You might have heard that SEO is dead….a waste of money.
Depending on your views of the matter and what you expect, it MIGHT be a waste of money.
However, if you grasp how SEO (search engine optimization) has changed over time, you’ll see that SEO still has plenty of value.
But some parts of traditional SEO have gone the way of PDAs and bag cell phones.
How to know if your SEO strategy is worth it or not?
Let’s look at some outdated tactics that some scammy SEO companies still promote.
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When the idea was new, SEO companies did use link farms, and websites rocketed to the top of Google. But that all changed when the Penguin algorithm dropped in 2012, and it’s changed several times since then.
Quantity doesn’t impress Google anymore. Now it’s all about quality. Your site’s backlinks’ quality and relevance are much more critical than the quantity.
The bottom line here: Invest in link building, but only if the SEO company’s strategy involves obtaining authoritative links.
Getting a #1 Ranking
Being #1 isn’t a waste of money, but the idea that you can achieve a top ranking and keep it indefinitely is a pipedream.
Many companies obsess over being #1, and tons of them check the results every day to ensure they’re still there. Who is #1 for any search phrase can change daily.
Another related scam is guaranteeing a high ranking in two or three days. The ONLY way that can happen is through illegitimate means or PPC advertising. Whatever they’re doing, they’re dishonest with you, so avoid them.
Instead of focusing on your rank, look at your user experience.
Lean on analytics data and learn what your website visitors want. Focus on giving your users the information they crave.
Regularly review your bounce rate, click-through rate, and duration of sessions.
When you spend time improving your site’s experience and lowering your bounce rate, you’re telling the search engines your site is better than others in your niche. Invest your energy in improving your content’s quality and structure, and you’ll notice over time that your Google ranking will rise.
A legitimate SEO service takes a ton of work and time.
The process is complex, and the time to obtain terrific results takes months. That’s why no serious SEO company will give you a free week or hook to get you in. It’s also why SEO is expensive.
If they want access to your hosting account during the free trial, take a hard pass. You need to work with a company on a paying contract for them to be legit, and never give a company your vital login credentials unless you’ve signed with them.
Website Design Services Offered
Google ‘SEO services’ and be amazed at the number of companies that offer web design and SEO. You’d think every marketing organization on earth is offering search engine optimization!
Beware, especially if you don’t see staff charged with SEO specifically. Many of these firms have little expertise in the field and add it to their web design package to make no money.
You’ll rarely get the same quality of SEO from a do-it-all type of company.
Hire a specialized SEO company, and you’re better off.
They Want Ownership of Content
Anything you’re paying someone for should be yours. Be sure that any contract you sign doesn’t give ownership of anything to that firm. This could hold your content client, and it could even be sold to someone else.
Eons ago, you could get a high ranking by repeating a search phrase many times on a page. Thankfully, those days are behind us. Google tries to understand what your intent is behind a keyword. It isn’t giving top ranking to a page with the keyword’s most mentions.
What’s that mean for your business? Forget keywords. Instead, focus on topics relevant to your niche and audience. Content optimized by the subject provides the best-quality answers and a superior user experience.
Plus, when you focus on a critical topic, you’ll also get the advantages of semantic variations of the keyword phrase; this means your page might rank for multiple keywords on various search engine results pages (SERPs).
We Can Do It All For Less Than ‘Those Guys’
If you’re working with an SEO company and someone tells you they can do it cheaper, it’s probably a scam. First of all, they don’t know what that company is doing for you, so how do they know they can do it cheaper?
SEO always takes time. If you have tangible results from your current provider and switch, it can take months to know if the new guys are doing a better job. They could come into your life and do nothing, and you won’t know for at least 60 days.
Business owners might not see a reduction in traffic even after a year of paying the new SEO company. It looks like they are doing the same thing for you for less.
What Should You Do?
To ensure you aren’t wasting your money on useless off page and on page SEO, you need to focus on what works. Many experts today say focusing on page speed is critical. Why? Unbounce tells us that 50% of visitors will bounce if your site takes 3+ seconds to load.
Let’s say your site gets 300 unique visitors monthly. If the website is slow, you might miss 300 more visitors because of slow load speeds. About 7% of new site visitors become patients in the healthcare field.
Your site could cost you ten or more clients per month, If each new client is worth about $400 per visit for twice-annual visits, you’re losing thousands of dollars per month on a slow site!
Is SEO a waste of money?
If you’re focusing on the right SEO topics, absolutely not. But it can be a money pit if your SEO company is using archaic tactics.