SECRETS YOUR SEO FIRM DOESN’T WANT YOU TO KNOW - CATEGORY CONTENT MARKETING
If you’re new to search engine optimization, it probably sounds like a pretty good idea to hire someone who knows what he’s doing to help you along the way. You don’t know what back linking means, and you certainly don’t know what keyword density has to do with anything. That’s fine. Go ahead and hire an expert to get you off on the right foot. Just don’t fall into the traps some SEO firms want you to fall victim to.
This isn’t a tirade on SEO companies in general. Many of them are reasonable, affordable, and helpful. But there are others that will take your money and leave you with little more than a few poorly written keyword articles and maybe a few backlinks on sites that have nothing to do with yours. Even worse, they may not tell you how to continue on with your efforts, so you’ll be forced to keep shelling out more money for services you could very well get done yourself.
Here’s a few things you might want to look out for when hiring an SEO company.
Some of the stuff they’ll charge you loads of money for is pretty darn easy to do yourself
It may seem confusing, or even downright daunting, at first, but doing keyword research and creating backlinks aren’t rocket science. There are any number of blogs, books, and articles available that can give you the skinny on getting started. Most even break things down into bite sized chunks, so you can go from site design to optimization in just a few minutes a day. Even if you are a total novice, you can learn this stuff, and you can achieve great organic search results. Site owners are doing it every day, even without the use of SEO firms.
There are no Google endorsed firms
Marketers within a firm can take the Google certification exam, but many companies would have you believe that they have an automatic head start because they’re so tight with the big wigs over at Google. The truth is, even if the president of the SEO company plays golf with Google’s CEO every Saturday, your site will require the same attention and care as the site being represented by Joe Shmoe down the street. Don’t fall for the hype. Choose a company based on how they do business, not on how much they say Google loves them
If a firm claims your site will soar to the top of the search engines, they’re probably using black hat methods for SEO
Let’s face it. As a business owner you want results as quickly as possible, so you don’t have time for an honest SEO firm who says it like it is: SEO takes time. The truth is that when using legitimate SEO methods that will carry your site to the top of the search results over the long haul, it will probably take months for you to see what your money has purchased. Who wants to pay an SEO firm and then wait six months to find out if it was worth the investment? Almost no one, right?
Well, you’re not going to like this. Any SEO firm that claims they can get you results virtually overnight is likely using black hat SEO marketing methods. This would include keyword stuffed articles posted to your site, as well as to third party sites for backlinking. Your site will soar temporarily, but as soon as Google sniffs you out and realizes that you’re offering the same crap as other black hat operations, your rankings will plummet. The bad part is, by that time, your SEO firm will have ridden off into the sunset with your check in hand.
SEO alone is not enough
For the companies that are trying to win your business with their promises of website fame and fortune through search engine optimization alone, what I’m about to say is going to sting a little. SEO alone is not enough to sustain your online business. Rather, it’s just one strategy you can use to increase your company’s exposure.
Even when your site ranks very well with the search engines, you are still in danger if you rely too heavily on organic search. That’s because Google, and the other major search engines, are always making changes to how they show search results. What works today might not work as well tomorrow. That means one little algorithm change can drop your site by several pages, or more, at any time.
Keeping up to date on upcoming changes Google plans to make is one method of staying ahead of the curve. Some top SEO companies have several sites they manage, so they can quickly see which are ranking best after such changes are made, and determine how to fix ones that are lagging behind. Even so, it can still take a little time to reclaim your lost rankings. If you don’t have other promotion techniques in place, this could mean real hardships for your business.
If you do go with an online agency, it may be more suitable to go with a full service online advertising or marketing firm. By “full service,” I mean that they specialize not only in search engine optimization, but also in social media, traditional forms of direct marketing, and paid search campaigns. It will likely be a combination of these things that helps your site weather the changes Google makes, so you can remain profitable even when organic traffic drops.
All of that being said, your SEO campaign should last for a certain length of time in between major search engine overhauls. Any company that tells you that you’ll have to pay for updates in strategy every few weeks or so is probably either not doing a very good job, or completely milking you for every penny you’re worth.
You can avoid running into these money pits, and plain ole scams, by researching any company you’re considering doing business with very carefully. Become educated in how online marketing works, and ask questions to get a feel on how they do business. If anything seems sketchy, it probably is, and you can confidently run in the other direction.