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  #1  
Old 01-19-2013, 06:34 PM
Sean Adams Sean Adams is offline
 
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Location: Pennsylvania
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NEVER Hire an Online Marketing/SEO Company for Your Lawn & Landscape Business

I wrote this for my blog, but figured I would post it here as well...

I'm sorry to break it to you, but marketing and advertising online in the lawn and landscape industry is not that hard. This industry is like every other industry out there when it comes to utilizing the internet (and technology) to grow your business. But business owners in this industry rarely venture outside the usual web sites and magazines to learn how to do things for their business.

Usually staying within the industry makes all the sense in the world. But when it comes to internet marketing and advertising, this industry has a few people and companies trying to convince business owners that this is very "high-tech" and confusing and only an "expert" can do this work for them. They want you to pay them to do things that you can easily do yourself. On top of that, the internet, search and especially Google is always changing the rules, so something that "works" today probably won't work for very long. Talk about job security....

I'm telling you right now, without hesitation, whether you are just getting started in the business or you have been in business for years, it's nonsense.

Buzz words are used like "Social Media" and "SEO" and "PPC" and "ROI" and "Keyword Density" and "Multiple Web Site Strategy" and "Content Spinning" and "Exact Match Domains". Nonsense.

In fact, not only is most of it nonsense, much of what worked or was advised before is now actually penalized by Google since their new updates.

I cannot count how many times business owners have told me they paid hundreds of dollars a month, thousands of dollars total for someone or some company who promised them the world and a "strategy" that ended up producing minimal results, if any at all.

Now the new "approach" is to tell lawn and landscape business owners that they should not hire those shady SEO companies who know nothing about them or the lawn care and landscaping industry. They are told they will waste thousands of dollars and instead they should go with an industry specific service that is a long-term commitment because it takes time to develop a presence online.

Although the last part of that sentence is somewhat true, it certainly doesn't mean you have to pay someone hundreds or thousands of dollars per month to make this happen.

Don't waste your money.

It's very simple. I will give you exactly what you need to know, right here for FREE. But don't assume this is me making this up. This is coming from these guys you may have heard of.... Google.

http://support.google.com/webmasters...n&answer=40349

Literally, Google suggests that you do NOT hire one of these online marketing/SEO companies because Google is flat-out telling you that they are going to keep changing things and what works (usually deceptively) today, will not work tomorrow. And on top of that, your site will probably be penalized and pushed way down the results page, if not removed.

They also warn that if you are associated with an online marketing/SEO firm that is caught doing anything wrong or underhanded, you too will be penalized for the association!

Are there some ways to help boost your results online and a way to formulate a strategy to help grow and improve your presence online? Definitely, but it is not complicated and you should not be paying for it.

In another blog post I will describe these strategies in detail for FREE.
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  #2  
Old 10-26-2013, 04:39 PM
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Groomer Groomer is offline
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  #3  
Old 10-30-2013, 10:08 AM
603turfdepot 603turfdepot is offline
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Great post Sean.

Over the last few months, Google changed things yet again. In an effort to better connect users with relevant content, they reworked the algorithm, called “Hummingbird.” In short, the change means that it’s even less likely that whatever SEO/online marketing companies promise won’t work.
We run an e-commerce site and constantly receive spammy emails that promise to increase our page rank, critique our layout, and criticize just about everything we do. But, they claim it can easily be fixed by hiring them… please. If you take nothing else away, remember: there are no short cuts to growing your business online.

Keep your site updated with interesting content. Consider adding a blog and answering customer’s questions. Always be adding new photos and video to your site. Don’t try to out-think Google and write content that you think will help the search engine. Last, it goes without saying that you need to engage users on the social sites. You would be wrong to assume a Facebook page has no relevance to your landscaping business.

Encourage customers to find your business on social sites then ask them to post photos of your work! The customer mentions your business, provides photos and a review, and it doesn’t cost you anything. You may not see the value in social media right now, but that doesn’t mean your customers (or potential customers) feel the same.

