SEO is a very common and necessary component for digital marketing. So what is this “SEO” that many people speak of? SEO stands for ‘Search Engine Optimization’. Now you know why it is abbreviated, as it can be a mouth full to say. SEO is basically a three part approach to getting your website better known to the search engines that look up queries from users to find information, think Google and Bing. Those three parts work together to provide a solid plan to increase awareness within the world wide web. The three parts are the technical, the content, and the authority part of the SEO marketing strategy. We will talk more about those later.
Most companies practice common SEO techniques. Yet there are some businesses that still need professional SEO or need to do it better, and are looking for help in having it performed. This can be a daunting task as there are a variety of options to choose from and not all are the right fit for what you need. First, the question that needs to be answered is if you should bring the task in-house or outsource it to another company to perform on their behalf. Typically bringing another employee on staff to work solely on SEO would not be the feasible option, as not just payroll but insurance, taxes, etc would make it not worth it . Especially since a trained SEO specialist is not going to be cheap and an untrained SEO person would just be a mistake. Therefore, hiring an agency to do your SEO would be the better option. But now comes the question, “How do you find the right agency?”
Doing a search in Google brings up all kinds of options and basically causes even more questions that you would need to answer. Like what is this Local SEO that you see advertised and why is it different than regular SEO? And what is regular SEO to begin with? Google changed some things and added local SEO to their algorithm so that someone searching for services will find local results rather than an automotive repair shop three states away. But then there are still national SEO searches that will show up for things like ‘Home Loans’, so that will obviously depend upon your business model. Not only that, but you will find all kinds of things being stated by different SEO companies.
You will find SEO companies using ads that say they are the best SEO company, but if that was the case why do they not show up within the SEO rankings? They are the best, but yet they can’t rank for themselves? You will see ads for the cheapest SEO. I’m not sure about you, but I do not want to hire someone that specializes in being the cheapest. You will find ads stating that they are ranked #1 in SEO. Ranked #1 with who? Inside secret, they typically pay a company that ranks businesses within a certain field. You don’t pay them, then you will not get the chance to be ranked. Just yet another paid advertising tactic. I also laugh at the ones advertising the finest SEO services in India. The finest in poor communication and quality is what I read. I’ve heard over and over about how the lack of communication is the main issue, not the heavy accent and hard to understand, but the days without a return answer to an important question you had.
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And what about those companies that Guarantee SEO results? That sounds good, right? First, you have those stating a money-back guarantee. Be sure to read the fine print with those. I’ve seen the car industry pulling the same tactic with offering huge warranties, kind of the same thing if you think about it. The problem with these warranties is within the fine print. They will void any claim and warranty if you don’t follow the guidelines exactly. The warranties typically require you to get services done. These services force you to spend hard earned money on maintenance that are typically at a higher cost and more frequent intervals than needed, as they make more money that way. So you actually pay extra for that warranty anyways just over the life of the product. Then if you have a claim they will go through your records with a fine tooth comb to see if you followed everything exactly, and didn’t go over an oil change interval 2 years ago by 50 miles. Otherwise, they void that warranty. No need to ask me how I know, I’m sure you can figure that one out. Same thing with this money-back guarantee, read the fine print and follow your parents’ advice. If something appears to be too good to be true, it probably is.
The Guaranteed SEO Rankings is a good tactic as well. If you fall for it that is. The questions you have to ask are: what ranking are they going to guarantee? And what time frame are they going to let the guarantee work for three months, six months, one year? How many years is it going to take of you paying them so that you can rank number one for the keyword you want?
First Question’s answer: they will not let you pick the keywords to rank number one for. Try it! Ask them to get you to rank number one for your keyword for your business vertical. They will come back to you and say that you both have to agree on the keywords. If your vertical is selling used cars, they will not guarantee that they can get you to rank for “used cars”, unless your website already ranks very well for it. They will try to get you to agree to rank for “used 4 door sedan for sale in my small town”. A specific long tail keyword is easier to get you to rank for, but it also has a fraction of the traffic it can bring you. It’s all about competition, location, target audience, and the keywords you want to go after.
Second question’s answer: the time frame to get those rankings you want. Sure, I can get you to rank for the term “used cars”, just sign this 25 year contract and we will get started right away. Whereas the term “used 4 door sedan for sale in my small town” would take a lot less time. Time is an important factor to consider. It takes time to get rankings, but you also want a fast ROI so you have to weigh those factors to get the best ROI within the timeframe that works for you. Most SEO companies should help you decide which keywords would be the most beneficial for you. If they don’t, then you need to reconsider your SEO strategy.
Lastly, never rely on an SEO Company guaranteeing you results. As that is one of Google’s general guidelines and found within Google’s Webmaster Tools. No one can guarantee rankings on Google! Period, end of story. Research it your self just to be sure as things change constantly and you need to be up-to-date with everything within Google’s Marketing space. One day you can have a website rank number one, then Google will change the algorithm and now that website is on page 16. It happens more than people would think. So in simple, easy to understand terms, I hope I helped shed some light about picking the right SEO company and why guaranteed SEO is not right for you, or anyone really.