There are a lot of companies out there offering SEO services that promise to improve your company’s search engine position and reach your target market, but when shopping around for any SEO service you should be aware that not all of these companies are the same.
In fact some SEO techniques are next to useless when not employed in the correct way, and other suggestions can actually directly harm your brand image. When asked for my top SEO mistakes, I’m always reminded of a SEO client of mine who had a bad experience with a shady SEO company in the past, offering cut price SEO services promising to “ramp up traffic overnight.” As it was a new business, my client was understandably keen to improve his website visits and market exposure, but had crucially failed to do his research on the company in question and what followed was a disaster in terms of SEO effectiveness.
The company in question completely failed to use keywords targeted to my client’s business that would have the best chance of achieving the top search engine rankings, and therefore deliver him highest quality convertible traffic. Instead they went after the most competitive keywords, which when linked to my clients business, did absolutely nothing to boost his business ranking, which is no surprise when you consider he was competing with large multi-national corporations for the very same keywords!
More Harm Than Good
Another way SEO companies can fail in a way that can actually case harm to your brand’s reputation can be illustrated by the inappropriate use of hash tags, as was seen in Kenneth Cole’s Spring 2011 campaign. The campaign happened to coincide with the Arab uprisings and Cole’s SEO team cynically used Twitter to plug the #cairo. This cynical tactic backfired spectacularly however, when it caused widespread outrage online, and consequently negatively affected the brand’s carefully built reputation in the luxury market which had a rather unsavoury knockdown effect on sales.
A friend of mine, who owns a financial research software business, had a rather disappointing SEO experience when he was recommended to start a blog, after consulting with an SEO company on ways to draw new traffic to his company website. The company promised to install, and design the blog for him but failed to impress upon him the crucial importance of regular, timely, and informative posts that will appeal to your company’s core demographic. The result? My SEO un-savvy client posted once a month, with ultra- long winded articles of little interest to anyone but the most technical of minds –– which is hardly ideal if you’re trying to build a broad base of traffic fast.
The moral of all this? Shop around when doing your research for a quality SEO company that has the experience and knowledge to drive your business forward. It’s best to be extremely wary of anyone promising dramatic results overnight, as this is extremely unrealistic.
SEO is a gradual process, that is most effective when harnessed using several different strategies; such as a strategic approach to social media, careful choice of keywords, and appealing sticky content on your website or blog, content that will appeal to your customer base without directly shoving your product or service down their throats.
Any SEO company worth its salt will be more than happy to sit down and consult with you about your business’s needs and goals, and will offer several ways in which you can improve not only your traffic flow, but also the reputation of your business, ensuring your brand is protected.