What do you think? Do you have a strategy to grow your business website? Are you active on social media?
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  #4  
Old 10-30-2013, 12:02 PM
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tonygreek tonygreek is offline
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Originally Posted by 603turfdepot View Post
Over the last few months, Google changed things yet again. In an effort to better connect users with relevant content, they reworked the algorithm, called “Hummingbird.” In short, the change means that it’s even less likely that whatever SEO/online marketing companies promise won’t work.
Such as? I'm not aware of legitimate search marketing companies making promises or, for that matter, using bots to collect contact info and generate spam emails, but I am curious to know what legitimate companies promise that will no longer work.

Quote:
We run an e-commerce site and constantly receive spammy emails that promise to increase our page rank, critique our layout, and criticize just about everything we do. But, they claim it can easily be fixed by hiring them… please.
Everyone with a web site, email address, and/or contact form receives these. I don't recall seeing any that are legitimate contacts (and I've seen thousands). These are simply the SEO/SEM equivalent of the uninsured, non-tax paying, low-balling, Sears Craftsman 21" in the trunk of the Cavalier, mowing "companies" that are sending these kinds of emails. If an actual, legitimate search expert human contacts you, it's likely they have already prequalified you, by identifying key areas of need, and it can be fixed easily just by hiring them. Better yet, use what they've tipped you and then ask for referrals from them, or take the initiative to get a referral from other business owners, and find someone else. If there is a legitimate concern, especially in the competitive ecommerce space you operate in, your business would probably benefit from an experienced, knowledgeable, second set of eyes.

By and large, I like Sean's posts thought-provoking posts, but this one was a giant swing and a miss. Rather than broad brush everyone, in spectacularly ironic fashion, Sean would probably have been better served to discuss the best way of identifying legitimate marketing consultants (there's that darn irony again). I don't recall seeing his "FREE" follow up, so if anyone has a link...


Quote:
If you take nothing else away, remember: there are no short cuts to growing your business online.
Absolutely, 100% correct.
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Last edited by tonygreek; 10-30-2013 at 12:06 PM.
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  #5  
Old 10-30-2013, 03:17 PM
PaperCutter PaperCutter is online now
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At one point I might have agreed with the idea of never hiring someone to do what can be done (by most reasonable folks) by doing a lot of research and your own legwork. I'm active on social media platforms and I have a pretty deep and extensive blog, all of which I've written except for maybe 2-3 guest posts. I network with journalists looking for stories in my industry, do how-to videos, and it all works.

But five years in, I'm tired. I'm at the point where I'm considering hiring a company to help me out. Now, the advantage to the way I've done it is similar to when a shade tree mechanic just runs out of time and takes his truck to a shop for work - he knows what the parts are and how they go together, which makes him a lot less likely to fall for a scam. I'll still be involved in content creation, but I think it'll be darn nice to have someone else creating the strategy and telling me "Dave, I need a blog post for Tuesday" or "I need a five minute video on one of these topics next week."

I've grown my business and my community relationships by doing a ton of in-person networking, which is how I met the SEO/social media consultant I'm considering working with. That's a great way to actually meet someone real, talk to them about how they strategize campaigns, and ensure their values align with yours. I'm not likely to give my credit card number to the fast talker cold-calling me from some boiler room in Jersey claiming he "works with Google", but that hardly means there are no good SEO/marketing firms out there.
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  #6  
Old 10-31-2013, 05:18 PM
Sean Adams Sean Adams is offline
 
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I know not everyone will agree with my post. I also recognize that one size advice does not pertain to everyone. But you guys are right, I should have been more specific.

First, I want to say that much of what I originally posted, I stand by 100%. I cannot tell you how many SEO firms I have talked to and even worked with all to find out in short order that what they THINK will be effective, actually is old news. I have learned that what they call WHITE HAT actually is not even close. I have learned that anyone and their mother can claim they can get top page (or even whole page) for a "hot keyword or phrase" only to see that it is a keyword or phrase no one even searches for.

