Have you been snookered into the SEO game? You know the spiel, “Award-winning team connecting business sites with the people searching for them. Free SEO Consultation. Improve Your Site Traffic. Proven Track Record. Affordable Packages.” Let’s see, affordable:

Click Any Image to Open Larger Image in a Light Box

Did someone say SEO Services were inexpensive?

Click thru and see how many top spots U.S. Website Studio has

#1 on Google

Got top spot on the big one

Fox Search Engine

U.S. Website Studio has the top spot on Fox

Top Spot on Bing

Got the top spot on Bing search engine too!

Yahoo got it too!

Got top spot on Yahoo

Now, that we got that out of the way, let’s get down to what you really came to see.

Paying to stay on top of the SEO Sand Pile is not only expensive, it’s long term.  I design websites for a living and my website says I provide SEO Services. Well, I’m slowly doing away with that service. Why? Like the main image shows, it’s like a sand-pile. And when my customers begin to to slip I get phone calls. Someone is always bigger and richer. Everyone is trying to get to the top. Have you ever climbed a sand-pile?  It takes some serious energy to climb it; likewise, the SEO Sand Pile takes some serious money to get to the top and stay there. Many small businesses just can’t afford that climb.

As a local small business or a start-up entrepreneur, do feel like: I gotta get some SEO sand to grow my business?  Well, my friend you’ve been snookered!  The marketing from SEO companies should be a role model for marketing.  Their success is remarkable (their marketing not necessarily their service).

Here is my experience as an SEO Services provider. Notice my website “U.S. Website Studio” in the images in the above slider, I am on top in all the big search engines, I got the top spot, I’m #1, Uno, Uno, Uno…

Opps, look right.  I am not Uno anymore.  That’s because of the sandpile; the slipping slope. The company “iiicreative” had the top spot for 12 years until I came along and took it away.  Well, now we each must get bigger shovels and work harder.  They got back the top spot, so I took it away again with a bigger shovel and they took it back by shoveling faster, so I took … Get the point? (no pun intended) Your problem is my shovel is free, your shovel cost and cost and cost!  Would you like some good news?

The Bible in John 8:32 contains a common saying “The truth will set you free” used in academic circles and by Bible thumpers like myself. And, it holds true for SEO aimed at the local businesses. The truth is you would probably get a better ROI by investing in equipment that saves time allowing you to do more jobs. I read and chatted with a guy in a Facebook group a few days ago that paid over $5,000 for a website and signed a contract for SEO @ $700 a month, that’s $13,400 for the year.   Do I have to tell you he didn’t even break even? He was anxiously waiting out the last two months of his CONTRACT!  

Is the SEO Industry a Scam?

When asked, “Is it true that 90% of the SEO industry is a scam”, Paul Reilly said, “Yes, it’s probably about 90% – I’ve seen this myself over the past two decades working in SEO. Well, that leaves 10% that might get you a ROI, how much, I don’t know? How much of that 10% is focused on companies that can afford $10,000 a month or more? So, what is the good news?

First, lets look at two search terms.

            Long Tail SEO

            Local Search SEO

Long tail shows up on the search page below all the ads and Google’s Snack Pack (the little box with the top 3 searches listed). The Local Search starts in Googles Snack Pack with the three top listings and continues by clicking “The More Places Icon,” which opens a new window, listing all the matching websites that match local search term. 

As a local small business, you need to be in the Snack Pack to get any chance of a lead from the search engine or the top 3 – 5 spots on other engines. The graph below shows the value of being in the top 3 clearly with CTRs (clickthrough rate) from nearly 30% in first position to 10% in third position. In the lower positions of 9 to 10, CTR has fallen to a paltry sub 2%.  As a local business, that’s a pretty narrow window to make your $millions.  The question is how many searches for your business is taking place daily and are you #1?  How much did it cost, you to get the #1 spot and how much does it cost to keep it? Would you be better off investing that $13,400 somewhere else for a better ROI? I’m willing to bet you can find a better use for thousands of dollars.

But there is one place you should not eliminate and that’s your website. In the 90s, I had a Forensic Analysis company and I paid $6,000 for a 1/4 page ad in the phone book. You couldn’t succeed in business without a phone book ad. Why? CREDIBILITY You could be a one man army and compete with the big boys because you were in the phone book. Believe it or not, I didn’t break even directly from the listing. The next year I changed my signs and print material with “see listing in phone book under Lawyers”. Ring, ring, ring and the phone fell off the desk. I lived off referrals the first year, but the second year the combination of referrals and a phone book listing launched my company.

Today, the internet has replaced the phone book.  Keep this in mind, even word of mouth advertising is often checked against your website. A website gives your company CREDIBILITY!  People will see your website link on your vehicles, business cards, other print material and advertisements. It was required to be in the phone book to succeed yesterday, but today that phone book is the internet. In addition,  your website needn’t cost thousands of dollars either.

U.S. Website Studio can design a 6-page website optimized for the search engines for local business listings. Depending on the competition, you may get the top spot. If you do, how long will it be there? How much do you want to spend on SEO to keep it there? A 6 page website will contain all the information a potential customer wants to know. The cost $360. A billboard website (a single page website with all the required info) set up $75.  Both websites are hosted for $17 per month. That is a fully managed website meaning you do nothing but answer a few questions and I do the rest. A Wix website runs $14 per month and you do all the work. 

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