I am the type of person that refuses to sell anything where there is not a 100% guarantee on deliverables. That is why I keep telling people that I do not offer pure SEO services. If someone wants a site that will rank well in search engines for a broad range of keywords, if someone wants a site that will convert visitors to buyers, is someone wants a site that is easy to maintain - then they can call me. But if they want to rank well for a specific keyword phrase, just for the purpose of ranking well for that keyword phrase, then call AdWords or Overture. Can I, or other SEOs, rank a site well in the natural results for a specific and competitive keyword? Of course. But will it last? Probably but not guaranteed.
I play my own games, have my own challenges to rank my site well for extremely competitive keywords. I do fairly well. But what I get a kick out is giving clients (and myself) the ability to rank well for any keyword phrase they might think of in the middle of the night. The client can login to his or her backend, create a new page and possibly in a few days, the site will rank well for that new page. This blog received traffic from over 4,000 different keyword terms this month. Why target one term when you can target very specific and actionable keyword phrases. As I said above, I do play my games and I do rank well for some very competitive terms.
Anyway, enough about me. This post is all about a thread over at HighRankings, where a member asked this question. "I have a prospect who would like a proposal for SEO. They want to be on page one of Google for outdoor furniture (4.5 million) and casual furniture (1.9 million)."
The responses are, dare I say it, ethical. Ethical in terms of showing the client that targeting one or two keyword phrases might not be the best avenue for long term success. Of course one can give a money back guarantee - which works well. But why not include those two competitive phrases plus 4,000 other phrases for the client?
One member brings up the analogy of a doctor's services:
You walk into a doctor's office, say to him, 'Doc I am in real pain, I mean REAL pain. I have seen 3 pain specialists, and they have all charged me lots and failed. Can you guarantee that I will not feel this pain anymore?'I do not necessarily agree with this analogy but I got the point.
Doc says yep, $50,000 in cash in advance.
Jill Whalen chimes in with her advice, and I agree completely, "you should never take on a campaign where they only want a couple of phrases."