How do the big SEO firms achieve results so fast and economical for clients?

giannid

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I'm not an SEO expert but a construction service contractor who's been learning, implementing and hiring people to do my SEO for the past two years. I'm still not very successful at it and nor is anyone that I've hired in the past to do work for me. I network with many other contractors in the construction trades and not too many of them have had favorable experiences with SEO people or companies. Most of us had to use Angie's List, Home Advisor or Adwords to get customers calling us. Organic Google search would be ideal but it seems that SEO is something you pay for but never get much of a return on your investment as it seems most are not very successful at it.

I've got one friend that uses a company called Localedge owned by Hearst Media. He pays in the area of $300 a month and chooses two keywords and 3 local municipalities. He's on page one for organic search in just about every municipality he services which is about 10 cities. They provide him a relatively generic website that provides some basic information but gets him a lot of leads.

I've done some research on his website with some SEO tools and he doesn't even really have any backlinks. He's just got a couple and they don't seem to be very good. The on page seems pretty generic and doesn't seem anything spectacular.

So my question is how does his site rank so well? I've done a lot of checking from various locations and have other people run searches and the results are always the same, that generic website is on top. It puzzles me how well it does with what I see.
 

gandcmorris

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Hi Giannid,

We all know how frustrating this can be. We have all experienced it at some point. The reasons they rank so well can be numerous.

1) The URL can be so custom to the one search term you are looking at that it naturally would rank because none of the other sites address that specific keyword + geo-modifier.

2) They might be cloaking some of their backlinks from the crawlers you use to check their backlinks.

3) They may have some links that simply have not have been crawled yet so you haven't discovered them.

The real solution is to just continue to craft your work to outperform them, work hard at getting the right links and building the right content.

It's frustrating I know.
 

giannid

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Yes it is frustrating as all the work I pour into it is definitely not worth he $300 a month they charge. I've talked to the salesperson in the past and he said that he can work on my existing wordpress site for that money. I may give them a shot as I haven't seen anything as cost effective that's worked as well.
 

gandcmorris

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I'd certainly suggest looking for the right company. One that has clear results, referrals, and can present you with a clear strategy. $300 bucks per month is extremely low.
 

giannid

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It's funny you say it's extremely low. I agree with you. This company performs based on my research I've done. I'm not sure how they do it for so cheap but his phone rings off the hook and that's the only advertising he does. The parent company is Hearst Media which is a huge company. They figured out how to do it and they do it for cheap.
 
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Sometimes the "bigger" companies have an established network of niche sites that they can utilize for powerful backlinks. The type where only a few links would make a big difference.

While others spend too much time trying to game the system and do too much of the wrong thing that actually hurts their rankings.

There are a lot of variables in play, so it is hard to give an exact answer.
 

giannid

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The few powerful backlinks is what I figured. Might be worth the money for the backlink juice.
 

JoshuaMackens

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Also interested to see the site myself.

The keywords and local areas he ranks well for would be helpful also.
 

PhillGeorge

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I worked in the 3rd largest agency in the world.

We routinely bought links. Actually we rented links (eg Pay $1000 for 1 link per month, client link building budget was not acquiring new links but only paying for placements we already had.. completely idiotic)

I informed management that this violated google TOS and placed client accts at risk + wouldn't provide us the required link profile, link velocity etc to rank. I was fired.

Our link provider got flagged and exposed on Moz i think (circa 2012) and the link provider then switched from a "rent a link" model I believe. Otherwise I paid for links on .edu sites (extremely powerful)

The agency then moved towards high profile links acquired through PR (eg media/press releases), interlinking brand ( eg amex.com homepage linking an outbount commercial anchor eg credit cards to one of our sister sites to boost its rankings). Additionally the agency begun creating their own PBN's. So PBN's is the way to go presently.
 
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A few things about SEO that should always be considered, is that it can take time depending on how competitive your industry is, the history and authority of your website, etc.

Therefore, you have to find a SEO provider that can show you the results from other SEO campaigns that they have worked on. If they can show you positive results with a business in your niche, even better.

I can guarantee any graph that they show you that has a positive ROI, it will be a graph trending in the right direction over time. The first step is finding the right SEO company that can provide the best results, then sticking with them as SEO is about consistently executing the right strategies over and over to increase rankings over time.

Would definitely be interested in seeing the website that you mentioned to analyze their results. What tools or research did you use to come up with your conclusion about the website?

I don't want to assume how they rank well, would need to see the website.

Lamar Hull
 

SEOExpertBrad

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Phill, You just summed up 95% of SEO agencies. It’s sad what the industry has turned into. What is even more amazing is how many people have their head in the sand.
 

David W Cox

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I have a site in home improvement niche and one thing you have not touched on is content creation. Longer pages on your key topics will do better. 1,200 words to 2,000 words. Also, the big help is a lot of reviews on your Google My Business listing as well as on Home Advisor.
 

JimFranco

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I would like to see the website and where they rank


I think the simple answer is they are cheating. They must a network of pbns and other black hat methods and a bunch of nice 301s to achieve those results with that price .
 

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