7 Must’s Before You Buy SEO – Don’t Waste Another Marketing Dollar!
SEO, Social Media, PPC – Lions, Mice, SEO “Experts”, SEO Consultants and Google’s Brain
You would not believe the number of business owners I have spoke with that have been dissatisfied with the exorbitant amount of money they have spent on a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) consulting company or an internet marketing company with little to no results. The results they received, in comparison to what they spent, were not what they were expecting. Their return on investment (ROI) for their company was basically zero return. Needless to say, they were not happy.
Let’s be fair about this. The above example does not just pertain to internet marketing. There is a company you may be quite familiar with called Yellow Pages. Yellow Pages charges a great deal of money to be listed in their book. What are you going to get for your money?–calls from people trying to sell you something. Today, about the only thing the yellow pages are good for is a door stop! The Yellow Pages online, however, might get more use than the big yellow book.
The old adage “you get what you pay for” is not necessarily true. I have talked to many businesses that have spent thousands of dollars on SEM and SEO and they weren’t remotely close to being found in the Search Engine Ranking Pages (SERPs). On the other hand, I have talked with businesses that have spent much less only to realize the same–little to no results in the search results pages. Unfortunately, this is not uncommon. You will have received a lot of empty promises with little to no results for the money you spent. You also have companies that call and try to promote services that appear to be really good. The main problem is that these services don’t add to the bottom line. What it really boils down to is there are many different ways an SEO company can waste your money.
This problem occurs far too often. I despise these SEO companies that take advantage of business owners in this manner. Your company would be better off to use this money to ensure your business is operating at optimal efficiency. It makes me ill to see a business that provides a quality service to the community fail due to the conniving practices of these so-called SEO companies. The failed business owner trusted he would receive a quality service. Only later does he discover he was “razzle-dazzled” into purchasing needless services– services that did little to nothing to help his businesses’ online exposure. I have also talked with business owners who purchased search engine optimization services from an SEO company in Albuquerque. These SEO companies were either: 1. not capable of helping them or 2. didn’t care what happened to their client’s business.. This is extremely disheartening in either case. SEO companies are paid extremely well to perform these services. Your business deserves quality results for the money spent.
Albuquerque SEO Experts – Are They Real?
Understandably, business proprietors are nervous about the so-called “Albuquerque SEO Experts“. You have the right to be skeptical! Nowadays, many businesses are inundated with calls, e-mails and even snail mail from various marketing companies trying to elicit your business. They will try to entice you by telling you about the latest and greatest technologies–that these new advancements will solve all of your on-line marketing problems. All this information is overwhelming and you aren’t sure who you can trust, right?. Believe me, I know what you mean and what you must be thinking.
The problem is there is something to lose. Your business and finances are on the line. It can happen when you start to spend money with these so called “experts”. Don’t let your past efforts, hard work and money already spent on previous SEO companies go to waste. We can help you.
You need to know this about me, I live and breath SEO; I am an SEO Finatic 24-7. From the time I get up until the time I go to bed, I breath search engine optimization. The best part is, I am passionate about what I do. I love helping business go from “no where to be found” in the search engines to being listed on the first page of the search results. I assure you my efforts and hard work will increase traffic to your business and your bottom line.
If you do nothing else, at least take the time to check out the information below. This is all I ask of you. You don’t even have to work with or contact me and my company. I just want to provide you with this valuable information so you can utilize it prior to hiring a perspective SEO service. The information will help you determine 1) if the SEO company is legitimate and 2)whether you are receiving a fair quote for the services you need. This way you will know what they say is true or not. If I can save you money by preventing you from doing business with a dishonest company or a company that provides you no value for your money, then this article has done its job and that makes me happy.
