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Is there any SEO process we don't know about or is this only high-pitched marketing? (I think the second but may be I don't know if there are any certain methods...)
Is it safe to hire these people for site optimization?
Your question is rather like walking into a florists convention and asking if anyone there knows of someone who could sell them a bunch of roses.
I can't say I'd be interested (or probably even capable) myself but I'm sure if this post hangs around long enough you'll have several experts to choose from...
I can rank most companies for any keyword they want. Many others can do the same. The question is: Do you want to pay what it cost? Is it worth it? Absolutely not allways!
My best advice is: Don't be so obsessed with top-keywords and rankings.
[edited by: agerhart at 5:59 pm (utc) on Oct. 30, 2003]
[edit reason] stop naming specifics please - this is the 3rd time [/edit]
Some companies are ready to pay $20, $30 or even more per visitor (in PPC-engines). Some companies invest 10's of thousands of dollars in organic search, internal and external resources and PFI per month.
I do know know what business you are in but if it is as competitive as you say, you will have to compete with companies that are willing to spend this kind kind of money and recourses.
There is a really good book by Jack Trout and Al Ries: "Marketing Warfare" that, even though the book is not about search marketing at all, will give you a much better understanding of what I'm talking about :)
It's like a "war"! Do not go into a battle unless you think you can win - or at least come out of it better. If you can not win by directly attacking your competitors you need to think of another strategy.
1. Search engine optimised pages
2. Good relevant content and lots of it
3. Page Ranking
I work as a SEO and my role is to make sure all these three elements are performing to their upmost.
When they are performing, you CAN guarantee top 10 rankings for even competitive keywords.
Of course. It is called "Algo Cracking". I can verify atleast 2 seo's that I have indeed cracked the majority of Google to the degree they can claim they can put a page at #1 for almost anything.
The tricky part is still that off-the-page stuff (eg: links).
As someone else said, being confident enough to claim you can do it and give a money back garantee, is different from claiming you will do it out right no matter what.
Even with the algo-in-hand, that doesn't mean you can put all those chess pieces (links) on the web to make it rocket to the top.
But ya, in general, you bet the good seo's that are near a "flatline" can garantee a #1 ranking and most can produce it.
The real downside to that claim though, is that almost certainly the Gmen will pr0 any site that makes such a claim.
Also, the industry is turning away from "mom and pop" and giving big businesses a bonus now - whoever has the bigger budget gets the rankings, even in organic. The on-page aspect is easy, many people have that. Like Brett said, the issue is putting the "off-page" pieces of the puzzle together - and that can be done with $$$$.
If your site is not allready very popular the money and time it will cost you to get to the top of search results for the top keywords are probably not worth it. You can basically gain more new sales if you invest the same money in other kinds of marketing.
In may sound strange coming from me, a devoted search geek, but the fact is that for some companies SEO/SEM is just not the cheapest or best way to market products. Prospects always look strange at me when I tell (the few) that they should spend their money with something else ... "But we thought you wanted the job!" ... Well, not if I am just going to waste your money :)
But i run a New company... and how is it ment to be Popular if its just begun? Ive heard there is specialists who can get you top 5 for keywords but i havent found those people.
[edited by: agerhart at 6:19 pm (utc) on Oct. 31, 2003]
Back when, I didn't know anything about SERP - not that I know much now - I was getting contacted by little more than 10 different companies claiming very same thing at very different prices.
They were giving me more than enough information to make me go ... little nuts ... about the wonderful world of SERP.
Bottom line - they want you to come out with 10 key words. (I could only come out with 2) Most of the key words they came out with (with a lot of back up data on their mind) were mostly 3 ~ 5 word key words (i.e. blue accouting book in New York). and that's only the good ones!