So you found a place that has the best SEO Gurus and Google Wizards. They're expensive, but you're gonna be number one! I hate to be a buzz kill, but ...Not so much...
That companies make money on promising top spot in google is easily the most disappointing reality of the dedicated SEO professional.
The answer is both simple and complex.
The simple answer it that it can’t be promised. There are no gurus; no secrets and no secret sauces.
Over confident displays of uber-knowledge are lures designed to fool honest website owners into agreements that simply can not be backed up, but CAN be enforced to their agreed upon term, usually with long term low OR short term high monthly fees and no reference to success.
Here is Googles own take on that.
"No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google.
Beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee rankings, allege a "special relationship" with Google, or advertise a "priority submit" to Google. There is no priority submit for Google. In fact, the only way to submit a site to Google directly is through our Add URL page or by submitting a Sitemap and you can do this yourself at no cost whatsoever." (see their fulll article here)
The long answer starts with the fact that a true SEO professional will admit the short answer to the clients’ face. SEO work is about learning, and then applying. It pains true SEO professionals to find out anyone paid dearly for hype and promises.
It’s a job. And like most jobs, experience and knowledge is required; Gurus are not.
Any person or company that promises number one, or even page one, is taking your money on a false pretense and hoping they can meet some small part of that promise after the fact. There is no refund if the position is not achieved, just excuses poised as reasons to add more payment to the kitty.
Google changes what it expects of a website almost monthly. What worked last year is not necessarily going to work this year. This makes learning one of the ongoing characteristics of a good SEO professional.
There are some basic concepts any website owner can consider and apply long before seeking help.
- Does your site sell Hair Cuts in Mississauga? Then it better say “Hair cuts in Mississauga” a few times. How else is Google supposed to know what the site has or does?
- Does your site offer a way to sign up, make an appointment or contact you easily via the net? It’s using the net to attract clients so, as Google sees things, it better allow people to make contact using the net rather than just a telephone.
- Are your expectations realistic? Do you sell books in Queens County NS but are trying to be found under just "books" leaving the entire world (and it's millions of book sites) to contend with.
There are also clear criteria Google themselves make known; a site should be Mobile Friendly. You may think your clients all use PC’s but your stats will show you otherwise. And SSL is now a must. A lack of SSL and Mobile Friendly coding will set you back.
But the rest of the bits that help move a site up are a large collection of small criteria that can be applied one particle at a time. Using all the tricks if only a couple are required can be a mistake; it leaves nothing to do if a site is overtaken by the competition.
Effective advertising will likely cost money and SEO is no exception; this is not usually a DIY thing. But it will also require a revisit from time to time. This is inescapable.
But when any site or person tells you that for a set fee you will be number one by way of Gurus, secrets, tricks, special knowledge or a better relationship with Google... back out. You are being set up for an ongoing overpayment.