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  #11  
Old 10-31-2013, 08:51 PM
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tonygreek tonygreek is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by headz77 View Post
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.
Absolutely correct. I think this is a better, more positive way to shape this discussion.

I do think Sean's general warning, using the less than legit SEO's, is completely valid. In fact, of the dozens of times I've helped just lawnsite members try to identify a good SEO, or even web developer, I can think of no SEO's and, sadly, only a couple of web devs. This sucks. It's something that ultimately has to be countered because they do give the legit guys a bad name. I also completely agree that so much of these issues arise from cost-driven issues. If you're hiring Dave Mihm, you're paying for legit service. If you can only afford $150 a month, Premium Super Bronze Plan from GetYourLocalBizToNumber1-SEO.net, you are going to get the dregs.

It's really no different than if a homeowner calls you to mow their 1/4 acre lot, but can only pay $20, when you quote $45. When you, hopefully, turn them down, where do they turn? They turn to the $20 scrubs and, as everyone on here will tell you, they will eventually get burned. If it's one thing the membership of site knows how to do, it's rail against those very guys. But, they'll defend their $50 fee until they die, as they should. SEO is no different, just like lawn care is no different than any other product or service.

I will say that it is very safe to say that, if you can only budget $100-$400/month for SEO, you really out to just try your best to bring it in-house. At "typical" small biz rates of $50-$100/hour, that doesn't give you much time/effort. If you have a baseline ranking that you like, or want to see some tweaks, smaller, crafted agreements are just fine. But, for full-blown initiatives, you should save your money, learn, grind, and hopefully grow to where you can hire the help you may need.
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  #12  
Old 10-31-2013, 09:03 PM
greg8872 greg8872 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Adams View Post
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
You keep making the point of comparing apples to apples, yet then you go and compare educating yourself researching other marketing campaigns versus hiring SEO without doing research about it at all.
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  #13  
Old 10-31-2013, 09:23 PM
Sean Adams Sean Adams is offline
 
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Originally Posted by greg8872 View Post
You keep making the point of comparing apples to apples, yet then you go and compare educating yourself researching other marketing campaigns versus hiring SEO without doing research about it at all.
Yes... as a landscaper, for example, I know my services already, I know my target audience already, I have a general idea of what I want my ad to say, what I want it to accomplish and where I want it to be seen. I run the ad and track the results. Advertising in traditional forms has been around for a very long time. SEO, new game.

SEO is not the same thing. Many SEO firms will tell you that results take time and to be patient, all the while, keep paying. As stated in my original post, I can't begin to tell you how many landscapers have told me that they hired an SEO firm/person, paid a lot of money, and in the end, got nothing for it.

I am not an SEO expert and as headz77 said, the average landscaper is not even going to know how to begin to research SEO since it is foreign to them and it is an ever changing field. But I know enough. I know enough about advertising and marketing and the internet. I am all about doing whatever is necessary to learn as much as you can about anything that pertains to your business.
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  #14  
Old 10-31-2013, 09:48 PM
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tonygreek tonygreek is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Adams View Post
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.
I only encounter them online. If you surround yourself with good companies and colleagues, it's surprisingly easy to avoid the snake oil salesman. Now, there was that one time my firm destroyed Enron, but that's an outlier. lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Adams View Post
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.
You're moving the goal posts and dictating what is an appropriate business to pay a retainer for. Your example uses "safety" as the reason to sign with a snow removal company. My example uses another form of safety.

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Originally Posted by Sean Adams View Post
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...
But, is your firm promising you #1? This is the argument everyone has with the "SEO Promises" and what we're referring to. Do I make promises? Of course, probably no different than your company. Do I promise #1? No. And I'd wager yours doesn't either.


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Originally Posted by Sean Adams View Post
If the SEO firm is willing to be upfront about these possibilities and charge me accordingly, then I am game.
Common ground? Reached!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Adams View Post
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.
Again, we're on the same page. And, again, it comes down to hiring the right person. Sadly, this simply doesn't happen for $150/month.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Adams View Post
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.
There's probably some confusion drawn from language use. I tend to view consultant/service provider interchangeably, mostly because, as a career "consultant", we also provide service, not just direction. You view it in terms of what some would call "pure consulting". I worked for the largest "consulting" firm in the world, as well as several other high-profile firms, and I can assure you that we provided tangible deliverables.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Adams View Post
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.
Keep it in the Lawnsite universe and there's no charge. PM's included. It's when we leave the ecosystem that it can get appropriately expensive...

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Originally Posted by Sean Adams View Post
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...
If you mean, say, Yodle as an SEO "service provider", then I agree, please don't give them your money, people. lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Adams View Post
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...
You're being subjective again, giving one apple a blessing, while saying that one you seem to not give credence to the no go. If I sit "behind a computer using words", does that not have the same value as a landscaper's labor? Really? If you hired someone you trust, what difference does it make if they're in your yard or at their office? Now, what should be required is status updates and reporting. I think that may be what you're probably intending to mean, which is correct.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Adams View Post
I've never hired an SEO firm, or any firm for that matter, that contacted me - NEVER.
You used that "landscapers kansas city" anecdote as an obvious, fictional illustration. I was responding in kind. But, it's okay. I haven't cold-called a client in 15 years. It's what happens when you have a good reputation and a client roster that is comprised of 85% referrals. In fact, my site tells people they should have a referral before even contacting us.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Adams View Post
In closing, I am not trying to insinuate that you are not good at what you do.
To be clear, I haven't had that feeling at all. Not at all, actually. My entire goal has been to bring the discussion away from the slime, which really is a never ending chore, to a reasonable back and forth of two views. I hope we've succeeded.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Adams View Post
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.
Completely agree.

