Choosing the Right SEO Company
Obviously, you probably wouldn’t be here on our website if you didn’t think researching was wise before jumping into any internet advertising plans, and you would be absolutely correct. The problem that is inherent in the internet advertising and SEO world is the mass amount of myths and deception that is spread about the subject. Small business owners are easy targets for sales people trying to unload inferior internet advertising products, outdated technology websites, and questionable SEO & PPC packages. And because small business owners are busy running their business, many of them don’t take the time to research enough before they buy. What happens then? Small business owners get stuck using internet adverting products that were misrepresented, over promised, and under-delivered, and in some cases their rankings are even worse than when they started.
For many small businesses, looking for a qualified local SEO Company can be a daunting task.
SEO Myth #1
Because the company that is selling you the advertising is big, they get preferential treatment from the search engines.
This is absolutely untrue, and if anyone is telling you that, you should run the opposite direction. The search engines have created a level playing ground in most cases for small businesses. I say most cases because if you’re a small business selling TV’s and computers and want to challenge Best Buy for dominance on the web, it’s probably not going to happen anytime soon.
SEO Myth #2
It’s all in the software
Software, when it comes to search engine optimization management and pay-per-click management can be an invaluable tool to help any business succeed, but what many small business owners fail to realize is that software needs human interaction to make it work in this industry. How well do you think your SEO and/or PPC efforts are going to work if you buy that advertising package from that sales person that walked into your business, but you don’t seem them again until it’s time to renew? In reality, software is only as good as those who are using it, and then it’s only good if it’s working to achieve your clearly defined goals.
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SEO Myth #3
Clicks equal calls and business for you
We hear the metric of “clicks” talked about over and over again in sales presentations from many internet advertising companies. The sales person will often talk in grand numbers about the millions of visitors their web property(s) get and how they can direct those people to click on one of my websites and these clicks will turn into more business and increased sales.
This simply is not always the case. Knowing the right questions here can help you wade through the lofty promises made in some of these presentations. Questions like: Will the person be directed to my website, or a list of business like mine for the consumer to choose? Or how about: Will the click actually land on my website – or will it land on a “profile” page? Understanding the difference between what you feel a click to your website and what is being offered should be important to any business owner because it can mean the difference between getting a call or someone just bouncing out of your website.
SEO Myth #4
Companies that are Google Certified, Google Partners, Google Premier or something similar get preferential treatment.
This is something that is simply not true. Anyone can become Google Certified or a Google Partner, and likely if someone is calling you saying they’re “Certified,” it probably isn’t them that’s certified, and most likely anyone that works on your adverting or website won’t be either.
Google certifications come for many different products including Google AdWords, Google Analytics and so on. Being certified means only one thing: someone at the company has passed that exam. More likely the person you’re talking to is “Google AdWords Sales Certified,” meaning they have passed a few modules of training to help them explain how this product can help a small business.
SEO Myth #5
Someone calls and guarantees you first page search engine rankings.
If you get a call like this, save yourself time and just hang up. Anyone that guarantees you first page rankings should be avoided at all costs. A quick Google search of guaranteed first page of Google will return a host of articles on why these scam artists should be avoided.
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How you should really judge an SEO & Internet Advertising company
The proof is in the understanding
First, and this can not be stressed enough, any company that is working on your SEO, website and internet advertising should be able to tell you in easy to understand terms what they are doing to help you out online. If they can’t tell you in easy to understand terms, they themselves probably don’t understand the process clearly. For example, with SEO, Google grades on approximately 200 different factors, and understanding which of these factors your business will need to focus on will be key to a successful SEO strategy.
Ask for References
It’s amazing that some small businesses skip this, but they do. If you trust someone to handle your internet advertising, it seems like a fair request to have them demonstrate their successful track record with a few businesses in your area, correct? And these business should be willing to share their positive experiences with you, correct?
Most people wouldn’t let someone house sit for the weekend without checking some references, and why not? You could come home and find some big problems, some problems that could have been avoided with a few phone calls. Yet many small business owners hand over the keys to their internet advertising, website, and most of all, their business’es reputation with the search engines without checking a company’s reputation first.
Don’t make the same mistake that many small businesses have found themselves in with recent Google updates. All you need to do is Google “website penguin penalty” or something similar to find scores of articles addressing this.
Realistic SEO/Internet Advertising Pricing
Pricing is key in the world of SEO, internet advertising and websites. If a company is promising you the world for $99 a month, you’re probably not going to be impressed with the results, and your wallet will be $99 lighter.
Quality SEO, website development, and pay-per-click management takes educated manpower, and educated manpower costs money. Ask questions such as, who does the work? Is any of the work shipped overseas? What’s the education and experience of the staff that will be assigned to your project? Asking questions can help you avoid surprises down the road.
Beware of the One Pronged SEO Approach
Quality SEO is not a one-thing or just a few-things job. Companies that talk just about links, or just about content, or social media can spell trouble for a successful long-term SEO strategy. Google and the other major search engines judge on hundreds of factors when they determine where a website should rank, so a one, or couple prong approach will be a short term solution at best.