“WE GUARANTEE YOU #1 POSITIONS IN GOOGLE, NO MATTER THE SEARCH TERM.”
It’s unlikely that you’ve been involved in the SEO agency community as long as us, but this is something that a few agencies have been saying since the dawn of SEO (same as the dawn of the search engines — AltaVista fans here?).
The offering of SEO services is likely considered to be among one of the most competitive marketing verticals available to brands. Everyone and their mother’s hedgehog reads a blog post SEO, the most basic of the basics, and believes they can offer SEO execution as service.
To make matters worse, these specialists are likely implementing really bad SEO techniques that are either severely outdated or methods that are considered blackhat/unethical.
Because of the competitiveness of the industry, many folks up their game by pitching what we call, the ‘Guaranteed SEO Offering’.
In the video below (transcript further down, if you’d rather read), we explain why the guaranteed SEO service should be avoided at all costs. This is a serious topic for any brand searching for a new SEO agency and one that continues to be discussed heavily in the SEO community.
Promises, Promises, Promises, we’ve all heard of those SEO agencies that offer the world and give nothing close.
Many agencies go as far as to offer guarantees on these SEO results. Are these companies truly capable of offering these type of promises, or are they just trying to simply close the sale?
In this video, we dive into Search Engine Optimization guarantees and what you can expect when you speak to a company offering you a promise of results.
Hey, this is Jason Berkowitz Founder & SEO Director of Break The Web, coming to you with a new video about SEO guarantees.
Many times throughout my career I’ve heard many variables of the SEO guarantee in a variety of forms.
Someone might ask, do you offer guarantees.
Another person might mention, this other agency guaranteed me results. What can you do?
So let’s dive into the reasoning behind guaranteed results, whether it’s a good option for you, and some more pro tips on agency red flags.
Now, one important thing to remember when searching for an SEO company is that business is business and many companies employ very skilled salesmen that are quite keen of making sure they can get you to sign on the dotted line.
Because of this, many salesmen are more focused on their commission checks, versus the true well-being of the newly onboarded client.
They may go as far as saying, we promise SEO results, or we won’t charge you until we get those results.
So, let’s dissect this a little bit.
The Guaranteed SEO Results
It’s virtually impossible for someone to guarantee you SEO results. As we’ve mentioned before, it’s a very popular sales tactic but since we’re relying on metrics that are used for the search engines to verify the trust and relevancy of a website, it’s impossible that any agency can guarantee these type of results.
Even Google has even stated multiple times that if an SEO agency is offering you guaranteed results or even states that they have in with someone who’s currently employed by Google, you should question the general motives of the SEO specialist you’re chatting with.
This also ties directly into the introductory call or what’s truthfully the qualification call. This call is done to ensure that the SEO company has the potential to be the right fit for you and your website, as well as ensuring that you’re the right fit for the SEO company.
Many times during this qualification call, you might ask questions that simply cannot be answered by the salesperson because it might be a bit too technical. This makes it super-easy for the sale person to make up an answer that they believe you’d like to hear.
In one way or another, as the SEO director in our agency, I’m heavily involved with the entire sales process, to ensure that we’re able to give the best answers that’ll properly manage the expectations of the campaign.
To take it one step further, some agencies even go as far as to offer guaranteed SEO services straight on their website, which is a typical no-no for Search Engine Optimization services.
These type of promises have the very potential that the SEO agency you’re in contact with is likely using outdated or questionable tactics that might even lead to a search engine penalty of your website.
Simply put, many SEO agencies fail to evolve as the algorithms get more advanced, leading to improper execution and poorly managed expectations.
So, to summarize, if an SEO agency it is offering you guaranteed SEO results, that should be taken as a red flag. It cannot be done, and no agency can offer you a guarantee.
Before we wrap up, there’s another type of “promise” that tends to go be mentioned by some companies and that is…
We’ll Work For Free Until You Get Results
The second type of guarantee that many agencies will give is that they will work for free until you get the results that you ultimately agreed upon.
This is a scam in and of itself.
This way, they can get x amount of dollars from you over the course of x amount of months for the contract that you signed.
What they will do is simply take your money for a few months, not do any work, then after a few months say that they will work for free until they get you the results, but nothing will change.
