video by famed Googler, Matt Cutts. Since then I have always wanted to take a 30 day challenge. Quitting social media for 30 days has always been something I have had an interest in. However, I have never been able to, due to the demands of my career in […]

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How To Build Your Own “Google Reader”


So there has been a lot of talk today about Google shutting down Google Reader. I haven’t really been concerned because years ago, I created my own. I have been calling it “Joe Reader” for years. So now that Google is killing their Reader, I have decided to release mine as Open Source code under […]

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Is Marissa Mayer Restarting Yahoo Search?


In July, Yahoo announced that they had hired Google famed Marissa Mayer as their new CEO. Unlike everyone else in the tech sector, I was disappointed. My disappointment stemmed from the fact that for the last several years Yahoo has been the surefire place where things go to die. This made me sad because Mayer […]

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Plugin Contest (aka how I will beat @Norcross like a drum)


So it has been awhile since I last developed a WordPress Plugin for free. Sure I have done dozens for clients, but it has been awhile since I have given one away. But soon all of that will change. Starting April 1st I am entering myself into a two man competition with my buddy Andrew […]

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How To Build A Kindle


Something odd happened about 6 months ago. I started buying books on the Kindle. This was odd to me because 1) I am usually against technology with strict DRMs and, 2) I don’t own a Kindle! I have been reading my books on my phone and on my PC. However this morning I wanted to […]

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