There are lots of agencies offering low-cost search engine optimisation or SEO services. If you're reading this by accident and you're not sure what SEO is, this quick guide to search marketing should help. But is it possible to create a powerful high ranking website by paying someone a few hundred pounds or dollars or less per month? Probably not, and here's why.
Red Evolution Opinions & Musings
As we mentioned in our last blog, many business owners are wasting time looking for cheap and quick ways of creating traffic to their websites. In so doing they're potentially killing their businesses instead of building something with staying power that can deliver valuable leads for years to come. Agencies like us who are involved in the delivery of inbound marketing services spend a lot of time trying to convince others of its capabilities. Are you convinced?
We're doing some interesting testing on our website just now around the much misunderstood (and misremembered) subject of Search Engine Optimisation or SEO. We're showing some visitors an offer for some paid consultancy, a tailored SEO workshop and a low-cost SEO retainer, while others are being offered a FREE SEO quick start guide.
In these days of fake news, filters and photoshop, it is understandable when clients ask if they actually have to tell the truth on their websites, social media accounts and in their inbound marketing campaigns. So, how important is it to be authentic? Is it ever OK to be economical with the truth?
A quote attributed to Bertrand Russell says "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt." In our line of work as an inbound marketing agency, we meet people from both camps. Let's just say we are selective about who we choose to work with.
Take our advice; if people don't value the work you do, if they hire you to help them and then question your expertise, you don't need to work with them. There's absolutely nothing wrong with saying, "no, this isn't a good match, you'd be better off working with someone else." Life's too short. Save your energy for the right type of clients.
If your business is struggling and you need leads right now, inbound marketing is not for you. Now, that might seem like a strange thing for an inbound marketing agency to say, after all, we're in the business of making money by helping people with their lead generation. The thing is, inbound marketing isn't a quick fix for a sales funnel that's dried up, it's something to do when your revenues are in good shape and you want to make sure they stay that way.
Thanks for sending through your scope of work. Before we quote I have a few questions and it might, as you suggested, be worth having a chat.
I often have conversations with people, potential clients, who are frustrated because their websites don't deliver leads. The thing is, we make no secret of the route to success. In fact, we spend a lot of time blogging on the subject and freely share the information people need to get their websites working for their businesses.
But most people are more interested in sweating the small stuff, they look for easy fixes, low effort activities that will propel them up the search rankings overnight... but they don't exist. They should really start sweating the big stuff. This is what we mean by "the big stuff".
This week Square 2 Marketing's chief inbound scientist Mike Lieberman had a cracking rant about the state of marketing in the modern era. It's well worth a read. Although we've had a great week, securing a government contract and starting conversations with some great businesses, I'm 100% behind Mike, people's expectations are messed up, and that's putting it politely.
SEO has always had an air of mystery about it. It goes back to the early days when it was possible to improve your rankings in Google by using slightly dodgy tactics. Remember keyword stuffing, invisible text and the numerous meaningless directories that linked back to your site.
Conversations with prospective clients often turn to the subject of costs. More than anything else people want to know, understandably, what creating a predictable, scalable and reliable lead generation website is going to cost. This is fine and for many, the costs are in line with expectations. However, for some the costs are surprising, but perhaps they shouldn't be and here's why.
In Inbound Marketing we talk a lot about buyers' journeys and the path from attracting them, through engaging with them to converting them into leads and then customers.
Inbound Marketing is all about attracting visitors to your website, engaging with them and converting them into leads. To do this you need to provide valuable content that gets noticed when people are looking for it, and makes potential customers trust you enough to want to do business with you.
I'm a competitive ballroom dancer, it's something I really enjoy and I compete at the highest level. Following a disappointing result at the British National Championships last November (we made our finals but weren't placed, as we'd hoped, in the top 3) I decided to add to the team I rely on for coaching.
We arranged a guest lesson and duly went along. The guy's opening gambit was hard to take. "You need to make some fundamental changes or you're finished. If you don't change you're going to slip down the rankings and disappear." Ouch, that hurt, but I'm so glad he said it, tough love is rarely a bad thing and if it's based on a desire to help change something, it's priceless.
If your website's slipping down the rankings or if it's never been ranked then perhaps tough love is your best bet and here's what we mean by that.
I had a very interesting, if a little frustrating, conversation with a chap on our website LiveChat today. He wanted to know, not unreasonably, what an SEO company actually does. Although we're an inbound marketing agency we're also well known for being SEO specialists and we do our best to explain SEO to people outside the industry, hence the enquiry. The conversation raised some interesting points so I'll cover them in this blog post.