As a business owner, there’s a lot to juggle on a daily basis. Balls are continuously flying in the air in efforts to create and sustain a profit.

One of those balls, which should be a substantially large one, is marketing. And when it comes to marketing, your chief goal of course is to get more sales.

In order to accomplish this, having a professional website should be at the top of your marketing list due to it being your primary marketing piece that’s working on your behalf 24 hours a day, all year round.

But just having a website is not enough.

Aside from thinking about keeping your website up-to-date, you also need to be thinking about SEO: Search Engine Optimization.

Now if you're a typical business owner, you may not know a heck of a lot about SEO. It’s a term you’ve heard kicked around and probably understand it’s something you should be doing but that’s as far as it goes. Because it’s such foreign territory for you, you keep putting it off or worse, you hire the first person who sounds like they know what they're talking about.

And this is what many nefarious scam artists are counting on.

So before you embark on any SEO project, read this article over first and get yourself educated on the mistakes many unsuspecting business owners make when they're ready to take action and outsource their SEO to achieve their marketing goals.


Watch Out For The Scammers…

By now, the odds are extremely good that you’ve been contacted, probably multiple times, by some SEO “expert” telling you how dire your Google rankings are and saying you “must do this or that” to get your website higher up in the search engine rankings.

And if you're not well involved in the online marketing or SEO industry, what they're telling you probably sound very compelling.

You receive promises like:

“We will submit to a Gazillion Search Engines and Directories for $59.95!”
“We guarantee Page 1 rankings in Google!”
“We guarantee thousands of Visitors every Month!”
“Just spend thousand$ with us, plus a $500 monthly fee and we will make you rich!”

Please do yourself a favour and immediately delete those emails or hang up on those callers. These people are trying to scare you into hiring them and making promises that simply cannot be guaranteed. They are scammers that prey on those that don’t know any different.

… And Be Cautious of the So-Called “Experts”

But there’s also another group of people that requires caution. These people are very well intentioned but simply don't have enough expertise to be giving sage advice on how to get your website search engine optimized.

I have heard from many where their children, business coaches, IT administrators, copywriters and even their gardeners have “great” SEO and marketing advice and sure-fire ways to create instant success.

Yep, expert advice in this field is about as common as ants at a picnic.

But sadly that promise of instant success rarely, if ever, materializes.

The thing is, the SEO industry is evolving at a furious pace and just like the liquid web, it is changing dramatically. One must always be open to new ideas but also have a well informed grasp of sound and current principals.

In the world of SEO, what worked yesterday might not work today and what works now might be obsolete tomorrow.

So not only is the advice those “experts” are giving is possibly untrue to begin with, it’s guaranteed that it will shortly become as extinct as the Dodo bird. And if they aren’t actively involved in this field of study, they won’t even know that what they're doing and advising is old, ineffective news.

The Secret of Search Engine Secrets

The truth of the matter is, no one knows the deep, dark secrets of Google and other search engines.

No one knows what the magic formula is to get higher up in their search results except for Google themselves. And they aren’t telling anyone what they know!

What all us legitimate SEO specialists can do is test, tweak and repeat until we get the best results for our clients.

Now of course, we also have our tried and true methods that we know will garner great results for our clients. And it’s that kind of methodology that you need used on your website to get the most benefits from any SEO efforts.

So who can you trust?

Because of all the scammers and ill-informed people out there that are not producing the results that honest customers are paying for, the world of Internet Marketing and SEO has a very poor reputation.

So what can you do as a business owner to ensure you hire the right person?

If someone is approaching you via unsolicited emails or phone calls, this is red flag #1. Even Google says, “Be wary of SEO firms and web consultants or agencies that send you email out of the blue.”:

Do your due diligence and ask a lot of questions;
Don't let someone “wow” you with their fast talk of grandiose promises:

Find out what their processes are and flush out the ones who use “black hat” tactics that will eventually get your website blacklisted:

Ask for a list of referrals and follow up with each one of them. The results from past efforts are what speaks the biggest truth here.

Hiring people who are only going to plug your website into a bunch of online tools might be able to produce impressive looking reports, but will hurt your rankings, and your pocketbook, in the long run.

And hiring those that don’t have enough experience to truly understand the fundamentals of how to optimize your website for search engines is going to result in your money being wasted with a minimal return on your investment.

And if you are thinking you should be doing this yourself, don't be fooled into thinking this should be as easy as adding in a few keywords to your copy and you’re good to go. It’s far more complex than that.

Ultimately, there are many benefits to hiring a professional SEO company. One that knows what search engines are looking for and how to best position your website to be indexed favourably.

Because they understand that each search engine has their own set of rules, algorithms and regulations, etc., SEO specialists know what to apply to websites in order to get optimal results from the search engine indexing process.

And it’s an added bonus when that SEO firm also has a firm understanding of online marketing so that you can benefit from that area of expertise too.

But don't expect an overnight bonanza of high rankings and tons of traffic.

Optimizing your website for search engines is not a quick fix to achieving your marketing goals. Working with an SEO specialist to achieve higher website rankings and exposure can take up to several months or even longer.

So patience is a virtue when it comes to search engine optimization. It’s during this time that you can focus on your other more direct online marketing efforts like Google AdWords, Facebook ads, social media marketing, blogging, newsletters and other strategies that will help you achieve your business goals.

Author's Bio: 

Susan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a, "all in one" full service boutique web development and digital marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in creating professional brand presences for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

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