"You need to be focusing on SEO..."This is a common statement made by any agency that offers digital marketing services.
To a client though, Search Engine Optimization can be very difficult to understand and if you approach it in the wrong manner, your clients can be left confused, frustrated and even feeling as if their dollars on this effort are being waste. That's a situation you never want to be in, which is why it's important from the get go to thoroughly explain the ins and outs of SEO.
Our team at PPA Graphics, specifically our digital strategist, receives numerous questions each month all based around SEO. Below are some of the most common SEO questions from clients not only at PPA, but agencies across the globe.
Question 1: "Why aren't we number one on Google yet?"
Question 2: "Why is our competitor still ranking ahead of us?"
Question 3: "It's been two months and I'm not receiving any calls. This SEO strategy isn't working."
Question 4: "If you can't guarantee that we will be number one on Google, why should we spend our money on SEO?"
Question 5: "By focusing on SEO every month, my rankings are sure to increase, right?"
Question 6: "Why can't we just buy links and put a bunch of keywords throughout our website?"
These questions are valid, but all represent prime examples of what a client thinks SEO does and what an agency knows SEO does. Here's the thing—no one, I repeat no one—can guarantee a specific rank or goal from SEO. If you hear the statement "We promise to get you number one on Google," RUN. Google themselves have even stated on their support page, "No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google." Even after stating this though, we still receive the "but, why?"
This is the part that makes SEO frustrating to not only the client, but to the agency, too. The Google formula, per se, is like any large corporation who has nailed the secret recipe. Whether that's the Budweiser brew, the Tollhouse chocolate chip or the famous Ballpark hotdog, these companies all have a recipe we will never have our hands on. With that said though, our client's success stems from our constant immersion in all things SEO. In order to be successful with any SEO effort, the need for a dedicated SEO team who can focus constantly on the daily (yes, we said daily) changing Google algorithms is key. We take an in-depth look at your website, competition and keywords and craft a strategy that works for you and most importantly, works for Google.
We cannot state this enough—SEO is an ongoing strategy and should be viewed as a long-term initiative that is continually being massaged. Is it worth every penny you're spending? Yes. Our SEO team, which includes an SEO certified copywriter, have created several successful search campaigns that have increased a client's website authority and ranking. Although we cannot view Google's exact SEO secret, and therefore can never guarantee a specific result, we do have proven strategies that create stronger authority, rank and engagement on Google.
Keep this in mind when comparing your organization's website to your competitors—SEO is an investment. With that said, we have no idea what your competitors are spending on a monthly basis. Your competitor very well may be spending a significant amount more, which would explain their consistent ranking above you. If you cannot afford to have any more of your budget toward SEO, don't worry; you'll still see progress with a consistent strategy every month.
The absolute last thing that you would ever want to do though, is purchase links or "keyword stuff" your website. These are what you call blackhat SEO practices and your site will be punished by Google. Blackhat SEO refers to the use of aggressive SEO strategies, techniques and tactics that focus only on search engines and not a human audience. This approach completely goes against search engine guidelines. If you've worked with an agency prior to PPA Graphics who you think participated in blackhat strategies, it's critical for you to know upfront that correcting these efforts is time consuming, but can be done. It takes a greater amount of time to regain authority and trust with Google if blackhat SEO strategies were implemented on your site.
The bottom line with SEO—you will see results if you, or the agency that you hire, inputs a solid strategy built with consistent and constant massaging of the content and keywords to reflect the Google algorithms. It's a process most definitely, but what's the old saying? "Nothing good ever came easy."
If you're looking to implement an SEO strategy or have any questions, the team at PPA Graphics is always here to assist you.