They won’t do anything different, they won’t keep trying because they weren’t trying to begin with.
They were able to squeeze a few dollars out of you in the first few months and will now be moving you from person to person within their agency until you just stop emailing or calling them.
The lesson here is simple. many Search Engine Optimization agencies will do what they need to do, will say what they need to say, to close a sale.
It’s no secret that the SEO industry is very competitive and businesses need to create that market differentiation as much as possible and sadly, that means stooping into low levels like this to close a sale and bring on a new client.
What Can You Do About It?
When speaking to a new SEO company one of the things that you need to do is to qualify the company.
You could even ask the company if they can guarantee results to get a feel for the style of their operation.
Most respectable companies, like ourselves, will answer that we cannot simply guarantee results.
But what will take place, is the time-tested framework that has been used countless times to transition websites in the search result.
It’s companies like this that give SEO, as a marketing strategy, a bad name.
SEO works very very well when executed properly and proper optimization has the potential to bring in a lot of quality traffic from search.
Just making sure you hire the right company is the most important thing in the SEO marketing strategy.
Many businesses lack a profound comprehension of the need for SEO experts. For this reason, they do not appreciate the fact that SEO can have a positive impact on the growth and development of their enterprises. It is very evident that search engine optimization (SEO) plays a vital role in creating an environment of online growth for businesses that understand the need for SEO consultants.
What SEO Means To Businesses
SEO is not only beneficial; it is a necessary marketing apparatus for the development of compelling brand consciousness. It is also means enhanced search engine page rankings and the amplification of a heightened abundance of traffic. So why should an SEO consultant be sought for and how can their assistance bring about progressive business growth?
Why It Is Important To Confer With Experts
Conferring with an SEO expert is essential because the experts are an authority in applying SEO marketing instruments. They have an understanding of the operations of SEO and know how to utilize SEO tactics to help businesses accomplish enhanced website traffic and business growth. While the fundamentals of SEO are not rocket science, the practical aspect of SEO for business people will present a complexity that they cannot deal with because of the technical elements concerned with its application. This is why SEO companies are sought after.
Advantages of the Services offered by Consultants
Before any business hires an SEO company, it is essential to determine how the company will apply their services. Some SEO experts might promise you the moon and deliver nothing of substance. Regardless of whether you are pledged to the moon or the stars, what matters is how the SEO plan is actualized.
The results of an SEO consultant’s campaign will eventually divulge the essence of their service.
Here are some advantages that businesses will receive from the services offered by SEO consultants or SEO experts:
1. SEO consultants can provide a business with an all-embracing method of harmonizing the most productive and up-to-date SEO approaches to the advantage of a business. They will also offer recommendations on the exact techniques that are required for a website to work optimally. They will also let you know the period of time it will take to get your website optimized, what the costs will be and which SEO services or SEO experts are best suited to administer the SEO requirements of your business.
2. SEO consultants will also lay down clearly defined plans and purposes for the optimization of a website. They will give you SEO solutions that are long established and have proved to produce effective results as compared to the numerous approaches or theoretical ideologies that are proposed on the internet.
3. SEO experts will boost traffic for your business through increased visibility on the popular search engines. They will also use a keyword approach to attract traffic to your business website. This is because, despite sufficient rankings, it is essential to apply keywords to impel the target audience to visit the website.
4. SEO experts have the competency to furnish businesses with effectual propositions on how an online budget works so that businesses do not overspend while seeking for SEO services.
What Businesses Can Expect From Expert SEO Services
When a business engages expert SEO services, the business will find quality because such services will provide the business with skilled website designers. The business will also receive the provision of expert content writers and market specialists and this will result in the following services:
– The business will experience improved sales.
– The business will start getting enhanced traffic.
– The business will experience remarkable usability on their website.
– The business will realize effective browser compatibility thus enhancing user experience.
– The business will start experiencing a return on investments and will also experience the effectiveness of the costs that are involved in the promotional campaign.
– The business will achieve higher rankings through local SEO services that will apply specific tactics to enhance the profile of the business locally.
