We offer monthly SEO / Inbound Marketing services to our clients that involve the normal steps for success in the search rankings. Website optimization, on-line citation management, social media work, blog content creation, and pay-per-click marketing are normal parts of our standard packages. All of these are very important to having a business that thrives on-line, but they are not what I consider to be the most valuable thing you get when working with our company. The thing I make sure to emphasize when sitting down with a new potential client is that they will get this: AccessAccess to information, access to new techniques and technologies, access to someone who can answer all of their inbound marketing related questions. There is nothing on-line that can change faster than search rankings. Google can put out a new algorithm that changes the rules of the game immediately and make all that wonderful content out there telling you how to rank high obsolete. Here is a story of how that access saved one of our clients $1800 in one e-mail. The setup: Here is an actual e-mail I received from a client:
Hello Charles, I do (one of their services) for foreign citizens. See link below and call me to discuss:The link went to a forum post that to summarize said the following:
I'm not taking anymore new clients, and I still get massive traffic from a page on one of my articles. The post is #1 on Google for the search phrase (how to yadda yadda) and gets over 5k hits per month for (their service). I want to pass those potential leads to someone else. Anyone interested? If you want these referrals, I will put a link and your business information at the bottom of the page. $150 a month.
As a search engine marketer this immediately sounded the alarm. A very simple and important rule with Google is this:
THOU SHALT NOT PAY FOR LINKS
That will anger the Google. I could have sent an e-mail back just saying that but it wouldn't have provided my client with much information. I dug deeper and found this:
#1 - They weren't #1
The search string they were claiming to be at the top of the list for actually had them sitting at #5 behind 4 very powerful government links. As a general rule of thumb the #1 spot in the search listing results gets around 30% to 40% of the traffic for the search depending on certain variables. When you drop down to #5 you are normally only getting between 5-7%. With some quick math to get the 5000 visits a month they are claiming at the #5 position the phrase would need to be getting right around 100k searches a month.
#2 - The phrase doesn't get 100,000 searches a month
In fact, it didn't get 10,000 a month. 1000? No - it was getting an average monthly search total of...wait for it...260.
So at this point it has gone past someone trying to sell link traffic from their website to someone who can use it. This has now gone completely into the world of scamola. The huckster here is taking advantage of business owners who see the potential for high referrals at a manageable monthly cost. I explained all of this to our client and his response was:
Hello Charles Thanks for looking into this for me. With how busy we are it could have been a year before I figured out I wasn't getting a good return on a link from this guy.
$150 x 12 months = $1800 saved in one two sentence email sent our way
The site this grifter was trying to sell links on was a well respected, PR 6 website. I contacted them and let them know what was going on and they removed the article in question. No more conning business owners who aren't familiar enough with the rules of Google to see the trouble they are potentially getting themselves into.
So in closing - yes we help with your search rankings. We drive traffic with social media. We optimize, build citations, create pay-per-click campaigns, and we even do some stuff that sounds like we aren't speaking English. Try explaining canonicalization to someone who owns a heating and cooling company. The most valuable thing we can offer, however, is our expertise in the field. The access using our service provides to information is by far the most lucrative thing we have to give. The ability to ask a question and get an immediate response saves you time and energy that you can then devote to running your business.
If you would like to talk more about this and other related topics please stop by our Facebook Fan Page, send us a tweet, or drop us a line on our Google+ account. We are always up for talking search.
By Charles Daniels