If you’re a business owner and don’t know what SEO is, or have never heard of SEO, you’re in serious trouble. Here we are in 2017, the digital-online era and SEO is more popular than ever!
In today’s online world rarely do we see a niche that doesn’t require monthly SEO to get their brand and website in front of their target customers. It has become that competitive!
The days of optimizing a website and stuffing their backend and images with tons of target keywords are over. Google will smack you right in the piehole for those types of practices.
Today’s SEO world consists of experience, knowledge, proven track record, resources and most importantly, Patience.
Sometimes it amazes me when I meet with a potential client who needs help building their search engine presence and they’re blown away by price. For some reason, mostly on a local level, some think that professional SEO is cheap or nothing more than a half ass service that comes with a cheap price tag for hyped up services.
I have a good idea where these assumptions came from. Back in 2007 when search engine optimization services really began to pick up steam, many SEO’s started coming out of the woodwork claiming to be the next big thing and offering services that could guarantee clients front page Google rankings.
Some even went as far as saying they would have their clients ranked #1 or in the top 3 within a few weeks. If you, as a business owner fell for that, you either didn’t know much about SEO, or just wanted to hear what you wanted to hear. Regardless, hiring an SEO agency that makes claims like these are a complete waste of time and money.
In the search engine optimization world there is no possible way to know when a client is going to hit the front page of Google let alone the top three search results. If you sign a new client who is already ranked in the top 50 search results that’s a great starting point and more than likely, if you know what your doing, their progress will happen faster than normal. For those that aren’t even ranked in the top 100, their climb up the ranking ladder, is going to take time, experience and patience.
Let’s look at an FMS client, Thunderbird Custom Design (TCD Phoenix). Below you will see Google rank results as of June 1, 2017. This client builds custom media walls for homeowners in Phoenix, Goodyear, Scottsdale, Surprise, Glendale, Tempe, Chandler, Sun City, Peoria, Cave Creek, and many other cities in Arizona.
As you can see they dominate the local rankings. This rank chart also displays how TCD ranks against their biggest local competition, again……Complete Domination. As a matter of fact we are now expanding throughout the United States and looking at bigger goals for their business. But these results didn’t happen within a few weeks, it took at least 6 months or more, where the client was starting from, and the client understanding it takes a realistic budget and patience.
When it comes to SEO and hiring an SEO agency, either for local or national SEO, you have to do your due diligence in finding the agency that fits your goals. If you base your search entirely on price you are definitely going to waste time and resources and in some cases you may give up entirely on SEO because of a bad experience.
1. Most of the SEO agencies that offer search engine optimization for anything around $200-300 are full of shit. Whether on a local level, and definitely on a national level, a complete SEO campaign is not going to happen on a cheap budget like this. Not even possible.
2. Stay away from the SEO’s that promise they can get your website ranked in a specific amount of time, especially if they state “in a few weeks”. I’ve seen several SEO’s state this and then perform some form of black hat SEO in order to manipulate the search engines into ranking a website faster. I promise you once Google gets around to indexing the SEO that was performed, if you want to call it SEO, they got nailed. Their site was penalized so bad they went from page 1 to not being found at all. Don’t go this route and if you do, You’re An Idiot!!!
3. If you ask the cheap SEO agency to provide you with current references, or even past ones, and they refuse, that’s a red flag. If they can provide the results they claim they can then they should have clients that are happy to provide a positive reference.
4. When asking for SEO client references from the agency you’re thinking of hiring, if they state they cannot due to clients being confidential, more than likely they’re full of shit. I don’t know about you but if I’ve done my job and achieved great results for my clients, I could care less if a potential customer contacts all of our clients.
5. Be very wary of cheap SEO’s due to outsourcing. There are many SEO firms that outsource their clients search engine optimization to other firms that specialize in on-page optimization, link building, and content marketing. Some are even overseas in places like Pakistan and India. Usually if a US SEO agency is outsourcing within the USA the prices are going to be more expensive due to quality. However, if the SEO is still offering something like $200-300 for local SEO or $600-800 for national SEO, if they’re outsourcing, it’s more than likely going to India or Pakistan. You have to be very careful with the overseas SEO as their methods are a lot different than our methods here in the states. Our SEO techniques are generally held to higher standards by Google where as overseas methods are generally outdated. That could get your website into trouble.
6. Watch for the Bait n Switch Routine. Some cheap SEO’s tend to hook their clients on the insanely low prices only to wait a couple months and pitch them more expensive packages. There’s a couple firms here in Phoenix that do nothing more than paid advertising, like pay-per-click, and use this very technique. They prey on the local business that doesn’t know any better and sells them on the cheap price point. When nothing happens over a couple months they tell the client they need to bump up to package #2. This goes on and on for the next 12 months, and still, the client gets nowhere.
7. Stay away from SEO’s that might be glorified link brokers or link farms. I’ve seen spammy link brokers disguised as SEO’s, putting on a front and tricking clients into believing they do SEO. Turns out these guys perform basic or out of date optimization tactics and then turn their attention to building shady links to the clients site. The links usually come from link farms, generally consisting of forum links or foreign spam websites. Stay completely away from this!
8. When it comes to Google ranking factors Content will always be King. When a cheapo SEO offers to include content creation and marketing at some insanely low price you can bet these are going to be duplicate, recycled articles. Any professional SEO firm that takes pride, and more importantly values their time, in creating unique content for a client is not going to provide this service for cheap or use duplicate content that could harm a client’s website. I’ve even seen some competitors of our clients steal content from their blogs and post it as there own. Lazy companies who have absolutely no value in their own marketing or the information they want to get out to their customers.
9. A lot of cheap SEO’s promise reporting to their clients monthly progress but fail to produce these reports when the time comes. From our experience it’s usually becuase they have no progress to show or they try to hide their crap services for as long as they can. Even if you experience seasonal trends or Google algorithm updates through the year, as most businesses do, you have to provide all metrics regardless. If you’re a quality SEO agency and get great results for your clients, at some point you’re going to experience certain ups and downs. That’s just part of the game, none of us can avoid this! But when this happens, being honest and explaining to the client what these up and downs are, shows that you are always being honest and have nothing shady to hide.
10. Watch for an SEO proposal that displays 100’s of backlinks listed in their SEO services section. When it comes to quality SEO it’s not about quantity, it’s always about Quality. Anyone promising a ton of backlinks are generally using grey and black hat link building and are going to try and manipulate the search engines to get your site ranked faster. At first, in some situations, this may provide a big boost to your rankings. Like I mentioned above, once Google gets around to examining the types of links you have pointing to your site, your rank position will drop. Cheap, low quality links will never compare to less Quality back links. Every website is measured on domain authority, page authority, trust flow, etc., and when your back links lack any of these factors, say bye bye to your rankings. Never cheap out on your back links.
When it comes to SEO Services you cannot base hiring an SEO provider based on price alone. If you do you will get screwed and cause your business a lot of frustration in the process. Quality SEO is not cheap at all! Let me say that again, Quality SEO is not CHEAP. The amount of time and effort that goes into a full scale professional SEO campaign holds value. That value has a cost. If you’re looking for the type of results that provide huge returns, more than you’re paying for SEO, then choose SEO based on quality. If you’re looking for an SEO to tell you the BS you want to hear or want things to happen faster than what’s possible, go elsewhere. At FMS we won’t even entertain that type of client. There’s several out there that will take your call, however, but when it comes to quality and results, your call is going to be a waste of time.
Call today for Quality SEO Services (623)687-1673 or email us through our contact form.