For anyone that's looked at contracting SEO services for their business, one thing that is immediately apparent is the different ways that SEO firms tend to organize their products and services. For example, our SEO services are offered as a consulting solution, and we firmly believe that this is the way to go for most serious SEO campaigns.
Often times, however, you'll find companies that offer SEO plans instead. This can be as simple as a promise to spam 200, 500, or 1000 forums for you. It can also be more sophisticated, such as a more balanced approach of 10 different areas that the SEO firm plans to work, balancing on-page and off-page SEO factors. But SEO is never a "one size fits all" art, and here is why.
A smart link building campaign is balanced. It contains backlinks from forums and blogs. It also contains links in posts and comments. It contains both dofollow and nofollow backlinks. It contains links from high PageRank and low PageRank web sites. And it requires synergy with a pre-existing backlink portfolio- the one thing that above all else, a stock set of SEO plans can never offer. By and large, the search engines want to see you getting a natural balance of link to your site, and quick bursts of unvaried backlinks are not natural.
Let's say you run a small coffee shop in Coffeeton, Maryland. In a given month, it's possible that upwards to five people mention you on their blog, Twitter, a review site like Yelp, etc. (potentially even more than you might realize, but overall, the volume is low simply by the nature of what you do). Much like the other fine coffee shops of Coffeeton. After subscribing to the most intense SEO plan that you could find on an SEO company's site, your site suddenly receives 10's of thousands of backlinks. Aside from common sense dictating that this looks sketchy, this thread on Webmaster World outlines where Google's 2007 patent filings made it very clear that they paid extra attention towards analyzing unnatural spikes in link volume. As such, there is little room to argue that unvaried, unrealistic volumes of links coming at your site at one time cause far more harm than good, and will be quickly disregarded from passing any value to your site.
3.) Road blocks
A very large number of our SEO consulting clients have been astonished after the removal of some single on-page SEO penalty skyrockets them high into page 1 territory in just a few weeks. There are many SEO problems that cannot be resolved without intelligent analysis, and this is something that a stock SEO plan simply will not fix for you. Keep in mind that Google representatives have stated that they analyze more than 200 ranking factors. I for one have never seen an SEO plan with more than 200 bullet points in it's listing of features, and ignoring just one can leave that so-called barrier in place that will always hold you back.
4.) Link Bait
Every successful SEO campaign requires the ongoing construction of link bait to draw in fresh searches and give people real reasons to spread your content. This means a real contribution to the web as a whole, not just product pages on your site that you hope that people magically find their way towards. A quick look at our free SEO tools, Google Ranking Factors, and this very blog should only emphasize that this is not an area that you can ignore. Link bait needs to be custom tailored with the help of people that know your company best, never manufactured by an overseas SEO firm's stock SEO plans.
5.) The Power of Analysis
Never discount the power of intelligent analysis of SEO. Almost every corporate client that we have taken on has thousands of existing backlinks that they have simply failed to reap the full benefits of- either via poor anchor text, missing 301 redirects, typos, or otherwise. In some cases, it's been more than enough to skyrocket these companies more than several pages towards their desired goals. If you could move your site up several pages through simply maximizing the thousands of existing links and/or pages, wouldn't you?
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