If you every hear an SEO company promise and guarantee first page rankings in the organic search results, your BS detector should be switched to high alert.
Besides running a pay-per-click campaign, there’s no way to 100% guarantee first page visibility, and even then, first page visibility may be inconsistent, if you are targeting an extremely competitive market like “lasik surgery”, for example.
In any SEO engagement, the first step is to identify and research keywords for which you want your site to appear. These keywords need to be relevant for your business, but they also need to be the kinds of keywords that people who are looking for you use on the search engines. The more general the keyword, the more difficult it will be for you to get visibility for that particular keyword.
When an SEO company says they guarantee first page rankings, you need to ask them specifically about the keywords they are planning to get first page rankings for you and when that will happen. The timing question is definitely hard to answer because there’s no way to exactly predict how long it’s going to take, and the keyword question will help you root out the specific keywords they are targeting.
If they’re targeting keywords like: ”jersey city attorney divorce property settlement”, they will probably be successful getting you first page rankings, but the volume of searches for that particular phrase is extremely low. You can check search volume yourself using the free external Google Adwords Keyword tool. In our example, there are no matches for that exact phrase, but there are 1,600 monthly searches for “divorce property settlement” so some sub-set of those searches may be for searches in Jersey City.
The point is there can be no guarantee because there is limited information for your business until you define and execute a specific keyword strategy. Ideally, choose an SEO partner who has the ability to perform keyword research tailored to the needs of your business and who can adjust the targeted keywords as needed.
It never makes sense to choose a provider who guarantees results because they can’t.