The email I received includes a paragraph that reads as follows:

“We are also experts at SEO and the ideal solution when it comes to getting websites ranking on page one of Google, we have achieved page one results for clients in a wide range of industris, no matter what business you are in, we can help you get to the top of Google.”

It sounds so great. You’re offered the top ranking on a Google search, or at least page one. It comes with promises of more calls, more sales, and more traffic to your website. Promises. Promises. Promises.

How do they do it though?

I spent five years working as the Marketing and Communications Coordinator for an international recruitment company. Our aim was to be the number one ranking in Google searches across Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and more. In those five years, we worked with three different SEO/Digital Marketing agencies who all promised us great results, and who all, ultimately, let us down. Sure, they managed to get us to number 1 here and there, but it was for obscure keywords that brought minimal traffic to the website.

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The worst thing, though, was how difficult it was to actually get a response from them as to exactly what they were doing as part of this SEO strategy. We were paying a regular retainer which provided promises and a report every month to show what movement had been obtained in each of the keywords we were targeting, and what we’d find with those reports, was that on average, we would probably stay about the same. Moving up a few ranks in one area undoubtedly left us lagging somewhere else.

It took me some time to discover that the majority of this weekly retainer was being spent in creating backlinks.

You see, out of all of the key things that Google’s search algorithm uses to calculate page rankings, really the only thing that an external company can provide you with, are backlinks. These are links that use the keywords you’re targeting to link back to the specific page on your website where you want visitors to land.

For example: Let’s say I’ve created a tennis equipment website, and I’ve contacted one of these SEO agencies asking for them to get me to the top of Google when people are searching for tennis equipment. One of the main things they’re going to do, is have people write articles about tennis, which have a link back to my website that specifically uses the words “tennis equipment.” The theory being that with enough backlinks, Google will start to recognize my page as an authority on Tennis Equipment, and will therefore push me to the top of the search rankings.

The problem is, that my page isn’t necessarily the best authority on Tennis Equipment, and Google knows that, because none of the three hundred pages where these articles have been posted are recognized as any sort of authority on tennis either.

Because that is what Google is after. Authority. The brains trust at the Good Ship Google has two aims:

  • First: To get you to spend money on Adwords. It’s their major revenue stream.
  • Second: To provide people searching with the best results possible.

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SEO companies, in the meantime, have a single, slightly different aim: to get you to pay them to circumnavigate whatever rules Google has put into place to fulfill that second aim I just mentioned, to provide the best and most accurate results possible. An SEO company doesn’t care that my site isn’t the most comprehensive tennis equipment site around, they care about convincing me that if I pay them enough money, they can make Google think that I’m the most comprehensive tennis equipment website around

Which brings us to the difference between an SEO company, and a Content Marketing Expert.

Instead of doing what they can to make Google believe my site is the best tennis equipment site around, a Content Marketing Expert comes in and says, “Let’s make this site the best tennis equipment site around!”

Do you see the difference there? One is trying to manipulate their way around the rules that Google (and Yahoo and Bing) have put in place, while the other is using those rules to provide a great result.

Put another way, one is working against Google, the other is working with them.

SEO - Deer Fighting

Do you realize that it’s a lot easier to work together than against someone?

I’ve had plenty of conversations with SEO companies where I’ve been told that Google have changed their formula again, and this is why our keywords had dropped. SEO companies are constantly working against Google, and in turn, Google is constantly working against them. Google keeps updating their formula to tighten all the loopholes that these people are working to exploit.

Why work against them when you can just as easily work with them? Why spend so much time, effort, and money in pretending to be an authority on your subject, when you could put that time, effort and money into actually being the authority on your subject?

This is why Content Marketing is so important.

But why listen to me? I have a not-so-hidden motive in convincing you to follow the path of Content Marketing over SEO strategies. It’s my business. I write for a living, providing great content for websites who want to improve their own rankings, get more traffic, receive more calls and drive more sales. That’s my bread and butter. So why should you listen to me?

No one’s saying you have to, but next time in, I’ll be writing in more detail about Content Marketing, and exactly what it is that people like myself actually do to help you reach those goals. Sign up to my email list below to make sure you’re notified when it’s posted!

Of course, if you want to get started before then, contact me today and we can discuss your individual needs. Unlike the struggles I had with SEO companies, you’ll be consulted and included as we work on a strategy, and know exactly what it is you’re actually paying for as we go forward.