On Search Engine Marketing, Ranking and Optimization by SEO Firms
Website leads not converting in high enough numbers?
Try simplifying navigation; adding landing pages that answer specific queries can also transform response.
Offline you can catch mediocre copy and design and change it fast.
If still nothing improves, people go for SEO experts.
However, even with its new found respectability many decision makers find the choice of SEO agents baffling as there is no regulatory body to judge standards.
From a corporate perspective, the only way to view the success of your search engine optimization campaign is from the results it achieves, be that in awareness, more sales leads, or simply communication with your company.
An SEO firm has to balance between their knowledge and the basic premise of what search engines are all about and the subsequent rules and algorithms they live by.
Think of it from the search engine’s perspective, their overall value depends on consistently serving up the most informed and relevant answers to queries their visitors are asking.
This might sound obvious, but then consider how many inferior websites might be in front of yours right now in the search engines, and that’s before you consider those sites which have no place in those results anyway.
The trouble is, wherever there is a code or a system, you can guarantee that some people will try and break it, or at least try and fool the search engines into delivering results that will keep their clients happy.
The truth of it is that getting improved search engine ranking and sustaining the position can only be done ethically by the “white hat” SEO companies, or you can visit the dark side - the so called “black hat” brigade at your own risk.
Take link building, for instance. Here’s a legitimate SEO technique that done properly, will stabilise and grow the popularity of a website as incoming links from relevant and respected websites are seen as a ‘vote on confidence’ in yours. It’s not unusual for a successful, well ranked website to have many thousands of links.
But what happens when your SEO suggests buying links? Or sourcing hundreds of new links from those so called link-farms?
Reciprocal links are an excellent way of building popularity, but again, even this is open to abuse if only low ranking or rather tenuous links are sought from those other companies.
In any case, weak search engine optimisation, or worse, SEO that cuts corners, will compromise results, overall ranking positions and in extreme cases, might even get you bounced from the search engines altogether.
But who is the real victim here?
For sure the SEO agency might lose you as a client, but you have potentially lost much more. First there’s the unknown cost of lost sales leads as those motivated buyers simply haven’t been introduced to your site; but you have also lost something much more precious: time.
Sound, ethical organic search engine optimisation or search engine marketing is a long term commitment and any company gambles with that at their peril.