It Probably Is.
At this point, you’ve probably been involved in more than one meeting with an “SEO expert”. Perhaps you’ve reworked your website to include some new keyword phrases, or you’ve had a developer add keywords and targeted descriptions into your site, or start a link-building campaign for you. How can you be sure that they are actually helping you achieve results?
I’m not trying to knock reputable search engine optimization and marketing companies. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of successful organizations playing by the rules, developing strategic long-term campaigns, and achieving real, and many times amazing, results.
The key is to make sure the company you have hired is one of those firms, and not some low-rank know-it-all with a background in sales and a lot of inflated guarantees. So how do you know?
Ask yourself these questions:
Does their strategy make sense to you?
— This is where the conversation should stop. If a company is guaranteeing you that they will position your site on the first page of Google for a particular keyword; RUN, don’t walk, out the door.
— This doesn’t mean that a good SEO provider won’t get you to the first page for several keywords, you can rest assured they probably will. It means that a good provider will not guarantee this – they can’t control the search engines any more than you or I can tell CNN to run a story on us.
— Any marketer with limited knowledge of SEO could get your site to the first page; but it will be for a keyword phrase so ridiculous you would never see real traffic or business resulting from it.
Are their rates low, mid-range, or higher than others you’ve consulted?
— Everyone knows the horror stories that occur when they hire the lowest-bidder or (yikes!) their brother-in-law to build their new kitchen or fix a leak. Many times, the lowest-bidder sets their rates that way because they are providing poor-quality services. They can’t compete on quality, or timeliness, or added-value, so they compete on price. And the loser in this situation is always the client who ends up having to pay someone else a lot more to fix what they broke. The same goes for SEO.
— As for the above, sometimes a company is the lowest-bidder because they are offering you a promotional deal or trying to accomplish other goals of their own. Maybe your brother-in-law really DOES develop great SEO programs and wants to impress the family by helping you out. The point is, don’t automatically jump for the cheapest solution. It could cost you a fortune in the long run.
Are their clients happy? Have they achieved real (in cash, not clicks) value?
— Ask for a few client references, and follow up on them. Have their clients seen real value from their SEO/SEM campaigns? Do they know their actual return on investment, or do they only refer back to some click-through and keyword ranking statistics.
— This may be a red flag. If an SEO/SEM provider is doing their job, after a few months their clients will see actual value in on-site conversions and revenue from their efforts.
If you’re wondering whether your SEO or SEM strategy is really working for you, or have questions on how to achieve search engine marketing success, give us a call for a free consultation and review of your website/campaign. We guarantee you’ll be left with the knowledge and strategy to achieve your goals.