Business Growth and Success through Professional and Effective SEO Services
When a business approaches professional SEO services, they will be provided with customized SEO services. This means that they will be provided with the magnitude of solutions that have been personalized to meet their online requirements for success. They might need email marketing services, website development and design services, search engine optimization services, campaign management services or any other services that will boost their online presence.
Tailor Made SEO Solutions
Regardless of the online business needs that an SEO company provides the business with, one important aspect must stand out. Such services should be designed in a manner that helps the business in achieving online credibility, brand awareness, exposure, visibility and the increase of sales. The purpose is to improve the online image of the company so that the company can continue to attain business growth.
This is why any business must seek SEO solutions from SEO consultants. They must find SEO experts that have search engine optimization techniques that will promote the growth and success of the business. They must seek for SEO consultants that will provide them with solutions that will effectively work for them.
Last Thursday, May 31st, I had the pleasure of speaking at an event geared towards business owners. The event focused on helping a business owner remain accountable for their growth, and I was brought in as the SEO speaker to give some actionable tips every website manager could implement immediately.
Before starting the presentation, I figured I would go the odd route and start off with some SEO Q&A.
It was then that the first question asked (which was what my presentation covered in-depth); “Why Do I Need SEO?”
So, because of the nature of the question, quick thinking decided to jump right into the presentation, which would undoubtedly provide him with more than enough information about why his business could benefit from SEO.
Why Do We Need SEO?
If you’re a business owner/manager/marketing director that has a target audience which has the even slightest potential for them to look for your services online, you need SEO.
If your primary competitors are dominating the online market and you don’t have the budget to go all out with paid advertising, you need SEO.
If you’re a local business that needs more customers coming through the front door, yep, you need SEO.
SEO is not simply just that acronym you heard some guru mention.
SEO, in our blatant words, is the process of sending a website the various metrics the search engine algorithms use to position websites for relevant terms.
In our SEO agency, we understand that every website is different and no two search terms are alike. Some search terms warrant top 5 lists. Others might warrant a product page. Even some search terms might value an infographic.
SEO is about having a conversion optimized page appear for relevant search results.
Another the other hand, you might have heard various marketers even go as far as saying that SEO is dead. Well, surely, as you can see in the graph below, SEO is definitely not dead.
SEO is not going anywhere and experts will agree, as long as there are search engines, there will be SEO.
You need SEO so new target customers can find you.
Every business has a role dedicated to someone who’s entire focus is on growth. That could be the business owner themselves, it could be the CEO, the marketing director, the VP of Business Development, etc. In this role, they know that marketing & advertising is an absolute must.
SEO is just another form of digital marketing. It’s not the best & most efficient marketing strategy (depends strictly on the business goals & industry), but it’s one that’s used by brands of all sizes that are looking to get a competitive edge by bringing in free traffic.
Yes, SEO is practically free traffic.
Don’t get me wrong, when you hire an SEO company, you provide the agency with a marketing budget they can utilize to deliver success & results. But the traffic, once in your desired positions, is essentially unlimited.
With Google AdWords, you’re paying per click and every time someone visits your website, you’re being charged $x. For highly competitive terms, this can rack up costs. We’ve managed AdWords campaigns that had budgets over $100k+ because of the simple fact that paid competition was enormous.
With SEO, you need to understand that results take time but when the the improvements do arrive, the ROI is a gift in disguise as a bunch of tech marketing weirdos.
SEO is not an overnight success.
Trust & authority cannot be built over night.
In our SEO campaigns, we’re sending links from relevant & authoritative websites back to your (outreach strategy). We’re marketing your content to influencers to pick them up and share with their following. We’re sending local geographic relevancy to your website so you can appear in Google Maps.
This is the framework of an SEO campaign, assuming that the on-site work is fully up to par.
The search engines look at these different signals and take a website through various “tests” to determine if the quality of work is worthy enough to provide a good user experience for the search engine visitors.
More about timeline in this video:
So while SEO might be the patience game (I definitely agree), the payoff coming from an SEO is unbelievable.
Businesses develop & grow from SEO.
As an entrepreneur myself, I enjoy starting companies. Most of these companies are based in the NYC-area and have developed 100% because of SEO. I would first research the market, create a website, start some SEO, if real buyer-intent exists, the business has now formed and it’s passed to a new hired company manager.
