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5 Things SEO Experts Won’t Tell You
Kate Gingold
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5 Things SEO Experts Won’t Tell You

The Sprocket Report

To make the most of the coming year, you may be looking into Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to boost your website’s visibility. Before you respond to that unsolicited email promising to make you millions via SEO, do your homework so you know what you’re buying.

Don’t get us wrong, Search Engine Optimization is mandatory if you have a website. The tricky part is defining SEO so that you get what you think you’re paying for. 

Here are five things SEO experts won’t volunteer that you need to know:

1. They probably can’t make you Number One on Google for the terms most important to you.

Some search terms are highly competitive and that means it will take a lot to take over the top spot – a lot of effort, a lot of time and a lot of money. Before you engage in that battle, crunch the numbers to be sure the Return On Investment is advantageous.

2.  If they do make you Number One it will be for more obscure terms.

It’s not exactly a lie when they guarantee you the top spot. And to be fair, the less common terms, often called “long-tail” terms, can be very productive, which means it could be a smart choice for you. Just make sure you know exactly what they’re proposing before you sign on.

3.  Although they make a big deal out of it, it’s not that important that they submit you to “hundreds of search engines.”

How many of those hundreds of search engines do you use yourself? Google? Bing? Yahoo? Yandex? Yandex is a big, important search engine in Russia, but probably not necessary to your local marketing efforts.  You’ll get the vast majority of your traffic from the Big Three.

4.  They can’t actually make your marketing “go viral.”

They’ll show you charts predicting how your online marketing will spread, but while the concept of viral marketing is sound, what people ultimately choose to share is impossible to guess. This dilemma challenges even the biggest companies, not just you. Probably the “surest” viral thing is bad news but do you really want that ROI?

5.  If you have never done any SEO before, they may encourage unreasonable expectations.

When you start with nothing, you have nowhere to go but up and you will go up. Just don’t expect that dramatic rise to go on forever. Once you get the basics in place, you’ll plateau a bit. Work toward and expect continued improvement, but don’t count on such a big jump again.


Not every “SEO Expert” is a snake oil salesman – but unfortunately there are quite a few of them out there. When you’re busy being the expert of your own business, it’s tough to find time to learn enough about someone else’s business to judge their competency. Ask for referrals, ask lots of questions, and realize that SEO is a process, not a magic cream you rub on your website for instant success. If you want to discuss your options, feel free to contact us as we’re always happy to help.

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Kate Gingold

Kate GingoldKate Gingold

I have been writing a blog with web marketing tips and techniques every other week since 2003. In addition to blogging and client content writing, I write books and a blog on local history.

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I have been writing a blog with web marketing tips and techniques every other week since 2003. In addition to blogging and client content writing, I write books and a blog on local history.

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