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SEO Expectations and Guarantees

Aug 2, 2008
I have clients that call and ask me to develop an SEO strategy for them. Many times they ask certain questions that I thought it would be nice to answer by writing an article.

1. Can you guarantee me a front page Google listing? No. And neither can anyone else no matter what they say in their ads. They see these ads all over the web that promise top listings in Google in just 30 days and such. Any company who makes this claim is a scam.

Yes I said scam. If someone who owns an SEO company and is using this type of ad wants to debate this with me I'd be happy to set up a web conference and record it for everyone to view on my blog. Come prove me wrong and everyone will see.

2. How long will it take to get my website on the front page of Google for my keywords? I would need a crystal ball to answer that question. The number of variables is astronomical.

The number of competitors for your keywords, how well those competitors are doing with their own SEO campaigns, and how long your competitors have been online or age of their domain name, are just a few of the factors we have to include in predicting how well you might do in the SERPs.

No one can give you a timetable, likely not even someone who works for Google.

3. How long will I need to do SEO? As long as you do business on the web, you will need to continue with search engine optimization and search engine marketing.

SEO is not a one-time deal. It is an ongoing process. You will always need fresh content. You will always need more relative inbound links. You will always need someone that will stay on top of changes in the market and to respond to results.

Let's say we do your SEO and in 3 months we get you to #3 in Google for your top key phrase. Wow! We did our job! You don't need us anymore right? Sure, right up to the time your competitors ramp up their SEO campaign just as you did and overcome your position in the search engines.

If you own an offline company and you do an ad campaign on TV, radio, and in the newspaper and it brings in a lot of traffic to your store for the month of July, do you stop advertising in August? I would think the answer might be no. So why would you stop an SEO campaign that is having success?

SEO is a business expense you need to factor into your budget if you want to do business online. It is as simple as that. No ifs ands or buts. SEO is essential to your online success.

4. How long will it take you to come up with an SEO strategy for me? There are a lot of SEO companies who will give you a plan right now. They have set packages. They do A, B, and C for x number of dollars and they will throw in D, E, and F for just a few dollars more!

The problem is that there is no one-size-fits-all SEO plan for anyone. SEO companies who tell you to choose from their preset SEO packages are not going to do the best job they can for you. They are trying to make a sale. They know that having preset packages helps them close more sales and that is exactly why they have them ready for you.

Every client is unique. Every website is unique. You face a different set of obstacles than other clients. You have a different budget to work with. The level of your competition is different. The number of inbound links you already have is different than the next client. The content on your website is different. I have been doing this for 13 years and have yet to find two clients who were in the same exact situation.

As a result, a good SEO Professional will create a plan that fits your needs and that fits into your budget. He or she has to prioritize each task depending on your exact situation.

It takes time to research what keywords you should be targeting, research how well you rank for those keywords currently, research the competition you have for each of those keywords, and figure out the best way to help you with the budget you have set aside for SEO.

You may have to wait a week or more to see what the roadmap we create for you will look like. Many clients do not have the patience and end up buying some preset SEO package somewhere. I usually hear back from that same person 3 months later after nothing has improved and they have even less money for SEO.

Give us the time to do the research and we will create a plan that works.

I'll address more frequently asked questions in another article. Right now I have a roadmap to build for a client before they wake up and drive to their office this morning. Until then . . .
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