David Leonhardt’s SEO and Social Media Marketing

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Don’t Trust SEOs Bearing Pretty Packages

gift-boxesMany SEO companies advertise specific packages, such as a gold, silver and bronze SEO package costing so much per month and including so many links of so much PageRank and focusing on so many search terms.

We don’t.

SEO is not a science, it is a sport. It involves strategy. It involves balancing various aspects. It involves flexibility and responding to what others do. It involves competing against others….and each game is different.  One size does not fit all, and the size and shape has to be able to change sometimes on a dime.

Good SEO does not come in pretty packages.

Here are some of the limitations that packages create:

  1. Building so-many links each month. Come the end of the month, there would need to be a counting of links, and if the links have fallen short, a flurry of activity to create links, even if the quality of those links is poor. Don’t get me wrong, you need sucky links. But the fact is that those links might actually be negative for your site .
  2. Building links based on PageRank. Plenty of good links of low quality would be rejected. Why create links you are not being paid for?
  3. Monitoring the number or PageRank of link-building. What should be monitored is the ranking for those search phrases that are being pursued. Over time, changes in strategy are required .
  4. Client knows what to purchase. How is the client to know what package to buy? Even the SEO consultant can only guess at what is required, a sin any sport. As the SEO moves down the field, he is constantly re-evaluating the game and what is needed .
  5. Automation. Let’s face it, if your website attracts the exact same number of links every month, that’s a red flag sign of automation, even if the links were built manually .
  6. Best links will be missed. The best links are those that can’t be predicted, the ones using link-bait and social networking. Anyone offering a package cannot afford to invest the time in these high-quality links .
  7. Limiting the number of search terms. I see the search phrases my clients have to target change all the time. Sometimes they change their product offering or target a new demographic. Sometimes the language that searchers use changes. Sometimes we see that we are getting a surprising amount of traffic from a keyword we were not targeting…and we go after it .
  8. A package is a product. Do you want to sell a product, or do you want to be part of the team. If I was to hire an SEO consultant, I would want him to be part of the team .

Whether in basketball, baseball, hockey or any other competitive sport, a custom package that is flexible and responsive to changes is the only way to go. SEO is no different. Hire an SEO consultant that can outline a custom program and who is not shy to make changes on the run. Make sure your SEO is as flexible as you are; your market is dynamic and the search engines are even more so.

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14 Responses to “Don’t Trust SEOs Bearing Pretty Packages”

  1. Donna Malone (1 comments) Says:

    I was struck at this statement "SEO is not a Science it is a Sport" cause I think you were very much correct, SEO is sometimes so competitive that at the end of the month you have to change your strategy just to stay on top. And Again another wonderful post.

  2. wilson (40 comments) Says:

    You've the points here, David. It's better to have one quality backlink than hundred of sucky backlinks!

  3. local marketing (2 comments) Says:

    It's nice to find other SEO companies that don't follow the "package" program. It's more fun to work with a client based on there needs and not on what you want to sell them. As we customize our services around our clients, we learn more and they get more out of our services.

  4. David (13 comments) Says:

    @David: Good points there. Unfortunately, I have still seen that 'packages' sell better than 'request for quote'. People are more comfortable buying stuff (services / products) if there is 'some' way to quantify the output.

    Best way to work on SEO projects is to discuss what you are going to do, and charge on per hour basis. 'constant number of links per month flagging automation', never thought it that way but that's a valid point. :)

  5. SEO Guy Leeds (2 comments) Says:

    Oh so true. I usually present SEO as a soft science or even as a humanity in many respects, which leaves many new customers very blank-faced until you explain. They all expect that its a matter of techie skills and number crunching, or worse they think you can get there by being a one-trick pony. SEOs are multi-taskers whatever the gendered mythology of multitasking might lead us to beleive.

  6. Faye (1 comments) Says:

    It's interesting comparing SEO to a sport and I agree completely. You need to have a game

    plan but should be flexible enough to revise it if necessary. You have to be able to read

    and understand your opponent and if your strategy is not working, you have to switch to

    plan B right away or you lose. Nice post.

  7. Advertising Ideas (1 comments) Says:

    Some really good points. As you mentioned the problem with packages is that it assumes that SEO is a science rather than something that requires creativity and different strategies. Not even the SEO consultant will know what will work well at the start so to be restricted to a package based around certain criteria just isn't logical and will more often than not result in disappointing results for clients.

  8. francesca (3 comments) Says:

    true enough, SEO is getting more popular nowadays. I think the reason why they are putting it in packages is to make the offer cheaper. I know some who provide additional hub sites. I still believe that this does not tailor fit the needs of the client. Sometimes, they will be pushed to get the option. It is good that you are pointing out the limitations. It magnifies what other cannot see thus making them miss out on quality SEO

  9. blogging (1 comments) Says:

    this is why i do SEO myself.i feel it thrilling to do.

  10. Joyce Porter (1 comments) Says:

    When it comes to backlinks I always prefer quality over quantity I think thats the most common mistake this packages SEO program do they brag to give tons of backlinks but most of those links are not authority sites.

  11. jackin (1 comments) Says:

    yes i like the strategy that SEO is a sports as both are challenging job and have fun too.

  12. Online Shopping (10 comments) Says:

    Agree that SEO should be flexible. As in the internet world, nothing is fixed. It could probably be changed over the weeks!Thanks for the tips above!

  13. kamjah (1 comments) Says:

    I learned that doing SEO mannually is good. I have started from forum postings to comments in do-follow blogs. I learned many useful things in my way. It cost less and useful.

  14. Jordan Foutz (1 comments) Says:

    This is great. So many SEOs are not in it to win it. They are after your money and are no better than the creepiest car salesman. SEO cannot be bundled and sold like items on a 99 cent menu. Building the value for the service rendered requires a tailored approach. Thanks for the information.

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