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I’m a huge Atlanta Braves fan, and even though the team unloaded a lot of their talented players this offseason, I’ve still convinced myself to have some optimism for the 2015 season. After all, baseball is a sport where strange things happen and teams can surprise you (look at the 2014 Royals).
That said, living near and working in our Maryland office, the easiest opportunity to see them play is against the hometown, upstart Washington Nationals. Earlier this year, I decided to buy tickets to all 3 games of a weekend series—which costs a pretty penny.
Game 1: a lead. A blown lead. A loss. Game 2: a comeback! Then a walk-off loss. Game 3: a lead. A blown lead. A loss. Excruciating.
I went home following the sweep, pretty defeated myself. The worst part was paying big money—to the Nationals, no less—for little to no payoff. I blew my time and money for something that should have been enjoyable and satisfying.
What does this have to do with SEO?
A lot, unfortunately. When I’m not watching my teams lose, I work within the business development side of things for Blue Corona, which means I get to hear a lot of business owners tell a similar story—except it’s not just a weekend of baseball or a couple hundred bucks, but thousands of dollars over months, if not years, with an unproven SEO company doing “work” that hasn’t paid off at all.
Many of these business owners wonder if spending money on SEO is a waste. The answer to that is a firm “no” – in fact, SEO, when implemented properly, can be the best marketing investment you can make. However, there are a vast number of companies (and “companies” is generous; many times it’s a guy with his dog in his basement) that have sullied the reputation of SEO work. They end up not really knowing what goes in to successful SEO, or worse, trying to trick search engines into increasing rankings (which never works out in the end).
How do you know if you’re wasting your money on SEO?
The trouble with SEO is that it can takes months if not longer to know if it’s working—if it does, your business can take off; if it doesn’t, you could be further behind than when you started. So how do you know if you’re making a good investment? It’s all about asking the right questions:
What will you do to help with SEO?
If the answer is “it’s complicated” or “you probably wouldn’t understand, it’s too technical” or “we have some tricks up our sleeve,” you should see that as a giant red flag. When making an investment into SEO, you deserve to know the process. Admittedly, there are aspects of SEO that are on the more technical side, but there are also pieces that are quite easy to understand, so ask your company what they’ll do to improve your website from an SEO standpoint step-by-step.
Have you proven that your method of SEO will work?
If you ask 100 SEO companies the best way to improve rankings, you might get 100 different answers. No matter what company you decide to work with, there’s going to have to be a certain amount of faith that their method is going to work—after all, SEO results are more long-term. Sometimes it can take months, if not a year or more, to see results. You won’t know for sure if you hired the right people until then. However, you should ask for as much proof as you can. Do they have case studies? Do they have case studies for your industry? What have those results been? There’s no way of guaranteeing that you’ll have amazing results, but at least ask if they’ve walked the walk.
By the way, can you guarantee me SEO results?
If the answer is yes, run! No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google. Don’t take it from me—take it from Google.
So how do I know if I’ve been wasting my money on SEO?
Ask your provider what they’ve done to improve SEO, and be specific. If you’re paying attention, you should notice changes. Do you have new content? Are your pages structured differently than they were before? Ask about not only the traffic, but converted leads you’ve gotten from content they’ve added. If you don’t notice any changes after a few months, you need to have a serious discussion with your provider.
Do You Think You’re Wasting Money with Your Current SEO Company?
If you’ve read this blog post and think your SEO company isn’t doing a good job, let us show you the Blue Corona difference. Our goal is to be the best analytical, data-driven online marketing and SEO company on the planet! We do this by offering the following to all of our SEO clients:
- A dedicated Account Manager, someone that understands business and SEO, to be your guide
- Detailed monthly reports (you can actually understand) that connect SEO performance to your bottom line
- A support team that includes an analyst, web designer/developer, and a dedicated professional copywriter
- Access to our proprietary analytics software (better data drives better results)
Not sold yet? Check out our client testimonials or enter your website into the box below. We’ll evaluate what your current SEO company is doing well and what could be improved:
About The Author: Ethan is a Business Development Representative at Blue Corona. Outside of the office, you’ll find him at concerts or a baseball game - if he’s not parked on the couch watching TV and movies.
View more blogs by Ethan Batson