1. SEO is Not a Quick Fix Solution
This may sound harsh but if you’re business is struggling, SEO is probably not the answer. SEO should never be considered as a sticking plaster and it’s not going to reverse the fortunes of a failing business overnight. Likewise, if you’re expecting to turn around your website’s traffic and/or conversions within a few short months again: you’re probably going to be disappointed. SEO is perpetual: once you start you won’t ever stop. SEO is never “done”, just like marketing is never “done”.
2. SEO Will Not Compensate For a Poor Product or a Bad Service
Get your house in order before you start searching for an SEO Company. If your service is below par (this includes your website!) or your product is any less than the best it can be then you’re not ready for SEO. Taking on an SEO Agency when your business isn’t ready will just compound your problems. (The same applies to PPC Advertising such as Google AdWords.) On the other hand, if your service or product is awesome then SEO should amplify your business.
3. Link Building Isn’t SEO
Link building isn’t SEO. If you’re looking for a link building company believe me, you do not “get” SEO. I’m not going to go into detail here as my colleague Ben covers it nicely in his blog titled: Rank Yourself Off With Google.
4. Don’t Obsess About That “Main Keyword”
Your “main keyword” probably isn’t actually your “main keyword”. A good SEO will understand that SEO success does not revolve around ranking for 1, 3, 5 or even 20 keywords. With around 20% of queries never before searched for in Google, there are thousands of keywords that you’ve not thought about that in aggregate, drive more traffic than what you think are your “main keywords.”
5. Google Will Not Buy Your Product, People Will.
If your first thought when considering SEO is making Google happy then you need to reassess your priorities. Google will not be purchasing your product, people will. Build a website that people love and Google will reward you – this includes writing copy for humans and not search engines.
6. Rankings Are Not The Only Key Performance Indicator
Shock horror! Don’t judge SEO success by rankings alone. You will never be number 1 for every possible search term, understand that now. Ranking as high as possible for as many terms that drive conversions as possible should be your objective. Don’t judge SEO performance by arbitrary targets such as ranking in position X for search term Y.
7. SEO is a Very Cost Effective Marketing Medium
At the beginning of an SEO campaign costs may appear to be quite high and for sure, in the early days SEO will feel like a considerable investment. In time though, SEO will pay dividends and will usually see ROI increase as time goes by. As an example, a client of mine in year 1 of a campaign saw SEO costs equate to roughly £0.50p per sale, now, 2 years on, it’s around £0.06p per sale.
8. Help Google to Help You
Read the Google Webmaster Guidelines, they will help you understand SEO and what your approach should be. They’ll also help you understand if your SEO Agency is doing things by the book. If you follow the guidelines and create a great website that Google will want to rank, then you’ll potentially rank well. Also, don’t look at the Google Webmaster Guidelines in black and white, understand the meaning and intent of the guidelines and if you do it properly the spoils will come. (You won’t have to worry about adverse effects from Algorithm updates either.)