You Can Pay A Premium, But Lacking a Budget, Good SEO Requires Work, Patience, and Time

The Internet has generated plenty of new industries. By linking computers together, increasing the processing power of the PC, by developing better software and compression algorithms, by simply being creative, the Internet has change the world we live in. Examine your life in 1990, and compare that life to today.

In 20 years, the entire planet has changed. But the very nature of humans has not, and that brings us to the snake e-oil sales men, or SEO, for short. New industries bring leaders, and they provide charlatans new opportunities to scam. SEO is the best example I have seen of this, and I am going to share RAW EXPERIENCE to help you avoid some pitfalls of the contemporary bullshit artist.

First, Search Engine Optimization is a real facet of the diamond we call the web. It’s sparkle and fire are continually changing, based upon search trends, industry software, culture, location, nation (which is still location), and a ‘host’ of other nuances that are more ethereal.

Those of us who work in the industry of domains or development (sometimes they go hand-in-hand) know where to find the best keyword options: Google. Let’s face it, Google is God when it comes to tracking search trends because more people use Google than any other search engine. Use the¬†Google Keyword Tool, and you’ll probably do pretty well at identifying what terms, relevant to your industry, people are searching.

I have clients who call me all the time asking about this or that SEO company, and whether they should spend the $599 sign-up fee, plus the $299 per month, per page, to optimize their website on search engines. My answer is an unequivocal ‘NO!’. You need not pay those fees to an SEO company when you can spend far fewer dollars bidding on key search terms, either on Google or other search engines, to get a better ranking. Just use the aforementioned search tool.

Then there is organic search, which, when combined with a low-end PPC campaign, can actually produce prodigious results. But it does take time. Remember that old axiom that a new business will probably not make a profit for the first couple of years? That has not changed, at least not for business that endures.

A solid PPC and organic SEO campaign will take four to six months to begin to bear fruit. It will take another 12 to 15 months to show potent traffic results. I’ve been doing this for a long time (since 2000), and what I’ve seen in the past few years convinces me the snake e-oil sales men (SEO Salesmen) are really taking advantage of those who don’t know better.

It is a stain on the industry of domaining and website development.

Now to the proof of success of an SEO campaign that combines organic and low-cost PPC:TurnpikeInfo.com. Rodan hand-registered this domain in November 2008. In January 2009 we put online a basic page with toll information for key exits (about a dozen of them) on Florida’s turnpike. In January 2009 we had about 325 visits*.

Over the spring of 2009, we expanded the site with video, a tolls database for all exits (covering two and three axle vehicles – the most common kind),service plaza information, gas prices, airport information (for airports adjacent to toll roads), weather, and we added a page for out-of-state folks to buy a SunPass that we would deliver to them, for their trip.

In the summer of 2009 we put one of our videos on a Google/YouTube video campaign, and since then we’ve paid about $350 during the ENTIRE YEAR (not month, but year) to get some click-through traffic that would then visit the site.

We’ve placed careful keywords across the domain, taken advice from the Domain King, modified our ad placements, watched the trends.

Today, with some hard work, very minor PPC investment, careful attention to some details, TurnpikeInfo.com gets about 5,000 visits per month*. And a significant number of people are bookmarking multiple pages across the site.

Editor’s Note: This article has been modified to remove the last line of text, which originally recommended against paying for SEO services. We would not make such a recommendation today; however, we strongly suggest you monitor your SEO company or SEO specialist to guard against black-hat tricks that can lead to short term gains and long-term penalties, which will be imposed by Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search providers. Spam-like blog posts or shill back links are a couple of examples of bad SEO practice, but there are many others. We recommend reading our other SEO posts and¬†Google’s explanation of how search works.
Additionally, the link to the Google Keyword Tool has been removed, as that service has been retired.
* TurnpikeInfo.com monthly visits as of January 2014: 44,030 Uniques and 55,427 total visits.
(Updated February 23, 2014)

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About the Author

Danny Pryor is a media, website and content developer based in Fort Lauderdale. He produces websites, video and other digital media through his company, Rodan Media, and is the executive director of the travel website, TurpikeInfo.com, which he co-owns with his business partners. Danny began website development in 2000, while working with Scoop Magazine, in Fort Lauderdale. His media and broadcasting career dates to 1988, when he began working in news radio, in Las Vegas. He has two awards from the Florida Associated Press, for Best Individual Achievement and for Best Spot News, for his radio news coverage of events in Miami, during 1992.



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