Is SEO Bad For Business? Ask These 3 Questions Before You Do Anything!
We can all agree that when our businesses are found on Google, leads increase, sales close, business gets better… yes?
That being said, most business owners we’ve run across have a limited understanding of the actual reasons a website increases its rank in Google, and for the purpose of this article, that’s ok. What we want to focus on here is how to avoid a SEO team that may… err, scratch that… will do more damage than good.
1. THE 1ST PAGE JUST AIN’T GOOD ENOUGH…
Any (every) Search Engine Optimization team will hoot & holler about how “We’ll get you to Page 1 of Google”. The truth here is that page one is simply not enough? Today, less more than 50% of all Google users will scroll past the fold, or bottom page break. That means that in most cases, and based upon an average screen size of 15”, Google only shows the top 4, maybe 5 results. Meaning, page 1 of Google means next to nothing if your company website isn’t in the top 3 results. Here’s a fun fact: 56% of all clicks for any given search query go to the 1st organic result. Just over 13% of searchers click the 2nd organic result, and less than 10% will move to the 3rd organic result! Moral of the story here folks? the 1st page of Google is just not enough. Attaining the coveted 1st position is the only thing you and your SEO team should be focused on!
2. SHOW ME THE MONEY!
In the industry we call them “lounge chair SEO’s”. You know the type, lots of advice… very little real world experience to back it up. At the risk of sounding overly obvious here, any SEO team you have now or may be considering needs to be able to show real world examples of past successes! Asking your SEO for client case studies showing increased website traffic, increased conversions, and proven bottom line boosts will help you separate those who may know how, and those who actually take action and will help your business grow.
3. SPAM, THE LEAST DELICIOUS PROCESSED MEAT
Believe it or not, SPAM feeds more than just your inbox. As an SEO professional for over 8 years now, I’ve seen just about every super slick, bleeding edge, new tech, bright shiny object strategy to increase search engine rankings. And, although several have proven to be effective, more often than not, these tactics wind up being nothing more than “black hat” techniques, that in the long run, will always be discovered by Google and others as SPAM. In fact, we’ve been hired by more than a few businesses that had been completely removed from Google, as the SEO firm they had hired was employing SPAMMY link building strategies. Here’s how to avoid the least delicious of all processed meats: Make sure that all SEO link-building & optimization is done in house. Many SEO firms act-as-if they are doing the heavy lifting, when in fact, they are sending their workload to oversea contractors that (quite honestly) won’t mind breaking the best practices guidelines in order to fulfill their quota. Avoid “Link Purchasing”. Although it is well regarded that buying links is a horrible SEO tactic, it does still exist. The he fact here is that Google and it competitors have long-since been on to this scheme and will quickly penalize your site if caught. And lastly, Use Automation Sparingly. Most SEO’ers will tell you that tools that automate link-building are SPAM and nothing more. Lets say this… Link building by hand is always the best option, however the truth here is that ALL search engine optimization teams use automation tools to some extent. The risk is that any SEO tool may leave a “footprint” for Google to follow. However, much like a sharpened samurai sword, automation tools can be your best advantage, or you can cut your arm off. It is up to the skill of the SEO team you’ve chosen to use automation tools sparingly and appropriately.
It is projected that in 2013, businesses will increase their SEO budgets by more than 30% as compared to 2012, and we think that is a smart move. Google has backed up our belief through stating that ROI on search engine optimization has consistently outperformed Paid Campaigns 3 to 1. That means, that having a well rounded, experienced SEO team is perhaps the greatest marketing advantage your business can acquire. Knowing what to look for before hiring that team is critical to your success & if you’ve already hired a firm, knowing what to look for gives you the advantage.