Deciding to use the services of a SEO (Search Engine Optimiser) or web developer is a big decision, that can potentially improve your site and save you time, but it is important to beware of SEO's that claim to guarantee rankings. The simple fact is, no one can guarantee a page one ranking in Google.
Why can't a page one rank be guaranteed?
Without going into the nitty-gritty of how all keywords and PageRank are achieved, it is important to note that search engines are continually changing the way they generate results to ensure we get quality of content. This is part of the reason you cannot guarantee page one results. The rules keep changing to increase the quality of our experience.
The second reason you cannot guarantee page one results is because of the competition. There will always be other businesses looking to take your number one spot. Therefore you have to keep working hard to stay number one. The reality is that online competition will continue to increase and the cost of keeping a page one result in search engines will continue to increase.
The good news is however, if you can get to page one, especially position one, stats show that you will get a lot of attention. So fight hard to get there.
Google search results.
Page ranking methods
There are three main methods used in aiming to achieve a page one result in Google:
The Pay Per Click Method
(Generates sponsored links)
This method utilises Google AdWords and is the most dependable way of achieving a page one position. There are two possible draw backs to this method. Firstly you must bid more than your competitors. If you are in a highly competitive market you will have to spend a lot of money to stay on page one. Secondly it has been proven that online shoppers are less likely to trust sponsored links than they are organic links.
The Google Places Method
(Generates Google Maps results)
The places method works on location based searches and will help with your overall Google rankings. However getting page one results is dependent on competition level in your location and is closely related to how well your site is optimised.
The SEO Method
(Generates Organic Links)
Organic links are the most trusted on search engines. This may be due to the fact that sponsored links are generated by bidding for their page one position and may only have a loose relation to keyword content. Therefore sponsored links may have reasonably useless content. Achieving a page one result amongst organic links is reliant on your site generating the keywords your customers are searching for and your sites PageRank. PageRank is basically the importance Google assigns your site and it is responsible for determining if your site comes up on page one of the search results.
So what do you do if someone guarantees you a page one ranking in Google or another search engine?
- Ask them to put their guarantee in writing.
- Ask them to include (in writing) what they will do if they do not achieve a page one position.
- Make them sign this document.
We have met a number of people who have been burnt by Web Developers and SEO Service Providers. There are not a great deal of checks and balances in place yet with online services therefore we recommend the following:
- Do your homework.
- Talk to several web developers and SEO professionals.
- Be cautious of guarantees and promises that seem to be a bit too perfect.
- Always look for recommendations.
- Research the previous work of your service providers to see if they can deliver.
If you need any advice on SEO please please don't hesitate to contact us.