You Get What You Pay For!
How many times have you heard this?
Likely not enough, because it seems in this day and age people are often very quick to purchase items or services based on price, when in the long run the cheaper up front prices may cost more. As a friend used to say to me, ‘The Lazy Man Pays Twice’.
I’ve had many instances with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) clients in the past years who have hummed and hawwed about signing a 6 month contract only to have them come back a few months later complaining about the firm they went with who did nothing for them but cash their checks or charge their credit cards with no real way of knowing what was done for them. In some cases clients were provided with cumbersome keyword reports that required someone in-house to analyze them for hours as they were meant to confuse them to hide what was in fact done. Basically, automated search engine submissions and no content.
When looking for an SEO company, remember the important things that you need updates on each month to ensure that there is in fact ANY work being done. There is often confusion between the NUMBER of search engines that you are being submitted to and the number of keywords that are being targeted. SEO is much different than Pay-Per-Click in that you likely will target around 25-30 of your best terms and build your site around those keywords with ‘fresh’, ‘original’ content.
When it comes to search engine submissions and search engine submission services, this can skew the thinking of uneducated potential customers that are shopping around who then may contact me to say, ‘But SEOshady.blackat firm says they will submit us to hundreds of search engines’ when in fact your goal was really to be high up in the rankings for Google’s search results, Yahoo’s results and possibly MSN’s Live search. THREE, not hundreds.
It is important to do manual directory submissions, but they should be MANUALLY DONE and submitted in small batches to directories RELEVANT to your niche. Paying someone $2000 / month and not getting ANY content is a total ripoff if all they are doing is putting your website URL and description into some program and then pressing ‘go’ to send it off.
So for SEO, remember that MINIMAL you need the following:
if they are charging over $1250 / month:
- NEW and ORIGINAL Content, several pages per month, possibly blog articles
- Unique Title tags on several pages per month
- Unique Meta descriptions on several pages per month.
MYTH – it is really super annoying when I hear people say,
“Oh yeah SEO is just all the Meta Keywords and stuff… we know all of that. Our ‘guy’ can do all that he’s awesome.”
– What I’m getting at here as that on site SEO consists of several key deliverables that need to be done properly each month in order for you to rank well in the search engines. Most people don’t even know that when they are found in Google that the information displayed IS the PAGE TITLE and the META DESCRIPTION.
In the above example the PAGE TITLE: is”PPC Management – Wpromote Search Marketing”
The META DESCRIPTION is: “PPC Management services, Search marketing and Internet advertising. Search Engine Optimization services and more from Wpromote, the search marketing experts …”
- Also your H1, H2 tags should be in order so that your primary keyword phrase is near the top of the page in an H1 with subheaders in H2, H3 tags as appropriate.
- Onsite SEO should also include setting up Webmaster Tools (easy to do) and ensuring there is only one version of your site showing up (Custom Programming Hours spent to fix canonicalization)
- Plus whatever else you’ve been promised in the contract or verbally.
So back to the ‘You Get What You Pay For’ in life stuff, I have learned that when you are doing any project that requires other people, such as an independent music video or film or recording project it really makes a big difference to spend the money in the right place.
For example, instead of having some jack of all trades person trying to do everything on their computer, do some research and make sure you have all the pieces of the puzzle being performed by the right person. In a music recording situation, rather than wasting 6 months rehearsing with your friends from high school, it may be worth it to hire the best session musicians around with a high cost up front, but no need for hours of whining and complaining when these folks will come in and play what is needed, be well prepared and professional.
For a Short film or movie, rather than cheaping out with one dude with a borrowed camera, get a budget together first, find someone with experience and make sure that all roles are defined and filled by those with the expertise – i.e. Director, producer, cameramen, set design, executive producer, etc. There is nothing more annoying then having the ‘talent’ from a indie music video constantly suggesting ideas to the director on the day of the shoot. Everything should have been planned in advance.
From a search marketing point of view, let a PPC Management team take care of your pay-per-click budgets. Don’t do it yourself unless you are in the business of PPC Management as your time alone will end up costing more and your campaign will not be optimized nearly as efficiently as those who have the proper tools to do it and the experience with many many other campaigns in the past – don’t lose your money based on your own trial and error!
Value is so important. Find the right people for whatever it is you are trying to do and pay them well. You will be rewarded in the end with a solid product or results from your efforts and doing things the right way the first time.
Leave the trial and error to those learning the industry, interns and students. Don’t let it ruin your business goals because you ‘cheaped out’ and hired someone who charged lower than an industry standard rate – this should be a RED FLAG – those who undercut likely don’t provide the VALUE and may be attempting to ‘Shanghai’ you.