Rankings in 90 days? That sounds amazing! That’s you thinking to yourself, that you’re in the best hands when it comes to your digital strategy.
We’ll bring it down a notch and give you the harsh reality that ‘guaranteed rankings in 90 days’ catchphrases are no more than a marketing tactic designed to mislead and provide false hope to unsuspecting suitors.
We all want the elusive top spot on Google search results. The first page of Google gets 95% of traffic, and you want to prove to everyone else that you’re on top for a reason.
If you’re a technical novice, you may not understand the best way to get there, so it makes sense to get a helping hand from those who know SEO practices like the back of their hand.
The sad reality is, however, that not all agencies are built equally.
We don’t mean in terms of size, clientele or even employees, what we mean is that your SEO campaign needs to be met with realistic expectations.
Unfortunately, this is not a universally shared goal.
We’ll explain why ‘ranking guaranteed in 90 days’ claims are farcical, and any digital marketing agency that employs this tenet should be disregarded.
Break The Cycle of Lies
Starting an online business isn’t always the easiest thing to do, especially when there are several key elements that all play an important part in your success.
You might have just come up with a master plan of action, and you want to get yourself online.
SEO is the #1 tactic that is going to ensure that your business grows because without any real search presence, you’ll never be found.
You don’t want to be a part of a long list of small businesses that opened – and subsequently failed, so naturally, you get in touch with an SEO agency that promises great results.
They also promise these great results – in just a measly 90 days. An “SEO guarantee” if you will, but nothing more than a common sales tactic.
Sit back for a second, and think about how long 90 days is. It’s not an extraordinary amount of time whatsoever, and this company has promised to skyrocket you to the #1 search result in just 3 months.
An average SEO campaign can take 3-12 months to see results and differs from industry to industry as well as the competitive nature of your niche.
Some niches are more competitive than others and will require more time and resources in order to get you the most tangible and highly sought after results.
It’s easy to get roped into believing the unbelievable. Many sales tactics are lead to deceive you, to make you buy into false promises.
They rely on you being gullible, naive, and overly hopeful which all lead to simply filling their pockets. We all want to experience success and there are no shortcuts to getting there.
Action is key when it comes to SEO – sit around and it won’t happen, but there’s a clear difference between gimmicky, sales deception and honesty when it comes to leading your SEO campaign.
Do you honestly want to work with a company that is willing to spread lies? A tough consideration.
Not Always In Control of Your SEO
Keep in mind, an agency doesn’t make up the fast and hard rules of SEO.
They are always defined by Google and a list of guidelines to ensure that web agencies don’t resort to blackhat tactics to provide quick results.
‘Rankings Guaranteed in 90 days’ claims are quintessential of blackhat SEO, as these tactics provide fast results, but will negatively impact your SEO campaign in the long term.
Trust us when we say Google isn’t dumb – they will catch you and penalise accordingly.
Another thing you need to understand is that agencies are at the whims of Google’s guidelines. This means, that Google can roll out updates and changes in the algorithm that can adversely affect your SEO for any period of time.
Last year, Google released an update that went slightly haywire and started deindexing several pages from websites and even websites in their entirety.
This is a great example that it is foolish to make a guaranteed claim on rankings when SEO is volatile and things can change at any moment.
Google themselves mention that you’ll start to see results from 4 -12 months after making any website changes. They also claim the creed of many agencies is wrong, but stating: No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google.
Regardless of that statement, any SEO with solid experience understands that getting to the first page of Google is no guarantee.
Figure that! Not only do they want to go against Google, but they state they’re able to do the impossible in 3 months. Very bizarre if you ask us.
There is no fast-tracked way to provide results or guarantee rankings in 90 days.
Keyword competitiveness always changes, content is always being written more effectively, and Google’s guidelines can shift at any point.
Blackhat techniques and their success are extremely short-lived, and ultimately, should make you mistrust the agency who cannot play by the rules.
It’s also worth noting, that there is a multitude of factors such as web development and on-page optimisation that will impact your Google search rankings. Sometimes, your SEO agency may not even be in control of your website design.
Aim For Long Term And Sustainable Results
SEO is a process that requires time and effort and comes down to a wide array of factors that need to simultaneously be working in motion.
There is no fast rule of SEO, and if any company promises you this, they’re undoubtedly using blackhat tactics.
And besides, what happens after they’ve managed to provide ‘rankings in 90 days’?
- Do you matter to them anymore?
The agency has done its ‘job’. They’ve delivered their mission, but it might not be what you expected.
Do they have any further requirements to provide you the best SEO results possible?
- Do your results continue to show ongoing success?
Ask them what keywords you’re ranking #1 for. Ask them if they’re able to do it for competitive keywords, relevant to your goals. That’s when it matters the most.
As a side note, we don’t recommend getting caught up in keywords for this exact reason but there are times where you should know if you’re moving in the right direction for keywords that have high commercial intent and a great search volume – this means they are the most valuable for gaining leads.
- You’re ‘at the top’. Where to next?
