If you have a website for your business, it's probably a safe bet that you want people to be able to find your website, and there are basically three ways to make that happen:
- You manually give people the website URL. This would include methods such as handing them a business card with the website on it, sending it via email or text, sharing it on social media, or even writing it down on paper and handing it to them.
- You run paid ad campaigns. This method means spending money with Google, Facebook, or some other ad platform that allows you to target people in various ways, and when they click on your ad, it takes them to your website.
- You get ranked on Google. Notice I didn't say 'search engines'. Because, let's face it, Google is still the king of search. And to be fair, if you can get ranked well on Google, odds are good you'll much more easily rank well on the other, lessor search engines.
Now, while I do know a thing or two about driving traffic to a website, I'm not the kind of expert that goes around giving people awesome advice on what to do. The purpose of this post is meant to help save you from a very particular mistake, one that a lot of people are still making today, and one that I too have come very close to making on more than one occasion, and that is, hiring the wrong SEO agency.
Many years ago, a friend pulled me into the world of online marketing, and before I knew it, he was leading us down the path of charging businesses for marketing services.
It was then that I learned something very important: marketing services rarely, if ever, come with guarantees. Think about that for a minute. You hire a company to help increase your traffic and sales, and they get paid whether or not they deliver any results. Crazy, right?
That fact never sat well with me, so my time offering paid marketing services was very short lived. I'm much more comfortable offering things with a more measurable outcome.
But the reality is, we're not all good at everything, and sometimes you need help with your marketing. If this is you, and SEO is something you need for your business, but not something you know, my goal with this post is to simply make you aware of something that I recently learned from an article I read titled SEO is dead (and always was).
I highly recommend that you take the time to read it, but here's the jist of it, in a quote directly from the article...
"80% of the agencies/people offering SEO services do not have a basic technical understanding of the processes behind website ranking. They will not only be unable to deliver the results but also harm your website rankings in the long term. There is a vast difference between "common" SEO and technical SEO. The first is used to sell and understand, and the second is to actually do it."
Did you catch that? According to the article, 80% of SEO agencies don't really know what they're doing. But guess what? They'll still require a minimum time frame, with NO GUARANTEE, so they can collect a pay check for months before you figure out that what they're doing isn't really working.
And when you complain, they can stand on their 'No Guarantee' policy, leaving you with less money and little to nothing to show for it.
So, if you ever do find yourself in need of some SEO help, my best advice to you would be to learn what you can about SEO so you're not going into it blind, and then seriously take the time to vet the agency you choose to hire as best you can. Do they have existing clients you can talk to? Or testimonials from a reliable source...other than what they post on their own website?
On top of that, you might try to negotiate terms. Will they do some work on a short-term trial basis so you can understand their process better? It seems to me that if they can do something to earn your business, you'll be much more inclined to continue working with them long-term. That's how my brain works anyway!
So if you do ever find yourself in need of some marketing help, just make sure you go into it with your eyes open, and know exactly what you're getting yourself into. Because those marketing dollars can disappear without results at light speed if you're not careful!