Home – New Forums Tech talk Do you really have to pay for SEO?

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  • #974878
    JanF
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    It has taken a couple of months of patient waiting and not cost a penny to get our website to position four on Google search.

    How did we do it?

    1. Used Google Analytics to check the most popular keywords related to our services
    2. Made sure the keywords we wanted are used frequently throughout our site (including page headings and image tags)
    3. Added our site to a few web directories (about 11 of them)
    4. Posted in a couple of forums (like Flying Solo)
    5. Then sat back and waited

    The most work was put into our website content and re-writing it to make sure the keywords we wanted to target were everywhere.

    We did challenge an SEO provider to prove they could improve our rankings by providing back links from web directories. 500 link submissions later and with only 2 successful backlinks recognised by Google after 2 months, they admitted defeat.

    I am sure there is more to it (especially if you have lots of competition for your keywords) but our site is now even in the top 30 for the one keyword where we have tens of thousands of competitors.

    Interestingly enough, all the articles on how to improve your page ranking we read before starting the excercise proved a waste of time for us as we achieved our desired results without loads of backlinks needing to be created in web directories, forums and article sites.

    Googlesearch.jpg

    #1070947
    seocourse
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    JanF, post: 88466 wrote:
    It has taken a couple of months of patient waiting and not cost a penny to get our website to position four on Google search.

    How did we do it?

    1. Used Google Analytics to check the most popular keywords related to our services
    2. Made sure the keywords we wanted are used frequently throughout our site (including page headings and image tags)
    3. Added our site to a few web directories (about 11 of them)
    4. Posted in a couple of forums (like Flying Solo)
    5. Then sat back and waited

    The most work was put into our website content and re-writing it to make sure the keywords we wanted to target were everywhere.

    We did challenge an SEO provider to prove they could improve our rankings by providing back links from web directories. 500 link submissions later and with only 2 successful backlinks recognised by Google after 2 months, they admitted defeat.

    I am sure there is more to it (especially if you have lots of competition for your keywords) but our site is now even in the top 30 for the one keyword where we have tens of thousands of competitors.

    Interestingly enough, all the articles on how to improve your page ranking we read before starting the excercise proved a waste of time for us as we achieved our desired results without loads of backlinks needing to be created in web directories, forums and article sites.

    Googlesearch.jpg

    Good Job.
    The question about paying or not goes straight to this point:

    can you keep up the ranking if your competitors decided to pay for SEO?

    Now, based on the fact that there are only 110 exact searches per month for “small business consultant” … you really want to be in 1st position to maximize that ranking and obtain more traffic…

    so although your achievement it’s pretty cool… the main objective once you achieve ranking is to bulletproof the ranking.

    Just keep in mind everytime you go to a forum and “announce” your ranking, you are opening the doors to people to analyze your site, analyze your link building and then be able to re-verse engineer what you have done.

    That’s why it’s important to be careful when you “announce” your achievements…

    #1070948
    seocourse
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    JanF, post: 88466 wrote:
    It has taken a couple of months of patient waiting and not cost a penny to get our website to position four on Google search.

    Going back to my previous post…
    I just checked the top 10 and I found my site in position 10th for your keyword
    “small business consultant.”

    So your next objective is to be sure you have more authority in your keyword, so when people like me that can read this post and go…
    – “mmmm this keyword is up for grabs”…

    So you can guarantee you can really, really dominate the keyword/niche you are targeting.

    but regardless… congrats! it’s great when you achieve ranking doing your own research and DIY strategy.

    #1070949
    JanF
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    Our business philosophy is to share our knowledge and teach.

    Our ranking has been steadily climbing across all our keywords – “small business consultant” is only one of about ten keywords we are targeting – all are now in the top 100, most are in the top 30.

    And small business consultant may be up for grabs but hardly anyone searches that term. :)

    Some of our competitors do pay for SEO services and even Google Ads but we are still steadily gaining on them without spending any money. Most have been on the web a lot longer than we have, so I think we have done pretty well considering.

    #1070950
    OneArmedGraphics
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    Nice results, congrats.

    I noticed on your site that the blog area wasn’t kept updated. Did you decide it wasn’t worth the effort?

    #1070951
    Craig_Longmuir
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    how long did it take you to get the results?

    #1070952
    JanF
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    OneArmedGraphics, post: 88508 wrote:
    Nice results, congrats.

    I noticed on your site that the blog area wasn’t kept updated. Did you decide it wasn’t worth the effort?

    It is called “lack of time” :) It is on my “must do something about” list.

    #1070953
    JanF
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    craiglongmuir.com, post: 88527 wrote:
    how long did it take you to get the results?

    Nothing much happened for the first month (except teeth gnashing :) ). The 2nd and 3rd months we started to see major improvement.

    #1070954
    Michael_R
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    Do you really have to pay for SEO?

