Buying SEO and Social Marketing Services

So you’re buying SEO and Social Media Services?

 

social media sites for small businessesIf you’re reading this, then I must believe that either you’re ready to buy, are thinking of buying, have bought and are unhappy, have bought and are happy or possibly you sell these services and are curious.

Of course the reason you are reading this may be something completely unrelated to those I list above but one thing is certain, for whatever reason, you’ve decided there’s something in this article for you. Else why would you read it?

For the purposes of this article I’m going to assume that you have a business (or possibly are in the process of setting one up) and have decided that you need to do some online marketing. So you are the people I’m talking to, the rest of you may listen in as long as you remember who I’m actually talking to.

First of all here’s my definition of SEO and Social Marketing

 

Doing something artificially that SE’s and especially Google want to happen naturally.

 

The two opposing ideas there are artificial and natural, think of almost anything and you’ll find that we generally think ‘natural’ is best. Want a new face cream? You might very well buy ‘scientifically formulated’ where you wouldn’t buy ‘artificial’ but if you could find a ‘scientifically proven natural’ product, chances are that’s the one you’d go for.

So now we know what I’m taking about when I say SEO or Social Marketing let’s look at why Google and the other SE’s want ‘natural’ linking and promotion. In a word spam, you know, the unsolicited emails you get and the sites that come up in the SERP’s (search engine results pages) that have no relation to the search term you put in.

Search engines don’t make money from your searches and if they ever tried to charge you to search the chances are the internet would go up in flames! They make their money from the adverts they display while you search. If an advertiser has chosen to pay for impressions (the number of times their ad is shown) rather than pay when someone clicks on the ad and goes to a webpage of some description, then the SE makes money just for showing the ad. You don’t have to interact with it in any way.

Your problem (and the SE’s) is that there are so many pages out there that it’s easy to get drowned out by the competition. Which is where SEO and social marketing come in. Links will be and always have been incredibly important in the world of on line marketing. If you could get enough links you would get to the top of page one. Then of course ‘link farms’ sprang up everywhere, sites that just contained 1000’s of links and which you could buy. For a while this worked well, until of course Google decided to make changes to their ranking algorithm and then all that wonderful rank dissolved like dirty ice in the Sahara.

Always the problem remains that you as a business need to do things artificially if you are to compete online. Yet if you’re caught by Google, you may lose out and it can destroy your business in the process of destroying your online rank and the visibility that gives you.

If you’re one of the lucky ones who’ve been online for years and, over those years have built up an impressive amount of useful content, then adopted social media and got ahead of the wave, then you are in a very lucky and unique position. Your job is easier because you just continue doing what you’ve always done, paying attention to the advice from Google, Bing and Yahoo.

If on the other hand you’re not then you have a difficult road to travel because in many ways your only option is to buy SEO and social marketing services from an expert. Then you have a completely different set of problems, how do you ensure you get an ‘expert’ and what in all honesty can they do?

SEO has a very bad name now, thousands of companies out there making promises they can’t possibly keep. Some of them just taking the money and doing nothing, usually at the very cheap end of the market.

Because of the nature of search these days results vary due to ‘personalization’ of results. The SE’s give more weight to sites your friends already like or recommend as well as removing or downplaying results that you’ve never clicked on, or have clicked on and bounced straight back to the search results.

Remember search engines continually strive to offer you relevant results, why would they continue to show you a site that you’ve never shown any interest in?

First rule in buying SEO and Social Marketing then is anyone who guarantees rank is lying and if you think about it, that makes perfect sense. Sure they may be able to show you a result that looks as if you have a number one (two or three) place on page one for a given keyword but it’s not a ‘true’ rank in the way it used to be. The reason for that (I heard you ask) is because position will depend on who’s searching unlike before personalization when anyone searching would get the same results.

Second rule in buying SEO and Social Marketing is you get what you pay for, that doesn’t mean that the most expensive service is the best. It does mean though that if you go with the cheapest you’re likely to be very disappointed. Artificially doing something so it looks natural takes time and effort, yes there are services that offer you ‘insane amounts of backlinks’ or ‘5000 directory submissions to boost your rank’. The problem is, that suddenly getting insane amounts of backlinks without new content that also stands the test of time will only harm your site. Why? Because it’s not natural.

Sure we’ve all heard about content going ‘viral’ and getting huge amounts of traffic and generating large even insane amounts of backlinks but it’s very rare and, doesn’t always increase rank. Only when that piece of content continues to generate likes, links, comments and interactions will it possibly affect rank.

Third rule in buying SEO and Social Marketing is do you measure up as a client? If you don’t know what your total marketing budget is, can’t say how much it costs you to get a new client, don’t know who your target market is or don’t know what the lifetime and first time value of a customer is, you have no business trying to saddle an SEO/Marketing provider with the job of increasing your business.

Forth rule in buying SEO and Social Marketing is that online marketing is about bringing in more business NOT rank or Facebook likes. Part of the formula for generating more business is the customer experience you provide for your customers. If you don’t provide an excellent customer experience, my advice to any company thinking about providing marketing services to you is …. DON’T.

The consumer is offered both on line and off, so much choice that your marketing efforts MUST start with the experience you provide for them. If you’re not prepared to ensure that experience, get out of the business of being in business. Go get a job where you don’t have to worry about this sort of thing. Of course when you do get a job, unless it’s with a company that provides excellent customer AND staff experience, either the company won’t last or, you’ll leave and go elsewhere.

The only businesses today that can afford to ignore the experience of their customers is government departments, and even there it’s becoming more difficult.

Remember to do SEO and Social Marketing means

  Doing something artificially that SE’s and especially Google want to happen naturally.

 

Then before you decide you will do it yourself, think about this, things change overnight, sometimes between the morning and afternoon. To be successful you need to keep up, keeping up is almost a full time job. That’s before you actually start doing anything.

That’s one of the biggest benefits to employing a company to do it all for you, they have the resources to keep up while actually doing what needs to be done.

When picking a company, remember the four rules and then pick someone you can talk to because they are going to be your partner rather than employee.

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