SEO is a legitimate and valuable technique to improve your ranking in search results delivered by search engine sites.
In Australia up to 95% of searches are performed using Google, therefore the focus is generally
on improving your position in Google. Yahoo and Bing unfortunately generally do not generate much traffic for sites
Over the years however we've seen some techniques SEO consultants
use which I felt others may wish to know. By sharing these techniques
it is my hope those businesses using SEO services are better positioned
to find an SEO consultant that will assist and ad value to their business.
I hope you find this information useful.
Providing canned examples that appear to work
One business once said to me how well their business appeared for a certain word. Herein lies a trick.
It can be fairly easy after the event to check and find a word a person uses which will put your site in a good
position in Google's search results. Since the client is not tech savvy they then may think the SEO consultant has done their job.
The reality however is this keyword may never have been a keyword the SEO targeted and thus may have occurred in any case. The
word may have no real value as it may get very limited traffic, but the business owner is not aware of this.
Before the SEO consultant starts working on your site you need to lock down the keywords they're optimising for. Use Google
to determine where you're placed before the SEO work starts and then during set periods (perhaps monthly) to see how you're progressing. Keep
in mind you may rank better for other keywords but this may be more through luck than deliberate design. You're not paying for luck when
you hire an SEO consultant.
If you retain an SEO consultant's service pay only on results
One business I spoke to had retained the services of an SEO agency. They're been very impressed
with the proposal and the work to be undertaken. In the proposal was the expected outcomes
at the end of months one, two and three, stating the expected percentage of the keywords and how
they'd rank. The proposal was professional and well laid out.
The problem however was there was no mention as to what would happen if the agreed targets
for months one, two and three were not met. The client would simply continue to pay money until
they cancelled. In this case the client's site did not improve in ranking at all and for some of
they keywords actually dropped in ranking.
It is critical with SEO to agree to pay only on an agreed result. So many people simply continue
to pay when no result is being achieved.
Make sure your business receives value for the SEO services
I saw one web developer state how one business was paying around $700 per month, getting
200 clicks which converted into two enquiries, and thus how the client was getting ripped off.
This is more a bad purchase decision rather than getting ripped off. The problem is people think
SEO will get sales. The ultimate aim of marketing of any type is to get sales. What SEO
does is to get your site an improved position which results in greater traffic. If the SEO
generated 200 clicks per month that's $3.50 per click. That's quite costly but isn't unusual.
The conversion rate from the internet is expected to be around 1.5%. If you're only getting an
enquiry and not business then something is not right. The SEO is working but the conversion
isn't. It is important to keep in mind these are different issues. It may be that you're getting the
wrong traffic, or more work is required on the site to convert customers. However the SEO is
generating traffic. The real question is whether the SEO is value for money and in this case
Some SEO consultants will tell you it takes months to make a difference
When I've performed SEO for a client I can often see the impact even as quickly as a day or two.
Usually in around a month you'll have seen a significant change. After that point it can be slow
and steady as additional small changes are made and the approach is fine tuned. It shouldn't take
months to start seeing results and this may be a ploy to get a number of month's fees before you
Check the presence on the internet of the SEO consultant
I reviewed the SEO consultant for a client and found the SEO consultant's own site and presence
was far less than the client's. It really doesn't make sense to use a business to do something for you
if they can't do it for themselves.
Be careful of the SEO consultants who sign you up for all the common directories
When I see SEO consultants using the approach to sign people up for all the common directories for external links it makes me
shudder. First some of these directories once you're listed you cannot easily be removed. Second if the directory has a greater
presence than your own site they may rank ahead of you. Directories advertise others and if someone
is looking for your business and end up at a directory site, they'll often be given your competitor's
number who is paying for advertising. At a minimum get your own presence in order. Some of better the directories may give weight
to your internet presence. However some directories may have the opposite effect.
Advice from well meaning people
I see advice from well meaning people all the time. Sometimes the advice is good, but often it is not targeted
and won't get the results you want. The question to ask here is how many sites they've helped get
to the first page of Google.
Some SEO consultants bag others who promise first page presence in Google
I completely agree that most of the scammers who promote their services and guarantee a first page
presence are simply scamming. However the goal should be to get your business on the first page of Google,
and whilst not ideal, at least the second page. For pages three and on, the amount of traffic you'll receive
means in general it will not be worth the time and investment.
I can't see how any SEO consultant could say the aim isn't to be one the first page of Google when it is.
Some SEO consultants bag others who offer pay on performance
To me this is the SEO consultant looking after their own business model. They generally want to be paid
for their time irrespective of whether you benefit or not. Your goal is to get the result you want, not
to generate time based income for someone else.
We'll keeping working on your site until you're happy
Again this is simply because the SEO consultant doesn't want to miss out on getting paid so they're
extending the deadline. You've fixed the deadline up front so don't let it slip. If they don't deliver within the
agreed deadline they haven't delivered. Time to move on and get an SEO consultant that will deliver.
Ranking well for your business name
Many businesses love it when their site ranks well for their business name. However keep in mind if your
business name is fairly unique, chances are your site will rank well for your business name anyway. Sometimes I've found
sites that aren't appearing in the top 100 search results even for the business name. In this case it
can often be very easy to get them a better position. In quite a few cases these businesses have not
been in the first 100 results and after I've assisted they're on page 1 and often in the first position.
Yes this is SEO, but it is more that for some reason Google hasn't ranked the site for one reason or another
and the site simply needs some assistance.
Ranking well for keywords with little to no traffic
Many businesses would not know how many times a keyword is searched for. They may chose a keyword
feeling it applies to their business and even optimise their site for the keyword. However, if no one
searches for the keyword you'll receive no value for optimising on the keyword.
I've seen a couple of SEO consultants offer their services for such keywords. If a keyword/phrase has low
traffic and low competition it can be easy to rank very well. This looks great and an SEO consultant
can show how well they've done for the client, but really the client is simply paying for an SEO
service that has no value. It is a good idea to ask for an idea of how much traffic the keywords
get each month. I recommend businesses should get these values and enter them into the SEO Value Calculator
so they can estimate the value of a keyword to them.
Where did you find the SEO consultant
I see many SEO consultants marketing their services in social media, at networking groups, via email or telemarketing. Guess what?
These people aren't using the service they're selling to you, as the way to promote their business.
Shouldn't you be finding an SEO consultant either via their online site where they've used their skills
in the same way you want to market your business. A second way might be to check who is doing the SEO for
a site you find. But really. If you find an SEO consultant in Facebook, at a networking group, via email, or telemarketing, all that
shows you is the way they promote themselves and it isn't using SEO. If SEO
works, it should work for them as well.
I hope you find some value in the above. My main objective is to help businesses find SEO consultants
that can assist their business and avoid expensive SEO costs which do no delivery results.
you for taking the time to visit.
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