I was heartbroken when just talked to two prospective customers who had been paying $500 and $700 a month for “SEO services” and essentially got an article, a link, and a ranking report for what they paid. They had just cancelled after 6 and 8 months and had seen no improvement in their rankings (they are in the legal space). They basically received about $50 worth of value each month for what they paid (the articles sucked).
This is not their fault. It’s the fault of the so-called “industry”.
I looked at their sales material, and boy it was slick. Their website really pushed how they were part of a bigger company so how could they go wrong. Then I looked at their contract… It made me mad how small businesses could be taken advantage of.
The response to these folks when they finally called when their 6 month contract was up and wanted to know why they had gotten no movement? “Hey, you are in a really competitive space (no duh), you should go with our package that will help… it’s only $999 a month”. And you need a new website, it’s only $995.
This would essentially be more of the same for another 6 months. However, they would rather take the companies’ money rather than doing a real evaluation of what it would take to rank properly, where (or if) you would see online ROI for your specific business, and what a real plan for establishing authority online would be.
I was just in a roundtable a few days ago and it dawned on me that when business owners talk about SEO, they are not really talking about SEO.
SEO means optimizing a website or online entity so that the parts are all recognizable by the search engines.
Content marketing, or what I call “Authority marketing”, is producing things that get the attention of the search engines and prospective visitors to your online entity.
Most “SEO Companies” simply do the first part, then charge you for what resembles an effective authority marketing plan as a cherry on top so they can keep billing you.
I know I’m getting on my soapbox here, but it needs to be said again… Cheap “SEO” will hurt your business, will not get you results, and will ultimately sour you on paying people to help you get attention online.
The online world is a different place than just a few years ago. EVERYONE that is serious about their business has a website. EVERYONE who is ranking online in whatever space your business is in IS DOING online marketing. They either pay for it or they have a full time person working for them making a decent salary (average marketing director for a small company in Tampa, $62,000).
IF you are going to compete and want real leads from your online presence, a couple hundred dollars a month is fantasy.
If you deal with anyone who wants to help you with your online business, they should be asking questions about your business, have an NDA signed to hand you (that says they won’t tell anyone your secrets), be talking about a “system” instead of a magic bullet (like only doing one thing, like Facebook ads), be upfront with you about the costs involved for your particular business, and you should be looking at hiring an agency like hiring an employee (in both fit with you, and investment).
If you want to chat about your company, I’d love to help. Call me at 813-200-8795 and ask for Erik.