I realize that most of my readership is made up of potential and current clients, many of whom are at their wits end when it comes to marketing their business online.
Every day I talk with people who are facing one of these issues: their site has been penalized, the SEO agency they are using isn’t getting results, their website has been targeted by a competitor in some way (negative reviews, untrue blog posts, ripoff reports, etc.), they want to disavow bad links, and so on.
Therefore the tone of the blog will be somewhat non-technical and aimed primarily speak to this audience.
Today’s post, entitled ‘Five lies that SEO companies tell their clients‘ is going to be pretty straightforward, and hopefully you will find it useful.
Without further adieu…
1. Our SEO agency can do a great job for you for very little pay.
This is a perennial problem, because business owners, at least smart ones, know how to keep an eye on expenses. Therefore it makes sense to find the best trade-off between cost and quality.
However, eager to gain quick business, a lot of individuals from India and Southeast Asia are spamming businesses with offers of ‘Great SEO: Boost your website-guaranteed!’ for $200/mo. how anybody in the world thinks that they’re going to get a dedicated SEO team to work on their website for less than seven dollars a day I have no idea. Even employees at McDonald’s make more than that per hour! Why anybody would hand over their business to people like that makes no sense to us.
As a result, we get a number of clients who come to me with penalized websites, because they trusted ‘some guy in India’to do their SEO who ‘screwed something up’. That decision to pay pennies for inbound marketing ended up costing the person their website, months of unrealized revenue, and a lot of time, grief and heartache.
If you are successful business owner, you probably make enough money to drive a nice car, live in a nice house, take a couple nice vacations, eat out at nice restaurants, and enjoy a comfortable living–so why would you pay the people who work in your warehouse so much more than the team who is responsible for getting you more business? It just doesn’t add up…don’t expect something for nothing folks.
2. The more backlinks/social signals/blog posts you have, the better.
Several years ago it was possible to simply acquire tons of back links, each targeted for specific terms that you want to rank for, and then see your website rise. Google, in what I consider to be a smart move, has turned that approach inside out and upside down.
The new algorithmic updates of the last two years have shifted SEO in the direction of quality content. What that means is that Google realizes their customers want the best and most accurate information at their fingertips every time a search. In addition, regularly updating content on your website is a huge factor as well. Yes, back links are still important as are social signals and other forms of link building, but if you find someone who swears they have the holy Grail system, run, don’t walk!
The SEO team you work with should be a highly articulate, able to understand your business and how it fits into your competitive setting, and should be able to grasp what it is that your former SEO team did or did not do. SEO is becoming more sophisticated, and the reason why this is good is because it will weed out people like those I spoke about in my first point.
3. The most important thing in ranking a website is what happens off the page.
This dovetails with the former point, which emphasizes the need to have original content on one’s website. However just add to that is a matter of keeping that content fresh and updated. It may be possible that you can hire an SEO agency was capable of writing good content for your website–that is usually not cheap, however, people who know how to write not just for search engines, but for your readership, will pay off multiple times in terms of new visitors and more sales.
It is also possible for you, the client, to write the content and then have your online marketing team look it over, tweak it, and make sure it is search engine friendly. This often deals with the HTML of the article that you’re publishing, and ensuring that certain ‘tags’ are in place, that the article is of sufficient length, that it links to the appropriate pages within your website, and that its layout, coloring, and overall aesthetic appeal is as good as it can be.
There are other elements, such as compressing images, leveraging browser caching, ensuring there are no broken links or 404′s, and that you are on the appropriate server, especially if you have a lot of audio/visual info on your site that could otherwise cause it to lag.
4. Your site got hit by negative SEO, and that’s why your ranking tanked.
At least once or twice a week I get an e-mail from a distraught business owner who was worried that their site has been hit by negative SEO. There are many times where that is true, however, there are also numerous instances where we find that what has happened is that either due to inactivity, poor–quality SEO services, terrible on-page optimization practices, or any number of other problems, the site has taken a nose-dive due to substandard quality.
Some of these e-mails go on and on about how great their website is, how they use to rank so high, how their competitors are doing the same thing they are but without getting penalized, etc. The truth of the matter is that there is always something about a penalized site that makes it worthy of that penalty…so the first question is not necessarily whether it has been targeted by a competitor, but whether the site itself is healthy to begin with.
5. We can guarantee quick results.
On rare occasions, we interact with well-meaning people who sometimes get the wrong idea about SEO. Some want to sign-on based upon the guarantee that within a month, their site should be number one. ‘We want to be #1 in Google for the term ‘diamond rings!”
Meanwhile, the individual has very little content on their website, they are not even in the top 300 for that term, and yet expects that they will shoot through the roof in a month, after which the site will be locked into place for all eternity.
I’m not sure where it ever gave them the impression, but just as taking out one advertisement in a newspaper doesn’t mean that you’re sellouts of all your inventory from that point on month after month, so with SEO, it takes a decent amount of time to get the word out about your website.
Meanwhile, ranking is a scarce commodity; what that means is that there is only one person who can be number one, and if you are selling a product, the chances are that a big store like Amazon, Walmart, or some other nationally known brand already has that place locked down. SEO’s who guarantee anything are violating Google’s terms of service, preying on the naïveté of business owners, and will often try to persuade people to go for a term like ‘the best diamond rings in East Sacramento County on Riverside Street’…an uncompetitive term, that is pretty easy to rank with a bit of work.
Anyway I hope this is helpful, and something that business owners can use as a resource when considering what SEO agency they plan to hire. If you have any questions do feel free to contact us by clicking here or via the contact tab at the top of the site: tell us your story, ask a question (but try to keep it brief), and will get back to you right away with a solid answer.