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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