Selling SEO - Dispelling The Myths Part Two

by Richard Zwicky

All SEO Articles

This article from The Mender (Issue 27),
Metamend's Web Site Optimization and Marketing Newsletter.


In part one of this article, (see Issue 26) we discussed creating awareness for the importance of Search Engine Optimization. (SEO) Let's continue this awareness by dispelling several myths and common preconceived notions and misconceptions the average website owner is subjected to via Internet marketing hype.

It's A One-Shot Deal With Submission Software
Submission software packages will often promise the moon, but how can a one-off deal get similar results from non-consistent and comprehensive services? All search engines have their own unique submission guidelines and these guidelines change irregularly.
Alternatively, some programs promise; "Top Rankings Guaranteed or Your Money Back" or; "Get yourself listed in 2000 search engines overnight. Guaranteed!" Money-back guarantees are usually worth less than the paper they are printed on. In search engine marketing they are worthless, because outcomes are always unpredictable, and once you are indexed, it's possible to force your site to show up at the top. Just do a search using your top 20 keywords. Your site should be number 1. Hey! It worked! Too bad no one commonly searches with more than 3 words in a query string.

The claim that your website will get listed in 2000+ Search Engines is my favorite.
If you believe it, well I'm really sorry. Anyone claiming to submit to anything more than 250 directories and search engines will be deceiving you. There are only about 100 odd true search engines of varying value that people use, plus about 20 valuable international directories. There are also some important "industry specific" directories.

Then there are the filler Free For All links pages.
(FFA's) There are countless thousands of them. Some software will indeed get you listed in many FFA engines. FFAs don't really come close to comparing to directories like Yahoo! or DMOZ, but you will know your website, and email address was submitted - your name will get on more email spam lists than you can count. Soon, "You've got mail!" will be like that song you can't get out of your head, but hardly anything else of benefit will be derived from these lists.

SEO Doesn't Have A Good, Clear ROI
Let's see; You can use our service for $0.55 a day, (one sip of a Starbuck's Latte a day), and for that we'll save you the 20 odd hours of work you should do in this area to maintain your website for the search engines, every month. As for SEO in general, the ROI is excellent compared to other marketing methods. Compare it to banner ads, pay-per-click, or pay for placement, usually these alone cost you more in a day than a month of SEO from us. Plus, because SEO results in focused, relevant traffic to your website, you will get better overall conversion rates, and lower customer acquisition costs.

Once You Achieve Good Results, SEO Is Finished
Yes, almost true! Until the search engines do one of the following: Change their algorithms or Update their index. When they update their index everyone else who tweaked their site will have changed positions. Your website will probably have also changed positions as a result, most likely downward. Search Engine Optimization requires ongoing maintenance to keep up with the changes. Today's top listings under any single key term will change on an hourly basis. What you need are consistent, broad, across the board results. Maintaining your position requires constant tweaking.

Do it Yourself SEO Is Cheaper
Sure it's cheaper to do it yourself. Unless you value your time or have a room full of marketing staff.(even then payroll is not cheap) It's cheaper to do everything yourself, but while I cook dinner most nights, I don't make my own clothes. Mind you I like my cooking. How much is 20 hours a month worth to you in a dollar amount? SEO professionals make you money by saving you that time and effort, at a cost you can afford.

Outsourcing anything other than your core tasks is usually the most cost-effective way to build your business, because economies-of-scale kick in fast. Doing it yourself, or hiring someone to do your SEO work in-house is not economically viable for everyone, let alone for a Small or Medium Size Business.

Search Engine Leads Are Worth Less Than Other Leads
Search Engine leads are the probably the most qualified leads you can get, simply because they come from people searching for the exact products and services which the search engines have you indexed. They are looking for you, not the other way around.

All SEO Services And Plans Are The Same
As far as true SEO services, yes, they should all offer the same basic solution. They should all review your website, check for errors, extract what is relevant about your site, and optimize your webpage(s) to ensure that the search engines can find your website by what service or product your website is providing. Unfortunately, there are a few questionable providers giving the industry a bad name, mostly by making false promises, or by calling their service SEO, when they are really just a submission only service. Services and pricing varies widely across the industry, and is not a way of measuring quality. Two providers will offer exactly the same service, but charge widely varying prices.

Buying Traffic With Pay-Per-Click Engines Costs Less
How? Because you only pay for the people who are searching for your product or service? Sure, if your potential market is so small that next to no one competes in that category, and the listing costs you $0.05 per click, and you get only a handful of visitors a month. But if that were the case you probably would not have a business. If your category is even somewhat competitive, clicks will cost you dollars each, not pennies, and you may be paying hundreds or thousands in monthly fees. Nice to think that your competition has hired someone to keep re-clicking on your ad a few thousand times a day. It happens, and costs you a ton of money with no results whatsoever.

Other articles from this issue:
- It's Not About Building A Better Mousetrap; It's The Way You Position The Cheese!
- Spam Levels Part One

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