By Samuel Solis, Internet Marketing Consultant
Google always puts the user first. That principle includes empowering businesses to take care of their own SEO and digital marketing needs by providing extensive How-To guides and videos. However, doing it yourself takes a lot of time to manage, especially with the ever-increasing scope of digital marketing tools and strategies.
This is why Google has recently released another How-To guide, but this time it's about working with third-party SEO companies and how to make sure your business' best interests are at the forefront.
Google has laid out various points about how your business should handle a relationship with an SEO company, but here are the five main points they make – all of which we agree with here at Page 1 Solutions.
SEO Companies Can Add Value to Your Business
Google My Business and many of Google's other business tools and properties are free to use, but there is definitely a learning curve to using those resources efficiently. An SEO company can provide extensive analysis of your data and make strategic recommendations on how to leverage your best performing search terms and improve your weak ones. An agency can also help you manage your online presence by updating your Google listing, as well as respond to reviews.
While a business owner can do all of these things, it takes time to learn the right approaches and what to look for. As such, hiring an SEO company can be a long-term cost saving option.
Work with Only One SEO Company
Overlap with other providers is something we experience often with clients. There is a myth that if you work with two or more SEO companies you're likely to get twice as good results. This simply just isn't the case.
Two different companies will usually have different agendas or goals. Remember: Your business only has one Google listing, so having multiple companies work on that one listing without transparent communication can cause more harm than good.
Guarantees Are Hard to Accomplish Nowadays
Not long ago, many SEO companies offered a guarantee for keyword rankings. For example, a company may say it can "guarantee" 10 first page listings in 6 months.
In the beginning, SEO was almost like the Wild West; it was easy to generate many positive results. However, as the Internet, Google and the competitive landscape have evolved over time, it has become much harder to rank for keywords and user habits have evolved.
Keep an Eye Out for Solicitations
There is a growing trend in solicitors reaching out to businesses claiming they work for Google and are trying to sell you SEO services. If you ever come across one of these situations, be sure to ask the person on the phone for their name and to email you from their @Google.com email address. If you don't receive an email reply or if they email you from an @Gmail.com email address, then you know this is a solicitor.
Beware of Companies Threatening to Remove Your Google Business Listing
First of all, it isn't possible for a listing to be removed unless the business no longer exists. Once they've been given access to your Google My Business account, unethical SEO companies may remove review you, the business owner, from having access to the listing. Be sure to confirm that any SEO company working on your Google listing leaves you on the account as an administrator. SEO companies may come and go but you will always be the owner, so be sure to retain control of your Internet presence.
If you want to learn more about SEO for your practice or to get a free website evaluation, give us a call at (303) 233-3886.