Home – New Forums Marketing mastery How do I know if the SEO company is doing a ‘Ethical’ work? Reply To: How do I know if the SEO company is doing a ‘Ethical’ work?

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John Romaine, post: 246325, member: 39536 wrote:
Kon, all valid questions, most of which I’ve spoken about at length on my own site.

For most business owners SEO could be viewed as a “mysterious art”, which it really isn’t. It is however a specialised area that is unfortunately full of people who dont know what they’re doing, and are simply out to “cash in”.

I’ve been involved in the SEO space since 2003, and in that time I think I’ve met 3, maybe 4 people that really knew what they were doing.

This is the other problem. Anyone can sound like they know what they’re talking about – especially when speaking to business owners over the phone who know nothing about SEO. This is what makes sleazy persuasive sales tactics in this space so effective.

Sales agents are praying on clueless business owners who focus on the wrong things. “We want to be first in Google”. “How many keywords can we rank for?”, “How long to be first page”. These are the very questions that sleazy sales agents want to hear, because it demonstates low level thinking.

Instead, (and this is very important) business owners should be asking questions like – “What type of return on investment could we expect?”, “How could you help us increase our sales, or customer enquiries?”, “How can we improve our conversion rates?”

Shitty SEO agencies wont mention metrics like these because they dont care. They’ll sell you meaningless dribble like “35% of your keywords first page”, or “SEO optimised articles”

In other words, when you’re on the phone, or viewing an SEO agency on the web, the discussion and pitch should be based around this …

How can this business engagement help me increase revenue

Thats it.

Thats the whole point of the exercise.

Not keywords, not rankings, not keyword density, or links or anything.

If you’re not having that discussion, then chances are, you’re out to waste a lot of money.

In answer to your other questions ….

However how would you define how many hours required to run SEO service?

That varies between campaigns. Ive gotten good results in 3 months, other times its taken 18 months. Whats important however is that the person you’re speaking with sets REALISTIC expectations. Most SEO agencies will sell you all sorts of wonderful promises. “We guarantee rankings by next Tuesday”.


Most campaigns on average take at least 12 months.

Would you set up stages, what would be involved, time frame, expected results etc?

You do setup in stages, this is why SEO is provided as a month to month service. Otherwise you’d be paying for 150-250 hours up front which would be incredibly expensive. As to what’s involved, that varies too, as do time frames as explained above.

Expected results should be discussed before you engage with someone, so that you’re clear about KPI’s and overall objectives.

Most people simply say “We want to be first for this keyword” then throw money at someone, then wonder why nothings happening 8 months later.

Again, your focus should be conversions, sales, customer enquiries and revenue. If someone is paying me $2,000 a month, they should be getting back 5,7,10,15,000 per month.

I would recommend you have a read of this article, here and this one here

Thanks John. I like straight shooters and you sound like one :) I will read your article and will come back to you if I have any further questions.

I think what you’ve explained makes perfect sense and hopefully your short presentation should give more confidence for the readers to explore more about your services. Good on you.