Why No SEO Guarantee?
The Truth about SEO Guarantees & How You Can Protect Your Business From Them
Usually a guarantee is the sign of a business willing to back up its work. So why wouldn’t you, in this case me, offer one? The Search Engine world is a unique environment, but it does have parallels. It’s very similiar to advertising & marketing in the ‘real’ world. Some examples are a good place to start.
When you hire an advertising agency, you are not given a guarantee. Why? Because they cannot make promises on the outcome. What you buy from them is their knowledge and experience. If a result could be guaranteed, there would be no risk in marketing. Unfortunately, that just isn’t true. There’s no formula that is 100% successful. But let’s look at the areas where search engine marketing is truly unique.
Keywords and their role
First, consider keywords, the words and phrases that a person uses to find your product/service. I could get you to #1 for a phrase like “blue tricycle Tuesday”. Does that mean anything? No. No matter what business you’re in, these keywords won’t help your bottom line. For example, if you sell screwdrivers no one is going to search for tools using that phrase. Those keywords are worthless to you.
There are only so many phrases that 1. apply to your business and 2. have potential to bring targeted traffic to your site. Those phrases are gold for your industry, so your competitors are probably using some of them already. In other words, it can be very difficult to climb upward for those phrases. However, a good optimizer will still target them because the possible payoff is worth the effort.
For those offering a guaranteed top ranking, it can be tempting to fulfill it by targeting easier phrases. They have a much simpler job plus they don’t have to refund any money. The keywords may apply to your business, but they’re not as beneficial to you. By moving you up in the rankings for lesser keywords, you lose.
You aren’t in place to reap the full rewards that the more competitive keywords offer. But they keep your money, because they got you to the top, just as promised. A good optimization campaign uses keywords that can bring you the greatest benefit. Not the ones that offer the easiest path upward.
I’d Use Them Myself if They Worked
If a guaranteed top spot were possible, I would use these services myself. The keywords ‘Search Engine Optimization’ are the most competitive there are. Literally hundreds, maybe even thousands, of professional SEOs target them. Why? Because they do bring in business. It is an extremely crowded market. That’s why I target a variation that, while also competitive, offers more opportunity.
What if I hired one of the guaranteed firms to get me to the top for ‘Search Engine Optimization’? It could expand my business a lot. So why don’t I use a firm with a guarantee? Because they can’t get me there. If they could, they would be on top themselves.
A Sample Case
Lastly, consider a recent case that is a sad, but true, example of what’s going on in the industry. Some SEO companies are using spam techniques to make their guaranteed targets. Clients of this firm were banned from Google. Though they had nothing to do with the methods the firm used, many are still not back in the Google listings. This link takes you to the Wikipedia page that sums it up nicely:
Not every company that offers a guarantee is dishonest. Some are just very mistaken in what they can and can’t do. A firm that offers a Money-Back Guarantee (not all are money back, BTW) for a top ranking could not be in business long. I cannot promise you a top position. But neither can anyone else.
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Article written by Jonathan Cook