Staff Writer: Carolyn Johnson
Your business website is in dire need of optimization, so you may be considering opting for a large local SEO service. Be wary, however, of the “little white lies” you might get for your SEO professional. Knowing the things that SEO professionals from Google SEO services don’t want you to know will leave you better prepared and aware of what you’ll really be getting out of your optimization plan.
First, be wary of any false promises or guarantees a large local SEO company may thrust in your direction. A “rankings guaranteed” business model may not be necessarily what it seems.
A business owner may feel more secure with this kind of guarantee, as guaranteed rankings generally mean increased profits for any business. However, this may not necessarily what you’ll get out of this arrangement. SEO professionals usually offer this guarantee based on the percentage of keywords they believe will rank within a certain time period. Usually, they will provide long tail phrases that can be ranked easily, as opposed to ranking the keywords that will actually provide a bulk of the conversions and profits.
By the time the guaranteed timeframe is up, the profits may not be as meaty as the business owner expected, but there’s little else they can complain about, as the SEO professional has performed all of his assigned duties within the signed contract.
Another fact you should be aware of is that very few SEO professionals are strictly “white hate” or ethical, as most seep into a gray area in order to get the rankings that matter. Usually large local SEO companies will use shortcuts to expedite the process of optimizing your site, such as tools and automated software, bad backlinking to low quality content, or paid link exchange networks. While these strategies usually work, they only work for the short-term, as a site will likely be punished in the rankings by Google as a result.
Another thing that SEO professionals don’t want you to know is that their contracts can sometimes be heavily biased in their favor. Because of the volatile marketplace that is the Internet, SEO companies want to remove themselves from responsibility should a client’s rankings drop. In fact, some SEO companies will remove themselves completely from responsibility and let the client take on all the risk in the case of a rankings drop.
SEO firms rarely disclose to clients exactly how they go about optimizing a site, as clients usually are only interested in rankings and not how they’re obtained. Therefore, SEO professionals may take advantage of this by posting relatively low quality content and seedy backlinking methods to the site to expedite the optimization process. The standards of work performed on the site will likely be of lower quality than the client would prefer.
What many businesses don’t know – and what SEO professionals prefer their clients not to know – is that rankings are temporary and change with the volatility of the marketplace. A six month SEO plan may not last as long as you might imagine, making you restart your SEO marketing plan as soon as the rankings are no longer viable.
This isn’t to say that all SEO professionals are deceptive in their work – indeed, there are plenty of reputable and honest SEOs out there. However, a business owner who is aware of how he can be hoodwinked by an SEO will be better prepared.