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June 7, 2007

9 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Choose That SEO Agency

In order to achieve significant results, an effective SEO strategy must involve the website’s content, optimising the texts, HTML, information distribution and site architecture in order to make the website content more visible and relevant.

A simplistic approach usually means troubles, or rather, a waste of money. Here is my list of top ten of ways to detect that the people sitting in front of you might not be a serious partner to make your online business grow.

1. Here is your “Top 50” “Top 100” or “Guarantee positioning” package. Yeah..really…

There is no way of predicting which position any given site can reach on any search engine for any keyword. The actual ranking of a site is a function of a number of ever-changing interactions which are not in the hands of the search engine agency. Besides the engines themselves periodically changing their ranking logics, in this very second there are hundreds of websites and search engine agencies working hard to improve their positioning for the keyword “London hotel”. How can you honestly ensure you will rank at the top of them?

And moreover… who cares? The position of a given keyword is NOT the objective of a SEO activity. Nor it is a paramether to measure your online success. The number of top rankings for over-inflated keywords is not going to affect your EBITBA. Conversions and CPA are.

A serious search engine agency will rather get committed on the quantity and quality of traffic (conversions!), and to bring you tangible sales leads (and should be able to give you more clever advices then just try to get your traffic from the same old 50 obvious keywords).

2. We don’t do doorway pages. These are “landing pages”. BMW used to think it didn’t make much difference. Then, its website completely disappeared from Google. Search engines can discriminate between proper landing pages and spamming, and can ban you in a second, making all your investments go up in smoke. Be sure landing pages are what they should be, an informative landing enviroment which is fully integrated in your navigation and content structure.

3. SEO is just about throwing in in some metatags. Meaning:”We do have a feeling that there are other key factors…off-the page elements such as blogs, social bookmarking, press releases, viral content, advanced link popularity and linkbait are just as important as metatags for search engines, but actually, we haven’t got a clue of how to do that stuff.”

4. It’s ok to spend 95% of your online budget on pay-per-click. Meaning:”Getting you your fair share of traffic from SEO might take a bit more effort on our side and we do not really care about your distribution costs”.

5. PPC is more controllable than SEO. Meaning:”Achieving and tracking SEO results seems kind of hard, let’s do some ppc advertising instead”.

6. We guarantee you get ranked in 15 days. Option 1:”No, not in Google really, just in 20.000 obscure search engines.”

Option 2: “We will get you a top position in Google for ‘design luxury yet budget accomodation providers in the tundra’ (with exact phrase match)”.

7. We only specialize in search engines. Meaning: “What happens when a user arrives to your site is not our business and we don’t understand much about usability or what it takes to generate a booking on a travel website”.

8. Yeah, we are a web agency but will do the search engine for you. Sounds like: “I’ve been plumber for the last 30 years, but I will fix with your electrical system for some extra cash”.

9. You don’t need to do any work on your website. Meaning:”Deleting that annoying flash intro page would destroy the user experience. And adding some interesting content is not necessary. Not that many people really use search engines to book their travel anyway”.

Hint no. 10 is open for discussion: post your comment and contribute to the black list on

BONUS: We are leaving #10 open for discussion. Please post your comment and contribute to the black list on our blog at

Author:  Annalisa Ballaira is CEO at