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BBC TV Apprentice – Climb Online

December 22, 2014

With the climax of the 2014 BBC TV Apprentice, Lord Sugar announced he would be going into business with 2014 winner Mark Wright, with the plan of starting a Digital Marketing Agency called Climb Online, offering services to small/medium sized business including SEO and PPC.

Would you let an Apprentice loose on your company website?

At Total SEO we got the impression that Lord Sugar never really got his head around the business concept, how SEO, PPC and digital marketing worked and what clients would want from it, he had made his mind up that it was all about getting further up the “pecking order on Google” and that seemed to be where the level of understanding and interest began and ended.

We have been in the SEO and digital marketing industry for nearly 10 years and watched the business plan unfold with interest, however, anyone considering taking on an SEO company would be wise to watch out for the following issues we noticed with the proposed new SEO business venture from Climb Online.

1) Only interested in sales? The whole business plan seems to be all about sales, the actual product, results and service seemed to have been totally brushed over, it just seems to be about how many businesses they can get signed up. Mark Wright is a salesman, we have seen no evidence of his ability to run SEO campaigns and deliver a product that will help website owners win more business from being found online.

2) Outsourcing? It looks likely that “Climb Online” will be outsourcing the work they do on SEO campaigns, such as link building and content writing, this is a dangerous strategy and one we have seen many websites penalised by Google for spam links and poor quality content, the best results come from in-house, UK based quality links and content. If you are working with an SEO company who are sending link building and content writing to freelancers, all you are doing is dealing with a middle man who has very little control over the quality of the work they are buying on your behalf – good SEO companies do all the work in-house.

3) Testimonials/Track Record? If you were choosing an SEO company to get your business to climb online, you would want to work with a firm with a proven track record of results, why would you work with a business who cannot prove to you that the can deliver on their promises?

4) Personal Touch? When working with an SEO company it is important to have a strong relationship and work hand in hand with their team, the more personal the relationship, the better. Climb Online promise to go and meet their clients on a monthly basis, while this seems like a nice promise to make, in reality, with the manpower they will have, will it actually happen?

5) Price? Climb Online said their prices would start from £400 a month, they will likely want clients to sign up to a lengthy contract as well, given that they will be targeting small and medium sized businesses, this seems a significant amount of money for UK business owners to stake on promises from a startup business with no track record, no industry qualifications and questionable methods for achieving results.

We will be watching with interest how the BBC TV Apprentice startup company Climb Online progress over the coming year, but our advice to anyone looking for an SEO company is to work with one who has a demonstrable proven track record, uses ethical methods, doesn’t outsource and charges a fee that fits with your budget.

I am pleased to say that we tick all of these boxes and we are certainly not apprentices when it comes to getting excellent results! If you would like a free review of your website to find out how to get higher on Google, simply complete the form at the top of this page.

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