This is the final part of our long series on Black Hat SEO and recommendations on avoiding it.
Yesterday we gave you the first 4 of 9 tips every jewelry should be aware of when hiring an SEO Professional to work for you. These are very blunt directions that will make working with your SEO professional much more rewarding.
Please read Part One here: http://bit.ly/nnfjKL
5. As for those ROI reports, don't be unrealistic with your expectations. The web is not a static ecosystem. Obviously you want more traffic, more customers, and higher profits, but traffic and customers cannot be created or destroyed; they instead are stolen from other websites.
As soon as the efforts of your SEO Pro start working, you need to realize that your competitor will step up their SEO game, too. The early surge of success will soon be counteracted by efforts from your competitor. Don't blame your SEO Pro unless you find they are using Black Hat techniques on you.
The best SEO happens organically by real people and cannot be automated. Results from automated methods usually only create short term SERP rankings. Organic methods are more expensive; since human labor is involved, the process could take many months. Make sure you have the budget to see it through.
6. It's easy to find SEO services that guarantee ranking, or promise 10,000 links for $159 per month. A really good SEO Pro will charge a lot more than those "guaranteed" services. In 2007, the website SEOmoz.org provided a pricing table on this page: http://mz.cm/ol1wq8. You will see the low end for monthly SEO is $2,500. That might seem like a lot, but think about it in terms of the inventory cost of an engagement ring. If the SEO Pro can help sell 10 more engagement rings than what you would have, then the cost is well worth it.
7. You need to track your sales. If you do not have an e-commerce website, you need to work with your SEO Pro and come up with a very specific way to track the return on SEO investment costs. Expect to be frustrated with your SEO results if you don't have in-house tracking. Your SEO Pro will probably ask you all the time for sales results, without which it will be your fault for the SEO failure.
No joke here. Most SEO failures are because jewelry stores without e-commerce have inadequate methods of tracking results. Most tracking is limited to the employees asking "how did you hear about us?" or "how did you find our website?" yet the employees do not do it.
8. If you really want to have your website show up for specific keyword phrases like "champagne diamonds" then you need to follow the advice of the SEO Pro and add specific content and product information that includes those keywords. We're using that specific example because once upon a time, our staff worked with a jeweler that insisted they wanted their website to rank for the phrase champagne diamonds, yet we were not allowed to edit their website and the phrase wasn't even used once on the site.
9. Lastly, you should consult your SEO Pro before deciding to launch a campaign with your marketing agency, and before deciding to add a new product line to your store. Tell the SEO Pro what you have in mind and ask them to research keyword phrases and the product line using Google Trends and Google Insights.
Your SEO Pro has the skills to determine if a potential marketing campaign or new product line will work. The SEO Pro could probably give you an answer within 30 minutes that could save you thousands in wasted marketing costs, or could provide valuable reports on how to make a potential campaign thousands of times more effective.
Happy jewelry SEOing!