Knowing how search engine optimisation (SEO) works is vital for your business but you also need to be vigilant about what suppliers promise you.
Having a great SEO strategy means more customers will find your website in search engines results pages (SERPs) and with more traffic to your site, you will win more sales.
Google, and other search engines, deliver the most relevant results by analysing a number of factors such as the page title and header tags as well as off-page factors such as links from other websites back to yours.
Being found is critical for small businesses and given that 96% of people never scroll past page one on Google, the necessity of SEO marketing has never been more apparent.
Although, it can be confusing for a small business to manage their SEO strategy which is why many put the responsibility of SEO into the hands of a professional.
An SEO supplier will make sure your site ranks as high as possible in search engines and they should also provide you a monthly report of how your marketing efforts are tracking.
A reputable SEO partner should also advise you on how to use keywords and attract traffic and links from other websites such as online business directories, forums and other blogs.
However, what they should not do is guarantee you a page one ranking.
Nobody can ‘guarantee’ a Page 1 result, because nobody knows the Google algorithm besides Google.
Even Google itself says no-one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google and that you should beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee rankings.
Sometimes dodgy organisations will offer you a large number of keyword phrases – perhaps 15 or more. For most Australian small businesses, finding seven or more relevant keyword phrases that receive a decent amount of traffic is difficult.
Trying to force yourself to come up with more will bring you to phrases not many people are searching for. And anyone can rank for keywords people don’t really care about.
So the real question you need to ask when faced with a Page one guarantee is “Page one for what?”. If you wind up on Page one for a keyword not many customers actually search for, you’re not getting value for money. You need yourtop 5 keyword phrases ranking, not your bottom five.
So what can sound like a great offer such as "15 keywords and a page one guarantee!” might actually lead to a worse outcome.
So as the adage goes, ‘caveat emptor’ or let the buyer beware is an important one to remember. If you don’t go with a reputable SEO provider you could be doing your company damage in the long run.