What Does Your Market Want – Keyword Research
The very first step is keyword research. This must be done correctly or it could be a very costly mistake. The keywords provide opportunities that very few will find but will be very valuable to the site. Most SEO consulting companies will perform this keyword research and find the first 5-10 “highly searched-for” terms and tell you the task has been completed successfully. This is very wrong, very wrong, indeed! You will end up with the same phrases that 90% of all business in this niche will be searching for. I’m not saying that these phrases should not be targeted–they should–but you are missing out on 80% of the phrases and traffic that very few companies are going to be targeting for your business. This is where I am extremely proficient. I take the time to locate phrases that have good traffic but very low competition. This will allow your business to be ranked much easier in the search engines.
Here’s a question for you. “If you are ranked in the SERPs for a keyword phrase but no one is looking for this phrase, does this do you any good?” Answer “Of course not”. I have often noticed that business owners are quite pleased with the initial results. They are thrilled to find themselves ranked on the first page. However, herein lies the problem–no one is searching for their business. Eventually, within a few months, the business owner starts to figure out that he hasn’t realized any increased business due to the services performed by the SEM consultant he hired. The owner is perplexed. “How can this be?; I’m on the first page of the search engines!” What REALLY happened is the SEM consultant failed to walk the business owner thru the basic exercise of knowing what to rank for.
One thing about Google is it gives its data out freely. You ask how many times a month a keyword phrase is being searched for and Google will give you this information. Now, you have to understand that this data is not that great. They are basically hiding all of the low volume traffic searches. The next issue is that low-volume traffic searches constitute about 50% or more of all the traffic; but it is a good place to start. What you NEED is PROOF that people are actively searching for your products and/or services. This is the most important thing.
Here is a tip for you: Make sure that you ask the prospective SEM consultant if they are giving you the searches in “broad match” or “exact match“. Exact match provides you with results for the specific phrase and only the specific phrase–nothing more. This is helpful when honing in on precise searches. Broad match searches include anything that relates to the phrase.
Is SEO Right for Your Business?
Now that you know what your customers are looking and searching for, it’s time for some math. This math will help you determine if you will lose money or bring in a larger ROI. Depending upon who you hire, a good SEO consulting agency will be able to help you with this type of evaluation.
Let’s look at some different factors to see if SEO is the way you need to go:
- What is a customer worth?
- Searches for target market
- What does SEO cost the company?
Here is an example to see if the numbers are going to work out for SEO. If you rank #1 for your search term, are you going to bring in more money than you are going to spend on SEO? You should be able to get a pretty good estimate of the answer from the above. Here are a couple of things you should consider. 1. How does the site convert? and 2. How much is a customer worth during a lifetime? There are many more questions to consider but you can do a check like this:
If your site ranks #1 and you end up making $100 total over the course of 12 months, then search engine optimization is not really right for your site and definitely not worth the money. On the other hand, if you rank #2 for a term and you make 15x the money you are going to spend on SEO then this is viable. You will never be able to figure out this number if you don’t know your keyword research in Step 1. Knowing this information is vital. This is one reason why I am not a fan of social media. Social media is totally unpredictable and tough to figure out if it is worth it because you cannot get an accurate estimation. There are many companies out there that will sell you all kinds of extras for social media. Social media services can provide some activity but it’s tough to measure how much activity you actually get. This seems to be a huge waste of money in the internet marketing field from what I see. You usually won’t see a significant increase in revenue for your business or your bottom line with the use of social media. As you can see, trying to estimate the value of social media can be a very difficult task.
When you use Pay Per Click (PPC) it becomes much easier to figure out the value for what you are getting. The major issue when using PPC is the cost. PPC is very expensive and that cost keeps increasing year after year. The SEO consulting companies that perform low quality work will never win with Google. Over time, Google just removes these companies and their work from the search results. Now these same companies need to regenerate business once again and PPCs are about their only option. PPC does not provide a long-lasting growth curve of traffic in comparison to search engine optimization. Once you stop your PPC campaign, the traffic stops too. When SEO is done correctly, you will see a gradual increase of traffic over time. This traffic will continue to grow as time goes on. This is the advantage of SEO over other types of traffic generating systems.
