Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, has a somewhat unsavory reputation thanks to a few bad eggs. Nevertheless, the bad eggs do exist. SEO is not easy. With Google’s ever-changing algorithm and searchers’ evolving desires, it is impossible to create a one-size-fits-all strategy. It's possible, however, to create an effective strategy based on a client’s SEO needs, industry, competitors, and the desires of their potential users. It just takes time, and the right SEO partner.
Knowing all that we do about SEO, there are several red flags that should cause you to turn and run when looking for the perfect team to take on your company’s online search strategy.
This will only take a second
: Anyone claiming that SEO will be a quick, once and done engagement, is not looking at it correctly. Google is constantly updating its algorithms and best practices, users are changing their minds on what outcomes they want, and technology will forever be advancing. This means SEO needs to be an ongoing process
Soon, you will be #1
: In addition to claims of quick engagements, any SEO provider guaranteeing you will become ranked number one should be avoided. There are no guarantees in SEO. It is not possible with how quickly Google’s algorithms are changing. Rather than looking to be number one, strive to be the most relevant. Your search team should set goals that are both measurable and achievable.
It is all about the traffic:
Not. Search has changed and is less about traffic and more about sales. If your search team is not talking about conversions and leads, this is a major red flag. Sales and traffic are not separate. As a client, you should be asking any prospective search team what their conversation rate optimization process is. If they look like a deer in headlights, RUN. You do not want a stale SEO team.
All that glitters is not gold:
How user-friendly your website is plays into how successful a SEO engagement can, and will, be. We all want our web presence to be creative and unique, but make sure it is also user-friendly. This plays into the credibility of your web presence in the eyes of Google. Keep that in mind when updating your user experience. If CNN or Buzzfeed could make it work, they would be doing it. There's nothing wrong with being streamlined and user-friendly. Just look at Amazon.
The bottom line is that you want your product or service to be an option when someone is looking for what you have to offer. It may take awhile to see clear results, but people trust Google and the results that search engines provide them. Once your website starts to rank, people are going to inherently trust that you offer the best solution. Having a higher quality of traffic leads to more opportunities for conversion, so choose a company that will take the time to create a strategy that will get you there.