23 Sep SEO Services are not a Commodity!
I ran across this sign last winter at an intersection next to a Walgreens and a Menards, right in the middle of a sketchy neighborhood. I found it quite amusing to find someone pitching SEO services using this form of advertising. But it all makes sense because over and over we see the remnants of what should have been a well optimized website in conjunction with underperforming pay-per-click campaigns. The failed campaigns are a result of the overmarketing of SEO Services by everyone and their brother. The main issue is that most business owners are not quite savvy enough to know how to sift through those that know how to spell SEO and those that truly understand SEO until it’s far too late.
Here’s a frequent dialog that we are often told about long after a campaign has failed.
(Dialing the clock back 6 months…)
SEO Expert: “We’ll optimize your website for you and your traffic will jump 200% based on new keyword searches because you’ll be top listed for everything you could imagine. We also need to get you on a pay-per-click campaign so that your customers come to your site and buy your stuff. It’s complicated, but since we’re SEO experts, we’ve got this covered for you, no problem. It’ll take 3-4 months and we’ll knock it out of the park!”
You (in deep thought): Boy, I don’t know much about this stuff, but these guys have an awesome website and all they talk about is SEO. I’m sure they know what they’re doing since they REALLY get it. I definitely need more website traffic and I have to invest somewhere, so I think it makes sense to go forward.
“Ok dude, you got my business. Go get me some leads!”
SEO Expert: Right on buddy, we’ll get right on this. We need to start bidding on some keywords and phrases and we should invest $2000-3000/month with Google PPC. We’ll see stuff rolling in. Let’s get moving.
1 month later…
You: How’s it going SEO Expert? You are the man! I’m counting on you. How many leads we got?
SEO Expert: We’re seeing great results! Did you notice the big spike in website traffic the other day? Your website got an additional 32 hits on Wednesday. We’re killing it out here and we’re quite impressed with our work so far. Let me send you an updated Google Analytics Report. You’re going to love this dashboard we’ll put together for you. Things are rocking.
2 months later…
You: Hi Mr. SEO guy. Can you please get me an update on how things are going? Just curious.
SEO Guy: Hey man! Things are booming. We saw a number of great website click-throughs over the past 2 weeks, did you notice? According to my records, we had great traffic and lots of money was spent on our keywords, so things must be converting like crazy over there.
You: I didn’t see a report showing me anything like this, but we did get some odd phone calls.
SEO Guy: Oh yeah, how so?
You: Well, a couple of what sounded like really old people called and asked to get their plumbing fixed. It appears that some crazy stuff has been clogging up their toilets; you know how old people can be at times. Funny thing is that we’re a software company and we have that one case study on Big Data for a wastewater treatment plant company. I’m not sure why we get these types of calls, but there might be a small disconnect. What do you think?
SEO Guy: Bizarre! I’m sure something’s goofy or wrong with Google. We’ll take a look and get back to you on this.
3 months later…
Boris (SEO Expert/Guy): Hey client dude! I wanted to reach out to you because we made a tweak to the campaigns and noticed another huge spike in activity. How are things going on your end?
You: Well Boris, I’d like to see some really detailed reports on what we’re doing. We had that hiccup last month with wrong people seeing our ads and now we’re getting a bunch of clicks but nobody’s converting to customers. Additionally, I noticed that we aren’t getting any organic search traffic increases either. Any idea why?
Boris: Odd, let me send you some more reports. I’m pretty sure it just takes a little time, you follow? I’ll send these over and I’m positive we’ll see some great stuff this next month.
4 months later…
You: Hey Boris, me here. I’d like to put a hold on this SEO stuff. You say you’re an expert and all, but I’m out like $30,000 and nothing seems to be happening with my traffic or my conversions. Outside of a few little spikes, the graphs look identical to what they were last year. You sure you know what you’re doing?
Boris: Not sure what’s up. We’ll send you some more reports and show you why things aren’t clicking. It’s gotta be the business you’re in, or your website sucks; one of the other or both. Maybe nobody wants to buy your services or products? We’re SEO Experts, so it can’t be on our end.
Back to the Future…
echogravity: Hello Mr. You. Thanks for filling out the contact us form on our website. What can we help you with?
You: Well, I hired an SEO Services Company a while back and my $30,000 investment didn’t really reap the rewards I was looking for. We went through a site optimization exercise, competitive analysis and ran a few pay-per-click campaigns. Our conversion rate was less than 1% and we ended up in the same spot we were prior. Any ideas?
echogravity: For starters, it doesn’t appear that your website was optimized. We looked at a couple of pages and nothing has been completed by way of optimization. Meta descriptions, links, URL’s, headers, content, nothing. Are you sure you paid someone to do this for you?
You: Positive, I’ll show you the paid invoice.
echogravity: Interesting. What about the PPC campaigns? What was the issue there?
You: No idea. Spent a lot of money and nothing seemed to work.
Have you been in this situation before?
Effective site optimization and PPC campaigns are not easily executed. It takes smart people that really understand all of the moving parts to get it right. Before making a purchase, know that SEO Services aren’t a commodity, and success requires a great deal of tweaking and fine tuning. Just throwing up a few campaigns and expecting success is a sure fire way to fail.
If we’ve outlined a déjà vu dialog here, give us a call.
Kevin O’Brien is a Co-Founder and Partner at echogravity. Kevin’s credentials include being a top recruiter for a international Big 8 consulting firm, top business development rep for a global consulting and staffing firm, and consulting with over 100 companies across North America.