Awesome WordPress SEO Consultant Story

By 4th April 2018Blog, WordPress SEO


Ben, WordPress SEO Expert
I am an expert WordPress SEO consultant in London and I actively practice “White Hat WordPress SEO”. I offer over a decade of WordPress SEO experience consulting to my clients in the UK and overseas. The following is my WordPress SEO true story…

Chapter 1: Ben, Are You Really A WordPress SEO Expert?

My journey with SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) started 12 years ago when I was 21 years of age in 2006. Just before this, I was a branch manager running a small sales company in the Insurance sector and I had recently graduated with a BSc Internet Computing from Aberystwyth University 👨‍🎓. I had KPIs and ambicious performance targets (I learnt alot about how to sell and sell good). I remember working a bank holiday in a call centre and selling over £10,000 of Insurance. It was at that point I relaised If I could do this selling something I didn’t love, what could I achieve if I started my own business… I hated sales (despite being good at it) and I didn’t just want to get a standard IT support job like most of my newly graduated friends. So I decided to start my own business. I was self-employed as a WordPress web developer and I soon realised that my WordPress website development business was about to die a slow and painful death. I didn’t have many any clients, I had no money and I was ambitious as 🔥 🔥 hell 🔥 🔥. Being a WordPress developer 12 years ago was challenging because businesses didn’t want WordPress websites 😞 💻 they’d say things like: “Why do you build WordPress websites? I’m a business, isn’t WordPress just for bloggers? It’s not for me. No, thank you Ben”. I was hungry for business – I once flyer-ed the small town I was living in at the time with 1,000 leaflets (by hand) that I’d made myself asking for meetings if the businesses wanted a WP website for £500! I only had one meeting with an Estate Agent – but it never amounted to translatable business. Starting my business was the hardest thing I’ve ever done (I’ve climbed mountains ⛰, competed at a good standard in various amateur sports and suffered from sleep deprivation on more than one occasion 💤 working for 48 hours straight). Thankfully, WordPress later became (7 years later) the largest website CMS (Content Management System) in the world and I’d being training for 7 years before the business demand for the platform kicked off. One of the reasons I’m such a good developer is because I had so much free time on my hands to learn how it worked when I couldn’t get any WP gigs. I often wonder if the business owners that I proactively approached remember the kid that told them WordPress would become the next best web platform on the internet and it would be a wise business move to future proof their website in advance and take advantage of open source technology – but that’s another story.

So my SEO journey started in 2006 with a lead generation campaign for a printing company which included SEO, PPC, Social Marketing and Email Marketing. I needed money for my WordPress web business to grow survive and I needed it fast. I negotiated 50% of the net profit of the internet sales raised for the printing company. I was young and keen, but I had no experience with SEO, I knew a little bit about selling and the rest was largely enthusiasm for success – I needed to create a win-win situation for the printer to take me seriously and accept my offer (so there was a zero engagement fee). The deal was done on a handshake 🤝 and I promised the printer that his large format Annapurna UV trade printer would be running none stop and his telephone would be inundated with phone calls from new customers generated by B2B online leads (SEO). I didn’t realise at the time how hard it would be, but it turned out to be so much 🌟 fun 💰 💰 💰 !

Since working with the client I have generated around a million of pounds in revenue for the client, we became market leaders and we worked with brand names you see on the high street and we even worked for the agencies that brand some of the brand names on the high street. Yes – you read that correctly. Part of our online market intelligence and discovery process identified: Some highstreet brands are their own agency (they do this to save cost and control their destiny without being locked in to one digital service provider). My SEO campaign was tremendously successful. Yes I made it a win, win! To put things into perspective: Sometimes we sold so much print, that I had to work the night shift in a cold factory and lock up on my own. I didn’t care about working long hours, we were making money £££ and speaking to new clients every day!! I couldn’t believe how powerful SEO was. We spoke to international brands that called us! Yes, that actually called us in Birmingham to do business! It was amazing, but hard work. There were times when I fell asleep link building whilst the printer was running (large format printers are noisy – that’s how hard we worked). My working hours at the time were 8am – 8pm. The main challenge we had was getting a 5-figure credit limit from all our suppliers (we’d grown quickly) and it took some convincing to get the suppliers to give us credit so we could hold stock (before we sold it) ready to ship next day! The lonely hours I spent in the printing factory made me realise printing is craft – it’s hard and takes a lot of time and effort to do well. We were masters of our craft. Today, they’re still a client and 12 years later, they still receive phone calls and e-orders from online leads. The guy I work with is a true entrepreneur – thank you 👍 for the business opportunity Steve.

