It's frustrating when your website isn't working as well as you'd hoped it would. Finally you realise you need some help so you contact an SEO consultant.
"So..." you say.....
"How much will it cost to get my site to the top of Google?"
Although it might make sense to you to ask for a fixed price for a simple task like getting to the top of Google, I'd advise stopping for a moment and thinking about what you are asking. All things being equal there are several basic boxes your site needs to tick to get to the top of Google for a specific keyword or phrase. For the purpose of this exercise let's agree the keyword is competitive, i.e. it's a phrase lots of other sites want to rank for.
- The content of the page you think should be number one should match the search criteria. This means covering all the SEO basics.
- The site should be an established and trusted presence. If your site is new it's not going to be number one for a competitive phrase. You have to be patient.
- Your page will need lots of links from relevant sources. Links to your page suggest to the search engines it's a trusted information resource. The links should be from other trusted and relevant resources and the link or anchor text should also be relevant.
If all the above is in place and being constantly improved and developed you should be in the running. However, there's one aspect of this whole conundrum which means your place at the top can't be guaranteed.
The missing link that's hard to figure out is knowing what your competition are doing. If the phrase you are chasing is valuable then lots of other site owners will also be chasing it. What if they are doing everything you are doing, and then some? What if they are creating killer content that's attracting quality links? What if they are hiring 10 people to look for links for 8 hours a day?
All ethical SEO consultants are working hard to attract quality traffic for their clients but search engines are complex beasts. So as you embark on your SEO odyssey make sure your SEO company are being straight with you. If they are claiming a special relationship with Google that's going to take your site to the top of the SERPs ask them how they are solving the problems mentioned above.