This post diverts from the announced progression of my SEO series to lay out a cautionary tale about search and what to look for when you’re hiring SEO help. File it under ‘SEO Tips.’
A friend and business colleague of mine called to ask for some advice. She’s starting a new venture on a shoestring budget and looking to put up a cost-effective website. Members of her circle were touting an outfit that creates inexpensive templated websites that look ‘pretty good’ but are ‘great for SEO’. Users, she said, were coming up on page one. She asked me to check them out.
When I reviewed this company’s client portfolio, I found that the age-old adage, “You get what you pay for,” still holds true. The template designs looked out-of-date and did not appear to provide the ability for customers to manage the sites after the fact, but required a maintenance package. Not where things are going these days.
What disturbed me more was the search engine optimization -- SEO -- claim. When I checked out the title tags for these sites, it did appear that someone was paying attention to SEO. Type the search terms into a Google search field and – bingo! The companies came up on Page 1 of search results for those terms.
That’s as far as most people go. They get all excited about seeing themselves on Page 1 of Google search. But here’s the kicker and an important SEO Tip: Run the term through the Google keyword tool and see if it actually gets any search. When I ran the Page 1 search terms this company optimized pages for through the tool, invariably they received no search.
It’s easy to be on Page 1 when there’s zero competition for a search term. But what does it get you in new traffic and potential leads – the objective of SEO? Zero.
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Image is from the Flickr photostream of Tim Green aka atouch under Creative Commons license.