If you’re where you need to be, what happens next for your business?
You need to determine if they’re able to sustain this level of performance if it is bringing in results. Being able to sustain your success without blackhat tactics, that is.
The reality is that these keywords they’re ranking you for are complete and utter garbage. We can show our clients reports for hundreds of long-tail keyphrases we rank them for, but if they’re not bringing in any real organic traffic, have a low search volume and don’t translate to leads, then we’re not bringing them any real value.
- Where is my money going and what is it doing now?
After all, this is YOUR money. You’re paying for a service that may be underperforming. Raise the question and ask how you’ll benefit from their further assistance.
The long term process of building an effective campaign includes consistent content creation, backlink building, internal link building, website optimisation, UX research, keyword research and 100 other things we’d run out of space mentioning.
Every good thing in this world requires patience and time. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and if it sounds too good to be true, it definitely is.
The key is in the sub-title, results matter MOST. Rankings are great, but what if they don’t help you achieve your overall goal?
A real agency will work for results, not rankings. Rankings don’t always lead to conversions, which is the ultimate driving force between growth and failure.
There is no real point sitting atop the Google results like a digital king with no tangible results to show for it.
They may be able to guarantee rankings in 90 days if the keyword or keyphrase they are targeting for you is very low traffic, not relevant to your campaign or doesn’t bring any desired traffic.
This is great for an SEO agency though. They’re able to advertise they got you to page 1 for a keyword or keyphrase, albeit, one brings undesired traffic and is irrelevant to your campaign.
Domain Age And Context
An oddly overlooked aspect of SEO is that not all industries are the same. Some industries are more competitive, some are less competitive.
The major thing to remember though is that when it comes to the history of your domain name and website, it is important when factoring in SEO rankings.
An agency that guarantees ranking in 90 days probably hasn’t thought about this too in-depth or doesn’t pay it enough respect or attention.
For example, let’s say you’ve bought your domain name and web hosting, and you’ve created your website.
You might’ve done this in a matter of hours, days, or even weeks and now you’re ready to go.
Now you want to start your organic SEO and get the ball rolling.
The issue here is that domain age matters.
Brand new domain names cannot be trusted and will struggle to rank for very competitive keywords, largely due to combatting spam issues and no backlink or internal link structure.
In saying this, the age itself doesn’t matter after several months.
An aged site with no content is just as useful as a brand new domain, so don’t buy into the old adage that you need to buy an established domain to succeed.
So long as you’re making sure your content is relevant to the user’s search terms, well-researched and you’ve established a backlink profile, you’ll be fine, but this doesn’t happen overnight and certainly not within 90 days.
Picking The Right Agency For You
It’s always hard to choose between who is going to lead you, but your decision is even more important because where your money is concerned, you should be too.
There are generally a few key things to keep in mind when choosing an SEO agency.
- They care about your goals
It’s about more than your money to them. Pick an agency that has your success at the forefront.
- Realistic expectations are set
Forget the ’90 days guaranteed ranking’ BS. Seriously, throw that mentality in the bin.
A responsible agency will set realistic goals and work with you to complete them – not leave you in the background.
- Local and responsive
This is to ensure you’re both on the same page. It also helps you to set goals easier, and even arrange phone calls or meetings for complete transparency. Local SEO companies are also able to provide a personalised approach to your campaign.
- Transparent and honest
Arguably, the most important. If they employ unethical sales tactics or go against Google’s guidelines – give them the boot. How can you trust an agency with the livelihood of your business if they can’t be honest with you? The answer is, you can’t.
- Have a good track record
What we mean by this, is do some research on them. Newer agencies will be tougher to find out, but you’ll be able to determine how they fit you based on your interactions with them.
- The way they communicate with their clients
You don’t want to be with an SEO agency that treats you like a customer, rather than a partner. After all, you’re in this process together. Check out their social media platforms and the way they engage with their audience.
In all honesty, this is how every company, irrespective of industry, should conduct themselves.
However, nowadays it is a far cry from agencies being reputable. Be on the lookout for dodgy ones.
You should be concerned with any red flags that involve ranking guarantees, super low costs, ‘secret’ tactics such as no information on how they get success, and if they don’t follow Google’s guidelines.
Remember, black hat techniques are going to harm your long term success.
Get educated to an extent, and do your research. You don’t need to know everything, but just enough to ensure that you can trust your SEO agency, and build a long-lasting and loyal relationship.
If you’re going to commit to a great agency, they’re going to commit to you.
It’s tough to be critical, but in such a saturated market, you need to weed out the best from the rest.
Remember, there is no such thing as an “SEO guarantee” and getting to the first page of Google search results is never guaranteed either.
Hopefully, you’ll be able to understand why agencies that guarantee SEO rankings in 90 days are not only wrong but deceiving and dishonest.
SEO is a long process that requires constant supervision, not false promises and fabricated ‘ranking guarantees’.
Whitehat tactics are always going to reign supreme over blackhat, which may provide some short term benefits but are not sustainable to long-lasting success.