First Things First
Before I get into the “meat and potatoes’ of SEO it needs to be understood that no one method of promotion for your online traffic and sales will work well for all businesses. What I will do in the blog is to tell the truth that you will not hear from those promoting S.E.O. This will probably piss some of them off and they will deny what I am saying but my blog is designed to tell you the truth not to support anyone’s agenda. I will be happy to challenge any of the companies on the content provided in this blog.
SEO Myths vs Truth – What they won’t tell you
I don’t know about you but I receive about 8-10 emails a week telling me “I reviewed your website and you are not ranking well on the best keywords” or “I found errors on your website that are prohibiting your first page ranking.” When I feel like taking the time to answer these spammers I usually tell them I receive the same emails from many others like them so I must be doing well. “After all you and others are finding me pretty easy!” FYI: I never hear back from them after this response. In this blog I am going to tell you the truth about S.E.O. so you can make a qualified decision when deciding if it is for you or how you should do it if it is.
Does SEO Really Work?
Yes! If done properly you can receive better ranking than if you don’t have a website properly constructed. That being said, you have to think Google is stupid if you think the same structure and SEO methods will always work all the time. Google is in the business of selling ads and they have done a good job being successful at doing this. The fact is they really don’t want to give you first page listings free. They want to sell you ads! In 2018 they removed the ads from the side of Google search pages and started placing them at the top and bottom of the pages. By doing this they are taking up valuable real estate that used to be for organic “free” website listings . The first pages are now constructed with three ads at top followed by their Google three pack (will discuss this later) then a few organic listings followed by another three ads. Why would they do this? This is brilliant from a marketing standpoint! Those who pay the most for ads will be at the top, they appease local businesses with their FREE GoogleMyBusiness 3 packs and a few organic listings and those who are paying lower pay per click fees at the bottom. What does this accomplish? If you want top of the page listings you will most likely pay the premium pay per click fees and it looks like they Google” are the good guys by allowing organic on the home pages. The bottom line: Do you have the time and or money to use S.E.O. correctly. It will not surprise me that in the near future the first page will become all paid ads for popular searches and organic will start on page 2+.
Another S.E.O. Myth
“70% more people click on Organic listings”
This is true … sort of! This is a clever marketing tool used by S.E.O. companies to get you to use their services. It may or may not be true that more people click on organic listings but this does not relate to sales. When someone is searching for a product or service to purchase they are more likely to click on an advertisement that is designed to fill or target their needs. When people resist clicking on paid ads it is usually because they are not looking to buy they are just doing research or looking for information.
Another issue with S.E.O. is that “content is king” when it comes to S.E.O. according to Google. This is a major part of how S.E.O. companies get you on the 1st couple pages. Many times this is information only, blogs, or other content rich articles that are designed to educate more than sell. So if you are selling something or wanting to attract buyers you may not want to believe these statistics as a rule to use S.E.O.
Can you D.I.Y. Your SEO?
Yes and no! If you have about 10-20 hours a month to address how google changed the algorithms to keep you off the first page, make the changes, write new content, submit articles, write a blog with proper keywords and structure to attract the Google bots, and a few other things you can D.I.Y. your S.E.O. Understand that even when you do it correctly it could take 3-6 months to start seeing results for the better search terms. This is why the S.E.O. industry is doing so well! They can charge hefty fees to do it correctly and they still will never beat Google at their game all the time. Today you may be on page 1-3 tomorrow you may be on page 5+.
What Should You Do?
If you have a local business definitely do a Free GoogleMyBusiness page. Be sure to add content to attract the Google bots, get as many positive reviews as possible on an ongoing basis and add content at least once a month. If you don’t update often Google has been known to remove your GoogleMyBusiness page. You can get more info >here< If you have extra money you may want to hire a quality S.E.O. company to design your website for S.E.O. but don’t sign a contract! This way you can at least get your website setup properly and hopefully this will help your ranking over time. Then you may be able to maintain your website for S.E.O. in my opinion the template websites such as WordPress, GoDaddy, Weebly, Wix and others design websites for S.E.O. vs attracting new business. These website builders are also ideal if you just want to educate or sell art. They are not as viewer friendly as a custom website designed for a call to action. I will discuss website designs for different businesses in a later blog.
The problem with S.E.O. web designs
I know I just said to hire a company to design your website for S.E.O. but this also comes with issues. If you are selling something you want a website that provides the viewer with easy navigation and easy to find information to make a buying decision. most web design companies use either wordpress, wix, godaddy, or other free content management web templates. These companies have done a great job marketing beauty but usually provide poor websites for sales. They are content heavy for S.E.O. and let’s be honest when you want or need something you don’t want to read for an hour before you find it. That being said if you are not selling anything or just want to educate these websites can be useful. I will cover more about web design in a later blog.
S.E.O Companies – Beware!
If you receive offers to put you on the first page for $100 or some will even say “free” run fast! This is a sales tactic or con and in my opinion a scam! A quality S.E.O. company for local business will charge $500-$1,500 per month and national S.E.O. can be in the $3,000 per month range. Also understand if you go this route it can take 3-6 months before you start seeing first page results. The listings may also not be directed to your website but from an article written to get your business ranking.
Who Should Pay For S.E.O.?
In my opinion I think you should look at the following criteria when making a decision to use S.E.O.
- If you understand that you need a website designed for ranking not sales or customer experience you may want to try S.E.O.
- If you sell high profit items or services nationwide or international you may want to consider using S.E.O. If so you may also want to hire an S.E.O. company for best and ongoing results.
- If you have the time as mentioned above to D.I.Y. properly you may want to try to use S.E.O.
- If you don’t mind waiting 3-6 months to start seeing results you may want to give S.E.O. a try.
- If you are a fortune 500 company and can afford to hire professional staff to manage your S.E.O.
If you are a home based business or local business with little to no budget I would suggest definitely getting a GoogleMyBusiness page to start. More info >here< If you have a budget GoogleAds or other advertising can work better for some businesses. In a future blog I will explain more about online advertising including GoogleAds.
If you would like to know more about S.E.O. for your business or other marketing I provide free, no obligation consultations. Contact me info@SuccessBuilders-TampaBay.com
Below is a pretty good video about choosing S.E.O.