Some of you guys are probably too young to remember door to door salesmen (there were very few saleswomen back then). When the doorbell rang, it was more often than not a salesman. Back then we left the door unlocked and our friends and neighbors just walked in and announced themselves. I remember my parents buying vacuums, cleaning supplies and encyclopedias. Way before the internet and Wikipedia, we had to use these things called books to research and learn things. I KNOW? RIGHT? They cost around $1000 (probably $3500 in today's money) for books A through Z, and then you paid $100 for a year book with updates. They were staples in our house.
Today we get people selling home repairs and kids selling magazines to go to college? They are an annoyance to say the least. I refrain from answering the door with my iPad to show them my digital subscriptions or their Google or Angie's List rankings. That's the equivalent of asking a telemarketer for their phone number so you can call them back at dinner time! The exception is local Boy Scouts (popcorn… I love popcorn) and Girl Scouts (gots to have me some Do-si-dos).
We Can Make You #1 on Google
I am not anti-SEO (Search Engine Optimization). I am pro-SEO, but also anti-stalkers. You know… those 100+ emails you get every week (at least a few of them) that come into your email, blog posts and contact forms that promise to make you #1 on Google. They are becoming more convincing and relentless. When a client asks about that, I tell people that there is no guarantee, but if your are so inclined to try one of so called “SEO” company offers, ask them two questions? “Is your company #1 in Google?”, and “IF I don't make my money back that I spend with you… do you offer a money back guarantee?”. If they cannot live up to question 1 and send you printed documentation to question 2… RUN FAST! AND… If they were a REAL SEO company, why are their email address from GMail?
Does It Pay?
Those type of S.E.O. salespeople are tenacious, and create unrealistic expectations. Some of them are just door to door (or in-box to in-box) salesmen (and saleswomen) who make biggy promises, and will deliver promises, until you start to measure promises verses results. Their goal is to sell you monthly retainers, that you treat like gym memberships. From January to March, the promise of the new body fades by the day and they hope you forget and still pay until you realize that you are not getting anything for what you are paying for and cancel. Then they make it harder because they tell you “If you quit now, you will loose business!”. TWO WORDS… INTERNET CRACK! Ultimatly, what does not make you more money than you spend is an expense… not an investment!
Often a customer will ask “How can YOU make me one on Google?”, but what they don't want to hear is the obvious answer “Pay Google to be there!”. Buying Google AdWords is the sure fire, fastest way to be at the top of a Google page. The other option takes time and a lot of work.
When I choose my company name I never even thought about Google searches. It's for Business to Business and Brian Basilico (B squared), and Big B for Fortune 100 companies and small b for small business. Thanks Pam Martorano for the awesome logo design! My company has a very generic name (Kleenex type brand in the business world). It took years to get B2b Interactive Marketing to the top of Google searches.
How did I do that? Let me explain!
How To Be #1 With People
- S.E.O. (Set Everything Once) – Yes my website has SEO, but I don't update it every week or every month… I did it once! Then revisit it every few months. Updating it too much could do more harm than good. Google can take weeks even months to review and update your listings! I also chose to hire a writer to create compelling content that talks to and with people. The text inside your website has to have keywords, but more importantly it needs to speak to and with your audience in a way that compels them to learn more! Do you really need to update your SEO monthly?
- Killer Content – My website and blog are integrated into one. The content is very educational and shareable. Through sharing and blog aggregation, these posts reach millions of people each month. Why? Because it provides good quality educational information that people feel the need to share. What can you provide that others would want to share?
- Social Media – Have you Googled yourself recently? If you are like most, your LinkedIn profile is the 1st thing that shows up. Your Twitter and Facebook profiles are not far behind. Correctly positioning yourself and your brand (yes they are two separate things), are key to growing your presence on Google. Combining Killer Content, with a bit of SEO can make your brand shine on social media. The viral capabilities of social networks (even to a few hundred people) can help you grow and spread your brand. It also helps to have more than one brand. I have websites and social media profiles for my book, my band and my business. Are you nurturing a good social presence for both you and your brand(s)?
SEO is important, but you may not need to pay hundreds of dollars a month for it! If you have hundreds to spend a month… you may want to evaluate hiring a writer, Google Adwords, and boosting your Social Media to help promote your brand! Don't forget to spend some time on your analytics to evaluate what's working (and what's NOT working) for you and your brand(s).
What is your experience with SEO and do you find it worth the time and expense?