Search Engine Guarantees…Intentionally Misleading?

Posted by Chuck Bankoff On February - 21 - 2012

I don’t often defer to my colleagues to read my mind and post their articles instead of mine, but in this case I’ll make an exception. My friend and colleague Kimberly Nichols wrote one of the best, most concise articles on “SEO Guarantee Scams and How to Avoid Them” that I’ve read in a while.

Unfortunately not all Digital Marketers have your best interest in mind. They typically come in several flavors: Those with current knowledge, those with outdated knowledge, and those who abuse their knowledge. I can’t tell you how many clients came to us perplexed as to why their reports looked so good, yet their phone wasn’t ringing.

Case in point is an article I recently wrote: “Don’t let the “S” in SEO stand for Sucker” detailing an actual client that was intentionally misled by a classic “bait-and-switch” with his keywords. The company in question served themselves a “softball” simply by making long tail keyword phrases even longer in his monthly reports so they can meet their guarantee.

Legitimate Digital Marketing Experts will educate you as to what their strategy is, and not pull any punches as to what you can and can’t reasonably expect. Naturally you should expect a keyword placement report on a regular basis, but understand that is only part of the equation. It shows progress that the SEO Company should be using for themselves to show trends and progress, not absolutes. More to the point would be the actual analytics reports showing actual traffic and what keywords drove the traffic.

Keyword selection should address 4 components:

  1. Relevance: Are the phrases that are targeted actually relevant to your business…or just easy to obtain?
  2. Popularity: Are the keyword phrases that are being targeted actually searched on in sufficient volume to drive sales.
  3. Acceptable levels of competition: Is there a reasonable expectation that first page rankings are obtainable? This is where a legitimate “long tail keyword” strategy comes into play.
  4. Monetization: Can you actually make money and grow your business by driving consumers to your website by targeting those phrases?

Do yourself a favor and read Kimberly’s article. And as she says at the end of that article: “If it looks too good to be true…”

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