SEO firms, somehow, have suddenly gone the way of the legal field. There is nothing better than an attorney telling you that he/she needs a $10,000 retainer but they are quite quick to let you know that there are no promises when it comes to results. SEO has taken the same path.

They insist it is a work in progress and to "give it time" and soon you will see results. Blindly, many business owners start writing checks and have no idea if what they are paying for is working or if it is being done ethically.

Yes, having a social media/internet presence plan is smart business. Yes, there are people out there that can help and do know what they are doing. But I urge you, if you are going to hire someone, to negotiate they work on contingency. Have them make their promises - what you will get, where you will be found, how soon it will happen. If they deliver, pay the man. If they fail to deliver, nothing lost. But good luck finding a reputable person or firm willing to put in this kind of work before seeing a dime of your money.

I guess my point is, social media and all that goes with the internet these days provides significant opportunity for the new or cash-strapped landscape business owner. Yes, it requires some planning and a little reading, and yes, it requires a little time and effort on your part, but if you are consistent placing relevant, helpful, informative information out there, the ripple effect will take over and you will see results.

It's like when the SEO whiz tells you...

"Hey, pay me $500 a month and I can get you to #1 on google for the phrase 'kansas city landscapers'."

You think... "Wow, awesome."

Problem is, Google keyword tools shows that the phrase "kansas city landscapers" is searched for on average a whopping 30 times per month.

Tell him/her you want to be #1 for 'landscaping kansas city' instead and see what they say.... not as confident. There are almost 500 searches for this phrase every month, it is a more often used phrase and in general a more competitive (and difficult) phrase to land at #1.

Point is, Google, Yahoo and Bing are constantly changing to find new and better ways to allow people to search, especially with hand held devices. One of the major aspects of Google Hummingbird is the "conversational" change and importance placed on all words in a search versus just certain words.

It matters.

For me, in my opinion, keep it simple, as Google tells you, over and over again. Use your blog, your site, youtube, facebook, twitter, pinterest or anything else you can think of. Just be sure to put honest-to-goodness quality, real person, updated content out there and you will be rewarded.
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  #7  
Old 10-31-2013, 07:30 PM
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tonygreek tonygreek is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Adams View Post
First, I want to say that much of what I originally posted, I stand by 100%.
We're probably just going to have to agree to disagree, but what fun would that be?

Quote:
I cannot tell you how many SEO firms I have talked to and even worked with all to find out in short order that what they THINK will be effective, actually is old news.
You really should do a better job of vetting them. Obviously, that's the tricky part, but of the many firms and individuals I know, or have worked with, not one of them fits your description. Zero.

(pro tip: meta keywords are 10 years "old news". you can safely not use them. if someone tells you to, or charges you to, fire them. fire them now.)

Quote:
SEO firms, somehow, have suddenly gone the way of the legal field. There is nothing better than an attorney telling you that he/she needs a $10,000 retainer but they are quite quick to let you know that there are no promises when it comes to results. SEO has taken the same path.
There are two ways of looking at retainers. There is your way, or there is the very legitimate way where it guarantees access and a level of monthly service (Does this at all sound familiar, you know, in terms of the landscape industry?). Would you say that a new web site should be launched and then a hands-off approach taken? Or do you think that the long game is a better approach?

As for SEOs taking the path of law firms, the same can be said for any number of professional services, although you chose a frighteningly high $10,000 number in your legal field comparison, so let's make sure we understand that your apples figure in no way applies to reality of the oranges.

Now, are "retainers" still bad when they're branded as annual or seasonal service contracts? Snow removal comes to mind, so I guess I'm confused by when they're bad or good. I guess it's a matter of perspective and argument positioning.

Quote:
They insist it is a work in progress and to "give it time" and soon you will see results. Blindly, many business owners start writing checks and have no idea if what they are paying for is working or if it is being done ethically.
The same can be applied to any "esoteric" services, or even "concrete", known methods of advertising, consulting or anything else. You can buy a billboard or a Yellow Page ad and you're essentially doing the same thing. You're throwing money at some problem and hoping to see ROI.

