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Digital Marketing

The Truth About SEO

Let’s get one thing out of the way: not everything you hear about SEO is crap. Just most of it.

Too many business owners and marketers know it’s important, and very little else, allowing the market to be flooded over recent years with SEO “experts” that make ridiculous claims to win trust and money, often producing nothing. I can’t tell you how many stories I’ve heard from the ripped-off small business owners that stand in their wake. With YEAH! Local you will get the results you want from an SEO company.

The truth is, you shouldn’t be confused about your SEO campaign. In fact, it should make sense to you. Search engines want to promote content that their users find valuable – it’s really that simple. With that in mind, keep an ear out for these selling points. You can thank me later.

1. #1 on Google. Unless that company is writing content for all of your competition, and is set on giving them low rankings, this can’t be guaranteed. Improving your rankings takes time, and is subject to a plethora of variables. It’s like having a home builder tell you that your home is guaranteed to be standing in 50 years. You wouldn’t buy that, would you?

2. The “inside track” on search engines. No search engine that’s worth dealing with has any secret partnerships with any search marketing firm. Period. I tend to hear this from firms that don’t even understand SEO. Ask them if they have an “inside track” on getting out of your office.

3. Failure to lead by example. The best way to tell the quality of a search firm is to Google “search marketing (their location)” and see what shows up. They should be able to show that they can do the same for themselves that they want to do for you. Make sure that the results are proof that they know their stuff. Check for reviews as well.

4. Ridiculously low rates. Unless a firm is running a drug cartel to support their payroll, they can’t afford to do your business any good for $200 a month. Like I said before, good SEO takes time, and those that do the work need to eat.

5. Full management of your social media/blog/whatever. No one knows your business like you do, so it’s critical that you’re heavily involved with the content that’s written to promote it. Most of these firms use college students or an offshore company that you wouldn’t hire yourself to do your marketing.

Are there any I missed? Please let me know in the comments below.


Patrick King

Patrick is the Founder of Imagine and advisor to places on brand strategy and creative. His insights have been published in Inc. Magazine, SmartCEO, Washington Business Journal, The Washington Post, and Chief Marketer, among other publications, and shared at conferences throughout the US. He also has an amazing sock collection.


  • Thanks for bringing a strong dose of common sense to this subject. Add me to the list of people who went astray based on the hype and seductions, in may case with severe consequences that ended a partnership and set me back several years. Now, happily, belatedly, getting my business back on track.

  • Bob Mac says:

    I think this article is dead on. I am setting up in the construction contracting industry. People talk about that being a mine field. They have no idea. Compared to your industry I am not so sure anymore. Thanks for your article.

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