Chances are, every month, you are getting calls from people promising your website can be number one on Google with their help. The problem is that most business owners have no way to measure one SEO (search engine optimization) company above another.In this video, Eric Spellmann lists the key questions you must ask before you spend one dollar with these people. Remember, SEO is critical to being found by your customers. But picking the right company can save you a lot of money and time in the process.
Note from Eric: Below, you will find a word-for-word transcript of this video. I provide this as an aid for the hearing-impaired and for those who might just want to read it rather than watch the video. This conversational style is not reflective of how I write. Be nice! Hey I am Eric Spellmann and today’s topic is how to choose an SEO company? Now remember SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Basically that means someone to help you rank well in Google. So let’s start. I’m gonna give you some questions you need to ask anybody coz trust me you’re going to get phone calls.
If you have a website, you’re gonna get phone calls every month from some random people in faraway places promising you the world. So, before you sign on, before you give em your credit card number, you need to make sure you’re getting what you pay for. So, these are the key questions to ask anyone trying to help you rank well in Google.
Number 1, is your technique a secret? In other words, if what they’re gonna be doing for you is something they can’t share with you until after you signup, RUN! I’ve told you over and over exactly how to rank well on Google whether you hire someone to do it or whether you do it yourself. So, if it’s a secret, if they can’t tell you then chances are one of two things is happening.
Either they’re just a salesman and they’re just trying to collect credit cards and make the sale and then someone else is gonna do the work and they really have no idea or what they’re gonna be doing for you is something they don’t want to share with you! Okay, so ask em is it a secret.
Second, does it involve one of the following? Does what they’re going to be doing for you involve creating inbound links. Now, inbound links are basically they go on their websites and they put links to your website on their website. In other words, so that people on their website can click and go to you.
Now Google actually looks at inbound links and if Google sees a ton of people linking to you, well that can help you. But I’ll be honest Google has made a lot of changes. It’s not just a matter of the number of inbound links to your website; it’s a matter of their quality. Google assigns a quality score to all these sites.
So, heres the deal. If I link to you and if FOX NEWS or CNN links to you, you’re gonna get way more SEO credit from Google with their links to you than with mine, because they are a more popular site. So, I’m not a fan of this whole inbound links thing because a lot of these are scams and they’ll get you in trouble. A lot of these places have huge server farms and they have thousands of fake websites. And on these websites, they simply put links to you.
So overnight, you’ll have like a thousand inbound links but the problem is Google will spank you hard for that. We call those things Link Farms. Okay. And if Google suddenly discovers that a thousand people link to you and they’re all coming from basically the same set of servers, you are toast!
Google will mark you as a Link Spammer and your site will get delisted. Folks that is the worst possible thing in the world that your website gets unlisted from Google. It’s basically website suicide. So, if someone is promising to bring you 20,000 inbound links or inbound linking is part of their strategy, RUN! It will only get your website in trouble.
Is one of the things they do simply Meta Tags? You may have heard that before what a Meta Tag is. Well if you really want to see and it’s kind of technical. But if you want to see what they are, simply pull up any web page and then right-click on it and choose “View Page Source”. Okay.
Basically you’re gonna be seeing the raw code used to build your website. And one of those, if you do a little keyword search in there you’ll find the word “Meta”. Look for Meta tags and you’ll see a Meta Tag Content, Meta Tag Description, Meta Tag Keywords and all of that. Back in the old days that was a good way of telling Google what you’re about.
And Google actually put a lot of weight on that. So if you went into the, say Meta Keywords Tag and said My site is about Chocolate Chip cookies and baking and things like that.
Google would actually look at that Meta Tag, something that someone just looking at your website would never see as it’s kind of behind the scenes. And Google would look at that and say Okay this site is about Chocolate Chip cookies.
So let’s help them rank well for Chocolate Chip cookies. The problem is a lot of webmasters out there started abusing the Meta Tags, and started just filling em with garbage. And so I’ll be honest with you. Even though Google may be looking at the Meta Tags these days, they put very little relevance on them. Because they’re so easy to fake, they’re so easy to abuse.
So, what I’m saying is you don’t need to pay someone if all they’re gonna do is go add you some Meta Tags on your website because it’s not gonna do that much for you. Google more uses Meta Tags today to help understand what the page is about, but not necessarily about ranking it better.
I’ve seen this a lot. A lot of these SEO companies claim to get you to number 1 in 24 hours. And they do! The problem is they’re actually setting up a Pay Per Click (PPC) campaign for you. In other words, they’re creating a Paid Ad and putting it on Google.