Quote:
But I urge you, if you are going to hire someone, to negotiate they work on contingency.
So, on one hand, don't hire someone who makes promises (Again, no legitimate SEO service does make promises.), but do hire someone who you are now forcing to make ridiculous promises? Does your surgeon work on contingency? Does your roofer work on contingency? Out of curiosity, do your consulting clients pay you on contingency? Is your Lawn Care Success Guide sold on contingency? (a money back guarantee is not to be confused) I would hope not, because the advice and direction you give is only going to be as good as the follow through by your client. You only have so much control.

The same goes for search marketing services. An SEO can do the best possible job, but still not get you to #1 because you can't control the search engines and you sure as heck can't control the white/gray/black hat methods of the guy sitting at #1. If you're trying to rank #1 for your town, but are waiting for Google to ban the current #1 (that bogus Local Maps listing that simply goes to a PO Box), is that going to factor in to whether you see fit to pay the SEO firm the contingency fee you demanded?

Quote:
Have them make their promises
Don't hire a company that makes promises. It's really just that simple. If you want an easy way to prequal a consultant, throw them in the dump pile if they promise you anything.

Quote:
But good luck finding a reputable person or firm willing to put in this kind of work before seeing a dime of your money.
I assume we're supposed to narrow this down to apply only to SEO consulting services, right? Does that landscaper not ask for a deposit before starting that $10k patio? The $50k water feature?

Quote:
I guess my point is, social media and all that goes with the internet these days provides significant opportunity for the new or cash-strapped landscape business owner. Yes, it requires some planning and a little reading, and yes, it requires a little time and effort on your part, but if you are consistent placing relevant, helpful, informative information out there, the ripple effect will take over and you will see results.
I have almost 2,000 posts here on these topics. I would hazard a guess that the vast majority of those people I've answered questions for would not agree with this. In fact, off the top of my head, I can only think of a handful of people who are succeeding with their online marketing. The rest? The rest don't follow through. The last time I went back and looked at the sites of people I gave reviews and advice to, it was quite sad how very, very (very) few people ever actually followed through with the most basic of things. At least when hiring out (to someone capable), it does get done. If you want a benefit, there it is. You either want to sell and do landscaping work, or you want to be an online marketer. It's very rare, or worth it, to try to be a master of all. It's the same reason it's advised people hire an accountant. To any given person, any given topic, regardless of how easy you deem it, can be rocket science.

Quote:
It's like when the SEO whiz tells you...

"Hey, pay me $500 a month and I can get you to #1 on google for the phrase 'kansas city landscapers'."

You think... "Wow, awesome."

Problem is, Google keyword tools shows that the phrase "kansas city landscapers" is searched for on average a whopping 30 times per month.
While reading this, my immediate thought was "you mean landscapers kansas city, right?". Again, you're playing the card of having ill-advisedly hired the SEO company that spammed your inbox.

Quote:
Tell him/her you want to be #1 for 'landscaping kansas city' instead and see what they say.... not as confident.
That's the key word phrase I would advise to begin with. You're using nothing more than a straw man, here. If the person is legitimate, they'll tell you, "Sure, that's one phrase we can rank, however, that's not the most-used search phrasing."

Quote:
There are almost 500 searches for this phrase every month, it is a more often used phrase and in general a more competitive (and difficult) phrase to land at #1.
It is. Which legitimate professionals are well aware of. It's when you hire a bad consultant that you're in trouble, but the same can be said for hiring the wrong lawn guy, office phone services, Yellow Pages listing, etc.

