RSS Feed (xml)

SEO Expert India

Are There Guarantees In SEO?

An interesting commenter dialogue discussing SEO guarantees took place on my Marketing Pilgrim guest post. An innocent comment supporting the articles take on the vast array of grandiose guarantees and claims made in the SEO industry, led to a debate on SEO ranking guarantees vs. guarantees based on performance based pricing. There is a clear difference between the two.
This post will shed some light on the straight SEO rankings guarantee that should be avoided at all costs and the pay for performance (PFP) scenario that can actually cushion the risks of SEO.

SEO Ranking Guarantees " The Big No-No!
When making guarantees the ultimate business faux pas in ethical SEO is guaranteeing SEO rankings. This is not because 1st page rankings cannot be achieved but rather the back door tactics that are traditionally implemented when making the guarantee statement.

According to the Oxford dictionary, a guarantee is:
a formal promise or assurance, esp. that an obligation will be fulfilled or that something is of a specified quality and durability

The intrinsic problem with most SEO guarantees made online is that expected quality or formal assurance of fulfilling an obligation is devoid in these guarantees. There is absolutely no element of customer value because the guarantee is driven by the notion of making an easy buck through the manipulation of the uninformed rather than fulfilling a value proposition.

Pay for Performance Guarantees
Success / performance based pricing or pay for performance (PFP) as this pricing model is often referred to works on the premise that the client will make certain payments based on the rankings / traffic / ROI that has been achieved. The exact model will vary from contract to contract but the premise remains that the client must see real traffic value before making any significant payments.

This model has its benefits for the uncertain client as it provides a safety net and minimises client risk. It is different from the straight SEO ranking guarantee because it says: If SEO company achieves X, client pays Y, but if X is not achieved, client does not pay Y.

The focus of the guarantee changes because the SEO provider is no longer guaranteeing SEO rankings (which in effect the SEO company cannot control) but rather guaranteeing its service.

What this says is this: We (SEO company) are confident that you (the client) will be satisfied with our services. We (SEO firm) do not control rankings but we do control our own strategy and we are confident of our abilities. Thus, if we do not achieve the agreed to goals of meeting satisfactory SEO results, you (the client) do not make any payments.

But what are Satisfactory SEO Results?
Were back to that hitch! How do you know that the PFP terms & conditions are going to be in your (the clients) favour? YOU DONT! It is important to remember that PFP can also be manipulated to the advantage of the SEO firm rather than the client. It is not a panacea to avoiding SEO ranking guarantee scams.

It is for this reason that whatever SEO agreement you sign, you need to be sure that you understand the lingo, jargon, fine print and any other question marks on which you are unclear.

Any reputable SEO firm will explain exactly what the contract states and should, if asked, break down the terminology in such a manner that both parties are completely clear on what the agreement is really saying.

Pay for performance may work for some clients but not every SEO firm will offer these types of agreements. Why? Try saying to your lawyer that youll pay them when youre happy with the level of service they are providing you!

So, stay away from SEO ranking guarantees, consider PFP if that rocks your boat but most of all, do your research, know what youre signing and dont be hoodwinked by online scammers!

Surely, if the No.1 Google position for a term like office furniture is potentially worth millions of dollars, how on earth can this term be ranked in the top position for a few hundred dollars?

It cant! Get used to it " reputable SEO is a resource intensive, high value, medium-to-high cost, long term investment! If you want to make millions from your rankings, cough up more than a few hundred bucks to achieve those positions!