The term ‘search engine optimization’ has been thrown around for a while and has had small business owners question if it is a legitimate type of marketing. The short answer is a resounding yes.
Continue reading if you would like to know why it is considered a legitimate type of online marketing.
SEO – What You Need To Know
There are two types of SEO professionals out there – those who try to sell a service through guarantees and promises, and those who tell it to you straight, never guaranteeing results. SEO is a long-term marketing plan that takes time to develop and truly mature, working alongside various Google updates along the way. Anyone who claims to rank a website overnight is mistaken in their efforts.
For any small business owner, the single most important thing are the results you get from an SEO campaign. Results could mean improved visibility in Google (and other types of search engines), increases in phone calls and leads, or simply an improvement in branding efforts. If a small business owner can easily define its most important marketing metric, it makes hiring the right SEO service much easier.
Main Components of SEO
Any SEO you hire is likely going to go over your head with technical details. The main things SEO boils down to are the following:
- Keyword research – understanding what keywords you need to be targeting and why
- Content enrichment – making your content (text, images, video) stand out above your competition
- Technical adeptness – making sure your website is operating to the best of its ability (e.g., page speed, load times, broken links)
- Backlink development – finding sources on the internet to link back to your website
If an SEO is presenting this information to you, great – you are on the right track to hiring a good SEO company. Make sure you ask for examples of work and references of their work to help seal the deal and your comfort level.
How to Avoid SEO Scams
We asked a couple of well-known SEOs what their red flags are when they hear about other SEO businesses trying to steal clients.
The first eye-opening thing I hear is about unqualified SEOs claiming to rank a site overnight. This is tough work and it takes time to really prove itself. Anyone who claims they can get rankings in less than 30 days is just out to take your money.
– Ryan Howard, SEOBlog.com
My agency specializes in creating well-developed content. When we hear of another SEO company offering to create content for $100, we know it’s a scam. Developing the right kind of content for your audience takes time and expertise. People who spin out quick content are either plagiarizing or just taking a client’s money and running.
– Jeff Romero, OctivDigital.com
SEO and Adwords are not the same thing. I hear far too often that SEOs are selling first page placement when in reality, they are just taking a client’s money, buying a text ad for among and telling the client they got them first page placement. It’s such a joke.
– Christina Dokken, Strikingly.com
These are some of the most common red flags when it comes to hiring an SEO. If you hear comments like these coming from a potential marketing company, your best bet is to say no thanks and save your money.
The Truth About SEO
Put nicely, SEO isn’t a scam but like any other business, it has scammers who are looking to take money and run. Unfortunately, most marketing services have this same issue. It’s important for you, the business owner, to weigh your options and fully vet consultants you choose to work with.
Have your recently hired an SEO for your business? If so, let us know in the comments what you thought and how you selected the right partner.