SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can be tricky and confusing for many of us. When deciding on SEO services or consultants for your company and brand, there are a few things to keep in mind.
THE GOOD: SEO is very important in building your brand’s online reputation to make your business successful.
How can SEO be GOOD for my company or brand?
• It has the ability to get your brand noticed on the web.
• It can be a strategic online tool to make your company’s website show up higher in the list ranking when customers search for something related to your business or brand.
• It uses specific keywords or phrases to generate the most accurate search results for people looking for products or services related to your business or brand.
• It can [if used properly] generate more “organic” (and most importantly unpaid) traffic to your website, which can increase revenue, ROI and/or brand awareness.
• It can be the most effective tool for any e-commerce business selling products & services online.
THE BAD: The simple fact and fault in the game of SEO is that a lot of people don’t really understand what SEO is or what it even does.
So, what exactly is a SEO?
Wikipedia.com explains it as follows; “Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website in a search engine’s “natural” or un-paid (“organic”) search results … the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users.”
In Simpler Terms…
It’s a backend programming feature that ranks your content against other websites and their content to create a hierarchy of the best options for those searching online for specific items, products or services by keywords or phrases using a search engine (like Google, Bing or Yahoo).
THE UGLY: Because of the lack of understanding mentioned above, there are abundant SEO firms that offer packages designed to confuse, manipulate and over-promise the client with complexity, measurement and jargon. It can be an ugly SEO world out there when unscrupulous SEO specialists prey on this lack on knowledge
Did you know: there is no SEO certification required for consulting at this time? You could be wasting thousands on someone who claims to be an SEO Specialist, but truly lacks the knowledge and skill.
With knowledge, you can protect your company from SEO Specialists who ultimately over-promise & under-deliver. Here are some common red flags to look for when consulting with an SEO Specialist:
1. “I can get you the #1 position on Google” – there is no guarantee that you will earn the #1 position on Google. Good ranking takes continuous work and effort over time—there is no way to promise the #1 position on a search engine overnight.
2. “The more links and keywords, the better” – Search engines only have a certain amount of data storage. Tricky tactics like “keyword stuffing” used to work when SEO was first introduced, but now these tactics will actually end up hurting your ranking instead of helping it.
3. “My techniques are too complicated to explain” – You NEED to know what you’re paying for. If an SEO Specialist is honest and good at their job, they will take the time to break down the process in a simple, easy to follow language (unlike SEO jargon) to make you a team member in the SEO marketing process.
And always remember: an ideal candidate for your SEO should have expertise in your specific field and be up-to-date on the ever changing rules in SEO technology. Just like in any business, there is plenty of competition amongst companies that offer similar products and services. It pays to do your homework and select a SEO Specialist that is knowledgable in your industry and able to direct you to brand opportunities online.
While your company’s campaign should definitely include SEO, it should not be the only tool in your marketing plan. A well designed marketing plan never focuses on a single tool for strategy. Designing a well-rounded campaign is necessary to be successful. As the old saying goes (even in new technology): don’t put all of your eggs in one basket! As your marketing/branding company, we will help you find a SEO Specialist that fits your business, your brand & your industry, and also makes you feel like a partner in the SEO process. Call or email us today to begin the conversation: 239.596.4770, firstname.lastname@example.org.