We do the same with startups. Many startups will reach out to us after receiving funding because they truly understand that being at the top of the search results will grow the company. Because of the results that can come from SEO, an initial startup becomes a fully matured brand (down the road, of course).
Take for example the screenshot below. That’s one of our clients that has a Shopify E-Commerce store. They were in the early stages of business when we partenered and we’ve been able to grow their organic search traffic from less than 10,000 visits/month to 55,000+ visits/month.
That’s a 450% increase in organic search traffic.
This growth, as a result of the SEO efforts, had led to even bigger & better opportunities for them. They now work directly with social media influencers. They are selling their products in stores. They have even received national attention and natural web mentions from some of the biggest publications in the world.
But, of course, SEO is not for everyone.
There are many times where we simply tell a potential client, that we truly believe an SEO strategy will not be beneficial for them.
Real Client Example:
Sometime in March ’18, a law firm partner called me and mentioned they wanted to be visible on the first page of Google for the search term, “personal injury lawyer nyc”.
Now, if you ask any SEO specialist, they will agree almost immediately that is is considered to be among one of the most competitive search terms for the organic results. This is because of the high-ticket nature of the industry.
The organic search results consist of big, big players (Cellino & Barnes – HUGE marketing budget), relevant law directories, and other firms that have been on the SEO journey for 2+ years.
So, unfortunately, we informed him that SEO might not be the best option, as it will take him a few years to see an ROI.
We went on to describe how we could bring in more leads via AdWords, in which we launched the campaign 2 weeks later. In the first month of running, he’s received 36 “hot” leads.
You should not be discouraged by big brands.
While some of these big players are killing it with SEO, they shouldn’t discourage you from implementing an SEO campaign. It’s still possible to beat them in the search results, it just requires the right strategy.
Many of these big brands/publications are ranking solely on their overall authority. Your website can come in, provide better answers to the question (search term), receive better quality & relevant backlinks and have better engagement. These are the basic frameworks to beat the big brands online.
Conclusion: Why You Need SEO?
You need SEO because it’s an essential component of any large marketing plan. If you’re just starting out or if you’re already an established brand, you need SEO because the strategy will put you in front of potential customers that are actively looking for your product/service.
This is the million dollar question and we understand why. It’s natural for anyone looking for an SEO agency—or thinking about starting an SEO campaign—to want to know what the ROI is and how long it all might take.
Here’s the short answer; our clients typically see positive movement by the end of the third month.
According to Google, it’s wise to “prepare for a campaign up to one year” when undergoing a new SEO strategy.
And their patent shows they will fluctuate a website based on new trust indicators, a process that could take anywhere from four to six weeks.
Ultimately, establishing authority takes time, and no SEO company can tell you exactly how long it takes for an SEO campaign to deliver results. It isn’t something that can be tricked, faked, or rushed.
If Google suspects a website is building authority too quickly, that site’s SEO will likely take a hit.
So we do it the right way, making sure our SEO campaigns are long-term investments. And when the payoff does come, it can be significant, especially considering the money you’ll save by having your site high in organic results, as opposed to dumping cash into Adwords and PPC.
To us, Search Engine Optimization—or S-E-O—is more of a philosophy than a strategy, one that’s focused on building a website’s authority in the search results. No shortcuts, no gimmicks.
How do we do it?
Our philosophy is to mimic the natural way a website gains authority by feeding Google the trust metrics it uses to identify trustworthy and authoritative websites. Because when Google sees your site as authoritative, it is more likely to put it near the top of search results.
We do this using proven methods focused on longevity and relevancy creation that increase visibility within all levels of competition. This also includes a consistent focus on on-page and off-page SEO, the two major components of any website’s authority.
Yesterday, February 14th, Google uploaded a video to their Webmasters Channel on what you need to know before hiring an SEO consultant. Google’s own Maile Ohye, Developer Programs Tech Lead, guides you through some of the relevant information you need to know about the SEO hiring process.
After watching the video in full (with an expectation of some skepticism), I found the video extremely informative and it aligns perfectly with our philosophy here at SEO Services New York/Break The Web.