Quote:
Point is, Google, Yahoo and Bing are constantly changing to find new and better ways to allow people to search, especially with hand held devices. One of the major aspects of Google Hummingbird is the "conversational" change and importance placed on all words in a search versus just certain words.
Funny, I was just telling this exact thing to a lawn care company owner today. In fact, it was almost the exact same statement, although, to be accurate, I said "colloquial" instead of "conversational". In fact, his response was "I'm so glad you're staying on top of this". Now, you know this, and I know this, but if you were to poll 100 landscape company owners to see if they are aware of this development, how many will say, "Oh yeah. Siri and Google Search By Voice are really changing the way people search and I'll bet that might change the indexing patterns of Google's latest Algo."? I'd set the over/under at 2.5, and that's only if they reeeeeeally know what they're doing with their web marketing. .5 might even still put me in the money, but I know of 1 LCO here who, if asked, would make that a losing bet. lol

Quote:
For me, in my opinion, keep it simple, as Google tells you, over and over again. Use your blog, your site, youtube, facebook, twitter, pinterest or anything else you can think of. Just be sure to put honest-to-goodness quality, real person, updated content out there and you will be rewarded.
This is 100% true, although someone only need be 1 notch more capable than the other guy to win the war. Oh, and they need to take the hours to learn, apply, and create that perfect content. Don't forget to properly optimize your G+ Local page, while you're at it. It's the little things that can make you not only rank #1, but #5 or 10.

One only need spend a day, week, month, or years, reading through the Web Sub Forum here to know that reality is 100% steeped in execution, aka "follow through".

Good discussion, though. I think a better way of positioning this whole thing would be, "Is it worth your time to do this, or is your time better served hiring it out?".
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Last edited by tonygreek; 10-31-2013 at 07:36 PM.
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  #8  
Old 10-31-2013, 08:13 PM
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headz77 headz77 is online now
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OK- I will jump in...

I agree with much of what everyone has said above. I agree that most LCO should not hire an SEO.

First of all- they would have no idea how to choose one. If you have no knowledge of the field it is really hard to know who is legit. And word of mouth is not worth much, because your buddy doesn't know SEO either. The guy who has him at #1 may have spun an article and syndicated it to 5000 sites. He won't be #1 for long, and when he gets penalized he will have no idea how to get out.

Second, we can't afford the good ones. I would be willing to bet my salary that David Mihm could double my gross next year, but I can't afford him and neither can you. There are tons of good inbound marketers- working for lawyers and dentists.

SEO is interesting. Much like landscaping anyone can say they do it. However, it is difficult and time consuming to do it well in a major market. The guys and gals who do it well deserve tons of respect.
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Old 10-31-2013, 08:42 PM
Sean Adams Sean Adams is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonygreek View Post
We're probably just going to have to agree to disagree, but what fun would that be?


You really should do a better job of vetting them. Obviously, that's the tricky part, but of the many firms and individuals I know, or have worked with, not one of them fits your description. Zero.

All, told I have probably worked with over a hundred - maybe more. If you haven't come across this, you haven't worked with enough of them to see the vast difference.

(pro tip: meta keywords are 10 years "old news". you can safely not use them. if someone tells you to, or charges you to, fire them. fire them now.)


There are two ways of looking at retainers. There is your way, or there is the very legitimate way where it guarantees access and a level of monthly service (Does this at all sound familiar, you know, in terms of the landscape industry?). Would you say that a new web site should be launched and then a hands-off approach taken? Or do you think that the long game is a better approach?

We are obviously not comparing apples to apples. My way of "looking" at retainers may not be what you deem appropriate but I can assure you, it is realistic and real world.

As for SEOs taking the path of law firms, the same can be said for any number of professional services, although you chose a frighteningly high $10,000 number in your legal field comparison, so let's make sure we understand that your apples figure in no way applies to reality of the oranges.

An attorney, with a law degree, representing you in an arena that you usually cannot successfully do on your own has more of a legitimate right to request a retainer long before someone who calls themselves an SEO "expert". I am not a fan of retainers for attorneys, but again, apples to apples...

Now, are "retainers" still bad when they're branded as annual or seasonal service contracts? Snow removal comes to mind, so I guess I'm confused by when they're bad or good. I guess it's a matter of perspective and argument positioning.

