It’s Thursday morning and I’m sitting at Panera Bread in Leominster, waiting for a networking meeting with a partner.  There is a guy, sitting with his impressionable friends, across from me, and he is going on and on about search engines. As a web expert, I was able to pick out several red flags that should have warned his friends to steer clear of his services! With friends like this guy, they certainly don’t need any enemies. Let me tell you what I mean:  Red Flag Number 1 – He says he charges companies $5000 minimum to do websites from his bedroom, but he will do her furniture hobby website for $10!  Welcome to my industry, folks!!!

Red Flag Number 2 – He says, after he is done, she can type in her company name and be in the top 3 of Google.  No DUH!  Dude… it’s her company… anyone can do that, that is NOT search engine optimization! That is the basics of registering her domain name.  What he didn’t tell her was that it takes a ton of work to show up for “custom furniture” or “custom tables”.  It should be obvious that people who search for her company name already know about her company, so she won’t be attracting any new business with that strategy. Seems like he is misleading her to get his $10!!!

Red Flag Number 3 – He says he has the Google algorithm, and that he has been studying it for years!  I have no way to validate this, but every ounce of my being says if he had that, not only would he be rich from helping people but he likely would be in jail for some sort of corporate espionage.  There is no way Google’s algorithm is out in the public domain floating around.

What is it about our industry that makes people who work within it tell lies and falsehoods about SEO, rankings, and search results? Are they trying to impress the prospect? Is it simply bravado? One thing is for sure – these are NOT the kind of people you want to pay to get involved with your business! Tell me what your thoughts are!

Here are mine:

  • I tell people honestly what I know and what I think we can do.
  • I set appropriate expectations!
  • I never guarantee results, and I tell our clients that!
  • I explain, and explain, and explain, as much as I can, how SEO works and what that means to our client.
  • I write tons of articles, both on our blog and in publications like the Worcester Business Journal, detailing what I know and how things work.
  • If I knew everything about how Google worked, I’d be rich and retired on some island somewhere, like Tahiti!

Final thought – there is no magic pill for SEO.  You have to work at it! You have to fill your site with relevant content and you have to provide value to your prospect so that they will contact you. Don’t believe everything you hear about SEO, including the pie in the sky stuff!  If it sounds too good to be true, it is!