What is ethical SEO? As an experienced marketer I have seen many people and companies re-invent their ethos and purport to be ethical in what they do. But how are businesses ethics measured?
Besides the obvious, check companies house for history, check a company has their address on the website and verifiable contact details, there are a few things to
consider when you are looking at working with a company to improve your search engine optimisation.
Is it price?
You see the thing is, anybody in business knows the difference between price and value. It is obvious when you think about the basic principles. No matter what you do or who you are, in your life you will have the price/value debate. This can be with yourself or maybe with a colleague/partner. You may want to buy something that is “cheap” and we know for some things cheap is exactly what you want. But do you want everything cheap? If not, why? Because sometimes, what you gain in reduced price can be matched by reduced quality. As for the value, how valuable can something be to you? How do you measure it? If something can only bring a small benefit, is it right to have a high price? Well that is a decision that is down to you, are you prepared to pay for quality. There are many companies who claim they are so ethical that they can afford to offer products/services at rock bottom prices and the odd time this can be worth while, but beware of what you might get if you pay peanuts.
Is it time?
Now, this can be a subject that divides opinion. How much work time do you pay for? I recently heard of a Manchester SEO Company claiming that their ethos of not having
contracts constituted ethical company values. Are contracts unethical? Should everything be done in stages? How would ethical SEO be provided: Monthly? Weekly, Daily?
the truth is all of these dont really count towards ethics. If Search Engines read your website on intermittent basis with no patterns it is imperative that you give a real chance to your client to see a result. Time is money, we all understand that, Google doesn’t!. If you are not prepared to work around any of Google’s complicated methods then there is a fantastic thing you can do to avoid them – ADWORDS!
Is It Results?
Ultimately, the short answer to this is YES. “You get what you pay for” is a perfect concept in an ideal world, however in the real world it doesn’t always work that way. What we would suggest is speak to the company you are thinking of using and check them out. Ask them for references, ask them to show you results. Also check their own rankings, some companies have sales teams that surpass their capabilities. If a company ranks well, and has no objections to you validating their results then its a no brainier.
You will have to concede that no matter how many years of experience and success a company has, no matter how many years worth of references they have accompanied with good online rankings themselves, you are still going to be feeling like you are taking a risk. This is fine, if you can admit you don’t know enough about optimising your site to be fully confident in anyone doing the right thing its a start. There are different techniques and methods and seasoned professionals will say different things. Make sure if you’re taking a risk its a calculated one.
Do not buy into words on ethics, this is a results industry and if a company has enough results over a sustained period of time then make your own mind up.
Words mean nothing without actions, make sure you’re not being influenced by words when its results your looking for!