Ask any business owner when the last time he or she received an offer for SEO. There is a good chance that their answer will be something along the lines of, “Oh just the other day!”
Everyone and their mother offers search engine optimization these days, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that they know what they are doing. They have no idea how to do proper keyword research, let alone build quality links correctly. The truth is that many of these so called SEO companies are simply outsourcing the work overseas and have no idea what is being done to their clients websites.
With so many of these hack shops popping up it is important that you market yourself to stand out from these low quality companies. One positive thing is that they lack creativity and all use the same marketing methods that have been beaten to death.
Not every business owner is slick enough to determine which provider is real and knowledgeable and which one is outing their sites in the hand of a “SEO team” in India that throws mass spam at a domain until it is penalized and then moves onto the next sucker. Last week we posted a story outlining 5 reasons to run away from your SEO company, but now we want to talk about how legitimate SEO companies can market their services to stand out from all the pure BS.
It is quite amazing that business owners fall for these low quality services and the marketing methods these companies use. Here are some things you should stay away form:
1. Copy/Paste Generic Emails
Just don’t do it. This is what the low quality companies are doing and they mass spam every single email address they can scrape off websites offering them their amazing SEO service which will rank the company on page #1 for a ridiculously low price. They have done absolutely ZERO research on the industry, the competition, or the websites structure and current health yet they are claiming to be able to provide top rankings. They often throw the word “guaranteed” in there to help make the recipient bite. Obviously some business owners are falling for this, because if it wasn’t working they wouldn’t still be doing it.
2. Auto Dialer Calls
“Don’t hang up! Do you want to rank #1 on Google? Do you want increased website visitors and sales overnight? Great, press 1 to speak to a specialist now!”
Just like the point above, these messages are broadcast to any phone number they can scrape and throw into their auto dialer software. Those who press one are connected to a call center where the person on the other line will say ANYTHING in order to get the payment. Lies, and BS flow like water in an effort to get the business owners credit card details. These companies must be VERY good to be able to offer SEO services without even looking at the website. They truly are magicians.
3. Generic Mailers
While mail is a great way to really grab some attention it isn’t going to work if you just send out a generic, “Hey, we can help you!” type message. Most of the low quality providers will stick to email and phone spam because it can be automated and it can be done fairly inexpensive. This is why they just blast away until they get a sucker. Mail is a larger expense, but if you plan to fire off generic solicitations listing your services then you would be better of wasting that money somewhere else. Companies are blanketed with these offers daily.
So, what are some ways to stand out?
1. Simple Mail That Sparks Curiosity
Like stated above, mail can be great when done correctly. Many will try to pack as much detail into their mailer piece as possible, but this makes it cluttered and it looks just like the other 20 mail solicitations received in the week. So, do something to spark the recipients curiosity. Create a nice simple lead capture page on your website and then create a QR code that directs to that page. A simple letter with, “Are you ready for SEO that actually works?” (or something similar) and place the QR code under the text. You can even put your logo and contact details on the page – but if you do that make them as small as possible so it doesn’t take away form the main focus.
Some may argue that business owners don’t all have QR scanners but there is a good chance most of them have smartphones and can easily download a free QR reader app. Or they will have no idea what it is and ask someone else in the office. It causes curiosity and will result in scans, which will then turn into leads. After all is said and done this is a high quality lead. They took the time to investigate the offer and then submitted their information. Leads like this close at a very high rate with the right pitch.
2. Personalized Outreach
This will require some “time and research” but the payoff can be great. It involves gathering “leads” in a specific area or category and diving into their site. You want to look for bad links or potential issues with their onsite optimization. If the onsite is not up to par it means one of two things. They are either doing no SEO at all, or they have a horrible company taking their money every month and not providing a good service. This takes some time, but when you call a business and tell them that you want to point out some serious problems with their website it iwll usually get you on the phone with the right person. Check their link profile and see what they have done as far as link building in the past 30 days. A quick resource is moz’s open site explorer. If you see this:
…then there is a good chance that there is very little or no link building going on. Of course this won’t pick up all links built over the past 30 days but it will pick up any links that have been tweeted, so if there have been links built they are probably low quality. Seeing no links discovered in the past 30 days is a good lead. It is worth picking up the phone and spending a couple minutes to feel them out. Also, if you see toxic links being built tell them. Alerting them to this shows that you are an expert and there is a good chance they will appreciate the help and turn to you when they need SEO.
The low quality spammy SEO providers are not going away anytime soon. If anything they are increasing by the day. Get creative and stand out.
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