Don't pick a sucky SEO company, read our industry expose on what to look out for when procuring a new SEO company..
What is the OMG SEO Buying Guide?
The Online Marketing Gurus team deal with the Australian public day in day out. Over 50% of the customers we speak to have website’s that have been penalised to some degree by dodgey SEO work and the large majority of customer’s we speak to have done SEO before but have been left with a feeling of disdain from not getting the results they were after. We have watched our industry take a beating due the bad behaviour of a few.
At the Online Marketing Gurus we exist to make the web simple and profitable for our clients and we are on a mission to revolutionise the way SEO is done in Australia and bring credibility back to our industry.. because of this we have released this tell all SEO Buyers guide to help you avoid getting ripped off on your journey to selecting an SEO vendor.
What the Australian public need to avoid like the plague when buying SEO Services
1/ SEO Guarantees:
SEO Guarantees are something which have single handedly ruined the name and integrity of the SEO Industry. Google themselves warn people away from using SEO vendors that offer guarantees check it out here. Or you can check out the expose the Sydney Morning Herald did on SEO Services companies being the subject of complaints to the ACCC.
Why are SEO Guarantees rubbish?
SEO Guarantees are misleading and deceptive, most SEO companies will offer a certain number of keywords, lets say 10 keywords and guarantee that a certain number will be on page 1 by 6 months of 12 months and lock you into a contract.
So whats the catch?
With the majority of these “guarantees” the keywords that will fall under the guarantee are obscure, long winded terms that either generate no search volume, or keywords you could rank for yourself!. There is a big difference between ranking for “Plumber” (4,400 searches a month, by the way, we have a client ranking for that on page 1) and “Best Plumber Sydney Killara”(0 searches a month)
Both are a page 1 ranking..but which one will generate you more business?
Conclusion: SEO Guarantees are usually a sales ploy, ranking for obscure keywords wont generate you business, don’t buy into the hype.
2/ SEO Companies who wont SHOW you the types of links they are building to your website
80% of the work most SEO companies do when you sign up to an SEO program or service is to do with boosting up the popularity and authority of your site. One of the biggest ranking factor Google looks at is how popular your site is and they determine this by looking at if your site is getting mentioned around the web, so naturally SEO companies will try to get you lots of mentions!
In the past it was easy to fake this popularity by building links on dodgey sites in a manipulative way so when Google scanned your site and links they would see them as good but in reality they are actually just tricking Google. This type of Search Engine Trickery no longer works as it used to after the Penguin 2.0 update, cool article here by Jayson DeMers and my own guide on this here
The majority of SEO companies are still engaging in this type of deceptive link building: You need to be asking a potential SEO vendor
1/ What is your link building/authority building strategy
2/ Can you show me examples of links you have earned in my industry: Most SEO companies will not be able to show you this, or will hide it as the quality is low.
3/ Can you show me how this translated into increases in traffic, enquiries and sales (NOT just rankings)
3/ SEO companies who don’t offer comprehensive services around content:
A major element in SEO is making your site “relevant” for the search terms and clients you want. Content is a huge piece here. A lot of SEO Companies will not offer comprehensive services around producing sales copy, blog, infographics and content to make your site “relevant”. This is a major alarm bell as you can’t have an SEO campaign without content (think about trying to have a car with no wheels), Content drives growth for SEO
4/ SEO Companies who offer “Pay as you rank” services or “dont pay till you rank on page 1”
This is another major area of contention and one that was also targeted by the ACCC. With this particular scheme a vendor will offer a client a payment system where by you get to start for “free” and you only begin to pay for the SEO services once you rank on the first page..Sounds great right..Wrong.
Whats the catch?
- Once the “guarantee” is hit, you usually have to sign into a lengthy contract
- The majority of the time you have no choice over which keyword it is that the guarantee covers…do you follow?
- These SEO guarantees can be hit very easily by targeting very obscure or long tail key terms that are easy to rank for that you wouldn’t need an SEO vendor for anyway.
Other issues with this type of model?
Do you really want your SEO vendor working ferociously to try and get your rankings up as quickly as possible, and risk the long term integrity of your site and SEO? And do you want to set the standard that “rankings” are what your business needs, not enquiries, traffic and sales? We advise to steer well clear of this one.
What to look for when selecting an SEO Vendor?
1/ Can they demonstrate success through long term traffic increases?
Any old SEO company can claim page one 1 rankings they got for obscure terms or sudden large, unrealistic increases in traffic in astronomically short amount of times. What is important to look for is a vendor who can demonstrate safe, long term growth to their clients businesses. Google releases updates every 4-6 months that change the game, a vendor who says they got someone to page 1 in 3 months is not really an achievement, avoid vendors without the credibility.
2/ Can they demonstrate an ability to rank for competitive keywords?
Lets face it and call a spade a spade, ranking for a keyword like “Best plumber Sydney Australia” is no where near as cool, and will generate nowhere near as much business as ranking for “Plumber”, or “Plumber Sydney” (4,400 and 1,600 searches a month). The latter terms are extremely competitive, and terms that most SEO Companies will avoid (and wont guarantee). A good SEO vendor with a sound strategy will be able to show you
1/ The ability to get quality sites ranking for these competitive terms
2/ Show you that these sites have consistently dominated their market for competitive terms
3/ Be able to show you how they did it!
A final check list of the dont’s and do’s
Dont’s: What you don’t want to do if you want your business to grow:
- Pick an SEO vendor who offers guarantees or pay as you get results schemes. No one can guarantee an outcome
- Pick an SEO Vendor who can’t show you the work they are doing or the links they have built
- Pick an SEO company who can’t demonstrate how they have delivered traffic, sales and enquiry growth for their clients
- Pick an SEO Company who claims you should pick them because they rank for the keyword “SEO”.. We actually rank for the keyword SEO, but its not why you should choose us..!
Do’s: What you do want to do if you want your business to grow:
- Invest in an SEO vendor who can demonstrate long term growth for their clients
- Invest in an SEO vendor who can show you how they have ranked sites for competitive key terms
- Invest in an SEO vendor who is willing to talk in depth about the strategies they will implement on your site and show you the links they build.
A little piece on the Gurus: Why we’re the real deal?
Like any good marketers, we must always have a little plug for ourselves, so here is the main things you need to know about the Online Marketing Gurus:
- We have inhouse copywriters who produce cool content for our client sites to help them rank in competitive industries and convert more clients
- We have a team of over 20 PR and Authority building experts who help our clients gain traffic and enquiries in the most competitive markets
- Our idea of link building is not getting you shoddy links on low quality directors
- Our clients get featured in Government Websites, Education Websites, Industry leading magazines and Newspapers!
- We have a comprehensive list of Case Studies in different industry verticals
- We invite you in for a workshop before signing up to any SEO program and will give you a Complimentary Market and SEO Analysis to tell you before signing up; How big your market is, who your competitors are, what they are doing and what we need to do to out rank them using our proprietary built tool OBi (Online Business Intelligence)
- We have a dedicated PR consultant who works in our team to assist our clients in getting mentions in quality publications and leveraging your marketing work to tackle SEO
- We have ranked clients in the most competitive markets for the long term for the most competitive key terms.
- The large majority of our clients (over 90% see TRAFFIC increases within the first 2 months of their campaign.
- We love, live and breath Organic Search Marketing.