|SEO Services - What should be offered|
In the recent few months (especially after PANDA) things have become quite difficult for SEO companies. The rankings are not easy to achieve. And, sudden decline is rankings of some clients, is another trouble (and some clients simply do not understand, the way search engine rankings work).
We have been offering SEO services to clients for past 8 years.
But, for last 12 months, we haven't taken up any new job, as the rankings were not stable. We were mostly doing in house work.
I am wondering, what should be offered under SEO services to clients these days ?
[edited by: tedster at 3:56 pm (utc) on Sep 26, 2011]
There's a great diversity in what gets called "SEO" and "SEO services". Some of it doesn't really "optimize" anything at all today - it's more like a time tunnel of technical trickery. In the course of either years, did you find your company changing as the methods Google uses changed?
For example, have you been helping clients rank well in the various verticals of universal search, such as video, image, news, etc? Are you on top of all the potential duplicate problems? Do you help speed up slow pages? Do you "build links" artificially, or do you focus on developing excellent, focused content and its marketing? How about social media marketing? Brand development? Conversion optimization?
Each of those areas, and others, are a lot different than what was considered "SEO" eight years ago - because Google is a lot different from eight years ago.
It would take a large agency to offer all of the help I outlined above, but I'd say pick a few areas and develop a specialty.
If it's any help Dhaliwal, I looked into hiring an SEO company about 3 years ago and 3 things stopped me: 1) without a results-based payment structure I thought the risk of picking the "wrong" company was too great, 2) how could I know that they weren't using techniques that one day might get me a penalty and 3) when/if I decided to stop using them, would my rankings tank due to the gradual or sudden removal of links from within their own network?
I felt as if once I committed to an SEO company I would be stuck with them if I wanted to retain any rankings increase. That would also mean wearing any price rises they decided to implement between contracts. I could think of lots of reasons why I might not want to be in that position.
So I decided the only way forward was to spend more time learning SEO techniques myself.
My point being that I think an SEO company has to have a very strong track record and offer certain guarantees to protect a consumer in this day and age, especially as SEO moves more towards quality and the 'tricks' become less important.
By guarantees - I don't mean ranking guarantees incidentally - I refer to b2b guarantees (ethical behaviour, graduated contractual exits etc) hence the need for a track record.
I hope that doesn't sound condescending - apologies if it does - and is useful feedback at least.
Dhaliwal - i do my own SEO most of the time, but when I get stuck i use a team who:-
Gives a 100% guarantee of results. Payment is tied to it.
Promises to beat Panda.
100% follows Googles TOS.
Charges a deposit to start, the balance on results proven achieved and solid.
Charges no ongoing fees unless client wants ongoing maintenance work done.
You can't charge just for doing SEO, you need to charge for results, if you aren't then why would client want to use your company?
That must be some mofo SEO company right there.
Really is two kinds of SEO...
Linkbuilding and on-site optimization. Link building really got whacked this spring, but I still think it is still the biggest thing website owners can do. How is always the tough question... Would concentrate on quality over quantity, keep the velocity low/natural, and be very careful about covering your tracks (suspect google is using GA and other tools for anti-SEO). Try to get ontheme/local links. Most clients will have vendors/friends that can offer a link or two...do tradeouts/bribes where needed and keep diversity in all linkbuilding matters up. Try to not group sites that backlink each other under the same whois. Be patient with the results (and tell your client the same)...think google is sandboxing the power of new backlinks more than it has in the past (unless it's a hot topic).
As a marketing point, you can brag that you know what can get websites penalized by google so you avoid the mistakes other seo firms make.
Help clients with keyword research and try to steer them to non-competitive high volume keywords that can help their business as opposed to that money phrase they are convinced they have to have.
There are ooldes of on-site factors that you can do and will help clients rank for non-competitive phrases.
|That must be some mofo SEO company right there |
LOL. When you're THAT good, why take on client work at all?
|LOL. When you're THAT good, why take on client work at all? |
Maybe he is like me, I am much better in making existing sites better than creating new ones from scratch; different people have different talents...
I wouldn't hire anyone who promised that, because they'd be lying. Nobody can be certain they can beat Panda, we don't remotely know enough about how it works yet.
FIrst off, can they rank their own site! Check the keywords in the title, try them in google, if they can rank, great.
Second, see if they have some testimonials of clients who have ranked well.
Third, make sure they have a diversified link building strategy, at least 3 kinds of link building methods for your site. Think of link building as a stool, if the stool has just one leg, it will tip over (one method of link building). If it has 3 to 4 legs, it will be more stable, able to withstand googles algo updates.
|Nobody can be certain they can beat Panda, |
Maybe for some projects , but an SEO who is both willing, confident and can demonstrate a track record of recovery, without charging is a safer bet, than one with none.
We all should know the risks of SEO, but the bottom line is that everyone wants results for what they pay.
If the tasks are tightly defined and accepted by the SEO then it's a deal. If there is uncertainty or the projects are too broad , making it hard to monitor and achieve , state it up front and /or decline the deal. Smaller components becomes managable within expectancies and the value of the relationship is easier to define and account for.
Make promises according to the scale of difficulties, risk and achievability.
Thanks to everyone for response.
As in most of the cases, i really liked the response of tedster.
Others who have responded, have gone little off topic.
I am not working on new client projects, as i am myself not sure, if we can have sustainable rankings. I am not going to claim that our company can beat Panda, as it is still not very clear what a website should do to beat Panda (there have been many threads here, which i have followed. In every thread, something new is coming up). As we have stopped working on client projects, i have reduced staff count from 60 to 35 at present.
Anyone who gives ranking guarantee, is doing it only to secure business. With Google's ever changing ranking policies, offering guaranteed placements isn't possible.
Yes, we do have our own websites, on which we are working these days as i would not like to risk with websites of clients in terms of ranking.
*** I am confident that members here are among the most experienced in SEO community and this forum is among the most serious online for this sector (thanks to Brett). I was asking members here a simple question.....
What is expected from a Good SEO company these days.
Yes, this is very tough time for the webmasters because now seo is as complicated as compare to last 2 years. Now every client want their website on top page and it is not possible for everyone to come on top page and client want to know exact ranking before giving their project for seo work. They don't understand the present situation in SEO and what are Google rules.
Some client told me to use software for link-building. I don't understand how to solve this problem.
|Focus on developing excellent, focused content and its marketing? How about social media marketing? Brand development? Conversion optimization? |
That is the future of SEO.
freejung - I don't agree. The problem is not we don't know how to fix sites for Panda, its how to do it and stay profitable.
Let me ask you this freejung. Can you imagine a situation where a site has been hit by Panda, where you have been given an unlimited budget to fix it...where you thought you would not be able to suceed?
A budget that would allow all existing content to be rewritten properly - and fast.
A budget that would allow all missing content to be added.
A budget that would allow all possible site problems to be repogrammed.
A budget that allowed all possible additions to the site to make it the best site in its category?
A budget that allowed the best of popularity increasing campaigns. Directly asking for links, links in press releases, article links, link bait, social networking, video marketing, etc etc
An unlimited budget to focus google places, google products, client conversions, getting customers to return...
By definition, the site would become the best site, and could hardly be kept pandalised.
So the problem is not can you do it, its can you afford to do it.