It all sounds so good. You sit through the slick presentation and although you know little about the process you think you’re impressed. They take your money. You get nothing (if you are lucky, if you aren’t you get worse.) Then they disappear. Who are ‘they’? A bad SEO company.
Any business, no matter how large or small needs to be very careful about just who they turn their SEO – aka search engine optimization – over to. For an industry that has only technically existed for the last decade or so SEO has grown very large very fast. There are hundreds of companies out there offering such services. And as is the case for any other niche there are more than a few bad apples out there.
But how, if you are not too savvy about search engine optimization yourself, do you spot them? Often, by the lies they tell to try and capture your business. Here are some of the most common to watch out for.
“We’ll Get Your Website to #1 in Google”
A good SEO strategy should get you onto page one of a Google search result for your chosen key words/phrases and in local search results. But no reputable practitioner will ever promise you a number one ranking. Not because they are unsure of their own skills but because no one controls search results except for Goggle (or Bing or Yahoo!) All a good SEO will promise you is that they’ll work hard and do their best.
“You’ll See the Results in 30 Days”
This is another rash promise that should raise red flags. SEO is not some cut price get rich scheme. It takes time, effort and patience for an SEO strategy to pay off. Three to six months is a more reasonable time frame.
“In 2010 we…”
If there is one thing that holds true in the world of SEO is that things change all the time. Literally. What worked in 2010 does not always work now. So while it is great if they had huge success years ago, what have they done lately? The last five years is really all that matters here, so that is all you should care about.
“We Took a Site From PR3 to PR8”
Hello again 2010. Or, actually, more like 2005. In case you didn’t know, PR stands for Page Rank and it was a Google ranking factor that had been slowly dying for years until the search giant announced its official demise in early 2016 (although it had been unofficially dead for more than a year before that.) There are other ways to measure the ‘reputation’ of a site – Moz’s Domain Authority is a major one – but such things matter very little any more. So, if a company is talking PR they are either hopelessly behind the times or hoping that you are.
“We Know People at Google”
Seriously, there are companies out there who make this claim, with the inference that because they know people at Google they can in some way arrange for search results to be manipulated. Who do they know? They never say. And the fact if even if its true it doesn’t matter. Google is set up in such a way that no single Google employee knows how the rankings algorithms work in their entirety and so could not help even if they wanted to. So even if someone from this company went to high school with one of the C level execs or even Larry Page or Sergey Brin (Google’s founders) themselves it’s of no use to you.
“You Don’t Need to be Involved at All”
If you hear this, run. Yes, you are hiring a company offering SEO services because you have no time to do it yourself but you do need to know what’s going on. There is such a thing as ‘black hat SEO’. These are a set of techniques that do sometimes reap quick results in terms of search placement. But they are also a set of techniques that Google frowns on. And when they catch them…well it’s not good. And often if a company does not want you to be involved it is because those are the strategies they are using.
“We Only Do SEO and That’s What You Need “
‘Only doing SEO’ just isn’t possible anymore. Google themselves admit they use more than 175 -200 (maybe more) different factors when placing websites in their search results. That means that a company that is going to get your website onto that hallowed first page needs to do it all; website optimization, content creation, content distribution, social media and more.
We offer professional website design, digital marketing and SEO services that help websites increase their organic search score drastically in order to compete for the highest rankings even when it comes to highly competitive keywords.