Chapter 2: The SEO Game Back In The Day

If you’re an SEO specialist or know about search engine optimisation: To put things into perspective, the rel = nofollow link attribute had just been invented 💡 when I started SEO. Do follow keyword comment links through platforms like CommentLuv (I couldn’t find the link to this anymore – I’m not sure if it exists anymore?) and similar blog comment management platforms and forums were like the gold rush 🏆 of the SEO scene at the time…

Twelve years ago it was a lot harder to get ✅ good back links (not like today) and at times I felt like an SEO explorer 🌐 traversing the internet, webpage after webpage, going deeper and deeper into the web, searching for the best ways to get back powerful links. My quest for discovery was immense. I probably visited 500+ websites per day searching for links (manually). The real SEO back link gold was finding links no one else had yet discovered.

At one stage of my career, I office shared with a good SEO company (maybe Google search something like “SEO Birmingham” to find them) on my learning journey and soon realised that they were in the same situation as me (always searching for the next best SEO strategy, never quite lost and getting positive results for their clients). I dedicated years of my life getting SEO results for clients (never employed always as a freelance SEO consultant) – experimenting with the dos (“White Hat SEO”) and the don’ts (“Black Hat SEO”).

My target quota each day was to make 50 links manually which were keyword rich! If you know about SEO nowadays this wouldn’t be a wise or viable SEO strategy today. If I visited 500 websites and got 50 links – that was a good day in the office! 😁

Chapter 3: *F~c£* 2012 It Was A Hard Time To Be A WordPress SEO Consultant

When you’re successfully making money online, you notice that 1-2% of all your search engine traffic (website traffic from Google) are going to buy something when they visit your site 😎 😎 😎. You can predict how many sales you will make based on your current and future visitor traffic levels. For us this was translated as: 200 visitors a day = 4 sales per day and for every 1,000 visitors = 20 sales.

I still remember coming into my office one day and looking at my daily Google Analytics report and seeing something seriously wrong. We were only getting around 10% 📉 of usual traffic levels, which wasn’t sufficient to get us the online sales we’d been accustomed too. My website was online and it wasn’t broken. 💥💥💥 NOOOO?! 💥💥💥 I still have nightmares 🤢 about this stage of my life… here’s my recollection of the true events that unfolded in the Search Engine Industry Worldwide:

Chapter 4: My SEO Nightmare Begins

Google started cracking down 🚓 🚓 on sites using Black Hat SEO tactics, they radically changed the magic search engine page results (SERPs) ranking formula and this turned the industry upside down changing the future of the internet as we know it, forever. I had read forums and blogs about a potential Google ranking storm but never thought I’d experience anything like this or that it would be such a widespread reform…

