That's right. I'm going to break down why your SEO campaign is much like your automobile. In fact, the similarities are uncanny.
Here, I will take common occurrences and show you the similarities between the two.
Cars and SEO - how they're the same
At the very core, your car takes you from point A to point B. Your SEO campaign at the core can also take your business places, too.
Mode of transportation
You can physically sit inside of your automobile. You can't physically sit inside your SEO campaign. (But your website can virtually sit inside your campaign :) )
Where to buy
When you buy your car, you can choose some person off of Craigslist, a car-dealing website or a big fancy dealership. You must do some research and find out what you are getting into, and at least know that if it feels shady, it most likely is. When prospecting an SEO company, you will most likely see shady companies and companies that will overpromise and overcharge, and potentially underdeliver. Where you get it from makes all the difference, whether we’re talking about your car or your SEO campaign.
Fill ‘er up
How does it run? You car runs on gas. Your SEO campaign is run by hours and materials put into the campaign. Both require money.
You are intrigued by the inner workings of your car. How does it run? What makes it work? What can I do to prevent it from failing? Just like with a car, you will want to know answers to lots of questions. How does SEO work? What are some ways I can prevent it from failing? Just like your trusted mechanic is a great source to ask some of these questions, your trusted SEO provider can answer some questions for you. Keep in mind you might not need to know everything - just enough to soothe your soul. Both SEO professionals and mechanics alike have a lot of acquired knowledge that has been crafted over a long period of time, so sometimes it's better to leave the technical stuff up to them.
How can I get a clunker to perform better? The answer is the same with both cars and SEO campaigns. You can put some money into them, and sometimes they can even be a money pit. In the end, you just may have a fixed-up clunker. So, you can quickly remedy that by getting a better car, or getting a better SEO campaign. In both instances, looking at a different vendor is usually essential.
Can I fix up the car myself? Sure you can. If you can turn a wrench and know where the oil filter is, at least you can change your own oil (although it could get messy). If you are more of a gearhead, you can do even more things.
But what happens when you are unsure? You consult a mechanic or at least look online. What if you have a deal with the dealership and they are doing your mechanic work for you? They may be upset if you use the wrong tools and break something or leave something too loose. They would just prefer to help you themselves (after all, that's what they are paid for).
With SEO, one certainly has the potential to do some optimization on their own site. It could even provide some small gains. So you can do some of this stuff yourself. But you will by far have the best results if you have qualified mechanics work on your car, and qualified SEO staff work on your campaign. That is a flat-out undeniable fact.
How long will my car last? Where can it take me? A finely tuned car will drive from Canada to Mexico with no problems in a straight shot. A mediocre car that was maintained by mediocre mechanics has a good chance of failing. With SEO, if you have rock solid professional SEO services, it will last for a long time. This is true especially if they align their practices with Google's vision, which is to provide the best results for its users. Not only will it last long and be unpenalized, it will continue to climb the rankings, drive more traffic and beat the competition.
Key takeaways for SEO
SEO is crucial to taking your website and its business to the places it deserves to go.
Your SEO provider is crucial to you campaign's success. If you are not having success with your current SEO provider, its time to re-assess what they are doing and if your goals are being met.
Are you overpaying or even underpaying? If an SEO rate sounds too good to be true, it almost always is. That just means that the company is taking shortcuts or has underpaid and under-qualified staff. If it sounds like too much money, that could be the case too. I've seen some ridiculous numbers thrown out in the world of SEO.
Unless you want to become an SEO yourself, you really don't need to get too involved in the inner workings of search engine optimization. Just like your car, leave it to the pros.
Don't let your SEO campaign become a money pit. If you are not getting any ROI after 6+ months, re-evaluate what is going on.
If you do everything right, and have a great SEO provider backing you up, your campaign will be rock solid, last a long time, deliver a great return on investment, and in the end, do the most important thing of all: make you happy.