Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has evolved from an experiment for better search results to a full-blown worldwide industry. Over the last couple of years we have seen several algorithm updates for all major search engines including the famous Penguin and Panda updates from Google team. In 2014, if you are looking to open up a website then SEO + Social Media should be one of your top priorities.
There is immense competition in every possible niche and the only way to stay ahead of the game is to write unique content, and make these computerized algorithms believe that your site is well worth the top spot. In India, a majority of online market is captured by Blogging industry, E-commerce sites, and company official Websites.
Around 70 percent of all Indian bloggers are competing in tech based topics. I had the privilege to talk with some of them and it seems that they learned the entire SEO process with years of hit and trial method. On the other hand there has been a splurge of Indian SEO companies with the famous tagline of “Rank 1 in Google Guarantee”.
Although it seems too good to be true but let me tell you that ranking your content on the top spot is the easiest thing on earth. The question is “Which keywords are you ranking for?” and “What keywords you want to rank for”. There are online tools like SEMRUSH, which shows keywords you already ranking for.
Nowadays there are three basic SEO sub-industries in India. I am going to explain each and every one of them with appropriate examples.
The Self Lerner SEO’s (Hard Working Methods)
Around 90 percent of search optimized websites are managed by their webmasters or owners who learned SEO from scratch. There are numerous online tutorials and guides to help you get started and as I said, most of the successful ones achieved their stable rankings after years of hit and trial method. Some webmasters also use paid SEO softwares (Long tail pro, SEO Pressor) for better keyword research, competition analysis etc. I mean I completely agree that the entire process can be very complicated but with time everything just seems to make sense. It’s like a slow and steady friendship with Google as I call it.
Self learning SEO is not for everyone, and by the end if you are running an online business, it’s always a good idea to hire a SEO company or a SEO freelancer, to take care of your Website SEO.
Example – This blog ShotMeLoud itself was hit by Google Panda but Harsh managed to recover from those steep dropping analytical nightmares. He also wrote several posts as to how he recovered from every algorithm change. Obviously, any blog depends heavily on the organic traffic since they are all B2C (Business to Consumer) information providers.
Frankly speaking Google Adwords campaign for any tech blog is a waste of money unless you have a product to pitch. There is no or very little ROI (return on investment) for a tech blog if they invest heavily on Adwords. So please think twice when you read other blog posts where they explain how external campaign brings you quick traffic. A traffic is useless unless it converts to something and I don’t see the value in paying users to read articles for their self-knowledge enhancement.
Though PPC campaign like AdWords is useful for E-commerce, and business sites to get targeted hits. Of-course it comes with a price tag, and the better approach would be inbound marketing. You create a blog, and drive traffic from search engine. Your blog will also help you to improve the ranking of your main product site. You can read more about this here : Small business blog strategy for business owners.
The Big Daddy SEO Companies of India
This industry is emerging at a rapid pace due the accelerated growth for a number of startups. Traditionally you won’t find typical bloggers spending big chunks of money on these SEO companies. However, the recent E-Commerce boom in India, has triggered huge businesses for them. Most of these big Indian SEO companies works on a fixed monthly contract of around 10000 Rupees (starting) and it goes all the way up to a lakh per month. You must be thinking whether someone actually spends that much money and the answer is YES!.
For Example, Navneet Kaushal founder of Page Traffic told me that clients are looking for better conversion and not staggering numbers these days. He also said that his programs are designed with generating sustainable leads and not flooding their site with irrelevant non-convertible traffic. A fish seller might get 1000’s of customers per month but ultimately a goldsmith earns more than him with some key clients.
There are many more SEO companies in India, and most of them will promise you to rank number 1 in definite time. Before you enquire about any SEO company, my recommendation would be ask following questions:
- Methodology for getting links. (Safe: Guest posting, Press release, directory submission on reputable sites)
- SEO improvement on site (Safe: On site SEO, No keyword spamming, improve user experience, improve Google search CTR)
Point here is, you should always prefer someone who plays by Google rule. Because SEO is not one time-task, it’s an on-going process.
The Gig Spammers
Finally, you have a whole battalion of Gig spammer SEO guys. Their prey upon internet newbies with promising results like 5000 FB Likes or 10000 Visitors. The problem is almost all their traffic is not real human but bots. They might result in your Google Adsense account being banned for lifetime. If you are reading this article then the chances are you have already encountered then especially the ones promising thousands of external backlinks. Please avoid them at all cost. They are flourishing on small gig websites like Fiverr.
You can read this detailed experiment by one of the guest author here at ShoutMeLoud, where he bought bulk links from Fiverr, and how his site got penalized.
SEO is more about consistency and patience. You need to create a website that is useful and unique if you are looking for dedicated organic traffic. If you are a providing some sort of a service then I suggest you to invest in these professional companies because they can save you a lot of time and efforts. However my request to all bloggers is that you need to find what works for you and keep experimenting to retain a consistent flow of Google juice.
What do you think about SEO industry in India? Do you believe, Indian SEO companies will have a huge opportunity with the rise of online business in India? What factors do you consider before hiring a SEO specialist to work on your website?