Many entrepreneurs are enamored with SEO and while I do it for my own site, I’ve never spent a dime on it. It’s not because I’m an SEO expert and can do it myself. It’s because it’s a waste of money. I learned all this when I was running two multi million dollar online magazines. If you are an online entrepreneur or local businesses buying SEO or are a company selling SEO services, this is a great time to reevaluate your SEO decision and may be time for a pivot. The folks who’ve been selling SEO know this scenario to be true…
You sign up for some SEO services from your buddy who builds websites and claims he knows an SEO expert. You are excited for your new site and the buzzword weilding SEO expert who’s convinced you he will help get you top ranking. You’re excited and ready to gain new clients and hope to see the customers come pouring in.
After 30 days, you call your SEO expert.
“I know this is supposed to take time, but we haven’t seen any new customers yet. How much time do you think it will be before we see something promising?”
Technical explanation ensues and you hang up with your fingers crossed.
Fast forward a month…
You pick up the phone. “I see we’ve improved our ranking on Google, but we still aren’t getting any customers from it. We really need this to work, I’m not sure how much longer I can afford to keep paying you.”
Then, another month…
Things aren’t happening and the ROI just doesn’t make sense. You don’t know what to do other than call your SEO expert back.
Your SEO expert already knows what’s coming because this has happened to him before. In fact, it happens almost all the time now.
In years past, SEO companies and campaigns could help their client’s websites rank higher on Google.
But Google is huge and smart, they change their algorithms and technologies constently, there’s no single SEO expert in the world that should charge for these services now because they simply don’t work like they did in the past.
The better companies have stopped offering it…and it might be time for you to stop buying it.
I want to go over the main reasons why I don’t buy SEO services and then what you should be working on instead.
5 Reasons Why Buying SEO Is A Waste Of Money
1.) Google Is One of 72 Places You Can Be Found Online
There is no way any SEO expert can promise to get you to the top of all the charts, so claiming anything like that is highly misleading.
Let me give you an example of my wife looking for a new family physician for us last month. We changed our health insurance and needed to find a new doctor. Did she search for a local doctor’s office using Google? No.
She searched the Insurance carrier to see what doctors were in network. The list was actually in a book they sent us in the mail. She went online and found a more updated list of doctors and hospitals from the insurance carriers website.
She searched online for the doctors that were listed in network. Did the doctor’s office show up on the first 3 pages in Google? No.
The doctor’s name did should up on a site called healthgrades.com which was on the first page.
The doctor’s profile was incomplete. No ratings. No profile picture. A further investigation found several other doctor’s by the same name. One had a 1-star rating. Ironically it was 1 review of 1-star. Did this doctor only have one patient?
My point is simply that today not only is it search, but aggregators like healthgrades.com and others in every industry make your online reputation even more complex. Alternative search services now exist like Siri, Cortana and Facebook all take a piece of the search pie, ranking high on these search engines may be just as important as Google.
2.) Keywords Have Been Replaced By Semantic Search
Keyword optimization was all the buzz up until 2 years ago to get you to the top of the search engine results pages. Google gets smarter everyday to avoid this trick. One of my friends that owns a a group of car dealerships had over 100 thousand keyword search terms and a huge ppc budget. He figured he would cast a wide net and narrow it down from there based on peoples search behavior. After 3 months they just stopped the entire program all together realizing it was a complete waste of money.
Semantic search is the new technology. Semantic searching relies on great content, not SEO content.
Also beware for those who charge you for keyword-filled content. It’s unfortunately still rampant in today’s marketing landscape.
3.) Content Quality Is Far More Important Than Quantity
Great content gets shared. Great content gets visits. Average content takes up space and yields no results. You don’t need to blog every day, week or month. Try to be consistent, timely and topical. I’ve tried hiring others to help me write. I only end up redoing it. Far better to get a good editor who can clean up your mess but let the ideas be valuable and true to your audience.
You will want to complement your written content with video, audio, and some consider some airtime on a related industry podcast. Add new forms of content to your website. You’ll find the results are much more impactful.
4.) Bulk Link Building Pisses Off Google
In the past, getting links out there anywhere you could was a good thing. However, today if you hire someone who can’t tell you where and why your links are placed, you can see a negative reaction instead of a positive one.
Even if you build too many good links or links with the wrong sites it’s possible your customers searching for you may see a stern public warning message from Google. If you hear an SEO expert claim they are offering any type of link building service, you’re setting yourself up for potential disaster.
5.) Mobile Is Critical – Responsive Is Mandatory
Mobile browsing has outpaced desktop for a while now. It’s hard for me to fathom even having to mention this but again I’m amazed at how many people optimize their sites for desk top rather than mobile or tablet. Desktop optimization is the outdated practice of optimizing content so that it shows up well on desktop computers.
If you are thinking results based on desktop searches is most important, you are way behind the times.
Pivot Your SEO Efforts To This Instead
So here’s what you really need to think about rather than just hope to rank higher on search. Try ranking higher as an authority figure. So many people I talk to don’t think of themselves as an authority figure but they are. You are too.
When you think like an authority figure you can help and reach more people. I’m not saying claim to be an expert. I’m saying figure out your niche. Figure out the one transformation you can help people do better than anyone else and focus on that one transformation.
When I figured this out, it has changed everything for me. The world is not looking for a generalist. They are looking for specialists. When you become the specialist in your little corner of the world, you will become the authority figure.
If you’re trying to raise money for your startup, you will need to be the authority figure in front of your investors. If you’re trying to gain clients you will need to be the specialist that can help them transform from their current situation to their desired situation. When you become an authority figure and ultimately a celebrity authority figure the world will come to you.
If you’re interested in learning more about becoming a celebrity authority figure and how to do it leave me a comment and I will send you a free guide.