A good SEO firm can increase the business you acquire through the Internet but how do you find the best SEO firm for your needs?
The big problem is that the genuine SEO firms will know that guarantees can no longer be given because there are too many variables outside their control. You should treat SEOs who claim they offer guaranteed top rankings or that they know the secret to success with great suspicion. Ask for verifiable proof.
At one time, top positioning on Google for a keyword depended on two groups of factors:
- Optimising the website’s pages (on-page optimisation)
- increasing incoming link power (off-page optimisation)
Six reasons why top SEO firms do not offer guaranteed rankings.
These days, in addition to on-page and off-page optimisation, top page positioning on Google includes an ever increasing variety of signals.
- Blog posts with new and unique quality information should be uploaded at least a couple of times each week and the search engines will monitor the quality of resulting comments and discussion.
- The digital footprint of the website depends not only on the quality of the website but on associated social media business pages including Google Plus, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.
- The search engines are updating their positioning programs (algorithms) at least a couple of times each day. They may introduce an update such as the Google Panda which is continuously increasing its knowledge about assessing quality of webpages. It is likely that Panda has different evaluations according to the category of information: Criteria for assessing pages on a scientific topic may be different from those about books or electrical products.
- Google states “No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google.”
- Keyword rankings fluctuate due to competitor efforts, search engine algorithm updates, and are also largely personalized to one’s location and history. Controlling a ranking is near impossible.
- The competition are keen to enhance their rankings: We are not in a time-freeze where only we are privileged optimise our websites to move up the ranking scale.
SEO Guarantee Survey
Joshua Steimie conducted a survey of the best performing SEO firms and reported their responses to the question of SEO guarantees. The following summarise the findings:-
- A good SEO agency authentically boosts customer confidence with education, clear expectations, and business goal alignment. A great SEO agency backs that up with supporting data/evidence, expert credentials, social proof, and relevant case studies. Bottom line, don’t make promises your agency, track record, or content can’t produce.
- Offering a guarantee goes against the idea of inbound marketing. If you have to ask about a guarantee, you probably aren’t ready to be a client because you aren’t financially stable enough to make the investment. Clients who ask for guarantees most likely fit in the 20% bucket of clients that cause 80% of problems. Work with people that already love you and are ready to achieve.
- In the very beginning I used to explain why we don’t offer guarantees and then walked away. Until the day that I gained the confidence to ask them if they were willing to offer us mutual guarantees. I ask them for two guarantees. First, I ask them if they will guarantee to do exactly as we advise or risk pre-defined financial penalties. Second, I ask them if they’ll guarantee that their customers will be so delighted with their product or service that those customers will be willing to recommend them.
- We don’t control the algorithms: Google makes hundreds, if not thousands, of changes to their algorithm each year. As SEOs, we can guarantee that we’ll bring a site into line with best practices around visibility, discoverability, authority and audience appeal. But we don’t control the little things that Google tweaks and changes, and those can impact rankings, too.
- We don’t work for Google and we can’t control their algorithm. The only guarantee we can offer clients is to do the work to the best of our knowledge, to the best of our ability and with their best interests at heart.” Hoffman says, ”I’d be wary of any guarantee by an SEO firm that centers around guaranteeing Google’s algorithm will react in a certain way. In my opinion, even a Google engineer can’t guarantee that the algorithm will act a certain way six months down the line. There have been several instances where Google representatives have said they saw no issue with a certain tactic only to devalue it or demonize it later.
- How can we guarantee something that is a moving target?
At Page 1 On Google, we used to work on a completely No Win – No Fee basis. We now split our fees into four parts:
- An initial SEO report.
- A retainer fee.
- Fees per article for pages and or blog posts.
- Fees for achieving first page of Google positioning for target keywords.
Rand Fishkin http://moz.com/blog/why-reputable-seo-firms-dont-promise-guaranteed-search-engine-rankings