There was an industry website that made a webpage to ☠ alert SEOs of current live Google algorithm changes ☠ . The Google crack down search algorithms were named as cute and cuddly animal names 🐼, but they weren’t really officially or formally announced in advanced so webmasters didn’t have months or years to prephare. The webpage never gave too much information away (largely because no one knew how they worked) and some algos had just a single paragraph explanation even though most of the updates affected hundreds of millions of websites (yes the entire internet). Even if you weren’t doing SEO to your website your natural search engine rank (probably) changed and fluctuated alot because so many search results were being removed from page 1 of Google. The algo releases were relentless and continued to be released periodically every few weeks. Some algorithms that were released went through second and third stage improvement variation cycles to make sure they definitely worked next time – if the first release didn’t take affect as Google had planned. It was like Google had trained a 🚨 SWAT team that was going after sites SEO’d in certain ways, hunting “us” down algorithmically. Penalties were harsh and automatic. Google continued to launch periodical algorithmic changes 🤖 🤖 (🐼 Panda, 🐧 Penguin and 🐧🐧 Penguin 2.0 were the worse ones) they hit world class websites (at the time market leading) and completely reshuffled the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) index. Webmaster forums were flooded with screenshots of Google Analytics visitor traffic charts that showed 2,000 visitors per day, dropping to 60 visitors per day. The charts looked like flat line heart monitor charts that a doctor ⚕ would see in a patient crisis. Webmasters all around the world were crying out on forums asking what to do and sharing their bad experiences openly accompanied with detailed site information (webmasters wouldn’t usually share traffic levels or any sensitive site information – that’s how bad it was). The Google algorithmic changes are why the websites that were on page one of Google around 7 or 8 years ago are most likely not on page one today for the same search phrase. The algos are part of the ranking DNA formula that Google uses today. In the search industry – this was like a recession, but it went largely under the radar in newspapers and TV but was reported EVERYWHERE online. My guess why it wasn’t in the non-digital press at the time was because most didn’t understand it and Google didn’t hang about to explain their actions, nor did anyone anticipate that it would have been so aggressive in the SERPS shake up. It’s not until the calm after the storm that the true extent of damage can be appreciated. Nothing had been done like this before! You can go back and watch Matt Cutts (Former Head of Google Web Spam) talking about SEO topics here on his blog. I got the impression Google took a “The less they know the better” attitude because they knew a lot of webmasters were going to be very unhappy. 24 hour news and international news was still not quite mainstream or readily available all the time. The facts were: the Google ranking rules changed and they changed hard, fast and forever (read more about penalties here). Penalised sites could never come back and in plain English: first time Black Hat SEO offences had lifetime sentences for website owners (although we didn’t know this yet). At the time there was a lot of speculation by web developers, marketers, SEOs and tech professionals why these changes were rolled out and enforced… truthfully my view (post SERPs apocalypse) is: it was near enough impossible for new websites to break into competitive markets and tactical SEO was becoming spammy (very spammy)! I knew as a webmaster my site was untouchable because I’d done X years of Black Hat SEO, so for anyone to compete with me:

  1. It would take them X years of Black Hat SEO and
  2. I’d see them coming a mile off and would have time to react by doing more SEO

Sites at the top of SERPs in 1st, 2nd , 3rd , 4th and 5th position – we were untouchable. Many website owners were paying for Black Hat SEO (whether they knew it or not) and to compete like for like – Black Hat SEO techniques needed to be launched to get results. Believe you and me, I tried A LOT of White Hat SEO at the time and it just didn’t work as well. It wasn’t good for the internet and it wasn’t good for new startups knowing they couldn’t conceivably get ranked within 1-2 years for the popular search phrases they wanted!

Chapter 5: Disruptive Technological Change Took The SEO Industry By Storm

The monopoly market leading websites had wasn’t healthy, it wasn’t fair and it had to be broken – someone or something needed to make a disruptive change to the search engine optimisation industry and Google the search engine super power had the balls to do it. It starting enforcing ⚠ ⚠ the rules ⚠ ⚠.

My printing client website eventually became a victim 🔫, in fact I don’t know anyone who wasn’t affected in some way if they had a website, regardless of if they were actively doing SEO at the time or not. I hated Google at the time for coming after us – Google was hunting us down 1 by 1 automatically. Everyone I knew in the SEO game was affected. People lost their jobs, webmaster threatened to sue Google, there was so much fallout.

Years later I realise it had be done and respect Google more for taking action to protect the future of the Internet. “We” in the industry were being hunted down by algorithms that would analyse our back link profile and website content / structure and give us an F based on a few values that some other tech person had come up with that we didn’t even know.

Yep, the inevitable happened – the fortune of my business was changed by someone I had never met or done business with. Shortly after being hit (by Penguin 2.0 on 26th May 2012 AM GMT… I had initially escaped Penguin 1.0) I determined after many sleepless nights and many failed come back attempts (months later) that we had to start again. I knew I could probably do what I did in six years in one year. I cried 😭😭😭😭 (honestly) and then I took action: I cleaned up our SEO strategy, built a new site, put it on a new domain, added better content, added value to my visitor experience (online checkout, FAQs, artwork upload, blog, good content, videos etc) and dealt with the pain and guilt from loss of revenue for a period of what I thought would be 12 months (worst case scenario). I did the same for other websites too. Luckily, we had a few loyal print clients and our business model encouraged repeat business with the trade. The staff were awesome (thank you guys and girls) and we went all in to turn the dire situation in our favour and take advantage of the new market uncertainty with our new competitors still trying to figure out how to do online sales effectively. We knew our market and we were bold enough to use our historical business intelligence to our advantage to turn the situation in our favour.

