My job is pretty amusing sometimes. Yesterday we got an organic lead from our website which had us all chuckling a bit. As a Tampa SEO company, we have tried to practice what we preach and, as a result, have established some kick-butt local rankings that serve to be a great source of leads (as well as a good showcase of our own competency – doesn’t get much more competitive in the SEO world than competing against other SEO’s). But sometimes, we get an inquiry that really makes us shake our heads. Yesterday’s was one of those: a gmail address as the only valid contact information, with the question: “how exactly would you optimize a website.”
Was this simply a case of spam? Maybe. Someone fishing for free tips? Probably. But frankly, it got me thinking…rather, stewing. How can it be that someone would think search engine optimization is achieved by a simple set of steps that we can just regurgitate without ANY information regarding the site, industry, business goals…anything? To me – someone who spends every day entrenched in SEO strategy – I was a bit incredulous, and maybe even a tad insulted, at first. But the thing is, as silly and spammy as this lead seemed, it’s not really that far off from a lot of people’s perception of the SEO process.
An effective SEO strategy is composed of many elements, both on and off site. And there is no good “one size fits all” strategy. While there are of course some basic common elements and best practices, a good SEO strategy will be based on many different factors that are unique to every individual client and website.
The problem is, there are too many “SEO companies” out there who take the one size fits all approach, most often to the detriment of their clients. That combined with the overwhelming amount of “how to” information available online can lead the average prospect to believe that there’s a quick formula that just needs to be applied and, poof! You’re at the top of Google.
There are so many factors that go into an effective SEO strategy, so make sure you keep this in mind when feeling out potential providers. If an SEO company offers up pricing or a package without taking the time to analyze your site, industry, competitive landscape, or really ask you about your ultimate business goals, move on.