SEO is a long-term marketing strategy

Whether you are doing SEO in-house, on your own time or with a professional, it still takes time for a site to begin ranking well for a keyword that has never been targeted before, unless you’re involved with a brand with a huge following. Here’s the gist:

  • Engaging content to the searcher is the foundation so please don’t try to push a web page that’s all about “me and my super awesome company.” You’ve often got to create content that’s not just about you if you want conversions.
  • Your site must show that your business is credible to gain good search rank.

You often get what you pay for

In the past week I had two different “SEO companies” cold call me about a retail site I own. They gave me a load of crap about why my site wasn’t ranking well before telling me I needed to sign up with them.

The more reputable company of the two offered me this:

  1. Submit your site to Google, Yahoo, Bing where 95% of the traffic is
  2. We have proprietary software that looks at what search engines are after in your industry
  3. Our benchmarking report card tells everything about your site and all it’s deficiencies. Our certified technician will walk you through the details.
  4. $19.95 for the report

As a professional, I had to hold back my laughter on each point, but then I got a bit peeved because this is a ploy to get a naïve person hooked. Google does offer certifications in Adwords, Analytics and other Google products, but there has never been and probably never will be an SEO certification offered by any of the search engines.

Companies like this are on the hunt for people who are ignorant about technical things like computers and search engines. They typically cold call, send spam email and use other cheap methods to get you to respond.

Your attitude determines everything

If you find yourself tempted by offers like this, it could mean that you have not done this type of marketing before and haven’t been burned yet. Here’s a few questions that will help you think more clearly about such offers.

  • Do you value the return on investment (ROI) of a project over its cost?
  • Have you set goals for lead generation, product sales and/or brand name exposure?
  • Do you possess vision to grow the business?
  • Are you driven to win out against competitors?
  • Are you ready to take your organization’s marketing to the next level?

If you answered “Yes” to some of these, then you will be able to see through the silly offers that these peddlers make.

What worked a few years ago may not work today

  • Traditional article marketing and press release distribution to build links where one piece is posted on many sites is one example of this. Google’s Panda update neutralized it for the most part.
  • Link schemes and networks are enticing to participate in but the end result is often no improvement in search rank, or worse, a complete waste of time.
  • Using link brokers or renting links from a network can get your site penalized or banned from Google.
  • In summary, easy to get links have little to no impact on search rank, but hard to get links that involve a business or editor relationship does move the needle.

The scope of an SEO project isn’t for everyone

Let’s consider competition on the Internet for a desirable keyword. You may think you know all of your competitors and can count them on one hand, but on the Internet any website that outranks your site is a competitor whether they are in your industry or not. And depending on the geographic area you want to cover, it can be like opening up a publishing house in your office to become competitive for your search term.

Rankings are no measure for true success

The trophy of the #1 ranking site is sometimes nothing more than the right to brag. Personalized search results, localized search and cookies are additional reasons to shift your thinking from rankings to conversions. Measuring conversion rates for each keyword you are targeting is how you achieve true success with SEO.

Focus Focus Focus

Considering everything I’ve mentioned so far, you shouldn’t be surprised that focusing on a handful of keywords at a time is the way to go. But, there are those who will disagree with me on this. What I mean is you can pay an agency with lots of man-power to go after many more competitive keywords at one time (with emphasis on the word pay).

Teamwork with a credible SEO partner is an advantage

There are good reasons I’ve outlined these eight common issues for those getting started in SEO and it boils down to efficiency. Good SEO partners can provide strategy, coaching, training, and execution.

It’s like an athlete who longs to be trained by the best coach in his sport. The athlete and coach relationship involves trust because the athlete wants to achieve a goal never achieved before, but trusts the coach because they have been there and can calmly guide them step by step from where the athlete is currently to the next level and then to the next level until finally the athlete is confidently performing at his/her peak.

The athlete can say, “No thanks, I can handle it on my own.”

And to the coach that’s fine because when the athlete is ready to achieve that goal, the coach will be there to help. The coach, or SEO partner, must exercise patience and resist the urge to force the client to stick to the schedule.

These things can take time and that’s ok. After all, SEO is a long-term marketing strategy.

Learn more about our SEO philosophy and contact us if you’re ready for a credible SEO partner.

Tom Shivers
Tom Shivers

I'm a ecommerce SEO consultant and President of Capture Commerce. I've managed digital marketing campaigns for scores of clients since 2000 and found that every business is unique with its own challenges and opportunities. When I see that I have contributed to the success of a business by helping them grow, it makes me feel awesome! That’s the coolest thing and I’m so thankful for the opportunity to do this.

    7 replies to "How To Escape The Pain Of SEO Peddlers"

    • Morgan

      First, I must say, YES! Love all your points and they’re SO true. It’s so important to stay up-to-date on the techniques that are working TODAY, not what worked two years ago, or even just a few months ago. It’s a constant struggle to keep up with the changes, but it’s possible.

      Also, to add to your ‘rankings are no measure for true success’, you could be at the number 1 spot, but if your web design sucks and you’re not keeping people ON your site and you’re not converting, then being #1 is worthless.

      I just find it unbelievable how many scam artists there are out there praying on the small business owner. Kudos to you!

    • Tom Shivers

      Hi Morgan, Thanks for the kudos. Always interested in working with good web designers, especially those who have a knack for designs that increase conversion rates.

    • Organic SEO

      “SEO is a long term strategy!!”. Why does it take so much for some people to understand this basic fact? I’ve had clients who just don’t get the process behind it and explaining in non-technical jargon can get a bit difficult at times.
      Sorry about the rant Tom. You have indeed posted some wonderful facts. Love your simple style of writing.

    • Tom Shivers

      Thanks organic SEO. Explaining SEO to someone who is not comfortable with technology is a challenge and in some cases not worth bothering with, but it all boils down to their attitude. Usually if they have some of the attitudes I mentioned, I’ll spend as much time as needed to help them get it.

    • AstroGremlin

      The game of SEO is fascinating and why some posts rank so high and others don’t has me guessing and trying different ideas. Google Adwords offers very interesting and free data on how often certain words and phrases are searched, and how much competition there is for them. Still, some of my posts seem to take awhile to rank, others do well right away. I have a couple of posts that pull in visits every day! Other posts . . . (cricket sound). 🙁

      If I were running a serious business, I would definitely consider engaging an SEO expert (and a credible and scrupulous one).

    • Kim

      SEO is most cost effective way of Internet Marketing for long-term results. If our website is well-optimized and has unique, interesting and have updated content it would definitely rank high.

    • Shella

      i like gathering valuable information about seo, since i am a newbie this post is a big help for me.

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