So, we’ve said it before, and we will say it again: there are some very shady SEO salespeople. Of course, not all of them are dishonest, but from our experience in working with SEO and internet marketing, the shady, scheming sales people are easy to come across.
There are a few notable phrases that are a dead giveaway that you are talking to a shady guy. Here are some of the best:
“We can rank your site in 48 hours.”
They can’t, unless they can control the Google spiders, and they don’t. Ranking in a competitive position can take months. If you hear anything different, you’re hearing lies.
“We’ll submit your site to thousands of search engines.”
They might submit your site to “thousands” of search engines, but people stopped submitting sites in the mid 90’s. Can you even name a dozen search engines?
“We charge a flat fee of just $89.99 a month.”
They can’t “optimize” your site for a low flat fee of 89.99 a month. SEO consultants are doing a set job. You wouldn’t subscribe to a builder, so why subscribe to an SEO consultant?
“Our methods are top secret… trust us.”
They need to tell you what they are going to do. There are no trade secrets. The only consultants who use this line are the ones who are trying to cover the fact that they know very little about SEO at all.
“We have a strong relationship with Google.”
They can have some good friends working at Google but it wouldn’t matter. Could you imagine Google would ruin its reputation because a couple of good friends from the local bar? Everybody is equal on Google. Your position is depends on the quality of your online presence.
“We guarantee page one rankings.”
They can’t guarantee anything as they do not own or operate the search engines. It can be easy to achieve positions for obscure phrases, but it wouldn’t do any good for your business.
“You will be the first on Google.”
Good deal. Make sure they didn’t mean for your company name. Potential customers look for services and products not companies… unless you run a company like Sony, BMW, or Toshiba.
“We need the copyright for the work we do.”
If they ask for copyrights to their SEO work, run. This means they can take it away from you and can cause your site to plummet down the search rankings after you cancel the service with them.
“Our prices are low because we operate with no overhead costs.”
Often, “no overhead” is a code word for “working from my mom’s basement” or “outsourcing for less than minimum wage”. Check with reputable organizations like The Better Business Bureau to see if hiring a company with “no overhead” is worth the risk.
Once You Think You Have Found a GOOD and Reputable SEO Company, Make Sure You Are Right.
You wouldn’t hire an in house employee without references, so why act differently for your SEO people?
Get past the sales department.
Don’t be bounced around. Speak directly to your actual SEO consultant and deal with this person one on one.
Understand the keyword research.
It’s important to know the volumes of traffic searching for the keywords you’ve identified and just how competitive they are.
Know what you want to achieve. Understand that your keywords should be specific enough to bring in qualified leads, not just numbers. For instance, vague keywords like “windows” can have many different meanings, such as residential windows, car windows, Microsoft windows, and so on. Good SEO is about improving your sales, not improving your search rakings for irrelevant keywords.
4 Things To Keep in Mind
For your targeted keywords, consider:
- How relevant are they?
- How competitive are they?
- What search volume do they get?
- How will they convert?
Good SEO experts generate original ideas. They know how to naturally build links to your website with support from designers, writers and creative minds. SEO should be a part of a much wider campaign. Keep all of this in mind, and you’ll choose an SEO agency that is truly dedicated to getting you a great return on your investment.