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13th

December 2015

Category: Search Marketing

BEWARE OF SEO COWBOYS AND INDIANS

So you’ve got your new website, but the only enquiries you get are from SEO (search engine optimisation) companies, who claim they can get you on the first page of Google within a few weeks (guaranteed);
Can this be achieved?

 

Are they doing something fantastic?

 

Have you been let down by your web design company?

 

In reality you have to consider the 2 sides; Google, who task themselves with being the best at returning relevant results for the search term, who in essence write (and rewrite) the rules on how the search engine works and who turnover in excess of $20 billion a year – vs – SEO company, who task themselves on cheating the system, who in all probability are turning over rather a lot less.
 
What we have is David versus Goliath; only this time David doesn’t have a catapult, so this is a very one sided affair. When it comes to Search Engine Optimisation it is a combination of things that need to be in place for your website to reach the right people.
The old tricks of a bit of code here, a keyword there, a patch, a doorway page, thousands of dubious back-links; they just won’t work. There have been a number of large companies who have invested heavily in cheating the system resulting in Google blacklisting them, reducing their page rank to zero and making sure they appear a long way down the list.
Don’t get me wrong there are good SEO companies out there, but there are a lot of Cowboys! So back to the questions we started with;
 

Can I get on the front page within a few weeks?

 
Yes. If your search term is obscure, or if you receive a vast amount of online ‘buzz’ so Google consider you the authority, or if you are prepared to pay per click, (but that’s a different strategy).
 

Are they doing something fantastic?

 
Maybe, but more than likely not. There are cheats that can work for a limited period of time until Google, who, like the other search engines, are intent on protecting the integrity of their service, block this method or worse still your website.
 

Have you been let down by your web design company?

 
This is a little more tricky. On-Page factors are just one aspect of SEO, they do need to be configured correctly, but good SEO requires a long-term plan and a method of attracting back-links.
Your objective is to try to put your website in front of the right audience to achieve the right outcome. For example, let’s take a hotel in the popular destination Bowness on Windermere. If all the hotels sign up to SEO companies offering to get them on the front page for the term ‘hotel in bowness on windermere’ it just isn’t going to happen!
Some hotels will be looking to attract ‘budget’ guests, while others will be offering 4* service. Identifying your customer groups and the methods they use to book a hotel is key. Attracting targeted traffic is more valuable than volume.
 
So, if (or rather when) you get approached by one of the Cowboys, remember nobody can guarantee you prime position on Google’s real estate. Does a company from India really understand your customer groups and do they have your site’s best interest at heart? Cleaning up the mess from the Penguin and Panda updates can be a long process, which will have a detrimental effect on your business.
 
Let’s end this on a positive note. A good SEO strategy will have a very positive effect on your business. It will be more than a standalone plan, but incorporate Social Media and other digital marketing channels.

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