Thursday, April 11, 2013


Why You Should Watch Out for Offers that Seem Too Good to be True!

We see this all the time - a customer gets an email or call from someone telling them that they searched Google and couldn't find their business.  They may even guarantee results or offer low fees to get you hundreds of links. 

So we get asked, how do we respond to that? Do we offer low fees for a guaranteed number of links? No. Do we guarantee our results? No. A far more important question is, why not?   

Let's start with the fact that you’re responding to an unsolicited email or call.  Who do you think you’re talking to on the other end of the line or through email? Someone who really knows SEO ... someone who has your best interests at heart? 

No, you are talking to a spammer - the same type of person who regularly fills up your inbox with spam and otherwise makes a nuisance of themselves, and now you want to trust them with your business? In most cases they haven't even bothered to do a Google search for you – they’re sending you a form letter that just assumes you aren't showing up in search engines. 

They've even called and emailed us and told us that we weren't listed in the search engines! Gee, you sure about that? When they actually checked they were like "Oh, you guys actually are in the SEO business." 

But why not give them a try and pay them $100 or some other ridiculously low amount of money? After all, you think, they promised to get me 200 links, and you guys at SEO Ann Arbor said that links are good, right?

Wrong. Relevant links from high quality sites are good. Hundreds of links from low quality and non-relevant sites ... not so much. Especially when the sites are all from Hong Kong, India, and other foreign countries. They didn't mention that part, did they?  Not surprising. After all, they're spammers. They probably also didn't mention that non-relevant links from low quality sites will not do you any good whatsoever, and might even be harmful to your rankings. Ever hear of Google hell? That’s where Google puts sites that try to cheat the system, and trust us, you’ll be far from page one if you wind up in Google hell.

While you’re pondering that, think about how hard it will be to get those hundreds of links removed, especially when most or all of them are in foreign countries. If you find yourself in that situation, you'll have a real mess on your hands. Also consider this ... if getting your website listed on page one of Google was really that easy, why wouldn't everyone pay some spammer $100 and do the same thing? Remember, there are only ten available spots on page one, so it just can't be that simple. 

But they guaranteed me results!  What about that?  Let us let you in on a little secret. It’s not that hard to get listed on page one of Google for insignificant, non-competitive keywords, keywords that people hardly ever search for, keywords that won’t generate a significant amount of traffic for you. Who cares if you’re on page one for terms that nobody’s searching for?  So much for that guarantee.

Just in case we haven’t made enough of an impact yet, here are a few examples. Let’s say you own a business called Bob's Insect Removal. Wouldn't it be great if when people searched Google for “Bob's insect removal,” your site would show up on the first page?  Of course it would, but it turns out that that isn't too hard. After all, if people search Google for the name of your business, they already know who you are. It's great that those people can find you, but you aren't going to grow your business that way.  To get a wider audience, you need to attract new people – those who don't already know about you, but who are searching for the types of products and services you offer.

Ok, you think, what you’re saying makes sense, but they guaranteed me results for "insect removal" which is one of the services we offer. What about that? We agree, that sounds pretty good ... unless you find out that no one is searching for "insect removal."  Instead, it turns out, they may be searching for things like "pest control" or "exterminator" and other terms that actually generate traffic. Not all keywords are created equal, so if you find yourself on page one for terms that no one is searching for, it won’t help you much.   

A reputable SEO company will spend time researching your keywords to make sure that you’re focusing on high quality keywords that will actually generate results.  Getting listed on page one for high quality keywords would be something to crow about, but it’s going to take a lot of effort, and will likely cost far more than $100.  Remember, if it was that easy, everyone would be doing it!  Sometimes you really do get what you pay for.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Consistency pays dividends.

SEO is kind of like cleaning your house, in the sense that if you only do it a few times a year, you'll wind up with nothing but a big mess on your hands.  Consistency is key, and we are here to help.  We can tell you everything that needs to be done, how to do it, and even help you do it.

If your website isn't listed number one on Google then the real question is, why aren't you getting started today?

See for more information.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

What is SEO and how does it work?

What is SEO?
SEO is the process of optimizing your site so that it appears prominently in Google and other search engines when people search for related keywords.  There are a few major things, and dozens of minor things that need to be done to successfully optimize a site.

How Does it Work?
One of the first and most important steps is taking some time to consider what keywords and phrases you are trying to optimize.  As a business owner or decision maker in your organization, you probably have some idea of the types of things that your potential customers might be searching for.  However, some terms are searched for more than others, so it is important to do some research and focus on the terms that are the most popular.  In other words, you don't want to spend a bunch of time and money optimizing phrases that hardly anyone is searching for.

Also, there may be some additional terms that people are searching for that you didn't think of.  We have tools and procedures that we can use to develop a list of the most popular search phrases for your industry, so that you are optimizing the right terms.

Once you have identified your target keywords, we work with you to optimize/create your site.  This involves making sure that your site includes your desired keywords, and doing it in such a way that Google considers your site relevant for those specific phrases.  There are dozens of things we do in this regard, including optimizing page titles, header tags, and making sure that your keywords appear in the text throughout your site.

Getting Connected
Once your site is ready to go, another key aspect of SEO is gathering inbound links to your site.  Why is this important?  Inbound links is one of the key ways in which Google decides to rank your site.  It is kind of like a popularity contest.  When Google looks at your site versus one of your competitors, one of the things it will do is look at the content contained throughout the sites to make sure that it pertains to the keywords (see previous paragraph).  However, all things being equal, if your site has no one linking to it and your competitor has 200 people linking to them, then your competitor will be listed higher than you.

Obviously with a new site you are starting off with ZERO inbound links, while your competitors may already have dozens or hundreds.  Even if you have an established website, chances are it could benefit from obtaining additional inbound links from other relevant sites.  In order to facilitate this we go out and seek other relevant sites and get them to link back to your site to boost your rankings.  It ends up being a little more complicated than that, but that is the basic idea, and gathering reciprocal links is a key aspect of optimizing your site.

How do I know if I need SEO?
Simple.  Go to Google and type in some keywords and phrases that a potential customer might search for.  If your business isn’t showing up in the results at the top of the first page then you need SEO!  Make sure that you aren’t simply searching for the name of your business.  For instance, if you are a plumber and your business is called “John Doe and Sons”, don’t simply search for “John Doe and Sons”.  The only people who are going to search for the name of your business are people who already know about you.  The whole point of SEO is to attract potential customers that don’t already know who you are.  So instead search for “plumber ann arbor” or “clogged drain ann arbor” or other combinations of the services you offer and the location that you offer them in.