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Friday, 22 March 2013

Guest Post:What Not to Ask An SEO Business

Whenever you are looking for a search professional to work with and improve your website and ranking, you are naturally going to be bursting with questions.
  • · What is it you do?
  • · How will you help to deliver my aims?
  • · When can I expect to see an improvement in my search rankings?
All of those are great questions and ones that you should definitely ask. However, sometimes website owners can ask questions that can lead to either a polite conversation or an SEO firm simply refusing to do business with them.
The irony of all of these questions is that they relate to things that most less than reputable SEO businesses will promise. The moral of this particular story is that if a company can answer these questions you shouldn’t work with them. If you know you’ve found a serious company, then don’t ask.
When Will I Be Number One?
“By the end of the week” is an answer the bad companies will give, and that should set alarm bells ringing immediately. 
Why is it such a silly question to ask a genuine search company?
Well, the reason is that it is an impossible question to answer. We estimate Google alone to have over 200 things it factors into search results, and they tweak one or more of them over 400 times during the year. So, if Google are changing their definition of ‘good’ on a daily basis, it is not reasonable to expect even the best SEO to keep up with that.
At the same time, other factors could influence where you rank.
  • · Have you had a penalty in the past because you worked with a black hat SEO?
  • · What on-site SEO is already present?
  • · How much link building have you done and what keywords did you target?
  • · Do you have a blog, and how many readers does it have?
There’s more, but we’d be here all day listing them. If you want to ask something constructive, ask them how long a piece of string is, instead.
When Will You Be Finished?
This is a similar question to the last one, but an important one to address.
“One month SEO” and similar ‘offers’ is the thing to avoid here.
SEO is never finished. Yes, the bulk of the work may be completed in a six or 12 month period, but the reality is that continuous maintenance, link building, keyword research, and much more needs to happen, otherwise you could once again plummet from page one to the lonely SERP backwaters.
When Will My Sales Increase?
You are probably investing in SEO because you want to see a better return on investment when it comes to your online activities. However, a search company cannot tell you when your bottom line will start to grow, because there are too many variables involved.
They should be able to give you an idea of when you can start to climb the search rankings, for example, but ultimately they cannot control whether someone clicks a link, even if it is on page one.
Stick to the simple search questions and let the SEO pros get on with the job. Be wary of guarantees, and anyone who can give definitive answers to these three questions.
This guest post was written by Robert at Bright Local who specialise in SEO tools.