Has this email shown up in your inbox before:

'Dear yourwebsite.com,
I recently came across your website and noticed that it was difficult to find on the search engines. We'd like to offer our SEO services to you. Please reply.'

Yes, it's obviously a spammer but not too far from what many 'SEO companies' and 'SEM providers' try to use to convince potential clients to go with them for their search engine marketing and optimization needs. All too often business owners and marketing execs are sold on one-size-fits-all packages or outrageously priced consulting deals. The language is way too technical and hard to understand and a lot of these so-called SEO experts deal in scare tactics and sleazy methods. It adds up to giving the industry a bad image and putting businesses at risk of being banned from the top search engines.

We take a very different approach at lifeBLUE Media in that we will first speak your language before ours. You're probably not expecting us to be experts in your field and more likely wanting us to listen to what you're needing and trying to accomplish. Most SEOs are trying to sell services that aren't understood, needed, or wanted - instead of listening, educating and helping the client before presenting the ideas.

Simply put, website and search engine marketing is very new to most business people and they don't quite understand the opportunities that exist. It can absolutely be a new revenue stream for their business that they didn't realize was possible. A search engine marketer's job is to learn about the business and its customers then unlock all the ways that can bring in new sales and customers – while building an important and long-term partnership.

Too many SEOs stay close to their own kind and don't leave the comfort zone to learn about new clients and different industries. SEO and SEM conferences and seminars are filled with, you guessed it SEOs. Yet, these same SEOs should be attending Oil & Gas conventions, or financial planning seminars, or fashion tradeshows – to learn about the challenges their potential clients are facing.

Like the aforementioned spam email that might find it's way into your inbox, so too will the 'Guaranteed Top Ranking' email or package that you might be offered. Don't bite on that bait - nothing is guaranteed in the SEO world when it comes to getting ranked in the search engines. Instead, SEO companies should guarantee customer service, transparency in what they are providing their clients and, most importantly, a value to the business or company they are working for. For mutual long-term success, it's best that the SEO companies deliver more value than the client expects. That should be the guarantee.