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McCord Web Services Where the Focus is on Your Success

December 2010 Features » Monthly SEO Bills, Google Boost, Website Traffic

Nancy McCord, Owner of McCord Web Services LLC.Dear Friend,

This newsletter is pretty candid and the content contained is just my own personal point of view. Even if you don't agree with me, it is sure to get you thinking.

A new item we are watching very closely is Google Boost. In this newsletter you'll find out why we think this is Google's next huge money maker.

Best Regards,

Nancy McCord

Connect with me online on Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn | Plaxo | Naymz | Our Blog

Ouch - Monthly SEO Billing! | New Google Boost | What's Low for Traffic?

Ouch! Paying Monthly for SEO Services? What Exactly Are You Getting?

Ask the right questions!Now that you have had your website optimized and you are improving your organic search placement, it's time to ask your service firm exactly what are you getting for your monthly service fee.

It is not uncommon for a business that has had optimization done by an SEO firm to be paying a monthly service fee of anywhere from $300 to several thousand dollars a month. But what are you really getting for this monthly service fee? Do you even know?

For $300 a month times 12 months that's $3,600 a year, not an insignificant amount of cash, it is important to know what you are getting. To find out, it is key that you ask the right questions to evaluate the answers in order to identify if this expense is warranted or is just an income stream for your SEO firm that they are hoping you will not challenge.

Here are the pointed questions you should ask your own SEO firm:

  1. What is my monthly fee paying for? If this is for link work, how many links did you get me last month and the month before?

  2. If this is for your code to remain on my web page and is just a monthly subscription fee to keep the code there let me know this clearly. What happens when I stop my services with you?

  3. I understand that no one can pay their way to the top of Google so if I am paying you $300 a month and $3,600 a year exactly what am I getting for my money? Anything?

  4. If you say you are tweaking my code weekly or monthly for my $300 investment. I would like to see what tweaks you actually did last month and the month before. Were these done only to my home page?

  5. If I stop my services with you what exactly on my home page will be changed if anything?

Pretty pointed questions if you ask me, but questions that you as a business owner should ask and know the answer to, to make sure that you know exactly what your SEO investment is doing. It is important for you as a business owner to know that many SEO firms have this model for pricing and that they do not do much on a monthly basis to help you retain or improve placement after their initial work is done. This is an income stream for them and they just hope you are not asking the questions to pin them to the wall to really tell you, if they even will, exactly what they are doing monthly for you for this payment.

I would be highly surprised to hear that the things that an SEO firm does to earn the $300 for a monthly subscription fee is actually worth the actual cash value if your webmaster billed you by the hour to do the same things. Especially if your SEO work does not include blogging, content creation, or any changes you can notice on your website. You may simply be paying $300 a month for a “feel good” report at the end of the month to encourage you to continue to pay monthly services.


The New Google Boost Looks a Lot Like Yahoo Local

If you've been around for a while you will know what I mean when I refer to the now defunct Yahoo Local, but Google Boost sure looks a lot like it!

That being said, I am really watching Google Boost carefully. Google Boost is a new monetization tactic being used for Google Places aka Google Maps and is currently being tested in Chicago, San Francisco, and Houston. If you use it, you set up your account, add your credit card and select one of three click levels for a month. Google does the rest. It creates pay per click ads, keywords, manages your cost per click. All you do is pay.

And pay you will, with a totally automated ad serving and automated click costs don't expect Google Boost to be saving you any money. In the Yahoo Local model, you selected how many clicks you wanted to get each month and Yahoo delivered. You even tied up the top spots in organic-looking placement on the Yahoo Local search engine. So far in the beta testing the Google Boost ads are differentiated only with a blue map icon. They look very similar to an organic listing.

Additionally, Google Boost ads will appear on Google Places, Google Maps searches and even on My feeling is that this will never replace Google AdWords, but that Google is looking to sop up the market when it comes to Mom and Pop shops with low budgets that don't want to get into AdWords or users who think AdWords is too complicated. Google Boost is a step below even the Google Starter Edition.

But Google will make tons of money off of this new vehicle and this is why I am really watching Google Boost. You should be too!


What is Your Website Traffic? What’s Low?

Blog traffic screen shotThat's the question everyone wants to know... is my website traffic high, low or in between. For small businesses that are not start ups and have been on the web for over a year, I feel that traffic under 50 unique visitors a day is low.

If your website figures aren't even in the double digits on the average in a 30 day period, you really need to start working to build your website traffic. Why have a website if no one visits it and if it does not generate leads for you?

Here's another benchmark if you have over 100 unique visits a day and you are a small business your traffic is definitely in the normal to good zone. Higher than that around 200 visitors a day and you are doing great. If you have 30,000 unique visitors a day, you'd better be on a dedicated server before you give yourself a big pat on the back.

So if your numbers are low what should you and what can you do to boost them. Here are just a few suggestions to consider:

  • Start blogging but only if you can install a blog under your own domain name on your parent website's server. That is really key! Offsite blogging won't help you in this area.

  • Think about writing and syndicating articles at Google Knol, Go e-articles, and other sites. The key here to your traffic will simply be the quality of your writing and the timeliness of your content.

  • The easy path is to drive traffic to your website with Google AdWords or MSN adCenter (for Yahoo and Bing). When you don't have time to do the other things this is very workable. Pay per click costs but the traffic you can generate immediately to expose the world to your services and products is well worth the investment. Just make sure you are targeted and don't create a branding campaign that just brings your impressions and clicks.

  • Work all your angles! Do you have friends with websites on the Web? Get links back from them to your site. Consider doing guest blog writing. Tap into your network. If you are a member of a national or regional association ask if you can guest write for their online archived newsletter or blog. You want links and exposure.

These are just a few ideas to consider. Typically pay per click, as it is the easiest, is the route most people will pursue when they have little web traffic. Take some time to make sure your website is generating the traffic you need to feed your business, or take action!


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