A good mate, Steve, asked me a question today about a previous blog post I'd written. I was talking about SEO, for a change, and he said the post made it sound like SEO wasn't cheap and it was far from guaranteed to work. His point was, if, as a digital marketing agency, we wanted to attract clients why would I be so brutally honest.
He Had A Point
It was a good point well made, and perhaps I do over egg the negative aspects of the SEO industry a little too much. The thing is, with us what you see is what you get and we'd never blow smoke up someone's backside just to get some work from them.
We want clients to go into digital marketing projects with their eyes wide open, including search engine optimisation and all the other digital marketing tools used by digital agencies like us.
What Would You Prefer?
My guess is, and I may be wrong, that most business owners would prefer a realistic appraisal of where they are and what it's going to take to get to where they want to be. You could think of it as tough love, but that always gets my vote over platitudes and bullshit.
Life, SEO & Guarantees
They say there are only two things in life that are guaranteed, death and taxes. According to some search marketing companies top Google rankings are also guaranteed, if you hire those agencies. According to Google, that's something they simply can't guarantee. You can choose who to believe.
What most credible agencies will guarantee, including us, is to be honest and to work hard to improve the number of qualified leads generated. I say leads because SEO done well isn't just about rankings it's about sales and enquiries and this brings me on to another SEO question asked by a potential client earlier this week.
Her fledgeling business is in a highly competitive niche dominated by big players with big budgets and she wanted to know what to do.
I advised looking for less competitive search terms to rank for. To support the case for targeting these low competition keywords I pointed her at this blog post on the subject.
Pick Your SEO Fights
Back on 2010 I wrote a post about picking your SEO fights carefully. Nothing's changed. You can dream all you like and soak up all the information you can find but there are no shortcuts to establishing top rankings for highly competitive keywords, even if you fully understand SEO. The good news is you don't need to rank for the high volume search terms to generate good business from Google. No really.
Good Things Come In Small Doses
As the post I mentioned detailed, less competitive search terms might deliver fewer visitors but it's also likely those visitors are closer to buying what they need. As they cleverly put it, someone searching for "shoes" in Google is not likely ready to buy anything whereas the person who searched "best price on Air Jordan size 12" is searching with their debit card in the their hand!
The long tail of search, the search terms people use less frequently, are likely to bring in visitors that are motivated to engage with you and that's what you want.
He Got It
When I explained all this to Steve he got it. I don't think he was completely convinced and I understand why but I think our approach is about right.
What do you think?
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