“We’ll have you on the first page of Google in a week!”

Companies that promise this are being disingenuous at best.  Typically the way they do this is either by getting you placed in the Google Places (Maps) area, or they put you in the Sponsored Links (Pay-Per-Click) area.  While having your website listed in these areas can be helpful, getting your website listed in these areas isn’t the definition of Search Engine Optimization.  (Click picture to see the anatomy of a Google Results page.)
Google Results Page
Pay-Per-Click falls in the Search Engine Marketing category and is a very different animal from SEO.  No one should be running this type of campaign for you and calling it “SEO”.  It is important to note here that running a Pay-Per-Click campaign in Google does not impact your SEO.  Can it drive more traffic to your website?  Sure.  Can it be a critical tool in your campaign?  Absolutely.  But it has no bearing on where you are placed in the Organic Results.  Don’t believe me?  Google tells you right here:  Google’s advertising programs are independent of our search results.

If a company is truly performing Search Engine Optimization services for you, they are supposed to be getting your website listed in the Organic Results area.  This simply takes time.  Depending on the age of your website, competitiveness of your business, and the competitiveness of the keywords you are targeting, it can take months for your website to get ranked well organically.  And once you get there you have to continue working at it, because your competitors are concentrating resources on their campaigns.

So make sure when hiring a company for Search Engine Optimization services that you understand what a reputable company should be doing for you by familiarizing yourself with the tricks of the trade.  Watch our Facebook page for the next installment of our series.

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