Search engine optimization, or SEO, has really become a buzz word in the online marketing world. While many of us have known about it for some time, there are many businesses, both big and small, that are just now catching on to it. They hear about SEO and then they do a little research. There is an infinite amount of information available on the topic which can lead a person to get confused and overwhelmed very quickly. Once a business owner decides they need to SEO their site, they dig a little deeper. Since SEO may be something new to them, many times they want to “test” it out which means they provide a small budget but still want big results.
1. Self service SEO. The business calls their web developer or web development company and talks to them about SEO. There are many website development companies who tout SEO as one of their many services, but can hardly deliver. The owner wants to take this opportunity to try out their writing chops; they write a few pieces of content and have the webmaster post Then they will go to directories online and start submitting their site so that they can have the all important links back to their site. This could have a very detrimental effect. Particularly in the past Panda and Penguin world. Now the website has many spammy links to it and is in a bad linking neighborhood. In the past that would work fine for achieving rankings and even today it may work for a time, but sooner or later it is going to catch up to you. Google will take notice and could very well penalize the website severely. For that matter, the website could even be removed from the index.
2. Cheap or unscrupulous SEO providers. After a webmaster or owner has discovered that SEO is a time consuming endeavor, they start looking for an SEO company that can do the work, provide guidance and measure the success. Since many owners are now suspicious of SEO, they want to limit the amount of money that they put into their SEO. Would you limit the amount of money you spend on your home or brick and mortar storefront and use the cheapest materials even though you aren’t sure if it is safe? Of course not, but many people don’t think of their website as being hazardous to their online business. Put up a nice looking site, make a snappy URL, add some images and people will visit the site and buy your goods and services. That is how it works, right? If there are problems with any SEO work that was done, that could very well be a big NO. You have to make sure that your SEO provider has set realistic expectations and is using the best practices. Promising you a lot of inbound links is not a good sign. While there are SEO companies that can accomplish that goal, would it be the best type of links? Would they be relational to your business model? Will the links be from websites with credibility to the search engines? Perhaps, but many times that is not the case.
3. The site is just too far gone. There have been many times that this is the unfortunate case. A business owner has watched the site drop in the rankings and online sales drop too. They can’t figure out why they are not doing better and they want to solve the problem. So, they go to another SEO company and talk to them. Hopefully, they find one of the many reputable SEO firms who, after some research and analysis, tell the owner the bad news. Sorry, but your last “SEO” firm did more harm then good. At this point the owner gets mad and doesn’t want to believe that any SEO company is any good and that all they want is to take his money, provide a minor boost in rankings and when it all falls apart, they just get to go away. This situation is probably faced by many SEO companies on a weekly basis.
To wrap this up, any SEO consultant worth his or her salt, wants to have successful clients. They want to be able to help a business achieve their goals of higher rankings and more revenue. That means that client will most likely stay with the same SEO firm for quite some time. However, if the SEO isn’t completely above board and “white hat”, then the rankings will probably not last for long and the damage control and recovery could be a very long term prospect. Remember, “you get what you pay for” and there is a reason that saying has been around for a very long time.