Your online business will fail or succeed based on SEO. As an internet business owner you should know that SEO stands between you and success. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the pillar on which businesses stand or fall on the internet. It is the lifeblood of any online business success.
If this is so important why do so many business owners hand over their SEO solutions to just anybody?
There is an abundance of less than unscrupulous so called SEO companies small and large out there ruining the businesses of unsuspecting CEO’s. You should not fall for it. If you have, I really feel your pains. There is a way out for you here.
Effective SEO is comprehensive and has long-term results. What these agencies do is most times Search Engine Marketing (SEM). Highly effective SEO that produces long lasting overall success can only be done by experienced, vastly knowledgeable and strong business acumen companies.
What is Not SEO but Offered as SEO
Shadow SEO: Being listed in directories, running Pay Per Click (PPC) ad campaigns and Social Media (SM) campaigns are good but are not SEO and must not be mistaken for it. Whatever result you get from it is nothing compared to what you will get from the targeted organic leads you will get with a full SEO service. Is your SEO provider running a “shadow SEO” but claiming otherwise to you?
Incomplete SEO: The SEO that will produce stable targeted leads for a long time must be comprehensive – full service. Just doing on-site optimizations like keyword in title tag, using SEO friendly URLs, wrapping title in an <h1> tag, wrapping subheadings in H2 tags, site speed, image optimization, tons of SEO content writing is all good but it’s just a little fraction of what it takes to produce enduring SEO result for your online business. It’s incomplete SEO and the impact is fiercely minimal.
Negative SEO: The danger of negative SEO is daunting. It is a set of dubious activities done to lower a competitors ranking in search results (SERPS) so as to rank another site (your site now). They could go as far as hacking a site and modifying it content, adding a disallow rule in the websites robot.txt to make Google completely ignore the site in SERPS. This is how far these me-too SEO guys can go at the end it the business owner who failed to employ the services of the tested and proven that suffers from Google’s penalties.
Quick Fixes: Search engines do not reward SEO efforts instantly. It takes a little while but once done and maintained it proceeds are lasting. These scrupulous agencies promise you no.1 on Google front page in an unrealistic time frame just to draw you in, get your money and set your business up for destruction.
Ranking for Wrong Keywords: These guys for share desperation pick keywords that won’t deliver traffic at all or deliver traffic that means nothing since they will either bounce back or never engage since they were tricked to click onto your website. For laziness or lack of know-how they select keywords that may bring you high volume traffic but will never convert because they either are not targeted, irrelevant or non-buyers keywords. Or you may rank well for such keywords but will only have impressions but no tangible clicks.
As an online business you need keywords with buyer intent; keywords that the Google searcher is all out to buy a product or service. It takes time, skill and know-how to do this but some of these guys aren’t in for that. They just want your money. Engaging in such sinister practices will damage your brand image, increase bounce rate, and lower your return of investment (ROI). Not to talk of the time and energy wasted.
Tricks and Gimmicks: These are deliberate attempt by most SEO agencies to manipulate search engine results. Google is aware of these and is all out to blacklist any website seen to game the system. Google is now hard to trick but these lazy agencies won’t just stop endangering online businesses that unknowing fall into their trap. Gimmicks Cloaking, hidden keyword text (hidden from humans but visible to search engine spiders), spammy guest blogging, keyword stuffing, social network spam, doorway pages and forceful crawling are some of the odious tricks that yields nothing but lower and sap out your ROI.
Bad Link Building: This is perhaps the most abused of all the SEO methods. Since all search engine place premium on backlinks, agencies are out to acquire them by hook or crook just to make money off you. They do not care that this will ultimately ruin your business. They use bad linking strategies like: auto submission to spammy directories, paid spammy links, link farms, illegally injecting hidden links into websites, blog comment spamming, and private blog networks.
Key Performance Indicators
It is critical to measure the success of your SEO providers work on your website. In doing so it’s not advisable to measure your SEO ROI in actual dollars only. Don’t measure your SEO success by just one metric. It will only tell you part of the full story.
All SEO campaigns have multiple “flash points” to closely consider, beginning with the initial impression and ending with the final conversion and many other points in-between.
To really measure the performance of your SEO provider you should create a set of Key Performance Indicators. They should be:
Organic Users (brand vs. non brand)
Organic Traffic to product/Service pages
Form Fills/Phone Calls
Metrics that Reveals Organic Success
Impression (awareness): Your ranking in search results (SERPS).
Clicks (Interest): When you rank for keywords that no one has interest in and so suffer no clicks. Having visibility without clicks reveals that you may have poor titles, poor meta description, poor schema markup,
Engagement (Decision): A large traffic to your site without people deciding to engage by taking time to read, comment, contact you or navigate around the website. Getting clicks without engagement means you may have poor content/or UX.
Conversion (Action): This is end-goal of SEO. This is where the visitors on your site take actions like subscribing to your email list, leads, buying a product/service. Having traffic but no substantial conversion reveals you may have poor keyword targeting or conversion problem on your website.
Signs of Poor SEO Campaign on your Website
You’re Ranking for Wrong Keywords: Once you notice this it’s a sign of SEO gone wrong. No matter the traffic such ranking will bring to your website won’t mean anything. It will only increase your bounce rate which is bad for your business. Most times you may not even get any clicks on those keywords on SERPs.
You get a Manual Penalty: This is one of the worst things that can happen to a website. Once you are alerted by Google or any other search engine about a penalty quickly inform your SEO provider and begin to ask questions to know exactly what they are doing. If they can’t explain themselves well it’s just about time to call off the deal.
Decrease in Non-Branded Organic Search: There are two categories of keywords:
Branded Keywords: This is when a brand name or it variation will be used in keyword used in the search engine that landed on your website.
Non-Branded: This is when no brand name or it variation is used in the keyword used in the search engine that lands on your site.
One major goal of any SEO campaign is the exposure and strengthening of your brand. If the people using non-branded keywords to land on your website are not growing it means your brand is not been adequately exposed. On the other hand if you are receiving traffic from non-branded keywords the more your prospects are encountering your brand. But if this is not happening it is a sign that your SEO provider could be lowering your ROI and not improving it.
Decrease in Branded Organic Search: An increase in the people who land on your website from search engine with branded keywords means there is an increase in the exposure of your brand. It means more people are getting to know your brand. They have discovered your brand through non-branded keywords and now want to visit your website directly.
Decrease in Keywords Delivering Traffic to your Website: After a proper SEO campaign the number of relevant keywords delivering traffic to your website to tangibly increase. If it remains static or decreasing after a reasonable amount of time then your SEO provider is failing you.
You do not have to rush into engaging an SEO company. Take your time and review them, ask questions around. Call them and ask questions like how exactly they go about their SEO services. Even after you’ve engaged them make sure they keep you posted on their progress.