Guaranteed SEO Results — The Biggest Load of Bullsh*t in Marketing
Guaranteed SEO Results | The Biggest Load of Bullsh*t in Marketing
Buying into guaranteed SEO results is like buying a used car at sticker price without shopping around — you just don’t do it.
If you’re a small business owner or novice blogger, I can definitely understand how guaranteed SEO results will seem appealing. After all, in the early stages of your endeavors, you’ve got to keep costs down, and make sure you see ROI for every cent you put into your business or blog. So, finding a company that says you’ll be on Google page 1, guaranteed, is just what the cash flow doctor ordered (it’s a thing, don’t look it up).
Don’t be sold guaranteed SEO rankings for useless keywords
If you don’t know the first thing about SEO, one of the biggest dangers is being sold keyword rankings that are useless and very easy to secure. Look out for keywords that are extra long and/or very specific. There’s a good chance that your target audience isn’t searching for those types of terms very frequently, so there won’t be a lot of competition while trying to secure a spot in the search results.
For example, if you own a small bakery in Chicago, you might be convinced by an SEO agency that “small Illinois bakery” should be one of your target keywords. At first, this might seem like a relevant phrase to target. After all, you are a small bakery, and your business is located in Illinois.
After one week and a few hundred, or God forbid, a few thousand dollars, you are in the top position for “small Illinois bakery.” You’re thinking, “That seemed easy, these people really know what they’re doing.” And in a way, you’re right. They probably do know what they’re doing, and it’s the closest they can get to highway robbery without being thrown in jail.
Fortunately, there’s an easy way to combat shallow guaranteed SEO packages like this. You can use the keyword planner when you sign up for a free Google Adwords account. After signing up:
- click on “Tools” in the top navigation
- then “Keyword Planner” in the drop-down menu
- next, click on “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website, or category”
- enter your keywords in the first text field labeled “Your product or service”
- then click the blue “Get Ideas” button
Your results are then listed on the page, and you can check the column labeled “Avg. monthly searches” to see if your SEO rank guarantee is for a keyword with real search volume, or if it was a steaming pile of bullsh*t.
If we take a look at the results for our example keyword, “small Illinois bakery,” we can see that it turned out to be a steaming pile. You just saved yourself from wasting a considerable sum of money.
Guaranteed search engine optimization ignores algorithm updates
In the past year alone there have been seven major updates to the technology that serves up Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs), with possibly hundreds of micro-adjustments in-between. To paint you a vivid analogy, an SEO rank guarantee is similar to building a house using only cardboard… on a rainy beach.
Infographic courtesy of On crawl
Some of these algo updates were announced ahead of time, and others were discovered by high powered SEO tools after the fact. But one thing is for sure, announced or unannounced, there is no way to measure the impact an algorithm change will have on your rankings until days or weeks after it has been fully released.
There are 200+ signals used to determine page rankings, and now, with artificial intelligence in the mix, there is no telling for certain what could happen to the SERPs at any moment.
A digital marketing company that offers guaranteed SEO packages is either ignorant of this fact, or they are trying to pull a fast one on you. In either case, you should be extremely wary of shelling out the cheddar to someone promising you a spot above the fold.
Guaranteed search engine rankings for your brand name are a waste of money
Guaranteed search engine optimization packages that will deliver top rankings for your brand name are another scam to look out for. Chances are, if you have even the most remote semblance of a content marketing strategy in place, you will easily rank page one for your brand name — no Internet/SEO agency required.
So if our Chicago bakery example is named Chicakery, their homepage will likely dominate the SERPs for “chicakery” after creating only a couple of web pages that mention their business name. Also, the mayor will probably give us the key to the city, because our business name is pure gold — you’re welcome.
However, if your business name also doubles as a non-branded keyword, it will be more difficult to achieve these top rankings. This may be the only legitimate situation where you’d want an SEO firm to help you rank for a branded query. For example, if we didn’t have the creative genius that it took to think of the name Chicakery for our business, we might settle on calling it The Chicago Bakery instead.
A quick glance at the Google keyword planner will let us know that “Chicago bakery” actually has a large search volume. There are probably multiple other bakeries with more developed brands, and more seasoned websites that are competing for those positions. You will need some professional help in this scenario.
The only guarantee SEO you should go for — an SEO money-back guarantee
The best promise an SEO firm can make you is an SEO money-back guarantee. The agency wouldn’t still be around if it had to constantly refund money to its previous customers, so it must have delivered so far.
Further, any agency that offers a money-back guarantee is confident that their work will get you results. So confident, that they’re willing to bet their company on it! Regardless of the guarantee, make sure that you’re reading any contracts or agreements that you sign. I recommend continuing to verify each keyword target with the keyword planner too.
That should be enough of a primer to keep you safe while shopping around for professional SEO help. Try out Search Engine Coach’s Cleveland SEO services to help you dominate the search results, and get valuable traffic to your site.