Make sure you understand what I am saying. There is a time and a place for PPC, but it must make sense. If PPC can make money for your business then it is a win win situation. However, this does not happen in most cases. A question you must ask yourself is: “Which option would you choose–pay more or less for traffic? Of course your answer is going to be less. Who in their right mind would ever say they wanted to pay more for anything of equal value! Search engine optimization is the best balance between the two. You know the amount of traffic you are going to get based on how you rank, as well as the cost. This is true in MOST cases. Contact your Albuquerque SEO Expert (me) for more information about your options. Don’t delay, contact me today at 505-349-3134.
What Do the SERPs Think?
Does Google hate your site? Is your site indexed in the search engines? What about liking your site? The easiest way for you to find the answers to these questions is to do an “on-page” and “off-page” evaluation or analysis. You have to break both of these down into parts.
“On-Page” Evaluation (4 factors):
- Are your keywords being used on your Title Page?
- Are your keywords or LSI phrases used in your content?
- Did you set up your linking structure correctly?
- What is the click thru rate of the site?
These are only a few questions to ask, but it will give you a good indication of how your site is performing. These are some of the easiest things to correct. For example: If the keyword you want to target is not in your title, rewrite the title with the specific keyword. It’s that simple. The same thing applies for the other items I have listed. As I mentioned previously, these are only a few of the things required to ensure a site is ranking properly in the search engines.
“Off-Page” Evaluation (4 factors):
- How many sites link to your site?
- What does Google think about Linking sites to yours?
- What is the relevancy of the linking sites?
- What text is being used by the sites that are linking to your site?
Again, as you can see, these are just some of the factors that make the difference between a good site and a bad site. There are just too many to list here.
Most “SEO experts” out there are horrible at performing these tasks with any success. This is good for me and my clients. We take advantage of their poor work and knowledge of “what it takes” to get a site to rank in the search engines.
Do You Have Traffic Now? Does Your Site Rank Now?
Do you have the proper software installed on your site that will tell you this information? You have to know and understand this data. There are a lot of different pieces of software that you can use that will provide you with this information. If you don’t know what to install, you would do well to contact an SEO consulting agency. Better yet, give me a call today at 505-349-3134 and I will be happy to help you install the software. The software installation should be done immediately but only if you want to rank in the search engines. If you don’t know how your site is performing, please STOP reading and give me a call at 505-349-3134 now. I will help you set this up correctly so you can begin to recognize and understand this data.
The software that you can use is FREE and simple to use and set up. It is important that your site have and use this software to track pertinent elements such as: what are your visitors doing?; how did they get to your site?; how long did they stay?; did they visit other pages on your site? You need to have this data at your disposal in order to correct any problems your site may experience. You can’t and won’t know this critical information (plus much more) until the software has been installed properly on your site. The information obtained from this software is invaluable and a must if you want your site to rank properly. It will also help you learn what Google and the other search engines think of your site. You will start to get an idea of what the SERPs think your site is relevant to (that is if it finds anything). It’s crucial you know this information in order for your business to be profitable and succeed.
Duplicate Content – Does Your Site Have Any?
You need to find this out. The best way to do this is by using Copyscape.com. Copyscape allows you to enter content from your website URL or any web page on your site. You copy and paste the content you wish to check, click on search and Copyscape will let you know if someone has copied your information. When you perform this search you are looking for “no results found”. If you discover someone has taken your content and used it elsewhere, you must take the appropriate steps to correct this problem. One of the best and often the easiest ways to accomplish this is to rewrite the content in your own words. This is the quickest way to fix the problem.
SERPs are not going to show two pieces of content that are exactly the same. Typically, the engines select one of the pieces that is a duplicate and show just one instance in the search results. The SERPs try to determine which piece of content is the authority on the topic. This might NOT be your site, even though your content IS the original.
You should know whether duplicate copy exists prior to beginning any search engine optimization project even if it is just to rank one web page. You don’t want to waste any of your money trying to rank duplicate content. Contact the Albuquerque Search Engine Optimization Consulting Company to handle this duplicate content first.
