If SEO is like a mythical creature to you, you’re not alone. Knowing what to look for in a Search Engine Optimizer or an SEO firm can be very stressful, especially if it’s new to you.
With many factors to consider, a firm offering a solid “FIRST Page Ranking Guarantee” can seem enticing.
However, reputable firms don’t guarantee search engine rankings.
Let us explain.
- SEO scams are alive and well. There are many companies offering up unrealistic guarantees and in most cases, it’s a marketing tactic designed to lower your guard. If you encounter this, run Forrest run! Leave them in the Spam folder and move on. Because…
- No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google. Google preaches this themselves and advises people to beware of such claims. Why you may ask? Because search engines control search engine rankings.
- Rankings are uncontrollable and unstable, at best. Keyword rankings will vary day-to-day based on many factors and making guarantees when you’re unable to control the algorithm itself, is shady. Real shady.
The risks of trusting a “guarantee” far outweigh any potential benefits, especially if you end up doing business with a low-quality SEO firm. Your business can lose money, time, ranking and even earn penalties from Google (which also cost money and time] or get you blacklisted.
So, if you’re wondering how to decide on selecting a reputable firm, you need to do some work.
- First, define your SEO goals. In what areas are you looking to improve your online presence? It’s important to do your research on SEO Best Practices to identify and select a reputable SEO strategist or firm.
- Find testimonials and reviews. Gauge their credibility and reputation by reading reviews and testimonials from their previous clients. Don’t just take their word, verify it.
- Ask questions! Understand where your money will go, how they plan on tracking your data, and the commitment needed to implement recommended changes.
Long story short, SEO is a long-term game.
Relationships with Google are complicated, to say the least, and anyone claiming to be in an “exclusive” or “special relationship” with Google is in denial. Therefore, be skeptical and research any potential firms you’re considering. SEO requires a cohesive and collaborative partnership and no short-term strategy will provide you with long-term results.
If you’re looking for more information, Google has many resources available to help when trying to choose an SEO firm or strategist.
Not sure you’re ready to commit to a partner for a full-blown SEO strategy? Stay tuned for next week’s blog “SEO Tips to Improve Your Search Ranking” to learn helpful strategies YOU can try.
– Rosana Mookshah is a Product Consultant on the Brand & Digital Platforms Team at Directwest.January 24th, 2019