People often ask us questions about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). They ask us things like “how do you get to the top of Google?” or “I have a website about car insurance, why aren’t we in the first 500 pages of Google results?”to which the answer is usually “because your website does not contain the most comprehensive resource on that subject – you will be number one only if you truly deserve to be.”
More recently, a few people have asked us about hiring SEO professionals, or Pay-Per-Performance SEO specialists.
The first point I will make on this subject is never to engage anyone who cold emails you about SEO. Never. Ever.
But do you need to pay SEO professionals to promote your website?
You shouldn’t, if your website is properly constructed, and contains well written content. These are two things that clients of Silicon Dales get as standard, on any package. All websites we make follow SEO best practice.
So What Would an SEO Professional or PPP SEO Do For You?
What SEO professionals will generally focus on, other than in-site optimization (which you should have covered with the design and build of your website – and the on-going addition of regular well-written content), is off site promotion, which often take the form of link building campaigns.
You should be very careful about over-optimizing in this way. It is against Google’s terms and conditions for webmasters to engage in “unnatural” behaviour. Anything which is trying to subvert Google (et al’s) ranking systems will usually result in penalties at some point.
Does this mean you cannot ask other people to link to your website? No, it certainly does not. Google encourages you to reach out to people you already know from your industry and your circle of contacts and colleagues, and ask them to link to your website. This does not, however, require the services of a third party. It is best coming from you direct.
The only SEO you should engage people to do on your behalf is to design a well written, standards compliant website which follows industry best practice on in-site Search Engine Optimization, and make sure that website is always up-to-date with accurate, well-written, content designed to engage your core clients and web visitors.
Any link building should happen naturally, over time, and not be forced. When launching a new website, a quick email to friends, family and colleagues mentioning the new website, and saying something along the lines of “we’d really appreciate social media and website links pointing to our new website” can do no harm, but you certainly should not engage anyone to link build on your behalf.
Want proof? How about this Silicon Dales website! We’ve never paid anyone to build links for us, yet we show up well for many keywords relevant to our industry and locality, such as “web design & development, Yorkshire Dales“.
So, What IS Worth Paying For?
Services which may be worth paying for include Social Media management, and Search Engine Marketing (buying Cost Per Click or Cost Per Impression advertising in search engines) as both of these things can be time consuming and somewhat difficult for novice webmasters. SEO should not be something you focus any time on, as to focus extra energy on it is, in itself, an “unatural” practice which is likely to be harmful to your efforts in the long run.
Also, a well designed website should last you for years, so that’s worth buying. We would say that, though, wouldn’t we
SEO Rule of Thumb
Rule of thumb: focus on your users, not on your SEO. If you please them, you will succeed!
- How to Help a New Website to Rank in Search Engines
- Why Do Directories / Agents Outrank My Website?
- Silicon Dales Clients Receive Major Google Search Engine Ranking Increases
- Google Search Ranking Increase – for Logged in Google Accounts
- “Safe” Ways to Increase Google PageRank