Why hiring an SEO or search ranking consultant is a waste of money

Like most small business owners, I am regularly sent emails by individuals or firms that claim that my website ranks poorly and they are the ones who can help me rank highly in search engines. You may have wondered if spending money to hire one of these firms is worth it. Definitely not. It will be like throwing your money away, and may end up hurting your business significantly in the long run. Here’s why. There is no way to guarantee rankings When one of these firms claims that they guarantee to get you to the #1 position, they are flat out lying. They do not know the ranking formula Google, Bing, or Yahoo uses. And since these formulas change regularly, there is no way they can guarantee the results. The top spot for irrelevant words is harmful They may get you to the top for certain phrases, but if those aren’t the phrases your ideal clients are using to search for you, what good is that. It may actually be more harmful because you will now have inquiries from unqualified prospects who waste your time. The only phrases that matter are those your ideal clients are actually using. Tricks will get you banned The way that almost every one of these consultants gets you well ranked is to try to trick the search engines. They employ many different methods, but all of them are harmful to your business in the long run. The search engines figure out these tricks pretty quickly and change their search algorithms regularly to combat this sort of activity. When that happens, your site...

Considerations when selecting a web developer

If you talk with small business owners, it is easy to find someone who has a horror story to tell about a web development project gone wrong. Are there good developers out there? Yes. Here are some questions to ask or aspects to consider when evaluating web developers: Will they develop the site that you have planned, or do they force you in to a model they use? Make sure they understand the role your site will play in marketing your practice. Share with them your ideal client and the problems you solve. If they don’t understand marketing, this may be a challenge. Do they understand solo practices and small practices? It doesn’t have to be in your industry necessarily. Ask to see examples of their work. Would you hire that person/firm? Make sure you understand what they are saying. Do they speak the language of business or do they speak techno-geek that is like a foreign language? Do you have control of the site? Can you easily make changes without any complicated software? Do you own the website address? Do you control the hosting account? Will the site use standard technology that gives you maximum flexibility for the future? Do they understand how to have a site rank well in the search engines? Can they explain what needs to be done in order to raise your site’s rankings? Will they implement the search engine ranking elements that you have created for each key page? Will you get a site launched in a couple of months (or sooner) so you can make changes as your business changes? Be wary...

Why you need to create a website that is an effective marketing vehicle for your small business

So many commentators are saying that websites aren’t important and social media is where you need to focus your attention. I disagree. So I put together the video below to explain the process prospects follow in selecting a potential supplier, and how your website plays a vital role in that process. (On the video you will hear me say “course” because the video was originally part of a promo video for one of the courses I deliver on this...