“Change brings opportunity” to those that seek it out

Nido R. Qubein

It took around  9 months to come back with a better printing site and I learnt valuable SEO lessons along the way ** the hard way **. Almost all of our past competitors were killed off. And new competitors came into the arena to do battle. Because the fallout ☢ was so large scale, the Google SERPS became a level playing field for the first time I can even remember! The Google algorithmic updates had killed off Black Hat SEO, they had been successful, I saw sites with lower DA (Domain Authority) and PA (Page Authority) scores ranking better, these sites often had pure back link profiles that hadn’t been artificially inflated with rubbish or spammy back links. I had to relearn how to do SEO effectively, otherwise I would pay the price again and I didn’t know if I had another year of re-learning in me. I was tired and weary and had to adopt a White Hat SEO strategy moving forward. SEOs page rank had stopped being reported too! So we were driving blind, in the dark.

Building new websites with WordPress helped me to build better sites. The plugin repository helped me add better user experience features quickly because I didn’t have to hand code .php and .js. WooCommerce enabled me to sell efficiently without having to build a custom shopping cart and accept payments with PayPal and Stripe and third party artwork upload sites allowed me to offer an efficient way to receive client artwork. The time save from working with WordPress was unbelievable and it’s one of the reasons why the process only took around 9 months to come back bigger and better.

Chapter 6: What Were Other WordPress SEO Consultants Doing At The Time?

At the time “Someone” I knew: just kept launching a new site every week. He made so much 🤑 money 🤑 in his niche he didn’t care 😜. Google would index his new site and he’d have a period of 5-7 days to generate a “boat load” 🚢 of money until the algorithmic changes took effect. And then he’d start his SEO process again. Yes, he got to page 1 for search phrases in 5-7 days in niches with DA scores of over 40 and remained there long enough to generate an ROI. Remember earlier I said that DA (Domain Authority) and PA (Page Authority) scores were much lower now and it was broadly a more even playing field? Google miscalculated “these guys” – Google thought that Black Hat SEO Consultants would stop because the price to pay was too high. Google at the time was also in an experimental era of introducing algorithmic changes which removed sites from it SERPs under certain conditions. Google was also learning on the job (just like the SEOs), after all no other search engine in the history of mankind had rolled out algorithmic changes like this before so quickly and so aggressively. Therefore, despite Google being the godfather of search engines it also took time to process, evaluate and take action for one simple reason: It needed to be sure and double sure so that it didn’t make mistakes and remove the “good websites”. My friend gamed the system (this period of 5-7 days) to the max whilst Google was making its mind up! During this point of my life, my friend was owed a lot of money for his SEO efforts by a man who owed a yacht and holidayed in lots of sunny places. Myself and my friend didn’t have much in common except SEO. We lived it and our income was directly proportional to how well we performed. We lived on the edge of certainty and uncertainty in our market places and we shared techniques to pinpoint what worked and what didn’t and better still we both tried different things. Yes, you guessed it, I did all the White Hat SEO things and left him to it! At times I felt like a priest trying to convert an atheist during our discussions. We eventually formulated a safe game plan often by working late into the evening & early morning. I still remember the prominent London club 🍹 near Baker Street we both went to one night after the first positive SEO results since being hit (3 months prior) – with £30 per drink on the menu. If my friend is reading this, I hope you’re living a happier life overseas and have found what you were searching for. He moved away and we lost contact.

