And Other Fantastical Claims You Shouldn’t Believe
Everyone wants to be number one, right? That desire seems to have incorporated itself into the American dream. We don’t want to just do something (sorry, Nike); we want to be the best at it.
In the world of websites and search engines, everyone who has a website wants it to be listed first in line, apparently for any search term, any time. We’ve all gotten the emails with the promise of “Guaranteed to Rank Number 1 on Google!” If people didn’t covet that number-one ranking, they wouldn’t be clicking through to the phoney-baloney website that sits on the other side, poised to be pounced on by who-knows-what.
And then there’s this email that I receive about once a week:
My name is [enter pretty much any name you can think of]. I work as a Business Analyst and was doing research for another client when I came across your site.
As I was surfing through your website, I soon realized that although it has a nice design, it isn’t ranking high on the search engines for many keywords related to your business.
(And this person would be happy to send me a quote for him/her to help me improve my situation.)
What? My website isn’t ranking high on the search engines for many keywords related to my business? (shudder) I’m so glad he/she had nothing else to do but take the time to point this out to me.
Still yet, there’s the Phone Call, a robocall from a voice claiming to be a representative of Google who will link unsuspecting and potentially panicking business owners with a friendly offer to provide Google services in exchange for a fee or perhaps simply your Google username and password. (Might as well throw in your bank account number and mother’s maiden name while you’re at it.)
Who or What to Believe
- Can I really rank number 1 on Google?
Sure! At Sage Marketing Group, we do provide search engine optimization services, and we have helped many clients reach number-one rankings for searches that include important keywords. But like every legitimate SEO provider, we would never guarantee a number-one ranking for anything. There are more than 200 different factors that the Google algorithm uses to come up with its ranking order of websites for a particular search. Some of those can be affected by good SEO practices; many cannot. To follow through on a promise of number-oneness is not necessarily possible. Rather than trying to lure you in by some flimsy guarantee, we would rather explain to you how we can help you with the content, design, and function of your website to ensure potential customers are finding it, are interested in and able to access the content, and motivated to take action, whether that’s making a purchase or asking for more information. But we will never make a performance guarantee (and watch out for anyone who does).
- The unsolicited offer to help my site rank higher with keywords related to my business is genuine, right?
No. There are ways to see how a website ranks for certain keywords. The easiest way is to type the keyword into the search bar of your favorite search engine and see where the website falls on the list. (Keep in mind the 200 factors at work – where you’re searching from, your web browsing history, the term you use, and more will affect the listings you see.) Simply perusing a website will not give you this insight. Anyone making a spammy offer like this is only interested in taking your money.
- Would Google really call me?
Possibly. If so, only to verify your business or confirm details to improve your Google Maps listing. If you have previously spoken with a Google account manager, he or she may give you a call as well. But if you get a solicitation from someone claiming to be from Google who wants to help you improve your search engine ranking, charge you for a Google My Business listing, or assist you with managing a business account if you could only provide a password or verification code, your best course of action is just to hang up. That would not be Google calling.
So Now What?
If you don’t have anyone on your marketing staff who is well versed in search engine optimization, finding a specialist who can help make your website content work in your favor would be a good investment. Ask about their approach to SEO and what kinds of results you might expect. References are always a plus. If you’re not sure where to start, you can always start by talking to Sage.