Paying a retainer for snow removal service is nowhere near the same thing. As a customer, you are paying up front in your scenario to ensure that your property is safe and your business and/or property are not at risk for lawsuit.


The same can be applied to any "esoteric" services, or even "concrete", known methods of advertising, consulting or anything else. You can buy a billboard or a Yellow Page ad and you're essentially doing the same thing. You're throwing money at some problem and hoping to see ROI.

Again, not the same thing. If you create an ad or an advertising campaign, did your homework, know your audience, know where you are placing that ad, there is an assumed outcome that can usually be quantified. Do some ad campaigns fail? Sure. But in regard to SEO, often times you are handing over money not knowing where that money is going, where it is being spent or if you even paid too much or too little. Not with all SEO firms or professionals, but there is a much larger gray area versus other services.


So, on one hand, don't hire someone who makes promises (Again, no legitimate SEO service does make promises.), but do hire someone who you are now forcing to make ridiculous promises?

I disagree. One of the most effective SEO companies I have ever worked with very much makes promises because they know they can deliver. And if they don't they are willing to return some of the money you have spent. Putting your money where your mouth is...

Does your surgeon work on contingency? Does your roofer work on contingency? Out of curiosity, do your consulting clients pay you on contingency? Is your Lawn Care Success Guide sold on contingency? (a money back guarantee is not to be confused) I would hope not, because the advice and direction you give is only going to be as good as the follow through by your client. You only have so much control.

Again, you continue to compare services and industries that are not the same as SEO. A surgeon? C'mon. As far as consulting, as an example, that is completely different. I would be far more willing to pay an SEO consultant for advice on how to successfully perform SEO versus handing over money blindly to an SEO firm that claims they are able to do the work for you as effectively as you could do so yourself with the proper knowledge. That was my point from the beginning.

The same goes for search marketing services. An SEO can do the best possible job, but still not get you to #1 because you can't control the search engines and you sure as heck can't control the white/gray/black hat methods of the guy sitting at #1. If you're trying to rank #1 for your town, but are waiting for Google to ban the current #1 (that bogus Local Maps listing that simply goes to a PO Box), is that going to factor in to whether you see fit to pay the SEO firm the contingency fee you demanded?

If the SEO firm is willing to be upfront about these possibilities and charge me accordingly, then I am game. What I am not game for is where most SEO firms "lay out" all the hocus pocus they are going to perform and take your money after you have signed an agreement, and then inform you that they can't control this or can't change that. Fair? Not really.


Don't hire a company that makes promises. It's really just that simple. If you want an easy way to prequal a consultant, throw them in the dump pile if they promise you anything.

Not true. But first, are we talking about service providers or consultants? Consultants, usually by definition, charge for advice, usually based on previous experience and track record. An SEO service provider and a consultant are not one in the same. For example, it is very clear that you know your stuff inside and out. I would be willing to pay you to teach me what I need to know to accomplish what I hope to accomplish. Then it is up to me to follow through. But the SEO services I am referring to and referred to in the original post - that's different. They want your money, they want it now and they want it often. Not all, but many...


I assume we're supposed to narrow this down to apply only to SEO consulting services, right? Does that landscaper not ask for a deposit before starting that $10k patio? The $50k water feature?

Yes, usually for tangible items and labor that the consumer can see going on right before their very eyes. Not a guy behind a computer using words and phrases most have never heard of and change more often than anyone prefers. Apples again...


I have almost 2,000 posts here on these topics. I would hazard a guess that the vast majority of those people I've answered questions for would not agree with this. In fact, off the top of my head, I can only think of a handful of people who are succeeding with their online marketing. The rest? The rest don't follow through. The last time I went back and looked at the sites of people I gave reviews and advice to, it was quite sad how very, very (very) few people ever actually followed through with the most basic of things. At least when hiring out (to someone capable), it does get done. If you want a benefit, there it is. You either want to sell and do landscaping work, or you want to be an online marketer. It's very rare, or worth it, to try to be a master of all. It's the same reason it's advised people hire an accountant. To any given person, any given topic, regardless of how easy you deem it, can be rocket science.