I could have you up in a couple of hours on page 1 of Google if you’re willing to pay for an Ad. And so what they charge you is a piece for them and a piece to create the ad and they call it good.
True SEO is about organic ranking. Remember, I’ve told you that when you do a Google search you’re getting basically 2 sets of results. You’re getting the Paid Ads, which sometimes start at the top and then go down the side. And then you’re getting the organic results, which are always 10. There’s just 10 organic results, natural results.
Number 1 is kind of the ultimate Holy Grail goal. Because anyone clicking on that it costs them nothing. But if all this SEO company is gonna be doing is setting up a Paid Ad for you, then every time someone clicks on it, it costs you money! When I say SEO, I’m talking about free, legitimate, organic traffic that costs you nothing per click! So ask them.
Is this Pay Per Click? Is this a Paid Ad that you’re doing? Because there’s a lot of misinformation and a lot of companies when they say they’re number 1 in Google and I go and look, really they just have a Paid Ad! And that’s not the same. Because not near as many people click on those ads as they do on organic.
Nah don’t get me wrong. Pay Per Click is good. And I have a lot of clients who use it and they use it well. But, I don’t want you to confuse it with all that free organic traffic that you truly want.
Ask them if they’re a directory. In other words, it’s kind of like lot of the Yellow Page websites. In other words, they have their own website. And by saying that they’ll get you to number 1 really what they’re gonna do is add you into their directory and hopefully their directory will be number 1. So ends up happening as is they’ll claim to have you on page 1, but when you go there you’ll see that it’s the Yellow Pages ad or whoever it is. Okay. And then you click on that and you see yourself, but maybe you also see all your competitors and so what I’m saying is it’s not the same.
What you really need to question them is “Is your website going to be directly linked from Google?” Not going to some directory and then to your website, you want to make it to where when someone does a search in Google, your website directly comes up on page 1 of Google results. So that’s another common trick I’ve seen.
Ask them are you simply going to be placed on a directory that ranks well on Google or will your website rank well on Google? There’s a big difference.
You knew this was coming. If you’ve watched my videos, I’ve told you there is no secret to ranking well on Google as long as you’re willing to do the work or pay someone to do the correct work. Today I would say, in my testing of Google, 85-90% of the criteria Google uses to rank your website above another is based on content.
And if you want to learn more about that and exactly how to do it, go watch my other videos namely How to Rank Well on Google and How to Rank Well on Google Part 2. I explain it in crisp easy detail how to do it. It involves writing, it involves text, it involves setting up the structure that Google understands and doing it in a form that’s readable and updating it frequently, I mean I’ve made it crystal clear.
So, if the person trying to get your SEO business, if the person promising you the world doesn’t mention anything about writing content for you, doesn’t mention anything about adjusting the text or creating articles for you, then chances are they’re just playing around the fringes and they’re not gonna have much results for you.
Because the only way to rank well on Google is content. And I know this all too well. If you go to Google right now and I know I’ve said this a thousand times. If you go to Google right now and type in “How to Rank Well on Google”, look who comes up! I think you recognize that face.
So, make sure it has something to do with content. And then, before you ever sign up, before you ever give them your Credit Card, say “Show me. Who have you done this for? Who is showing up number 1”? Now, be careful.
Because there’s some tricksters out there who have already done that search, picked someone who’s showing up number 1 and claiming it’s their customer, when in reality it’s not! So the last thing of course, May I call them? You want to find out what it was like to work with that company. What another customer’s results were to work with that company?
And then find out how long it took them to get to be number 1. The key is you’ve got to ask these questions before you spend 1 dollar. You’ve got to make sure that this company is actually gonna generate results from you and it’s not just gonna be some monthly amount, monthly payment or a huge upfront cost that you gonna have and then you gonna wonder has anything happened!
I can’t tell you how many times somebody has called us up and said “Eric I pay this company every month and I’m nowhere to be found on Google!” That’s because chances are they were just doing some very superfluous things and weren’t doing what really needed to be done.
A good SEO company should be able to show you some sort of result, some sort of movement within the first month, even if it’s from page 3 to page 2. Remember sometimes it takes time, depending on the competitiveness of what you’re being searched for.
As always if you have any questions on SEO or if you’re wondering if your SEO company is doing a good job for you, give me a call. I’ll be happy to look at your website and give you some advice whether you use us or use someone else. I’m Eric Spellmann; I’ll see you in cyberspace.