Thanks to our inbound marketing skills we're nurturing a business lead with a company in Canada. As we get to know each other they are sharing their experiences to date, in particular the things their current SEO company are telling them. Now we know people are confused about SEO from the number of people who visit our SEO explained page, but this stuff is priceless.
As you've probably guessed from the title of this blog post one of their pearls of wisdom was, and I'm quoting our potential client, "They said they'd 'white wrap' keywords so people don't see them but they'd be visible to search engines. Is this standard practice?"
Where to start!
First off Google's guidelines make it crystal clear that doing this is a no no. Most SEO company's know this and have known this since, well since forever. It's quite incredible these guys thought of doing it and even more so they shouted about it; it's more the kind of thing a deceptive company would do out of desperation.
But such is SEO, even in 2015, and no doubt it will always be the case as more companies see the $$$ signs and the lure of a quick buck. The truth is that in 2015 more than ever before SEO is hard. Not technically hard, not "this stuff is so geeky" hard, although we know people are still perplexed, but hard because like most things in life when the rewards are high getting there is hard or "difficult difficult lemon difficult".
In short if you want to secure search engine traffic you've got two options and both of them cost money, sometimes a lot of money.
Option 1 - Paid Search
Ingredients include money, hard work and a sprinkling of creativity and know how.
Option 2 - Organic Search
Ingredients include money, hard work, lots of creativity and know-how and plenty of luck.
Option 1 pretty much guarantees you exposure and is very powerful. The downside is you have to pay and keep paying, but it works.
Option 2 is more tricky. With option 2 you could spend a lot of money and make very little progress, sometimes none and it's this uncertainty that leads to the confusion and dishonesty in the SEO arena.
So why bother?
Simply because organic search engine success really is the gift that keeps on giving. Secure good search rankings and your business will benefit, sometimes hugely, often for years.
For example, we've got content on our website, created circa 2010, that still brings about 150 visitors to our website every day, in 2015. How many adverts do that? How many other promotional activities deliver like that? This is why we argue that investing in content marketing makes sense. It's hard but it works.
So long as people refuse to take these truths onboard companies who pretend to know about SEO will flourish, white text on a white background and all. This is because people want to believe there's an easy way to trick search engines and secure search rankings. There isn't.