It seems that many of my recent posts have been sparked by an e-mail I received. Well, this is no different. I belong to several small business networking groups, and in one, someone sent an advertisement for a search engine optimization (SEO) specialist. This person claimed that if you followed the instructions in his book, your web site would jump from invisible to #1 in the top search engines.
Then, I received another e-mail directly from a “seo specialist” who said he could improve my web site rankings if I just hired him for $xx per hour. He gave me his web site information to look at client testimonials. Most were measured in terms of competition, like if you type in “affordable web site design” and Google says, these are results 1 – 10 of 158,000,000. For that phrase, there are at least 158,000,000 sites that come up. That is the competition. The guy’s site also had a list of phrases that his clients are coming up as #1 for in the search engines. From an outsider perspective, it looked very impressive. Then I did some digging…
I had been taking a free search engine optimization class that is taught by a woman named Cricket (http://www.gnc-web-creations.com/seo-optimization.htm). She told us that it’s nice to know how much competition you have for a phrase, but what you really need to know is how many people are searching for that phrase per day or per month. For example, it doesn’t matter if you are #1 in every search engine for “potato chip candle scents” if no one ever searches for that term. That means few people are looking for this product using that phrase, and you will not be found. If you are not found, then you cannot get customers. To go back to the example of the guy who contacted me, I used some keyword tools Cricket suggested in class and found out that these “#1 phrases” his clients were being found under were searched for less than 10 times per month! That means 10 or fewer people visited his clients’ sites for that phrase. It doesn’t even say whether they purchased anything, and we all know that everyone who views your site isn’t automatically a customer.
I write all this to say be mindful when investigating search engine optimization services/products. Make sure you are getting a good value for your money. Find out how these “specialists” measure popularity and then check out some of their testimonials. Are these #1 rankings for phrases that are searched for frequently (which means the specialist really did something) or are these rankings for phrases that no one cares about? Again, make sure the words you are #1 in are actually being searched for.
A good tool for finding out phrase popularity, measured in terms of how many people search for this term per day or month, can be found below:
Keyword Suggestion Tools:
Anyone can tell you that he or she is an SEO expert. It’s up to us to find out the truth…before we spend our money. Have a great day!