With the phrase “alternative facts” so big this past week, I thought I would touch on some of the things I hear prospects are told in relation to their SEO that can end up costing them a lot in the long run. It is a shame that companies get away with this stuff because it gives the whole industry a black eye when something is placed in the mind of consumers as SEO, when it was actually just a sales gimmick.
So let us dive into some common ones I hear all the time, so you can be better educated when looking for a successful path to search engine marketing success.
You Don’t Need to Own Your Own Domain or Phone Number
This one actually isn’t usually said. This tactic gets snuck in and often times the business owner doesn’t even know until it is too late. Make sure you own your domain. For SEO to work, you need to build up links to your website, which sits on your domain. You can build a new website with another provider, but if the original provider owns your domain, you have invested potentially thousands of dollars in building up a domain you don’t own. This is when they charge you large amounts to buy the domain from them that you thought you always owned.
The same is true with phone numbers. Especially in local search, your phone number is a key component of your NAP (name, address, phone), which is kind of like your online fingerprint. If your business information is pushed all over the internet with a phone number you don’t own, and you try to get away, it can be very costly to go fix all of that info. Let alone how much it will hurt you in local search, with inconsistent information.
We SEO’d Your Site or We Are Throwing in the SEO on a Site Build
SEO is an ongoing service. Often developers and marketing companies say they are throwing in SEO, or build in a part of the proposal that says they have done SEO. This leaves the business owner with the thought that this is something that can be done in a one-time project. Unfortunately, the very nature of SEO is ongoing. You need to build relationships and links and the recency of a link is a factor in your strength. People that think they got a great new site that already has SEO built in just end up thinking SEO doeesn’t work when the calls don’t start rolling in. There is an element of what we call “on page optimization” that can be done when the site is built, but these days, even that isn’t all that helpful if you don’t couple it with an ongoing strength building plan. Don’t be fooled in to spending some small fee on ongoing site tweaks and thinking it is going to lead you to getting found. Much of the work we do in SEO isn’t even done directly to the site, and it certainly needs to be done continuously.
Link Building is Dead or You Don’t Need Links
Though some would say that user experience is the top factor in SEO, that is quite vague, and all reputable reports still point to inbound links being the top factor for ability to rank. You’ve already seen me mention links a couple of times if you have read this entire post. Though the types of links and value of those different types of links may change over time, the fact is that links are still highly important. They are the most critical and most difficult part of SEO. This is why most companies don’t mention it or downplay it. They don’t know how to do it right. Google has penalized most of the scammy way to build links and it comes down to relationships that many of these companies don’t want to put the time and effort into working on. You need to keep building links if you want to succeed with SEO. There is no doubt about it.
We Have 100 Companies On This Plan
The whole idea fueling SEO is to make your company stand out. Differentiation. Signing on to a cookie cutter plan that is just a push of a button and gets every company the same 10 links or the same exact pattern logically does not lead to your differentiating yourself. Though this may work in markets with no competition, those markets are becoming increasingly rare. If anything, I would find an independent consultant that tailors a plan directly to your company. If they start talking about how they are going to use the plan they used for these companies or those companies, run away. You need your own plan. Doing things exactly the same way is how Google sees that you aren’t building naturally.
If you want to do it the right way and actually get found. Give us a call. We have been doing it the right way for over 10 years.