I’ve been either using SEO for my own business or offering SEO services since 2005.
Kent Yunk taught me as he was learning while working at IBM, then Global Strategies (a division of Ogilvy & Mathers).
Roaring Pajamas was built around “White Hat” practices, meaning that we work within Google’s guidelines for optimizing a website.
Why The Suspicious Are Hard To Convince
Unfortunately, as time goes by, potential clients are more suspicious of SEO consultants – for good reason.
Many businesses have been burned by more than one consultant or agency, claiming lackluster results. These prospects are often the most difficult to convince that we know what we’re doing and can “fix” what has or has not been done to their site in the past.
Personally, I cringe every time I hear the words, “I fired my last SEO because they didn’t do anything.” Ouch.
We’ve optimized many sites over the years that were originally “optimized” by some company, either US or overseas, that called or emailed the client claiming they can get their site on page 1 of Google for $200-ish per month.
These companies claim they will perform a large list of services, including:
- Keyword research for each page on the site
- Competitive analysis
- Keyword density for content on the site
- Traffic reporting and rank checking
- Link building
What We’ve Discovered That These Companies Do
Unfortunately, we often find that these companies with small monthly fees fail to perform many of these services or they use “black hat” or practices outside Google’s guidelines.
Often, they’ll stuff too many words into the <title> tag on the page without ever consulting the business owner, and those keywords may or may not have any search demand.
Often, phrases are selected that are too competitive for the client’s small website.
For example, I once found a “link farm” on a client’s site full of links pointing to many of the agencies other client sites.
The business owner did not know these links existed. They were small and sort of hidden.
She did not know any of these businesses and many of them had absolutely nothing to do with the business or website.
These practices are signs that the proper research and analysis was never performed.
The links that are built are not valuable links, but they point to spammy websites that could actual raise Google’s “eyebrows.”
The worst offense I’ve seen is when the customer is not given access to the Google Analytics account so they can view their site’s progress.
Worthless reports are generated that look really great on paper, but don’t actually provide valuable information to the business owner.
The bottom line is that the business owner often has no idea how their SEO is performing, or they absolutely know they are not receiving any leads from their website.
Does this scenario sound familiar?
We advise our clients to beware of the “cheap” SEO deal that seems too good to be true. It probably isn’t a good deal at all.
What A Reputable SEO Firm Will Do
A reputable SEO firm will do the following:
- Charge a project fee for keyword research and competitive analysis (or a substantial monthly fee) because this work takes time and effort by skilled professionals.
- Present recommendations to the Client for approval. After all, the Client knows their business and the words used to describe it better than any SEO. Collaboration is key.
- Educate the Client regarding the methodology and reasoning for this work. Teaching the Client to fish is key to understanding and appreciation for the art of SEO.
- Reports that make sense and are presented and explained. Full access to analytics is also important. The Client should be able to check their own analytics at any time.
Smart executives and business owners don’t let bad SEO happen to their companies.
They know they need SEO and, therefore, take the time to learn enough about the practice to appreciate (and pay for) the value of a good SEO consultant or agency.