I have never spoken with someone who has been happy with their experience buying SEO services from Network Solutions. I have not hired them myself. So, I have no first hand experience. And I welcome them to defend themselves in my comments. However, I've had a handful of clients who had negative experiences with them.
This is from a colleague:
They hired Network Solutions to do some SEO work and it did not yield more traffic and leads.
This is from a client:
"Network Solutions and [my business] were not a good match. Their communications were not timely and their reports were not user friendly."
The interesting part is that I am sure Network Solutions knows what they're doing. Here's a video with an exec at Network Solutions. She knows SEO and has good advice:
Here's the problems I have with Network Solutions:
- SEO is rarely successful, where success is defined by a measurable marketing ROI, if it is a one time outsourced task. Network Solutions sells it as a one time outsourced task. SEO requires a collaborative effort between an SEO expert and the subject matter expert who is creating compelling content. In house subject matter experts can be trained to do the basics and be successful if they're blogging and doing keyword research. But, if you're going to outsource SEO, you need a long term partner. It's not like buying advertising. It's more like hiring a salesperson who focusses on lead generation/lead qualification.
- It is extremely difficult to guarantee results. I've helped 50+ clients rank for their keywords and I rarely ever guarantee a ranking for a specific keyword. In other words, I know what it takes, but I don't make specific guarantees. My guarantee is that if you do what we tell you, you will generate more traffic and leads within a few months. Network Solutions guarantees top 10 results in one of a few top search engines. This is sneaky and doesn't necessarily translate into results. Surprisingly, or not, many small business owners fall for the guarantee. I'm reminded of the scene from Tommy Boy when he suggests crapping in a box and putting a guarantee on it - in order to battle a sales objection. I might start using that line.
I'm fine with Network Solutions selling SEO services. They just need to start doing it right. There are enough fly-by-night operations selling SEO shams, that make it harder for the good guys doing the right things for their clients.
Not only do they have a reputation to protect of their own. They shouldn't be doing the internet marketing industry a disservice.