Pittsburgh SEO companies, and SEO companies around the globe, have long touted the benefits of hiring them to optimize your website and get you to rank well for the keywords that you identify as valuable.
What you don't know, however, is that much of what they are telling you can be incomplete truths that may misguide you as you look to market your business online more effectively.
As you talk with SEO companies, be mindful of these 7 lies that many of these companies tell on a daily basis.
1. "SEO is the way of the future."
Many Pittsburgh SEO companies will adamantly tell you that SEO is the single best thing that you can do for your business online. The truth is, a recent move by Google to encrypt search results has led experts to question the value of SEO.
The truth is, SEO is a powerful tool to be used in internet marketing, but the best kind of optimization for search comes from creating incredible, persona-based content that answers the questions that people are asking.
2. "SEO will grow your business."
Sure, almost any of the Pittsburgh SEO companies can drive traffic to your website, but it takes more work to turn those visitors into leads and close those leads as customers.
What good is traffic to your website if you're not generating any sales?
It takes a lot of work to create and refine your sales funnels before you start generating paying customers from good search performance. Search engine optimization that doesn't lead to conversion will do nothing to grow your business.
3. "SEO will solve all of your problems."
Don't get us wrong, SEO is important for maximizing your online marketing potential, but it won't solve all of your problems.
An inbound strategy is only as good as the sum of its parts, and it's important to align your search strategy with the other components of your marketing arsenal.
4. "All inbound links are created equal."
Different links carry different amounts of weight -- Google looks at them for relevancy and authority before giving you credit in search results. The biggest red flag: SEO companies who utilize black hat techniques (like purchasing links and keyword stuffing) to generate inbound links.
These kinds of techniques can make your site looks like spam in Google's eyes, and believe me: you don't want that.
5. "SEO will turn your money into new business."
SEO companies will often position their services as a transaction. That is, they advertise that your money + their company = paying customers.
Unfortunately, this just isn't the way that it works.
As with lie #2, even if these companies generate traffic -- how are you going to convert this traffic into new business? If you don't have a plan in place to convert this traffic, all you have to feel good about is the fact that you rank higher than your competition.
6. "We will make you rank #1 for a keyword in 3 months, or your money back."
This sounds great to a business owner, but what many companies won't tell you is that they're going to optimize your site for the easiest keyword that they can find with some relevancy to your business. Buyer beware, I've seen many SEO agencies consistantly make off with thousands of dollars for only a few minutes of work.
It couldn't be more important to take a strategic approach to search engine optimization. It's not just about claiming your company & product names on Google. Isn't it more valuable to target the pains of your personas and the questions that they are asking online?
It doesn't matter that you simply rank for keywords, it's important that you rank for keywords that matter to your prospects and will generate more qualified traffic.
7. "There's nothing to lose."
Although you may get your money back if you aren't satisfied, many businesses don't realize that search engine optimization agencies could hurt a lot more than their wallets. Those agencies who participate in black hat SEO tactics can do a lot to hurt your reputation.
Be sure to read up on black hat SEO tactics and insist that the SEO company you work with does engage in any of them. If they are not willing to have that discussion with you, or they refuse to disclose their techniques, it's highly recommended that you walk away and find a white-hat agency.
So, how do you generate organic traffic without a Pittsburgh SEO company?
This is a great question. The key is to create remarkable, evergreen content that naturally uses the keywords that people are using when they search Google for answers.
If you invest time into answering questions and solving pains, your readers will find your content to be exceptionally valuable and Google will reward you in kind. This approach is highly effective in generating organic traffic, and is more likely to generate quality leads for your company.
Ready to learn more?