Search engine optimization (SEO) builds brand awareness, increases website traffic, and enhances credibility. However, there are many SEO companies and freelancers who will scam businesses just to make a quick buck.
If you’re considering hiring an SEO company, you should be mindful of big promises because not all can deliver.
There’s no such thing as quick SEO success. Even licit SEO companies results takes time to deliver measurable, last outcomes. But by the time you notice there is no significant boost, you’ve already been paying your SEO company monthly.
Thus, knowing how to recognize an SEO scam is crucial if you expect appreciable results for money you spend.
Below, I have listed 6 signs to watch for when vetting an SEO company.
#1. SEO Company Guarantees Ranking
Now, unless that SEO company has a crystal ball into Google’s algorithm, this should set off a scam alarm. In fact, Google itself says:
Consequently, ranking top of Google search results depends on multiple factors. Eventually, your ranking will improve with constant SEO efforts and by following Google’s guidelines.
While an SEO company can help you rank high for non-competitive keywords, this has little value for your business. So, dear business owner, guaranteed ranking in a few months is the biggest SEO scam of all.
#2. Disregarding Technical and On-Page SEO
More than 10 years ago, stuffing keywords and building backlinks recklessly was an unabating practice for some site owners. And SEO companies as well.
Successful SEO means focusing equally on three types of SEO: on-page SEO, off-site SEO, and technical SEO. Disregarding any one type will not deliver optimum results.
So, asking your selected list of SEO companies about the strategies they’ll follow is a good practice.
#3. More Focused On Link Building Than Link Earning
Relevant, natural links from authority websites acts as a thumbs up to Google for your website. These links help build trust for your website on Google.
However, Google dislikes unnatural, poor quality link schemes. This includes doing link exchange, buying links, and the like. In fact, Google calls on the Internet community to report such actions:
So, if your selected SEO company does not have a strong link earning plan, rethink hiring them.
#4. No Periodic Reporting
You are entitled to know what your SEO company is doing for your website. After all, it is your website. All legitimate SEO companies provide clients with completed SEO tasks.
Make sure you ask your selected companies for SEO report samples. This will ensure you choose a company that offers detail weekly/monthly SEO reports. Without these reports, you won’t know what you paying for or how well your website is doing. And if they don’t have or refuse to provide such reports, this is certainly a red flag.
#5. Ignoring Content Marketing Best Practices
SEO and content marketing complement each other. Professional SEO companies include content marketing best practices in their SEO efforts.
So, make sure you asking the SEO company whether its SEO campaigns leverage the power of content marketing or not. If they don’t, it’s a warning sign you may not get what you think you’re paying for.
#6. Client Support is Sketchy
Good client support and customer service is the backbone for any business service. And given the cost of professional SEO services ($250-$1500/mo), you should expect stellar support.
For this reason, make sure your SEO company offers rapid response times and quality client support. Also, ask about having a dedicated account manager. This person will always be up-to-date on what’s happening with your SEO.
Another thing to do is to read current client reviews about an SEO company. You can learn about that companies SEO scams in addition to their client support.
Wrapping it Up
While all the above signs are important to watch for when vetting an SEO company, two are more important. None can guarantee SEO ranking. That’s definitely an SEO scam. And link earning should be the focus of any SEO company, not link building.
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