I’m back on the subject of search engine optimisation consultants again today, because for many of you, it would seem they’re becoming as irritating as magazine ad space salesmen calling about their latest “colour separations” con (sorry, I mean “opportunity”).
Now, I’m not against the search engine optimisation “industry”, although I do believe you can do this whole thing much better yourself, which is why we have our Insider Programme. I’ve met some people who do search engine optimisation consultancy for a living and who really know their stuff. I’ve even employed one or two of them when I’ve been out of my depth (yes, it’s happened!), and I’ve been pleased with the results.
I’m not against anyone cold-calling with their services, either. Just because they employ salesmen doesn’t make them bad people.
But I am concerned about the number of companies signing up to search engine optimisation services on the basis of a telesales call, without doing their research as to what alternative suppliers might be available in the market. I’m even more concerned at the number who’ve signed up to long-term contracts with these people. Why do they need to lock you into a contract? The answer, of course, is that they know the customer attrition rate would be high otherwise, and that customers are daft enough to sign these contracts (sorry if that’s you, but that’s how it is).
Now, you might think that Google, which has the reputation of being a bit holier-than-thou, might be pretending the search engine optimisation industry doesn’t exist. After all, it’s there to try to beat the system, isn’t it?
Well, you’d be wrong. Not only does Google acknowledge the existence of SEO, it tells you how to choose a consultant and provides a complete PDF document on the basics of search engine optimisation. It’s amazing how few people know of the existence of all this help, straight from the horse’s mouth. And that probably includes that SEO consultancy that just spent ten minutes annoying you on the phone.