Chapter 7: SEO Was Now A Fight For Survival – Me Versus The Google Algorithm Updates

At this point in time, the search industry was divided on what to do next 😡. I continuously strategised my way through the storm, often changing course but always making headway and I came out the other side. There was an enormous amount of pressure to solve a complicated problem that no one knew the answer to. At this stage I’d only started to see a couple of positive results, so I was still unsure of long term strategy effectiveness and validity. The information and data available at the time was misleading – Some days I’d read high ranking website back link profiles and the next day they were nowhere to be found. What should I do? What would you do? 😕 😕 Forums were flooded with advice based on no previous experience AKA BAD SEO ADVICE and MISLEADING DIGITAL MARKETING INFORMATION, remember this was the first time in history that this had ever happened, and it turned out to be impossible to solve this mathmatics equation just by doing “1 thing”. It was stressful and I’m glad It happened to me when I was younger and more adaptable. It was basically fuc£ing hard and I had to come up with SEO tactics that you couldn’t just read about in moz.com (they weren’t invented yet!)… “Content Is King”. Competitors that were also hit and other SEO consultants I knew at the time tried: PPC (Pay Per Click Advertising), social, other search engines, TPIs (Third Party Introducers) etc.  I didn’t try these or place as much emphasis on these as a valuable long term solution because they were expensive and frankly not as good. Google was and still is the search engine preference for most internet users whom are searching for something they need right now. It was mad to build a business case to suggest doing something else. The ones that I knew, that did go elsewhere and tried something different often failed because they couldn’t replicate the same volume of quality online leads that Google brought them in the past. They’re business relied on leads and with a shortage of online leads they’re businesses were compromised. And if they did change their business lead gen source: They were often safer but often made less money. Other SEO Consultants that I knew stopped doing SEO and built websites, become social media marketing consultants or tried something new. Imagine learning that everything you had self taught yourself for five years was all wrong. What would you do? Relearn the new methods for the next five years or try something new? I stuck with SEO and re-skilled and re-trained myself.

Chapter 8: Why Am I Sharing My Story?

Engaging the services of an SEO consultant is risky. Although this is a wordy story it accounts for just a small snippet of my WordPress SEO experience that I’ve gained from doing SEO and getting real tangible results for clients (I’ve got the photo 📷 album  to prove it 😊). If you don’t understand why my story is important here it is in a nut shell…

If your WordPress SEO consultant hasn’t had an experience like this, he or she could cause harm to your site which may only fixed by building a new site and starting again. And that’s not to mention if you’re already generating revenue from online leads, how long can you survive without any online leads 💭???? By the way, if your site gets blacklisted by Google and you launch a new site, new domains rank so much slower (if you can start again and have the budget to do so). You’ll probably also have to create a tonne or original AKA new good content never used before on the internet (No – you can’t just copy and paste it), a site wide 301 redirect will only cause your new site to inherit all the bad of your previous site! And it keeps getting worse (sorry but I don’t make the rules)… the algorithmic changes Google makes to target heavily SEO’d websites have not been released yet – they are future updates designed to target naughty tactics of today’s Black Hat SEO companies or the White Hats that unknowingly stray alittle off course (believe me it can easily be done!). So, to sum up, the process of starting again took me the best part of a year, it will probably take you longer. It’s a bit like visiting a casino if you do Black Hat SEO, sooner or later the house always win.

The SEO solution is: don’t visit the casino and certainly don’t play roulette like I used to play it. Don’t do Black Hat SEO.

Chapter 9: What Have I Got To Offer? And If I Was So Good How Come I’m Not An Online Millionaire Like My Buddy In The Club?

Twelve years later, a little bit older and a little bit wiser 🕒 I realise if I was solely money orientated I would be rich! After working with a private aviation client producing over a million pounds of leads, printing companies generating around a million pounds of leads and various other businesses, it would have been easy for me replicate their business model – gain valuable market intelligence and insight on what worked in their niche and replicate it for myself – again and again. But I chose not to cut the partners I worked with out of the business, I made the business decision to lean, add value, but not to harm.

I realise now: I am an explorer at heart, I have a moral compass and gain a lot of value and enjoyment from going from nowhere to somewhere 🌎 and that’s why I love 🧡 doing what I do. I’m motivated by success and the journey (and I want both when I work with a client). I change businesses, grow businesses, get threats from competitors because their income stream is threatened (that happened), I change the landscape of the internet (just a little) all because of my love for “the game”.

