Businesses want to know what red flags to look for during the initial consultation and sales pitch with an SEO agency, and who better to learn from than a professional SEO?
Vice President of Sales at Millionairium Dan Manahan is revealing four common things that SEO salespeople will say and what those statements really mean.
1. “We Offer Convenient, One-Stop Shopping”
Some companies try to net clients by offering a plethora of services, claiming expertise in all of them, and spinning it as convenience, but Manahan says beware of a jack-of-all-trades. There are hundreds of companies that tout expertise in services ranging from site design, search engine marketing and email marketing to social media marketing, conversion and pay per click.
While all those services fall under the umbrella of online marketing, the truth is that pay per click advertising is completely different from social media marketing which is completely different from search engine marketing. No one person or business is likely to be able to deliver quality results for all of them. Many companies do have experts on staff for multiple areas, so look into their claims before writing them off.
2. “We Can Cut Costs Once We Get To The Top”
Beating out competitors to get to the top of Google rankings is no easy task, and it takes time and a well-honed strategy with ongoing resources. Yet some SEO companies try to sell a potential client with the theory that once they get them to the desired ranking they can cut back on what their SEO costs.
Manahan says that a company telling a potential client that is not taking competitive backlash into account, making that SEO company’s line of thinking either short-sighted and ignorant or intentionally deceptive.
“An SEO company that doesn’t plan for a competitive backlash either hasn’t experienced it because they haven’t ranked anyone high enough or simply don’t care to exercise the foresight that is incumbent upon a company that hopes to retain clients for the long term,” Manahan says.
Displaced competition will make an assault to reclaim the lost position, and cutting costs right when the competition will come back swinging is just going to make it easier for them to do it.
“The cost reduces in the context that the site is generating more revenue relative to the SEO services price tag, but a flat price reduction is ludicrous,” the SEO expert says.
3. “We Have Set Pricing Plans”
This “set pricing plan” line is taking advantage of clients’ preference for fixed-rate pricing structure and ignoring the fact that fixed prices are not ideal for SEO. Manahan says there are too many variables in markets and websites to make it realistic.
“Real SEO targets the displacement of the competitors’ websites,” says Manahan. “Only after an analysis of a prospective client’s competitors’ websites can an SEO company calculate the resources required to beat them.”
The pricing structure works for certain online marketing services. For example, it works for email marketing because the demand on the company resources to facilitate a 10,000 per month email campaign versus a 1,000 per month email campaign can be anticipated.
However, an SEO campaign is full of variables like site size, starting rank, market factors, competitiveness and number of keywords that make that type of pricing impractical. Or it means the SEO company has compensated for it somehow, such as inflating prices or cutting corners on more time-intensive accounts.
4. “Let’s Draw Up A Contract, Then Put Down Objectives”
According to Manahan, an SEO company that is reluctant to commit to an objective, such as in the top five positions of Google within nine months, without a locked-in contract should raise a red flag.
They are probably more concerned about guaranteeing their income than delivering results for their clients. Quality SEO techniques do take time to work but that timeframe can easily be explained, discussed and agreed to on the front end without requiring a long term contract.
Millionairium does not require long-term contracts, although they strongly recommend ongoing SEO campaigns for success. The difference between a long-term contract with other companies and a contract with Husayni is that he offers his clients a guarantee.
“We share the risk. If we don’t deliver, you get your money back—very simple,” says Manahan.
If a business shopping for an SEO company notices the salesperson using one of these tactics during a consultation or negotiations, they should take a step back to ask some more questions or walk away.
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