Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) may be something you’ve heard about. But despite how much SEO is talked about, many people aren’t sure what exactly it is, or what SEO consultants do. We sat down with our SEO consultant Judd Exley and had a chat about what SEO is, how it helps people, and what exactly it is that he does.

What exactly is search engine optimisation?

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is essentially getting your web site to be recognised by search engines (Google) as a relevant authority for certain types of keywords. You can do this by changing around your web site code, your content or even by getting other sites that are relevant to link to yours. Naturally, there’s a bit more to it, but that is the crux of it.

Do web sites really need it these days?

Do they NEED it? Gee whiz, only if they want to have any measure of success whatsoever.

Think about it this way, Google has about an 80-90% market share right? And there are roughly 300 million people using it every day with 8 billion web sites out there, all competing for attention.

Wanna get found? Sure you do. SEO does that.

I heard that SEO is going to ‘die’ in a few years. Is that true?

I say that anybody who predicts the death of anything better be careful. SEO isn’t something that you specifically do as a process that can be replicated, automated and then deprecated. It’s an art, a skill that involves copious amounts of research followed by the efficient and methodical application of actions that are prioritised and categorised.

What’s all that mean that I just said? It means I have to know what to do to your site that will help it the most, in an amount of time that fits in your budget. And everyone has a budget. 

I read articles every day that talk about “The Death of SEO”, either predicting it or scoffing at the idea, but they all seem to treat their clients (in their given examples) as if they’re able to take their artistic-and-skillful time at doing any and all of the things that work best for almost any web site.

For somebody that specialises in small business, I can’t afford to do everything available in the realms of SEO for every client.  They simply couldn’t afford to pay for it, and I ethically couldn’t afford to do heaps of things they may not necessarily need right now.

Tell us a little about Jex Analytics.

I started this company ‘when I left another web mob here in Perth. I decided that I’d start pick one thing and focus on that, and deliver it with transparency and integrity.

I used ‘Analytics’ from ‘Web Analytics’, because I believe that the data reporting is what drives what we should do next.

What kind of services do you offer?

I do your basic SEO (keyword-related things) and work on the inbound links for your site. I also create full-blown Pay-Per-Click Campaigns (Google AdWords), and then I built some sweet tracking tools to follow all of that hard work and show you how it’s paying off for you in terms of ‘web site success’.

I specialise in local businesses mostly, because I understand the Perth market place so well, but I have clients that are all over the world.

I’m essentially a Business Consultant, as everyone who does SEO properly should be.

What makes you different from other SEO providers in Perth?

I’m originally from Montana (I’m Aussie now tho, true blue and all that) and the yank accent sometimes impresses people. But honestly I like to think that I’m different in the fact that I tell it like it is. Truly, I do; sometimes to a fault.

This is not to say that the other ‘SEO providers’ are lying shysters (though some are): I just like to think that nobody else operates with such transparency in their business and in their projects.

I like to think first about how I can help a client; second, I think about what that’s worth to them later, if at all. I will always work until I’m sure I’ve helped my clients and their business.

If someone wants to use your services – what’s the process?

The first thing I do is send them a questionnaire. I get people to tell me things about their business and their marketing efforts to date.

I also ask for lots of other things that can shrink a quote right down. For example, if the site has a content management system that’s easy-to-use and fun, like the ones Clever Starfish uses; and then I give them an estimate for a project that will get them up and steady on their SEO feet.

Most of my work is at a once-off cost too, for the most part. I figure that since so much of what I do is stuff that anybody can do with a short year or two of training, there’s no reason to keep paying me to do it unless you’re a) so busy that you’re happy to keep me on board; or b) you only have so much room in your head for these types of things.

Many thanks to Judd for taking the time to do this for us!

Clever Starfish provides basic information on Judd’s services in our quotes, but if you would like more information, please contact him directly.

Photo credit: Richard Giles