Chapter 10: What Do You Get If You Work With This SEO Consultant In London?

If you work with me it’s important that you know a few things up front. I can’t work with every business that contacts me for a variety of reasons.

I choose my clients not because I’m arrogant but because of my ethical and moral compass. I have this rule in place because I can’t work with two clients in the same niche (two competitors) or work with clients that work in industries that I wouldn’t be comfortable explaining to a young child. I’m ethically minded and want to enjoy the SEO exploration and journey without doing others harm.

When you work with SLIB Design Limited you work with me and only me as your WordPress SEO Consultant. You’d be surprised how many [slick rick] salesmen are in the SEO industry and after the hand shake the work is [sometimes] outsourced to another continent for far less [~5% of your spend]. It might take you 6-12 months to realise that you didn’t pay for what was promised in the meeting. I don’t do this. I’m serious about getting results and I’m ethically minded. There’s no middle man and I’m the guy that you shake hands with. I’m contactable during business hours and outside of business hours (if we pre arrange). Yes, I am based in London. I live centrally and work a little further out at Plexal – London’s premier innovation tech hub near Hackney Wick Overground right next to Stratford Westfield Shopping Center / Tube & Underground. If you travel via Stratford there’s a free shuttle bus to HERE East. I work here because travelling from central to non central lets me avoid the 🚉 commuter rush 😀. If you haven’t been to Plexal yet and you want to visit – I co-host a public speaking event that runs twice per month that’s open to visitors if you’re interested in learning offline sales techniques… this is handy for when you start getting inbound (reactive) sales calls.

I don’t have an agent and if you’re a recruiter or an SEO company please do not contact me. I don’t need representation, nor do I need a partner service.

I don’t charge clients to create their SEO strategy. Which makes it worthwhile for us to at least have a discussion if you’re serious about getting results. I read competitor backlink profiles like you read the newspaper 😀 (often smiling). Your competitor back link profile (who links to them and who they link to) will influence the future of your SEO strategy moving forward. There isn’t any one-size-fit-all SEO strategy that works for all businesses. But there are a few key fundamentals that you must master to stand a chance of competing at the highest level. So, don’t turn up to the game and forget your best football boots and make sure you wear them in first.

I can offer input and value based on what works now and what is considered safe now. I’m not a fortune teller 🧙‍♂️ – do another google search if you want someone to tell you it’ll be OK in the end.

My SEO recommendations are based on science, the Google documentation (that’s public), what trusted industry SEO websites are reporting (current trends) and what’s worked before for other clients. If you haven’t realised already, the sites in your industry are being ranked, compared and analysed against one another, against the broadest set of values that have ever been digitally quantified and the gatekeeper of the measurement and value of this data is called Google. If you’re unsure by what I mean here’s a hand drawn sketch explaining how Google works based on Larry Pages PageRank paper (co-founder of Google and featured on the Forbes rich list). The information isn’t top secret and you can read about it on WikiPedia. Whenever I show SEO clients this, they look at me like I’ve just discovered fire and usually say something like:

“What SEO is just about building connections (links) from big balls (authoritive websites)?”

I usually reply:

“Yes sir/madam. And Larry drew us a diagram to show us how to do it.”

Larry’s PageRank Diagram

This diagram shows Search Engine Optimisers how Google was originally designed to rank websites

PageRanks Diagram Author - Larry Page

Ben’s [Edited] PageRank Diagram Based On Larry’s

This is my own interpretation of the PageRank diagram

SEO Explained By Ben Llewellyn Based On The Larray Page's PageRank Diagram

Source: I made this

This is my own interpretation of the PageRank algorithm diagram. It might not be 100% correct but it’s faired me well until now.

I work on a retainer price model. 75% of my retainer is reserved for labour and the remainder 25% is used to create fantastic content. Just to be clear, I need the 25% and I need the 75% to do SEO.

I don’t just do one thing. If you think SEO is all about getting as many back links as possible, and expect to see results in weeks or days, look at my diagram again and think about it carefully. How many big balls do you know and how easy is this diagram to create? How many balls do you need?

I am expensive, and I am good. Budgets I work with are typically between £500 – £5,000 exc VAT per month.

