SEO in the past has been often misunderstood. Businesses used to engage a company, let them do what they have to do, and hope for the best.
They put full trust in these providers and believed all the lies and stories they were told. Businesses would go down this path blindly for years, paying in some cases, huge amounts of money for little return and very poor rankings.
Nowadays, and I have really noticed this recently, the public has woken up and is very aware of the SEO scams and the right questions to ask a supplier. They have become much less trusting and are really making decent, honest website design and SEO companies like us jump through many hurdles before they are prepared to commit. That’s totally fine, cause we do not hide anything and are prepared to answer all those difficult questions, all fully backed up by proven results. This is why so many businesses and companies in Sydney trust Hopping Mad Designs with their Search Engine Optimisation.
Anyway enough of the self-promotion….read these and absorb them well, so next time you are looking for an SEO company you WILL KNOW WHAT TO AVOID.
1. They are promoting a Page 1 Guarantee
This is a laugh and anyone who says this should be avoided. So let’s be totally honest here and lay our cards on the table. No one and I mean absolutely nobody can guarantee anything, least of all a page 1 position on Google. Why? Cause nothing in Google land ever stays the same. The algorithms are always changing and rankings are consistently fluctuating. This is the nature of the search results and the search engines. NEVER, for 1 minute believe that your SEO company can get you to page 1. Sure, if they are any good they might give your website a better chance/percentage of a good ranking BUT nothing is certain.
So why do these SEO companies offer a page 1 guarantee without getting the pants sued off them? It’s very simple and quite sneaky. What they do is offer to rank a large number of keywords. Perhaps 15, 20 or even 30. You as the customer get excited thinking that all these keywords are going to be ranking on Google ( cause they guaranteed it). What they didn’t tell you is that they will rank your NON CORE UNCOMPETITIVE keywords that have absolutely no value or web traffic.
As an example, any SEO team can guarantee a page 1 ranking for: ‘left-handed plumbers based in Timbuktu’ BUT to rank ‘ plumber Sydney’ is another story. This is the money keyword and the one you want to be ranked BUT I can bet any money that they won’t be able to do this and this keyword will be outside the guarantee.
So before you fall for the baloney about Page 1 Ranking Guarantees ask them exactly what keywords will they guarantee. Say to them’ ‘page 1 for what?’ If they can’t answer this to your satisfaction get rid of them. Remember, you want to rank on page 1 for your 6 top keywords NOT your bottom 6 keywords that no one will be searching for. These SEO agencies are out to rip as much money out of you as they can so be very careful before you sign on the dotted line. Google even tells us that if they guarantee you that their changes will give you first place in search results, find someone else.
2. They ShowYou Google Analytics which is really not SEO
This is a beauty and a favoured smoke n mirrors tactic. Sure Google Analytics is a great tool for dissecting and analysing web traffic, but it is not SEO. Let’s be very clear about this. If your SEO company is showing you Analytics as part of their SEO performance then they are pulling the wool over your eyes. Because these SEO guys are doing nothing, they need to at least show you some statistic or graphs to get you to pay for the next month of SEO. They might say things like, there has been 80 visits to such and such a page this month compared to last month where there were only 60 visits. BIG DEAL! This is not SEO. This is a statistic, which may be useful but it doesn’t explain or show what they have been doing the last month for their money. It’s a complete con, a sham, a trick to make you think that they are doing something, when in fact they are not.
Traffic to your website is going to occur regardless of your SEO campaign or not. If all you receive is an Analytics breakdown, then rest assured you are getting ripped off.
3. SEO takes a lot of time and work
SEO takes time. There is no way around this and if you think that you can get a ranking quickly then you are dreaming. It’s a fool’s paradise and if you see your competitors ranking quickly above you, then they have spammed their way to the top. And guess what’s going to happen? A google penalty. That’s right, their site will get pinged by the search engine for somehow manipulating their authority and they will pay the price. This is certain. SEO takes time and if you are SEO impatient then you will land up in serious trouble.
SEO is a full-time job for some businesses. You need to be constantly adding content and looking at improving the performance of your website. Managing your social media, addressing page fluctuations, looking at your ‘on page’ variables and all this needs lots of love and attention. Simply back linking is not enough, in fact, if Google sees this type of inorganic activity then this could be reason enough to have your website devalued. See, the point I am trying to make here is that your website needs to appear as though it is a source of information. A ‘go to’ place for anything industry related. It’s all about building your brand and authority online. Pretty similar to what I am doing with this Hopping Mad blog. I am always adding content, pages and monitoring my rankings. And this is what needs to be done with your website if there is any chance of it ranking.
Make sure you ask your SEO provider what they are doing each month. Don’t just sit idly by and pretend that this is a necessary monthly expense. Really hammer them on what they have been doing and why they are unable/able to rank pages within your site.
Google loves unique content that is engaging and fresh, with links from relevant websites that steadily increase. Achieving these outcomes, therefore, requires real people doing real things – teams of people writing a high-quality unique content and actively building your businesses profile across the web. Search Engine Land tells us that content should be your first priority when thinking about SEO. Quality content is how you engage, inform, support and delight your audiences.
You should ask your SEO providers how much work goes into your campaign each month. How much labour was spent on your campaign, and what did they actually do? You should ask to see the actual work if link building is part of the campaign. Don’t be shy to ask, the results might actually be quite illuminating.
4. Please sign a 12-month contract
Watch out! The old 12-month contract is an SEO killer and you should never put pen to paper if they ask this. OMG, I have seen so many disaster stories when companies have done this. They believe the hype and BS, surrounding SEO and unfortunately get locked into a long term contract.
There are many reasons why it’s ok to sign up with a hosting company or a mobile phone company BUT when it comes to SEO, this should be month-to-month. Why? Cause these guys need to be showing you their monthly performance and only get paid if you are happy with what you see. Contracts lead to complacency and you WILL FIND that after say 3-4 months your rankings will start to slide. PLUS these types of players looking to lock you down are really dodgy ones and you will be stuck with 12 months BAD SEO, which is going to kill any chance you have of ranking no and in the future.
I’m telling you, readers, out there – stay well away from SEO contracts – it’s like burning your cash or throwing it away. Make them prove their value rather than blind faith that they will do the right thing by you.