Search Engine Optimization – Myths You Might Hear When Hiring
Looking to get your website to the top of search results? There are countless pitches and sales pages out there for consultants and training courses that claim all sorts of things to get your hard earned money. We go through some of the things to look out for when looking for SEO solutions.
Search Engine Optimisation, as explained in our main help article about it, is a very complicated, constantly changing practice of tailoring content to rise to the top of search engine results.
SEO is deemed so important, that businesses of all sizes are spending a ton of cash on consultants, training courses, content writers and man hours to incorporate it into their marketing strategy. As such, it is highly likely that if you’re seeking to boost your SEO, then you may come across over-promises and outright lies when looking to hire help.
We’re going to dive right into some of the things you may hear when looking, and what NOT to believe when hiring.
1) Technical Changes.
You might hear that your SEO wants to make many changes to the technical aspects of your site. Whilst there are a few things that are worth doing on this end, the majority are being outdated in favor of delivering a top user experience. As a business owner it’s going to be tough to figure out whether you’re being taken for a ride or not, but if your SEO charges by the hour, then this is really one to watch. It’s not impossible to spend 3 hours+ on changing image tags let alone all the other bits that can be tweaked all in the name of getting better search results, so be warned.
2) “We can get you top of Google”.
No one can promise you this and know that they can deliver. It might happen but it is never something that can be guaranteed. No position on Google can. You can only put the best practices into play and hope that you have out-done the other websites in Google’s eyes. Google never reveal their algorithms either. Which brings me onto number three…
3) “We Know What Algorithms Google Use”.
Nope. That’s going to be an outright lie. One that unfortunately so many have fallen for. Only a small amount of staff at Google know exactly which algorithms are being used for ranking websites in search results. There are obviously a large amount of known factors which have been worked out by website builders and content creators over the years, but most are just common sense needing to be implemented effectively, and kept up with any changes Google make. For example, Google recently announced that website’s serving up pop-ups in certain places and ways will be penalized in the search positioning’s soon. This means that site’s that don’t adhere to this new rule will drop lower down than they would have been before, allowing sites that took action and made changes, to go above them.
4) It doesn’t happen overnight!
You can’t make changes and expect to see the results any time soon. It takes Google around 6 months to add new websites into the mix and start producing hits. Changes to existing sites pick up a little quicker, but not fast enough to know if what you’re doing is working until a little while down the line. This is why it’s useful to have a basic understanding of SEO, because if you’re not going to master it yourself and hire someone to do it for you, knowing what they should be doing will help you determine if you’re having your time and money wasted a lot sooner than someone less-educated on the subject.
5) Don’t Expect It To Be Cheap.
If someone is offering to do your website’s SEO for next to nothing, then be cautious – Implementing the correct SEO strategies and methods is not quick, easy, one-size-fits-all process. If you’re being offered cheap work done for your website, then you need to ask a few more questions. Cheap, shoddy shortcuts can be harmful to your site. If your site is marked as spam by Google then it can be incredibly hard to come back from that. Google could mark your site as spam for several reasons, and that could include using shortcuts to try to “game” the system into ranking your website higher. These are known as “black hat” SEO methods, and you’ll find many a conman offering cheap (£100-£250 or so) fixes to your site using a method that Google will frown upon and fix in the next 6 months or so. This won’t be disclosed to you of course. These con artists will take on many websites in a short amount of time, make the changes, and then disappear. By the time Google’s algorithms catch up and push your website down out of the rankings, the SEO you hired will be long gone, and unreachable. Leaving you with a black-marked website and out of pocket.
These are just 5 things that you shouldn’t expect or believe when it comes to your website’s search engine optimization. With something as ever-changing as SEO, there will always be more to watch out for. Not only do you want to get the most out of your marketing budget, but you want to avoid long-term damage being done to your website’s search rankings by someone who doesn’t have your business’s best interests at heart.