SEO – Search Engine Optimization Services
SEO is a study in the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. We have seen it all. Rankings are always changing, depending on the last Google algorithm update. All too frequently, we consult with clients who have spent thousands of dollars with an SEO company for either no results, or at worst, to find that Google has penalized or even blacklisted their website, due to the unscrupulous practices of that SEO company. Some of those companies have big brand names and large advertising budgets.
Don’t be fooled. Below, we give you information on how to discern what kind of a company you may be currently working with.
- Morality and Ethics: ours speak for themselves. It’s not a bad idea to ask for references. We are happy to offer them to you.
- The Consultative Approach: a good SEO company will immediately take the relationship approach, rather than the sales pitch. You will call them, because they were easy to find online. They will not try land a ‘deal’, but will see if the relationship is a good fit for both parties. We have turned down work, because we realize that we cannot be all things to all people.
- Results: a good company will not only have their own SEO ducks in a row, but will also be able to offer you stories and social proof. They won’t just be name droppers, but will talk about what they did for certain companies, what the journey was like, how long it took, and why that particular result occurred.
“Thanks Holly, after the first month of SEO, our sales are up 10%. This is a huge jump. Wonderful!” Tom and Tom, Vitamin Gurus
Here are some misconceptions about choosing an SEO Firm, from Forbes Business:
- “The SEO firm that ranks first in your geographic area is not necessarily the one you should work with.” Google has no way of knowing the ethics of any particular company. We get calls all the time from clients saying they picked us because we came up first for a search for ‘SEO Wichita, KS’. We love hearing that. It means we are on top of our SEO: clean code, fresh content, social media, and inbound links. We also have one of the oldest domain names for internet companies in Wichita KS – since 1996, which Google puts a lot of weight on. Don’t be completely persuaded by just a top ranking. Search Google for complaints about the company online, and ask for references of real people you can call.
- “The best SEO firm for you might not be much of a firm.” In this case, size really doesn’t matter. Nor do certifications. We have seen some of the worst SEO practices from large telephone directory companies. Small SEO firms that have experience, longevity, results, and ethics should be considered when making your choice.
- “All SEO firms are scam operations.” Unfortunately, if you heard some of the horror stories we hear from our incoming clients, the same could be said about hosting companies, website developers, and lawyers. Don’t let one bad experience color your whole view of SEO companies.
“2C is very knowledgeable and knows what SEO method will best benefit your business, and will gear your site to be Search Engine Friendly without having to sacrifice the look and feel. We learned the hard way after many past failed websites from so-called SEO experts. Now our business is much better off.” Staci Ramroop, Web Project Manager, Skyline Jewelry Inc.
Ugly SEO happens, whether well-, or ill-intentioned. Some of our loveliest clients have accidentally done harm to their pwn rankings, because of a lack of SEO knowledge. ALWAYS seek professional help with your SEO. We often have to do a lot of clean-up before we can start the building phase of SEO, due to these practices:
- Over Optimization: This is by far, the foremost problem of all of our incoming clients, especially ones that have been online a long time. Many of these website owners figured out that these methods worked, and for a long time, especially if they had a domain name that had been online for 10 years or more. That they were not immediately being penalized by Google with Panda and Penguin lulled them into a complacency concerning their SEO. Many of them stopped working on their sites, their content became thin compared to the competition. That, along with keyword spamming, and link farming was spelling the doom of their websites, but it was slow and subtle. Investing little into their site’s improvements, they rested on their past. Over the last 3 years, however, slowly but surely their sites have been slipping, slipping, slipping in the SERPs. It is not until it is almost too late, that they call us. Waiting so long, makes it a hard, long, expensive process.
- Comment & Link Spamming & Link Buying: We have all seen this. Companies randomly inserting a comment or a link to their website in a blog comment, or forum post. Google caught on, and it targeted this practice in its Payday Loan Update in 2013. It also updated its rules after the J.C. Penny scandal. “J.C. Penney, when contacted by the New York Times, said that they didn’t know anything about the links and promptly fired their SEO firm, SearchDex.” Good SEO is personal. It takes time. It doesn’t happen through canned, spammy messaging, or by buying links.
- Cloaking: Presenting different content to a search engine bot from what you show to your readers, is used by some webmasters to trick users into visiting a site. For instance, a user will click on a website based on a search engine’s results and description, but will be redirected to another site different from what was described in the SERP’s. Obviously, this method is highly deceptive and could quickly get you banned.
- Hidden Text, Single Pixel Links, Doorway Pages: all terrible black-hat methods that have been banned by Google.
Hence, the Google webmaster guidelines. Algorithms are meant to bring up the best possible results to searchers. When people try to manipulate those algorithms, Google might lower your site’s rankings or blacklist your site, by taking it out of the index entirely. There is a very large team dedicated to finding violations to the guidelines and then refining the algorithms to catch them. They also work to manually remove sites or lower their rankings.
Our professional methods of SEO can get you a better ranking through responsive design, fresh, engaging conversational content, appropriate use of keywords, social media, and much more.
“Thank you, appreciate all the SEO and SEM in this new contract. I have been more than satisfied since I first started working with you all. BTW, now all my business now comes from my web site’s organic SEO. I get orders, not only from the US, but from Australia, Scotland and Canada, too!” R. Madri, Wichita, KS
SEM – Search Engine Marketing
SEM is a little like swimming with the sharks. Obviously, you want to be the biggest shark in a school of fish. You must DOMINATE your competition, or get eaten by them. An Internet site needs to be marketed to online viewers, and that process needs to be ongoing, in order to maintain visibility compared to your competitors. You can no longer just build it, and expect that “they” will come.
Inbound Traffic Sources
- Most people find your company on the Internet by mobile search from a smartphone, from a link on another site or social media, or by finding your site listed in a industry directory or other type of listing.
- Studies prove that Digital to Digital is the BEST internet traffic. Very few people find your site from a billboard, a radio ad, or a print brochure. Those media types can be great for brand recognition, but are not conducive to internet traffic.
- Lastly, if you have a good reputation, word of mouth, still sends visitors to your website.
Where is your website on the Google Algorithm Update Spectrum? Let us know.