Outsourcing tasks and responsibilities is usually a good idea for most small business owners of any kind. I am not against outsourcing SEO needs if the provider is willing to be paid upon completion - paid for what they tell me they can do.


While reading this, my immediate thought was "you mean landscapers kansas city, right?". Again, you're playing the card of having ill-advisedly hired the SEO company that spammed your inbox.

I've never hired an SEO firm, or any firm for that matter, that contacted me - NEVER.


That's the key word phrase I would advise to begin with. You're using nothing more than a straw man, here. If the person is legitimate, they'll tell you, "Sure, that's one phrase we can rank, however, that's not the most-used search phrasing."


It is. Which legitimate professionals are well aware of. It's when you hire a bad consultant that you're in trouble, but the same can be said for hiring the wrong lawn guy, office phone services, Yellow Pages listing, etc.

Not the same thing again...hire the wrong lawn guy, you pay him the $40 for the one mowing because you can see the results that you are not happy with and you find another. You choose Verizon, your phone system/plan stinks, you change providers quickly because you can see you weren't getting what you paid for.


Funny, I was just telling this exact thing to a lawn care company owner today. In fact, it was almost the exact same statement, although, to be accurate, I said "colloquial" instead of "conversational". In fact, his response was "I'm so glad you're staying on top of this". Now, you know this, and I know this, but if you were to poll 100 landscape company owners to see if they are aware of this development, how many will say, "Oh yeah. Siri and Google Search By Voice are really changing the way people search and I'll bet that might change the indexing patterns of Google's latest Algo."? I'd set the over/under at 2.5, and that's only if they reeeeeeally know what they're doing with their web marketing. .5 might even still put me in the money, but I know of 1 LCO here who, if asked, would make that a losing bet. lol


This is 100% true, although someone only need be 1 notch more capable than the other guy to win the war. Oh, and they need to take the hours to learn, apply, and create that perfect content. Don't forget to properly optimize your G+ Local page, while you're at it. It's the little things that can make you not only rank #1, but #5 or 10.

One only need spend a day, week, month, or years, reading through the Web Sub Forum here to know that reality is 100% steeped in execution, aka "follow through".

Good discussion, though. I think a better way of positioning this whole thing would be, "Is it worth your time to do this, or is your time better served hiring it out?".
In closing, I am not trying to insinuate that you are not good at what you do. Not at all. I am not even suggesting that all SEO firms/pros are thieves. What I am saying is, these are things that can be learned, applied and taken advantage of more so than any other advertising/promotional medium. In the past, you could not film, direct and produce your own commercial and then get it on TV with no money out of pocket. But you can film your own youtube content, upload it and spread the word at no cost. Before you say time is money, yes, I know, but there is a difference for a new, struggling or cash poor business owner. They will take the time versus trying to come up with the money. Social media has changed the game. If you can create the content worth sharing, it will be shared. If it is shared, people take notice. It all has to tie together which is something I am sure you tell your clients - web content, social media, offline, etc...
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Old 10-31-2013, 08:44 PM
Sean Adams Sean Adams is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 3,623
Quote:
Originally Posted by headz77 View Post
OK- I will jump in...

I agree with much of what everyone has said above. I agree that most LCO should not hire an SEO.

First of all- they would have no idea how to choose one. If you have no knowledge of the field it is really hard to know who is legit. And word of mouth is not worth much, because your buddy doesn't know SEO either. The guy who has him at #1 may have spun an article and syndicated it to 5000 sites. He won't be #1 for long, and when he gets penalized he will have no idea how to get out.

Second, we can't afford the good ones. I would be willing to bet my salary that David Mihm could double my gross next year, but I can't afford him and neither can you. There are tons of good inbound marketers- working for lawyers and dentists.

SEO is interesting. Much like landscaping anyone can say they do it. However, it is difficult and time consuming to do it well in a major market. The guys and gals who do it well deserve tons of respect.
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Well said...probably better than all the rambling I just did.
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