Search Engine Optimization (SEO): It does not work as promisedDec 15th, 2011 by Rick Haynes.
Jon Hansen, a past client and consultant to our company posted a blog on SEO efforts, stating that they do not work. It can be found at his blog with a title of Actual examples
demonstrating why SEO is more hype than substance. I wrote my blog to show that our experience follows his.
Like many companies, Smarter Solutions wants to have a solid presence on the search engines because web searches are one of the main sources of clients that contact us for potential work and training. A number of years back we believed that the key to web marketing success was to have high rankings on search words related to our business, which makes sense. At the time there were many organizations offering search engine optimization (SEO) as a service. It was not cheap either. One company in Austin was selected and paid to improve our SEO.
I do not think they had ever worked with a company like ours because the first couple of meetings were very difficult. Before we would commit, we wanted to know how we would measure the impact of their performance. They said that they would provide a report on all of the efforts that were being taken, where they spent our money, and it would include a bar chart of the success. We knew that they had never read a book that Forrest had written or they would not have suggested a bar chart for each month. Their plan was inadequate.
Smarter Solutions worked for a week and generated a SEO performance plan that leveraged the lean six sigma tools to monitor performance. We performed a baseline performance on our key word searches that their goal was to improve. It involved control charts and censored data analysis. If you can imagine their faces it was like deer in the headlights, but they still said yes they could do it. So we paid and they optimized things (the website format, website content, paid links, references on other sites……)
We checked the metrics month after month and nothing changed. They kept telling us that real improvements were happening, just look at their reporting. We just need to wait longer for our metrics to change. Well, after four months and no changes in our metrics, we let them go. We found that the only Smarter Solutions metric that the SEO vender impacted was expenses.
Since search engine ranking is important, we chose a content based theory on search engine ranking. We introduced content based blogs and a resource center to make many of Forrest’s publications and webinars accessible to the public, and to the search engines. Guess what! Our search engine rankings started climbing within 30 days and kept a slow increase for over a
year. We now rank high in all of our targeted areas. One disappointment was that this increase did not drive a significant change in revenue or business, but we have seen a growth in sales contacts and client inquiries.