Be Wary of Promises from SEO Professionals

So you’re a business owner and you get a cold call from a SEO company, calling from Auckland or Sydney or somewhere in Asia, their comments generally always include:

“We’ve checked google search results and your website isn’t ranking well” and “could you do with more business this coming season?”…plus many more lines they typically lead them in to promising you “guaranteed top ranking in google for your website”…

Google and SEO…these approaches are from companies who are google adwords resellers. So they don’t wave a magic SEO wand to improve your website’s organic rankings in google that is sustainable and cost effective, rather they spend your money to place google adwords campaigns that provide ads at the top of google search results for as long as you pay money for it to appear there…and they take a cut on the money made by google.

For many small business owners this is not sustainable and not affordable, and in the long run not particularly effective in terms of ensuring your website ranks well. Don’t get me wrong, Google Adwords has it’s place and uses in online marketing for sure, provided campaigns are set up effectively, affordably and strategically.

But I’m always amazed when, for example, I type in a business name into google and I see a paid google adword appear for them at the top of the page when their website ranks top of the page for that search result anyway…most people click on the paid ad costing the business money when they didn’t need the ad there in the first place. Waste of money. Increasingly this is done just to combat online booking websites that places ads for properties listed with them (e.g. booking.com) – it’s a bit of a vicious cycle with the winner being…google!

So my advice is:

  • Firstly, know that it’s impossible to guarantee top spot in google using adwords or any other method. For the simple reason that for different people in different locations and countries google will display different search results and different ads.
  • Don’t buy into these cold callers, they have a slick list of comments, questions and comebacks to suck you in to needing their services with expensive monthly payment plans
  • Educate yourself – do your own google searches to test various results to judge whether your site ranks well, and get others in different locations to test it for you too.
  • Continuously monitor your website traffic and analytics to see traffic volumes, referal traffic, search terms used, trends etc
  • Read google adwords help and training content to learn about how you can set up campaigns yourself if you feel there’s a need to advertise – it can work well for boosted exposure and for seasonal specials or offers you may have but like any marketing strategy you need to think about who you target so you set up the campaigns correctly
  • If you really aren’t sure of any of this yourself then by all means contact a local well regarded online marketing business to help you with an SEO strategy that importantly encompasses improvements to your own website SEO and suitable online marketing techniques such as google adwords

 

One Comment

  1. Herman Romero January 12, 2014 at 6:21 am #

    You are absolutely right, today a day, hotels receive a lots of calls offering google AdWords advice, or SEO experts saying that you will be positioned on the top positions, and when you ask for their company name, they are not even on first three pages of google natural results.
    The only way of implementing a good SEO strategy, is to find your niche, and fight for been on the first positions on the specific words of your niche.
    About hotels paying for their own names on google adwords, I can totally understand it, as OTA´s, have a lot of power, and sometimes even looking for hotel names, you will find an OTA before you.

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