In fact, I completely agree with your closing comments. I'll just not quote it all. lol

Cease fire on the quoting! We can't possible do 3rd level quoting, can we? Cheers.
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  #15  
Old 01-02-2014, 10:00 AM
MarcieM MarcieM is offline
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Couldn't Disagree More

I don't mean to sound rude, but it is ignorant to think that a landscaper knows the same things as an internet marketing company. I, myself own a landscaping/lawn care company. I couldn't get on Google's first page. I hired a company, that told me upfront, their SEO is guaranteed money back. Well, sure enough they got me on the first page in the top 3. Secondly, Google has never said do not hire a SEO company. I just looked and couldn't find that anywhere. They company that handles my internet marketing is obviously way more knowledgeable on SEO than a landscaper. They are constantly keeping up with every Google algorithm update and learning how Google works every time they update the algorithm.

I think your post is very narrow-minded and some of the things you said don't make any sense.

If you are in a competitive city with 100 different lawn care companies, I suggest you hire a SEO company that knows what they're doing. Otherwise, your customers will find you on page 9.
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  #16  
Old 01-02-2014, 08:40 PM
Armsden&Son Armsden&Son is online now
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Hmmmmmmmmm???...... First post on the forum and you are suspiciously defensive. What's wrong? Is your internet marketing company taking a hit this quarter? Look, I will speak for all of us here on this forum when I say that we can sniff out folks like you from a mile away. You never picked up a shovel in your life, you wouldn't even know where to sit on a ZTR, and you sure as H E double hockey sticks do not own a landscaping/lawn care company.
Do you have any idea who Sean Adams is? Because if you did, you wouldn't be so quick to call his post "narrow-minded" and "ignorant." So, prove me wrong..... What is the name of your company? How long have you been in business for? What's type of equipment do you run?
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  #17  
Old 01-02-2014, 09:22 PM
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americanlawn americanlawn is offline
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1) I trust Sean (have for several years and for several reasons). He actually knows the industry & he never lies. I respect Sean bigtime as he has gone to bat for me in the past.

2) Tried advisory companies twice (in our office). Both times were a huge waste of time (and salary expense on our part). I replied to a LS post some years back about this, but got slambasted by some saying these guys ain't crooks. Whatever.

3) We continue to get telemarketing calls many times each year from these outfits. Usually from either the Chicago area or the New York area. These guys are scam artists. First they won't tell you who's calling or why. They usually say they "have a rep in my area". That's bs, and they won't let you get a word in edgewise. High pressure all the way.

Once I asked the guy where he was from. 1st time it was Pennsylvania. 2nd time it was Long Island. ooops!
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  #18  
Old 01-02-2014, 10:01 PM
georgialawn88 georgialawn88 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcieM View Post
I don't mean to sound rude, but it is ignorant to think that a landscaper knows the same things as an internet marketing company. I, myself own a landscaping/lawn care company. I couldn't get on Google's first page. I hired a company, that told me upfront, their SEO is guaranteed money back. Well, sure enough they got me on the first page in the top 3. Secondly, Google has never said do not hire a SEO company. I just looked and couldn't find that anywhere. They company that handles my internet marketing is obviously way more knowledgeable on SEO than a landscaper. They are constantly keeping up with every Google algorithm update and learning how Google works every time they update the algorithm.

I think your post is very narrow-minded and some of the things you said don't make any sense.

If you are in a competitive city with 100 different lawn care companies, I suggest you hire a SEO company that knows what they're doing. Otherwise, your customers will find you on page 9.
Wow, you're really upset about a year old thread. and your first post to lawn site. you mad bro?
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  #19  
Old 01-03-2014, 12:39 PM
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Efficiency Efficiency is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by americanlawn View Post
1) I trust Sean (have for several years and for several reasons). He actually knows the industry & he never lies. I respect Sean bigtime as he has gone to bat for me in the past.

2) Tried advisory companies twice (in our office). Both times were a huge waste of time (and salary expense on our part). I replied to a LS post some years back about this, but got slambasted by some saying these guys ain't crooks. Whatever.

3) We continue to get telemarketing calls many times each year from these outfits. Usually from either the Chicago area or the New York area. These guys are scam artists. First they won't tell you who's calling or why. They usually say they "have a rep in my area". That's bs, and they won't let you get a word in edgewise. High pressure all the way.

Once I asked the guy where he was from. 1st time it was Pennsylvania. 2nd time it was Long Island. ooops!
Sean might never lie but you surely can be truthful yet wrong.
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  #20  
Old 01-03-2014, 01:39 PM
Armsden&Son Armsden&Son is online now
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Great point Efficiency,(huge fan of your posts by the way, one can always expect captivating arguments and logical conclusions from you) and I just want to clear something up from my post.....
I am not saying one way or the other whether what Sean posted is correct or not. To be truthful, I have limited experience when it comes to online marketing. I do however, take offense to MarcieM's post because it is excruciatingly obvious that the poster is just someone in said industry. I mean, at least give us a disclaimer, something like "Hey guys, I came upon this site and while I am not in the lanscaping/ lawn care industry, I am privy to online marketing and this is my take on the situation." But no, we get an imposter pretending to be a company owner who just wants to spout off because they don't like what they are reading...
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