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Future Ranking Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Service Review
This is a review of a Search Engine Optimization Service provided by a company called 'Future Ranking' based in Bellevue, Washington. They have different options for their Search Engine Optimization service, prices ranging from $2,150 to $5,700 for set up fees, and from $99.99 to $139.99 for monthly maintenance fees. I've purchased their Bronze program, which is the lowest priced option. So this review is based around the Bronze option, which was supposed to optimize 3 pages of my website. Although this review is based on the Bronze program, I don't think the quality of the higher priced programs would differ much since the only difference for the higher-price programs is the number of optimized pages.
1. Description of the Service
Future Ranking takes a different approach to Search Engine Optimization (SEO). They focus on meta tags, while all the other Search Engine Optimization (SEO) marketing companies focused on link building. When I questioned why they didn't do any link building, they answered that link building is an out-dated method.
When Future Ranking first contacted me, they went over the website coding of my freshly made website, and pointed out how my website's coding isn't optimized for search engines like Google. What they pointed out was true, since not all of my webpages had meta title, description, and keywords.
To summarize the major part of Future Ranking's Search Engine Optimization Service, they will to the following for you:
- Future Ranking will research keywords for 3-8 webpages of your website, depending on the program you pay for.
- Future Ranking will create meta title, meta description, and meta keywords for the pages you tell them to work on, with the keywords they come up for each webpage.
- Future Ranking will install those meta tags for the webpages if you give them the user id and password for your hosting service.
- Future Ranking will submit your website to search engines so that your website can be indexed and ranked.
- Future Ranking will have a over-the-phone consultation once a month to go over the Google Analytics and website submission reports.
What sold me was that my lazy self needing a set of keywords to focus my marketing on, and a false belief that Future Ranking will be able to pick out keywords that will work for my website.
2. Future Ranking's Search Engine Optimization Service Prices
# of Optimized Pages
Set Up Fee
The set up fee for the Bronze program is $2,150 on Future Ranking's website, but the sales representative took off 25% when I mentioned about the high set up fee, so taking 25% off seems like a common practice to make customers feel that we are getting a deal. So I paid $1612.50 for the setup fee. They didn't do the same for the monthly fee, so my monthly fee was $99.99 as shown on the table above. However, they waived the first month's monthly fee, so I was responsible for 7 monthly fees in the amount of $99.99 each for the remaining 7 months of the contract.
3. Length of the Contract
The service contract is "for eight months and thereafter on a month-to-month basis, until either Party gives the non- terminating Party 30 days notice of its election to terminate this Agreement."
Future Ranking make the termination process a bit complicated by not accepting email or telephone cancellation. They require the termination request to be in writing sent via certified mail only, return receipt requested.
4. Warranties / Guarantee
Future Ranking guarantees "that some time in the first eight months of providing the Service, Customer will have a top 10 ranking on at least one of the major search engines (examples: Google, Yahoo, Bing, AOL, etc…) for at least 2 keywords (or group of keywords, collectively referred to as “Keywords”)." If that doesn't happen, they will refund the setup fee (not the monthly fees).
BUT, "In order to qualify for this limited guarantee, all keywords must be chosen by Future Ranking technicians." That means, in a worst case scenario, they can rank your website for an absolute garbage keyword with no value at all, and say that they've fulfilled the contract. Too bad that I didn't read the contract carefully and only trusted the sales person.
5. Service Result
For 3 of my webpages, Future Ranking came up with 5 keyword phrases. Based on the contract, these were "chosen by Future Ranking technicians using our advanced proprietary process and knowledgeable experience."
4 out of the 5 keywords have a top 3 ranking on Google. But those 4 keywords had no monthly searches based on the Google keyword tool. The other keyword had 880 global monthly searches and 720 local monthly searches. The keywords "chosen by Future Ranking technicians using our advanced proprietary process and knowledgeable experience," were an absolute garbage. Future Ranking's response? Those were the best keywords for my website.
6. Customer Service
If customer service is all about being friendly, Future Ranking's customer service is great. The only problem is their incompetency on the service I paid for.
The quality of their service shows me that they have no intention (or ability if they had the intention) to do business beyond the 8-month contract.
Yes, do leave me comments and blame me for this stupidest mistake.