Isn’t it time the SEO sector was regulated by the FSA?
SEO has to be one of the most misunderstood and worst sectors in business today in relation to taking money from businesses or individuals for paid services and under delivering on results.
“There are good quality SEO firms out there that can help businesses; an SEOs bottom line comes into question with SMEs, thus driving smaller businesses into the realms of the sector that should be regulated,’ in my opinion’.”
If SEO firms where regulated and told they could only trade under a strict set of conditions, then this would start to give confidence back to business owners that they are dealing with qualified businesses, the SEO sector is filled with unskilled and unqualified individuals that under deliver.
How many times have I listened to businesses tell me they don’t know what they are paying for, or businesses that pay just to get there keywords onto page one of Google, other related search engines or websites just to find they are not making any money or converting their visitors.
It really does upset me to find businesses that are not given actual documented strategies, they are given print screen diagrams of keywords from there analytical programs.
It’s a fact there is a huge % of businesses that don’t make any money from having a website. So what can people do, what is it that an SEO can do that other qualified business owners cannot do?
Your goal is to be on page one of Google for your selected terms or on the front of a high traffic website, ‘that’s it’. As long as you have great services or products you can make a huge amount of money online.
This is achievable through structured planning, but focus on the how, not on the need, ask yourself if you’re on page one will this help you achieve your goal, and what is your long term strategy?
If you reach page one for your targeted terms, do you think people will use your services, ‘would you?’.
How do you deal with your prospects? Who are your prospects? How much time do you spend on understanding your market?
What I am suggesting here is that SEO has been diluted into something which it is not, and business owners need to start to understand how to run their businesses.
Let me break this down into five very simple steps, what I call the WWBOA.
- Website design and branding
- Website development
- Business structuring
- Online marketing
- Analytical analysis
These are the fundamental steps in developing any business online.
I have counted more than 64,000 SEO specialists with full business addresses in the UK, these are businesses and freelances charging a rate between £10 per hour and £125 per hour, this can be; cash in hand, exchange of services, products or by means of payment into their business.
I think the time has come for the FSA to look into this sector very closely and start to regulate businesses and individuals in these sectors like they do with any other financial institutions.
Online marketing works, ‘FACT’, for a business it’s about trust, affordability, planning, quality of services, time & rates, my question is who can you trust?
I have found that 7 out of 10 people I have spoken with don’t have a clue about what they are doing in relation to developing a business online though PPC, content, website development, or branding.
In fact if you ask the question, account managers in SEO firms usually start from the age of 17 to 18 and have a salary of 10 to 16k a year. They are told what to say to a client on the phone and there is no real development in relation to growing your business it’s all about telling people what they want to hear and making there own business a profit.
It’s a fact that a 17 or 18 year old has very little business experiance and a lack of qualifications to help move a business forwards, could this be the one main reason why so many businesses fail online?
Remeber it’s not just about getting your business to page one of a major search engine for it’s range of key search terms, it’s about delivering trusted, targeted products and services that consumers want and like.
Here is a scary fact, there are less than 35 actual companies in the UK that can do SEO and business planning at the correct level you would expect, but they have a bottom line, which is £2.5k per month and you would not get a lot of time for this either.
So where is the balance? Regulate the SEO sector; make sure each individual or company is qualified in business structuring, pay per click systems, analysis, design and development.
Companies I have worked with within the past have all said: ‘if websites where developed correctly and content was well written there would be no real need for an SEO company’, SEO companies came about to clear up the internet and help business owners become more visible whilst helping to push capital through PPC systems, instead those individuals and businesses responsible for creating poorly developed sites, and poorly developed content are the same individuals who are calling themselves SEO specialists and SEO companies.
As a direct result search engines like Google have had to develop systems to counteract these companies from creating misguided system online.
If the SEO sector became regulated then business owners could take action against these people for under delivering.
by Keith Griffiths