Are First-Page Guarantees Legit?
If you do a search for SEO services, you’ll turn up any number of sites making lavish guarantees, boldly promising to usher you onto the blissful “first page” of search engine paradise. Having just performed this search query, I found this audacious and even fallacious claim: “Rank #1 guaranteed.” In my opinion, there’s one response to such a snake-oil SEO guarantee. Keep away … and here’s why.
There are several variables unique to each website and its relevant market. An SEO expert cannot guarantee you a “first page” rank for organic search results—let alone, ranking first on “first page”—until he has asked some fundamental questions about your business. (Or he’s likely to employ Black Hat SEO practices that might spike results temporarily … right before you’re slapped with penalties from search engines.)
Don’t believe me? Listen to what Google has to say on the matter:
No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google.”
Google is notorious for being ambiguous, but on this they are not.
Why First-Page Guarantees are just Hot Air
While there are several variables involved, such as whether you have an existing domain name (or want to register a new one), whether your website has a blogging platform or not, blah blah blah … the salient factor is the level of competition in your particular industry; specifically, the competitiveness around your (carefully chosen) keyword phrase.
If you’re in an industry such as “business consulting” or “wedding photography,” for instance, your competition is fierce and aggressive; that is, everybody in these industries is playing the SEO game, and playing hard to win. Getting onto the “first page” of organic search results for relevant keywords in these industries is not easy and is sure to be a tough slog over many months … without any SEO guarantees. Yes, applying White Hat SEO practices will guarantee you steady SEO progress, but a promise of “first page” certainty for organic results is irresponsible at best. (Of course, getting onto first page using Google Adwords or Google My Business is easy to do, and certainly doesn’t require an SEO expert.)
Remember, you’re not trying to outsmart stupid people. You’re trying to outsmart smart people who often have a head start.
Once an experienced SEO expert has asked the fundamental questions relating to your business and industry, he can help you achieve good results by applying solid practices over time. And given enough time, “first page” is entirely possible. However, the first issue is this: how much money do you have to throw his way until you get results? And then, the second issue, which is just as important, surfaces: how much is it going to cost you to maintain this result?
SEO isn’t a once-off task, but an ongoing process. If an SEO expert, over time, gets you to “first page,” you’re going to need to continue to pay him to keep you there!
With a website built on SEO best practices and embedding a SEO-focused marketing plan into your business activities, you can manage and master an effective SEO strategy without dishing out money on a monthly retainer. And that’s our promise to you. By the time we’re finished our work for you, you’ll be in charge of your SEO destiny and no longer dependent on anyone else.