When talking with potential clients, one question we frequently hear is, “What kind of results can you guarantee me?” It’s a legitimate question. All businesses, whether small or large, need to know what kind of ROI they’re going to receive. However, when it comes to SEO, the buyer should beware of any companies that guarantee results.

Oftentimes, these companies promise to achieve page 1 rankings each month or the client doesn’t have to pay for the services that month. However, their strategies typically involve targeting low-quality, low-search volume keywords that won’t generate a client much traffic or business. For good measure, these companies might also count page 1 rankings on smaller, less important search engines, such as Dogpile or Lycos.

Here are some reasons why you shouldn’t trust companies that promise rankings:

The Search Engines Actually Warn Against It
It’s true. On its website, Google writes, “Beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee rankings.” You can read more here. That alone should close the door on the topic.

Rankings Are Unstable
Apart from the fact that Google constantly updates its algorithm, rankings actually change from place to place. If I search for “electrician” here in Scottsdale, AZ, I’m going to receive different results than someone doing the same search in Tucson, AZ. Being logged into your Google account also provides you with different rankings. Savvy SEO firms don’t guarantee rankings, because there are simply too many factors that cause rankings to fluctuate.

Rankings Alone Can’t Measure Performance
It’s exciting to see your website show up on page 1 of Google, but that doesn’t mean your business is benefiting much from the ranking. How are your website traffic and conversions looking? If you haven’t seen improvements in these areas, then something’s off with your SEO plan.

There Are Ethical Issues in Guaranteeing Something That Can’t Be Controlled
While FedEx and UPS can guarantee next-day delivery, a camera maker can’t responsibly promise that all your pictures will turn out beautifully. What if you took a picture of Elwood, the world’s ugliest dog? It’s the same principle with SEO. While an SEO company can guarantee to provide you with the best possible advice to help your website earn more traffic, they can’t (and shouldn’t) provide a guarantee on rankings.

If you’re searching for a good SEO company, but hesitant to invest without knowing the results you’ll receive, there are still questions you can ask to help you feel more confident in making your decision. We’ll cover those questions and the different topics you should discuss with any SEO company in our next blog post.

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At Digital Dogs, we often develop web and mobile apps for our clients, but we also enjoy checking out and using apps other companies create, as well. This year, we’ve run across a few different apps that we know will make our holiday shopping easier. Hopefully, they’ll do the same for you. Here are our favorites for Black Friday shopping:

Before you leave the house on Friday:
BFAds and TGIBlackFriday – The search function on both of these apps works great for comparison shopping. Just type in the product you want to purchase, and these apps will show the product’s price at the different stores selling it. It’s a quick way to know which stores have the products you really want at the lowest price, making it easier to map out your Black Friday shopping route.

Once you’re in the store:
ShopSavvy 5 – If you forgot to look up a product before you started shopping, the ShopSavvy app still helps you grab the best price. Once you’re in a store, you just have to scan the product’s bar code with your smartphone. The app will show you all the stores selling the product, as well as the prices that each store offers.

If you know of any apps that help make your Black Friday shopping easier, feel free to post a comment and let us know!

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