Search Engine Optimization Guarantees

- May 8, 2008

If I had to single out the most difficult objection I hear from prospects it would be the fact that we don’t offer guarantees. Time after time, I hear a story of someone who has been burned by one of these SEO firms who “guarantees” everything under the sun and fails to deliver. Did they read the fine print that mentions the SEO firm would be selecting the keywords for the top 10 placements? For example, Mary Smith, a realtor in South Florida may expect to show up for “Boca Raton Realtor”. However, the guarantee is she shows up in the #1 position in Google for “Mary Smith realtor Florida who specializes in foreclosures on Dixie Highway in Boca Raton”. Sure it’s relevant, but is anyone going to type that into the search bar? Also, how can a company even guarantee results when they have absolutely no control over it? I still think it’s a ridiculous guarantee, no matter how obscure the terms may be.

I also see dozens of ads that say “we will submit you to 30,000 search engines!!” Are there even 30,000 engines? Wouldn’t you rather be in the top 3 engines that handle approximately 90 percent of web search traffic?

What about a guaranteed ROI? “If I am going to spend $10,000 to optimize my site, how much money am I going to make?” Because there are so many variables to consider, there is just no way to estimate your ROI. I can’t predict what position you will arrive at for your keywords. I can’t predict your click through rate based on that position. What if you are in the #1 position in Google for your desired keywords but the searcher who arrives at your site leaves within 3 seconds? Does your search engine positioning really have anything to do with ROI? When you purchased that billboard on the highway did you determine how much money you would make? Sure, I can give you an estimate of how much traffic will pass your billboard, but I can’t tell you how many drivers are going to dial the phone number they read on that particular advertisement.

The problem is that the internet is still in its infancy and there are so many people who are uneducated with the ins and outs, and do’s and don’ts of internet marketing. There is no way to determine your return on investment when you optimize your website. Optimization should be viewed as the foundation of a site, or a work in progress for future growth. And the next time someone asks me about a guarantee, my answer is going to be “I guarantee that if you select an SEO Firm who offers you a placement guarantee, you will call me in about 6 months to fix that mess!”

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