Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is perhaps the most misunderstood term in online marketing. The main reason is because SEO changes on a monthly basis. What worked back in 2005 is not going to work in today’s day and age. L. Scott Harrell wrote a phenomenal piece regarding SEO for private investigators in 2008; his article is a fantastic example of how much SEO has changed over the past 6 years. In 2008, Private Investigator SEO was simple – a website needed to include: Title Tags, Description Tags, Meta Keyword Tags and content. That article was ahead of its time in ‘05. Da’bomb! In ’08. But, now, it’s a bit outdated in 2014. Many people in the “black hat” website marketing communities began to game the system, so search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo began to change the way they crawled and indexed websites to try and prevent people from manipulating search results.
If you found this article through Google search, then chances are you were looking for an article about SEO for Private Investigators.
The reason this article came up in the results is because the article is LITERALLY about SEO for Private Investigators. In the 1990’s you could very easily stuff any article with “keywords” and it would appear at the top of search results even if the article had nothing to do with search engine optimization. Keywords literally told search engines, “this is what my page is about” and they believed it. While keywords are still relevant, search engines have changed the way they are used.
The best way to explain how SEO works is by thinking of the Internet as a large library; search engines are individual librarians. In the 90’s, you could write a book about dogs and then place a cover on that book that read “Private Investigator Marketing”. When the librarians went by the isles looking for a book about Investigator Marketing, your book about “dogs” would be delivered to the customer simply because that’s what the cover said. Eventually, after many many complaints, librarians grew smarter. They began to open the books and read a few pages. As the “black hat” authors wised up to the librarians, they changed their tactics just enough to slip by. Librarians soon caught on and they began to look, in depth, at specific chapters of the book to see if the subject matter matched the table of contents. The game between the “black hats” and the librarians continues to escalate and the libraries have been flooded with so many books that librarians have to read the entire book before making a determination whether or not it is a best match for which the clients are searching.
Search engines don’t use librarians, however, they use algorithms named Top Heavy, EMD (Exact Match Domain), Pirate, Payday, Pigeon, Penguin, Panda, and Hummingbird to crawl, index and organize Google search. The misconceptions begin when private investigators (and other business owners) wander off into the Internet to find customers but, instead, find web design companies who convince them that, “Without a website, you are never going to be successful.” They purchase a shiny new website and sit back waiting for clients to come beating down their doors; they literally believe the adage, “If you build it, they will come.” After they fail to see any kind of traction online, they wonder why their website isn’t work and no one is finding it on the web. Eventually they find that SEO is the answer, but they fall into the trap of “cheap” SEO services. Instead of seeing traffic, they see bills and invoices that leaves them with a sour taste in their mouths.
Using lowest cost search engine optimization providers is exactly like us rolling our eyes at the client who searches for $25 per hour surveillance services and then gets frustrated when the amateur investigator cannot produce results.
Here is a great article on how much SEO costs. What you have to understand is that when you hire an agency, you are hiring a marketing employee at a fraction of the cost.
Search engine optimization has evolved greatly and client’s have problems truly understanding what SEO is or how it works. They get frustrated listening to all of the “experts” trying to tell them what it is, what they need and why that particular expert is the best. Eventually, a list of misconceptions about SEO begin to take shape. I’ve compiled a few of the different Private Investigator SEO misconceptions that our clients have come to us with which can be read on part two of this article. We hope that this article helps you understand the importance of SEO for your investigations agency in order to succeed and attract more customers on line. As always, if you need help or have questions about online marketing techniques, do not hesitate to message us.