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Expert Feature: Buyer Beware – Be Careful When Shopping for a Search Engine Optimization Company

Finding a company to help you with your online marketing is great, but be sure to question anything that sounds questionable or too good to be true.

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Most business owners understand that getting found on Google and the other search engines is very important to bring in new customers. After all, most of us use Google to search for products and services that we need.

Because search engine optimization, or SEO, can be time consuming and complicated, it’s often easier for busy business owners to hire a company to help them.

There are many fine companies that will help you put together a good online marketing plan. But these are some cautionary red flags to consider when hiring that company.

When looking at a potential company, review what they’re going to deliver, and what they promise. If you see any of these kinds of promises, consider finding another company.

Guaranteed Placement on the Search Engines

No one can guarantee where you’ll show up on the search engines. Period. The search engines, especially Google, are constantly changing the algorithms they use to determine the position of search results. Your competition is also working to overtake you.

And lastly, Google’s results are personalized for each individual searcher. So even if everything else was constant, the search results vary from person to person anyway, so what you see for a search result will be different than what I see.

This goes hand-in-hand with “ranking reports” which aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on. Just because they say you “rank” for a particular phrase doesn’t mean you’ll be found for it, because everyone’s search results is different.

Website Analysis On A Few Pages

If the company offers to analyze your website for search engine readiness, that’s great. Some companies only analyze a few pages.

Unfortunately, your website must be evaluated as a whole, not just a few pages. Google is looking at the whole website, and pages don’t get graded individually, so your website shouldn’t be analyzed that way either.

SEO on A Few Keywords

Having to pick three keywords that you’ll be found for is ridiculous. Your customers are searching for a long list of keywords and variations that define what you do. It’s completely absurd to narrow that down to one or two or three phrases. You’ll be leaving so much behind that’s there’s no point in pursuing that kind of thing.

A good SEO company will help you to put together a content plan that continues to build good quality search engine optimized content that will get you found for MANY terms.

By publishing this content (blogs, videos, etc.) on social media and in your e-mail newsletter, you’ll continue to generate traffic to your website. If you have a good solid call-to-action on every single page, you’ll start to build a following that will turn into sales.

In short, review what these companies are offering and ask lots of questions. If it sounds too good to be true, it is. There is no magic, secret sauce to get you more customers through the search engines. It’s a process that you have to do over time. Just be clear on what your SEO company will deliver for you.


Photo by Danard Vincente

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About Thomas Petty (47 Articles)
Thomas Petty is a Digital Marketing Trainer at Thomas Petty Digital Marketing Solutions. He is a popular blogger and speaker and has trained businesses from around the world in digital marketing, search engine optimization and WordPress.