    It is all about the time vs opportunity costs

    Can you be spending your time on other business areas – sales management, business development and other things that are going to make your business money.

    If you can earn $80 an hour and pay someone less then that to successfully do SEO then your investment is well worth it.

    And on another note if you are not on page 1 it really does not matter you are in the top 30 – you will not be getting hits!!

    #1070955
    Aidan
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    Congratulations on your achievement though let me add that in addition to Gab’s advice you also need to be aware that a good ranking this month does not necesarily mean a good ranking next month, even with non competitive keywords.

    Maintaining ranking often comes down to link building which helps to signal that the page seems relevant to others (that’s better than just seeming relevant from on page analysis alone).

    Of course a competitor may try to improve their ranking for the keyword too and knock you down in the process.

    #1070956
    Samith
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    Hi Jan,

    Well done on the rankings, regardless if the keyword gets 100 searches a month or 1000 I guess the joy of accomplishment is still there.

    Specially for SEO, I don’t think you should pay anyone, you can learn the basics and get started as you have done and develop your knowledge as you go. Keep your backlinks organic as you have done so far, and build on it when you get a chance. It’s not all about how many, more about where you getting them from.

    If the competition gets aggressive for any reason I’m sure the SEO guys in the forum will help you out. Best of luck with the new site.

    Cheers!
    Samith

    #1070957
    Alan Maddick
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    I would say you don’t need to pay for SEO and can do it yourself however as mentioned to get good results takes real time and you need to consider that.

    If paying the problem i see is getting a reputable firm (we have had a lot of problems with this in the past!)

    #1070958
    JanF
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    Michael_R, post: 88550 wrote:
    Do you really have to pay for SEO?

    It is all about the time vs opportunity costs

    Can you be spending your time on other business areas – sales management, business development and other things that are going to make your business money.

    If you can earn $80 an hour and pay someone less then that to successfully do SEO then your investment is well worth it.

    And on another note if you are not on page 1 it really does not matter you are in the top 30 – you will not be getting hits!!

    Hi Michael,

    You are correct in what you say, but I saw it also as an opportunity to understand the “mysterious” world of getting the most out of using the web. Most of the clients we come across have what we term “dead web presences” and were disappointed with the results. By getting a better handle on how to make the most out of the web and the potential costs associated with that we can provide better advice and help our clients understand the process, effort and the investment required together with how to monitor the return on investment.

    I also agree you need to be on page one for best results, but we were not even in the top 100 a couple of months ago and as of yesterday most of the keywords we are targetting put us in the top ten. Only on the two with the most competition are we still in the top 30. We are now concentrating on building targetted backlinks and are steadily improving our position.

    Going it alone has cost a heap of work but it does mean I am now in the position to help our clients in making sure they have done their homework on the competiton and thought about content and then by helping them evaluate copywrite, web design and SEO providers.

    #1070959
    Netboost SEO
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    Do you really have to pay for SEO? Yes

    Your success demonstrates the power of onsite optimisation. Some niches don’t require high volumes of links which makes it easy to dominate. I have made a brand new site 3 months ago and a week after publishing it was on the first page of google simply because of its onpage factors.

    That being said even if you take the DIY route you will still have to SPEND time and effort learning and test things and make mistakes in order to learn. But most websites can boost their rank a lot by just making some onpage tweeks.

    IN the more competitive niches however, you will find that almost all competing websites have very good onsite seo so that is where the expertise and offsite seo comes into play

    #1070960
    JanF
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    Netboost SEO, post: 88727 wrote:
    Do you really have to pay for SEO? Yes
    That being said even if you take the DIY route you will still have to SPEND time and effort learning and test things and make mistakes in order to learn. But most websites can boost their rank a lot by just making some onpage tweeks.

    IN the more competitive niches however, you will find that almost all competing websites have very good onsite seo so that is where the expertise and offsite seo comes into play

    I agree with the HUGE time and effort spend, but for us it has been a worthwhile learning exercise.

    As for competing websites having good seo, from the work we have done it appears that most “employed” seo services sometime in the past and have not done much since (years old articles and web directory links for most of them). However, they do intermittently change their website content and some blog semi-regularly (though only on one or two blogs).

    Interestingly, almost all the articles on SEO optimisation on the web talk about building back links. We spent a little money to have an SEO company register us with 500 high ranking web directories – result was 10 accepted links after 2 months. We manually joined another 30 odd directories (all accepted). Google only picked up 15 linked domains in total – only two were created by the SEO. It now appears a majority of high ranking web directories are not submitting links to Google unless you pay or reciprocal link.

    Yet even with such a small number, we have shot up in the rankings without paying for SEO services. I am, however, thinking that we will find and engage an SEO service to “fine tune” what we can’t do ourselves in the near future (if we run out of ideas, so to speak).

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