Why not to always use the #1 Company

So SEO is one of those industries where we’re lucky enough to have all of the companies vying for our business go head-to-head in a fierce battle.

If you go to Google, and type in your area name, and then follow it with the keyword “SEO” or “Search Engine Optimisation”, then you’ll essentially be letting them battle it out for who has the uber SEO skillz.

An example of this is if you type in “SEO Newcastle“, you would hope that the *best* company in Newcastle comes up that does SEO. In this case, if Influx Online came up, then you would be right. I’m pretty sure the guys over at Influx Online were cloned from Chuck Norris’ DNA mixed in with Spiderman. If not, then some guy with a terrible Moustache probably ranks still, but that won’t last long.

The number one reason to investigate a company regardless of their ranking, is expense. Here are some reasons why:

  1. The #1 SEO company is generally the most expensive because of this – they may only be marginally better than the #2 company yet cost twice as much to use. You still need to use due diligence.
  2. The first company ranking probably allocates a huge budget to being there. What this means is, they’re using resources from their linkbuilding budget that could be used on YOUR project, on their own to stay at #1. I’ve seen companies spend a persons wage just on ranking #1 for Search Engine Optimisation in their local area.
  3. Ranking for a single keyword is generally not good SEO. You need to rank for many terms to get a decent traffic flow, so by focusing on just a single term they really aren’t getting optimal results, unless they’re a complete authority and dominate ALL synonyms, which is never the case in this game.

What you want for, is the best Value for Money. You need someone who can provide you with the following:

  1. Rankings in a decent period of time – how long will it take to get page one, how long to be #1?
  2. Guaranteed resultsĀ – what happens if you don’t rank? If they said 3 months to get to page one, what happens if they don’t?
  3. Traffic – are they going to rank you for keywords which will provide you with a decent amount of traffic, or are they picking crappy non-competitive long-tails that have next to no traffic and no chance of converting.
  4. Stability – will you still rank in a years time? What happens after you rank #1?
SEO Newcastle

SEO in Newcastle

Generally once an SEO campaign reaches a point where all of your chosen keywords are ranked at #1, you will have two main options. The first option is that you can continue paying the same amount that you were already paying, and they will branch out and target more keywords and try to get them to the number one ranking. The second is that they may reduce the cost, generally by fifty percent, and put you on a monthly maintenance contract where they simply do a smaller amount of effort and try to keep your rankings solidified in the number one position.

Under a maintenance agreement it is possible that Google algorithm updates can harm your rankings, and you may not be completely solid at #1, it is also possible that one of your competitors could engage an SEO company and aggressively target one or more of your keywords. Generally the maintenance amount will take care of this, but occassionally you may need to temporarily go back into a more aggressive arrangement to get back to the number one spot.

It is important to discuss all of these scenarios when engaging an SEO company such as Newcastle SEO althought a decent provider like these guys will almost always discuss all possible outcomes from your campaign.

You may only hear from your account manager once a month, and this is quite normal as SEO is an ongoing process. But when you do, try to get all of your questions out of the way, as this will lead to you being much more comfortable with the results, and you’ll know what to expect in the coming month.

Why SEO is king!

I often see people preaching that Pay-Per-Click advertising is the most effective and easiest to implement strategy. I’ll agree with one point in that argument, and that is simply that it IS the easiest. Is it the most effective however? It certainly is not. It’s also no-where near as cost effective as a proper Search Engine Optimisation campaign.

At first you may bauk at the price-tag hanging over the head of an SEO campaign. And quite frankly, I don’t blame you – most companies start at the $1000 per month mark, and only target 6-10 keywords. You’ll probably spot the other negatives associated with SEO:

  1. You don’t see any increase in traffic until you hit the first page
  2. Most first-page traffic is still quite dismal, you really need to be ‘above the fold’ to get some serious traffic.
  3. For 1k/month, you could be having 1000 visitors to your site on $1 CPC. How much will SEO even get you? Is it guaranteed?
  4. Results can easily take 3 months plus

So here we hit the massive hurdle of, you don’t know what you’re getting, and you’re generally well behind by the time the traffic begins to flow. So what SEO takes is a little thing called “Faith”.

SEO Newcastle

This is an image depicting SEO in Newcastle

Faith comes from choosing an SEO company that has a proven track record. It’s the only real thing you can go by. Other than that, you would want a solid referral from someone you know that is in business and has seen them in action. Because essentially, you could be paying for about 3 months worth of work without seeing any progress – and this can be scary. Imagine putting up 3k+ and not seeing any results? What if the results never actually happen?

Now there is a company offering SEO in Newcastle that provides a solid guarantee on their work. They also service other areas, but Newcastle is the main area they focus on, predominantly with Local SEO. In any case, you will be wanting to secure a similar guarantee regardless of who you end up using.

By taking someone up on a guarantee, you won’t be blindly throwing your money away, and the major hurdle of SEO is overcome. The next piece of the puzzle is *traffic*. How much traffic will you actually get from SEO? Well the kind fellows over at Google were nice enough to build a keyword research tool which shows traffic for particular keywords. It also helps in suggesting new keywords.

Your SEO company will walk you through the keyword selection process, but really it’s quite simple – you want keywords that will do the following:

  1. Get ranked in a reasonable timeframe (i.e. the top 3 competitors don’t have ridiculously good SEO)
  2. Provide a solid amount of traffic (the exact amount will depend on your niche and how broad you’ll be going)
  3. Will Convert – are users that search that keyword in buying mode? Consumer psychology is a big part of this.

Any reasonable SEO company will be able to walk you through this process and essentially hold your hand. If they are cagey about giving you access to traffic data, then move on to the next company. While most SEO companies can be quite secretive about their actual process, they should never be secretive about what the end goals are for you. You should know how much traffic to expect, how long it should take, and what kind of return on investment you can expect.

SEO traditionally has a much higher ROI than other forms of marketing, and the good part is the tangibility of the data that you get in your monthly report. By using Google Analytics you’ll get solid data on what keywords are performing for you, and how traffic is being delivered to your site. You’ll also be able to optimise your content by seeing the visitor flow, and how long the users are staying on each page. You’ll also be able to check geographically where the traffic is coming from; this might not seem like a big deal for some, but this information is absolutely vital if you’re launching a national or international campaign.

If you’re looking for a Newcastle SEO company, then you’re in luck, as they’re essentially the best around. If you’re looking for an SEO company in your area, then simply Google it. The best way to tell if a provider is the best in your area is in a head-to-head competition, and in the SEO game you’re lucky enough to have them be forced into it. Simply type in “*YourArea* SEO” or “SEO *YourArea*” and it’s safe to say that the best provider is ranked #1. This can give you the comfort that if your competitor goes head-to-head with you by using the services of another Search Engine Optimisation company, then you’ll come out on top.