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 drops to the bottom of the rankings. And if your consultant uses certain types of tricks, the search engine may ban your site, meaning you will never appear in the results. Is that the type of risk you want to take?
The basics have always been the same
The basic approach to ranking well in search results has never changed: create relevant, helpful content that people like, share, and link to. That’s it. Through all the various major changes that Google has made over the years, my rankings have rarely changed more than a couple of positions up or down on the first page of the results. Why? Because I don’t try to game things. I just provide a lot of relevant content that is helpful. Do the same and your site will be highly ranked for a long time.
You can do everything yourself
You don’t need a consultant to create a highly ranked website. You can create content yourself (you are an expert in this area after all). If you need ideas on what to write, check out this article. You can fill in the few fields that search engines care about easily in WordPress using the popular All-In-One SEO plugin. And you can share your content via a newsletter, blog, or other means. You don’t need anyone to do this for you. You just need the time and commitment.
Don’t get conned by people who claim they can get your site to the top of search rankings. It is a waste of money and ranking well in search results is something you can do all by yourself.