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I’m sure you’ve seen the ads or other websites promising guaranteed SEO results.
I see it all the time, too, and I cringe each time.
Here’s the truth about such a claim: no one can guarantee anything when it comes to organic (or natural) search engine results.
With that being said, however, I can definitely estimate certain results with a reasonable expectation of success.
Sounds like double-speak, you say?
Allow me to explain.
Another little-known fact to small business owners is that your website’s domain name needs to have been online for up to a year before anyone can do anything with it in terms of SEO.
It takes Google a while to reliably index your website (typically 6-9 months), so if you’ve just purchased your domain name and are hosting it for the first time, don’t expect much from any search engine results.
Google has never formally acknowledged that domain age is a ranking factor, but tests on which websites tend to have the best ranking results have been done for years and older sites overwhelmingly do better.
Don’t let anyone tell you differently and charge you money in the process.
Another variable that comes into play is not just what you do, but what your competitors are doing.
Have they optimised their websites for those search terms?
Or are they simply benefiting from having been there for a while with little competition?
You don’t have to be the best website out there.
You just need to be better than your competition.
Using search terms properly, formatting them well and creating content that people want to read goes a long way toward doing well in the search engines.
And so does keeping an eye on your competition.
If you think about it, Google ranks websites it thinks are best for a given search term.
That in no way implies that they are in fact the best options and you can find a lot of wiggle-room in that fact if you pay attention to what your competitors are up to.
It’s hard to offer guaranteed search results when the SERPs can randomly change the same results for the same keywords.
One day you may be 4th and the next day, 7th.
If nothing else, this seems to tell us that few things are set in stone when it comes to Google Search and guaranteeing anyone anything specific is that much more difficult.
When it comes to organic rankings, you are looking for consistency.
Ever notice that you’ll get a whole set of different results if you search using your mobile phone?
One reason for this is that mobile search results tend to be local.
Another reason is that more mobile users are logged-in and see more personalised results based on past viewing experiences.
And do you even have a responsive or mobile website in place?
Without one, Google won’t favourably include you in any mobile search results.
So how would you go about offering guaranteed SEO results for those searches?
One easy way to offer you guaranteed SEO results, albeit a misleading one, is to use paid search programs like Google Adwords.
Anyone can use a PPC campaign to get on the first page for a given set of keywords: just find some niche terms that aren’t extremely competitive, pay enough for them, and you’re off to the races.
The problem is that the results won’t be natural and will end as soon as you run out of money.
Which is sort of the opposite of what we’re trying to do here.
If someone is pushing guaranteed SEO results on you and won’t clarify whether they will be using paid search, dump them fast.
The short answer is “no, not really”.
There are always variables involved, such as what you sell, how you sell it, where you sell it and how competitive your market already is.
The real skill to all of this is being able to come up with the correct niche keywords and phrases and creating content around them that will target the correct people in your market.
We can always expand our targets later, but to start off with there are no quick-fixes or magic potions.
If someone was offering me guaranteed SEO results, I would definitely want to see what they’ve come up with in terms of which keywords they will focus on and how strong the websites were of the main competition.
Even niche keyword strings aren’t a guarantee of anything if the competition is strong, right?
Until Google decides to share its secrets with all of us (and they never will), figuring out how to rank well in the organic search results will remain an educated guessing-game of trial-and-error.
And now you know why guaranteed SEO results are misleading at best and a lie at worst.
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