When asked whom I would invite to my SEO barbeque, I immediately racked my brains for the names of all of the SEO experts that would (a) Hold their own in an SEO geek off and (b) Appreciate the wonders of Reggae-Reggae sauce.
I would wager that Ryan Stewart from Webris ticks the above criteria. However, Ryan brings something more important to proceedings - a ‘do it yourself’ entrepreneurial attitude that separates the theorists from the do-ers in the world of SEO.
I first heard about Ryan Stewart when I stumbled across this Facebook page dedicated to answering digital marketing questions in a question and answer style. After tracking down the owner of the page I was impressed by the approach of the website. Venturing onto his agency’s website, Webris, I found that the site displayed real life analytics screenshots showing surges in SEO traffic as evidence of work - something that SEO companies hadn’t done previously. Take a look at the screenshot below from the good old Wayback machine (note, I recall the analytics screenshots being larger than this!):
The website has changed somewhat since then but how about this for a meta title:
You only need to do a quick Google search to find a swarm of ‘SEO experts’ who know all of the SEO theory in the world and can dazzle you with talks of ALT tags, latent semantic indexing and canonicals, but it was refreshing to see someone break the norm and say, ‘forget that…this is what I’ve done for others and what I can do for your business.’ In my opinion, that’s the single most effective sales pitch for SEO and goes a long way to repairing the bad rep SEO was getting at the time.
Ryan continued to talk about how he ‘stopped selling SEO in feature on Moz’ with the aim of dispelling the myth that companies should be ‘ranking number 1 for this phrase’ and reiterated that we should be educating companies as to why this isn’t the best approach.
I admire this level of transparency and - without trying to sell, am pleased that it’s the same ethos shared at Reflect Digital. Transparency is key and results speak volumes.
Speaking of results, I was again drawn to a slightly more recent Ryan Washwere case study, my favourite of which is setting up premium shoelace website ‘laces out’ to prove that the SEO techniques used will generate revenue: http://webris.org/get-more-organic-traffic-right-now/
This ‘do it yourself approach’ is something we hope to emulate with recent projects such as the Find 50 Football quiz at Reflect Digital (watch this space for a juicy case study coming up soon). These ‘show, not tell’ case studies are so valuable in proving you know your stuff. One of the biggest hurdles we often face with clients is, for one reason or another, not being able to do the work for a client that we know will have huge impact on the site. These case studies prove the huge growth that can be achieved.
Ryan - I nominate you to come and speak and grab a burger at the next Brighton SEO. Lets hope you’re into Reggae-Reggae sauce. Silly question, who isn’t?