Harrison Marketing just picked up a new franchise client, and we were discussing their online presence. This franchise is in a very niche market (meaning not a lot of competitors), and I was told they were paying $1,000.00/month per franchise to have an SEM firm do their PPC advertising. What struck me as odd was the fact that they were already showing up on the top of the organic search results, right next to their PPC ads!

My next question was  exactly did they do for your websites to make them search friendly (they paid a ton to have that done also). The firm repeated what many SEM firms have been saying for years. You have to have proper page titles, the site architecture has to be right, page load speed is important, using proper anchor text, ALT text, and having linking strategies. Now these may have been king a few years ago, and are important, they overlook several facts.

First, CONTENT IS KING as we have all heard. Well it’s true, having fresh relevant content can do more for organic search rankings but it is something many SEM companies are not equipped to handle.

Second, and very obvious is linking. Besides being vitally important, especially quality inbound links, it is also one of the most difficult. It takes work, real work. This is where content and the third item, connections come into play.

Connections are important to SEO. When I say connections, I am talking about relationships built off of your QUALITY content. This one also take some real work. So many SEM companies focus on the old stuff, but if they can’t produce quality, informative content, they will have a hard time getting traction on the SERPs. I am convinced that producing great content will overcome many hurdles, such as competitors who have a ton inter-linking sites.  Publishing on as many channels as possible and being consistent. Again, the afore mentioned things are important, but if you do not hear the words ‘content, ‘connections’, and ‘links’ coming out of a prospective SEM companies mouth, find someone who can.

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