The One Year Anniversary of Our Guaranteed SEO Program
One year ago, I sent out a simple note to our Juicy Results email list announcing the launch of our Guaranteed SEO program. Aside from the fact that I mistakenly addressed all 800+ emails to “Tom,” that was the first successful milestone in launching our unique program to the world.
Today, one year later, we’re tracking 1,632 unique keywords for our clients. We’ve added three people dedicated solely to our SEO product (plus part timers) and we’ve grown one client’s search traffic by over 800% (Call JP and Insider Media Management). You might have even heard our SiriusXM ads on CNN, CNBC and Bloomberg among other stations. We’ve been ranked in the top 3 spots in Google for “guaranteed seo” for ten consecutive months, often in the #1 spot ahead of a company named Guaranteed SEO.
But this isn’t an article about SEO.
This is an article about the tenacity and follow through that we so often fall short on when we’re struck with inspiration. Believe me, I am an idea guy. Ideas are great and I love talking about my latest idea with anyone who will listen. But lets face it… ideas are cheap. I’ve learned that most of us in business have hundreds of “good ideas” per year. Yet, more often than not, we simply talk about them for a week, add them to our notes, and then get back to business as usual.
I wanted to write this to tell you what happens when you do the opposite; when you obsess over one seed of an idea, nurture it, protect it, spread it and tenaciously get other people behind it.
I’ll share the most important thing I did in this entire process (aside from not giving up). I’ve had the idea of offering a guaranteed SEO product for years, but each time I discussed it with the team, they temporarily convinced me why it could not be done. So, just as Ford refused to believe his engineer’s pleas that a V8 engine could not be mass produced, I refused to permanently accept that idea. Finally, I changed my language from “can we” to “how do we.”
That shift, and some fortunate turnover in the SEO part of my business, changed the culture of what could be done at Juicy Results.
How The Product Came To Be
First, let me clarify that Juicy Results has offered SEO services since we opened in 2009. But, after a couple of years, we noticed the SEO marketplace had become very challenging and commoditized. I personally found it really hard to sell our content-focused service, since every offshore firm was offering link-farm-based SEO services for $500 (or less) per month. These services broke every best practice and rule that Google published. Yet, consumers of these services were getting positive results. Since our minimum service was $1,500 per month, we mainly practiced SEO for clients who already trusted us because they were using our website or advertising services. SEO was a very small part of our business at that point.
But then, Google made some dramatic changes. The one-two punch of the Panda and Penguin updates starting in early 2011 were released—targeting at the spammy tactics that most SEO firms were using to get their clients results.
The entire marketplace and Internet marketing landscape changed dramatically over the next 18 months. If you were in our industry, all you heard about was how horrible these updates were for companies’ traffic and sales.
But, while most of the chatter online and at conferences was anger, someone had to benefit from these changes. Afterall, it’s not like Google got rid of rankings, so someone still had to be ranked at the top of the results for every search term. Much to our delight, all of our clients rankings reports started looking amazing. Google seemed to finally have found a way to reward the best practices that it promoted.
In addition to optimizing our client’s websites, we had been consistently publishing unique and quality content on our website focused on the keywords related to Internet marketing. I still remember a particular Thursday morning full of inbound sales calls for Internet marketing—far more than usual.
Asking a few of these prospects how they found us, we learned that we were at the top of page one for some killer terms related to marketing on a national level. The hard work was paying off in a big way.
I realized I was sitting on something huge and started talking to team more aggressively than ever about how we could offer an SEO program with a “guarantee.” I started to obsess over the idea and the fear of not doing something to take advantage of it. There were numerous Saturdays spent on how to make this program work, how I would market it, and how we would staff for it. I talked about it constantly at home and in the office.
This is when I changed the question from “can we” to “how do we” offer an SEO guarantee.
Finally, Patrick and I came up with some rough notes on how such a guarantee might work, and I started pitching it to existing clients and new prospects almost immediately. It was only about two or three months later that we had the plan completely outlined and the confidence to test it.
I sent out that email to our existing contact database, and one day later we had our first Guaranteed SEO client (thanks Joe Schmoke at University Research & Review).
Now, all of my colleagues and competitors who meet me tell me how brilliant the campaign is. Yet, they all had the same service offering in their firm. They just didn’t ask “how” they could guarantee the program because the industry is filled with articles and blog posts explaining why you can’t guarantee SEO. I’m learning that the best ideas are buried right under doing the opposite of the loudest and most common beliefs in your industry. But then again, we here at Juicy Results favor ourselves as mavericks.
Looking forward, I envision helping another 100 Fortune Five Million businesses over the next two years establish a strong search engine presence and grow sales with our Guaranteed SEO program. Expect to see even more aggressive marketing from Juicy Results.
And while am proud our program, there is room for improvement.
Since content is at the heart of our program, one improvement already identified, will be the addition of more quality writers and editors to ensure that clients receive top notch quality content that fits their business.
The guaranteed SEO program actually shaped our overall brand promise at Juicy Results: Guaranteed Results, compelling deliverables and engaged communication. In the case of SEO, our compelling deliverable is content, and we want clients to be 100% satisfied with the content we deliver, no matter how nuanced their business might be.
The team is also working on a Guaranteed Local SEO product. Expect to hear more about that soon.
I hope you will let others know about our very unique program. And more importantly, I hope you’ll listen to that next great idea and ram it through to the very end.