All my clients sign an NDA. This protects my clients’ backlink profiles and it also protects your backlink profile. It’s not a case of hiding information but it is a case of need to know.

Lastly, if you’re not serious about getting results, if you don’t care about your brand reputation, if you haven’t got the budget or you’re simply not a person with buying influence please don’t contact me.

If you’ve carried on reading and made it this far, you’re probably serious about getting results and most likely need a motivated and ethical WordPress SEO consultant (based in London). My direct dial office number is +44 (0)2081850530 and my email is ben@slib.co.uk. Give me a call and I’ll add value to your SEO strategy.

Chapter 11: Thank you

My father once told me: “measure twice and then cut once”. It took me 12 years to truly appreciate the meaning of his words – get it right first time around and you won’t pay for the consequences of bad decision making.

Thank you for taking the time to visit my website and read my story. My story is an honest account of what actually happened to me. Please don’t judge me based on my past mistakes – we all make mistakes in life. The people, clients and friends involved in my SEO journey will know who they all are. I want to thank them all openly for helping me to become a better professional and for the value they all have added to my professional WP SEO career. My experiences have helped me to define our WordPress SEO company service. I’ve purposely not named names because there are so many people to name and I don’t want to miss any one out, My story doesn’t include the whole detail because that would take too long to type. Thank you 🙏.

Chapter 12: The Finale

I often get asked a few common questions by clients/readers that contact me after reading my story. I was emailed by a guy in the states the other day. So I thought I’d add this bit in

 “Ben, was Black Hat SEO worth it?”

Looking back: At the time (12 years ago), yes. When you have to pay a VAT bill every quarter and you run a new small business and your rent is due and you’re young and don’t know any better and your cashflow is almost non-existent. Black Hat SEO at the time was largely more accepted as a common and mainstream SEO practise. To be frank there wasn’t as many good places to get White Hat SEO black links from (unlike nowadays). In terms of where I fitted in on the black hat scale – probably around 5/10. I came across so many guys that got quick results for clients and they were 10/10 on a scale, but their sites were always hit hardest by Google’s algorithmic changes. I never went to this extreme.

“Would you do Black Hat SEO now-a-days?”

No. Absolutely not.

“Ben Do you just do WordPress SEO now?”

I don’t like the phrase WordPress SEO expert… but we specialise in SEO for WordPress websites, B2B lead generation for WordPress websites and WordPress website maintenance & management. Our core services are all related to WordPress. Our WordPress SEO service has been curated based on the SEO story you’ve just read (made from mistakes and disasters – to find out what really works).

“Was it worth it ?

I wouldn’t be as good a White Hat SEO consultant now if I didn’t make the bad Black Hat SEO decisions I’d made in the past. So, yes, it was worth it. But I paid the price.

“Ben – Can you give me any 5 SEO tips?”

OK…

Tip 1. Ask your customers to review you on Google My Business (Google Reviews Formerly Google Places). This is really good for your brand credibility, because Google will show your star rating if someone searches your company name. Yes, some people don’t mind spending more if they know they’ll get something better! Google star ratings are quality indentifiers.

Tip 2. Adding your site and company information to Central Index. This is really useful for local searches and if you do a bit more research you’ll find out why this is probably a good idea.

Tip 3. Stay away from Black Hat SEO tactics and familiarise yourself with the Google rules (Do a Google search for them). If you only use one of these tips, make sure you use this one!

Tip 4. Look at what your competitors are doing and react accodingly. This tool will give you insight and it’s fairly low cost to the other market alternatives.

Tip 5. Remember the google algorithmic changes might be called cute fluffy animal names 🐵 🐶 🐨 but really they’re monsters in disguise 👾 💀 👽 ☠

So What Do You Tink? Am I Good At WordPress SEO? …Here’s A Photo Of Me Holding Over 1 Million Pounds Of Leads For One Client :)

WordPress SEO Consultant Photo - Me Demonstrating How Powerful SEO Can Be If It's Done Right

Published: 04 March 2017

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Ben

Author Ben

Senior WordPress developer (London) and founder of SlibDesign.com. I've been using WordPress for over 12 years. Feel free to get in touch with me if you need WordPress help or tips.

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