It is not automatically a bad thing if you discover duplicate content after running Copyscape.com on your content. There are so many different rules when it comes to Google’s duplicate content. These rules seem to be changing on a daily basis. If you do come up with positive results, call or contact me and we can discuss them.
Is Your Search Phrase Competitive?
Lion and Mice Search Engine Optimization
When it comes to SEO, the real question is are you taking on a lion in the jungle or are you about to take on some mice that are going to run when the cat comes around? You have to understand the Lion and Mice fight is going to be in direct relation to the amount of money it is going to cost you for your business to rank on the first page of the search results.
Many SEO Consultation Companies will tell you about all the competing pages out there trying to rank against you. You only need to be concerned with the companies listed on Page One because they are your direct competition. We focus our time and efforts on the businesses or websites that are ranking on Page One, period.
Let me give you an example of what I am trying to say. If you were driving a Pinto in a race, which race would you rather be in? A race where five of the cars you are competing against are Grand Prix racers or a race that has 20 Model T Fords contending for the prize? It’s simple, you want to be in the race with the Model T’s. Without question, you will win that race every time. The race against the Grand Prix cars is another matter. You will probably lose that race every time. Again, I ask you: Who do you want to race against?
The same holds true for your business. You must know your competition or you could be like the Pinto racing against the Grand Prix racers. You could spend thousands of dollars without any results to show for it if your search phrase is NOT competitive. You won’t know how much it will cost or how long it will take to rank your site on the first page of the different search engines, if at all. This step is crucial if you want to meet your traffic and ranking goals. If this step is omitted, you could be up against that angry lion. It could take 6 months or longer to rank on the first page and you still may not have the results you want.
You must know what you are up against when checking on how competitive a search term may be. This is key and will determine which term you should concentrate on first. For example: Phrase 1 has twice the amount of searches as Phrase 2. The significant difference is Phrase 1 is 5 times harder to rank than Phrase 2. With this in mind, you would have a better chance of ranking for Phrase 2 first. It would be a greater return on your investment because there is less competition. Remember, you want to race against the Model T’s so you have better success at winning the race.
Steps Needed for Success
Are you sure what your consulting agency is going to do for your? Do you have a plan of attack?
The SEO consulting company (your Albuquerque SEO Expert) you hire needs to provide you with some type of outline of the tasks they will perform for your business. Make certain this outline makes sense to you. This outline should be customized to suit YOUR business needs. The plan you start with today can change over time. There is nothing wrong with this. The plan should be modified as new information becomes available.
Month after month the plan will change. If, however, your SEO Expert tells you they are going to be building your back links at a rate of 200 a month here on out–you better find another expert. This will most assuredly damage your site in Google’s eyes. Building the same amount of back links each month is not a natural thing and should not be done. The number of back links needs to be varied from month to month so Google does not notice any consistencies. Everything needs to be random. The more random the better. Google likes random and so do we. This will keep your business off Google’s radar.
Bonus – Do Maps Show UP in the SERPs?
Are you noticing the Maps listings in the SERPs when you search for your phrase? The maps, or local listings, are the map images with the letters A,B,C etc. If you are seeing these listings showing up in the search results, that is good. Trying to rank in Maps is a bit different than trying to rank in the organic listings. You have to do things a little different.
Here is an image of what the search results look like with an Albuquerque local seo search.
When trying to rank in maps you will need to have some citations, as well as some on-line reviews and more. You also need to make sure your page has some page authority.
Here’s an example. I have a client that was spending a lot of money each year on worthless advertising with little to no results; then they hired me to do their SEO for them. Here are the results so you can check for yourself. You can see that we have over 15 number one listings and over 25 on the first page. That is over 25 different terms on the first page of Google.
Pick up the phone and call Steve at 505-349-3134 or email me. I AM the SEO Expert for Albuquerque, NM and the surrounding areas. Let me know a little bit about what your business does when you contact me and I will prepare a free analysis of your business.
I look forward to hearing from you and hope this article was helpful to you. Please visit the rest of the site for more interesting content on a variety of topics.
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