Most people are aware of the benefits Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) has on a one’s website, but the amount of time and extensive planning that goes into optimising and link building is generally overlooked. It takes both unique writing skills and comprehensive knowledge of how the technical robots work in the background to ensure your website is getting the best possible results.
SEO has the potential to boost your website or damage your company’s reputation. With out-of-the-blue spam emails circulating from the “SEO gurus” offering their services, it’s really no wonder people are becoming wary. We take a look at some of the SEO scams and how to avoid dealing with a fraudulent company.
1. Guaranteed Rankings
If a SEO company offers you guaranteed rankings and makes unrealistic promises chances are, they will be self-claimed SEO connoisseurs. “Guaranteed #1 ranking on Google” or “Guaranteed #1 ranking on all search engines” are impossible to authenticate.
No one can guarantee a #1 ranking, not even Google. Actually, it’s Google that warns you against companies making these claims so if they don’t support it – you shouldn’t either.
The only way you can get a guaranteed #1 ranking is if you pay for it, and anyone can pay for top placement of an advertisement:
Step 1: Sign up to AdWords
Step 2: Pick a keyword
Step 3: Enter your credit card details
(Well there’s actually a lot of skill involved as well).
If you want definite top placements, you can pay for as many as you want – Google won’t mind one bit. Competent and consistent organic traffic (natural traffic streams) and a positive ROI however, are a completely different story.
2. Results in a Short Amount of Time
We all want results and we want them fast, in any regards. The saying “good things take time” strongly applies with SEO and anyone that promises anything less is not providing you a high quality service and trustworthy service.
This scam is perfect for those in a desperate hurry. Their website is up and running, it looks good to the eye but sales aren’t coming in and they aren’t getting the results they want. Hiring an SEO expert will no doubt get them visible in search engines quickly won’t it?
SEO is a lengthy process. It takes time to not only gain the search engines trust, but to also build credibility, high quality links and engaging content that is SEO friendly. The results do pay off in the end, but any company that claims they can get you’re the results you want in a month or two isn’t worth your money. Search engines like Google rarely trust speed so it’s vital to remember patience is the key.
3. Free Trial Services
Much of the time dedicated to SEO is gaining adequate data to run a successful campaign. To do this you need knowledge of not only the company paying for the services, but also its competitors. This involves a lot of keyword research, meeting with the client to gauge their requirements and tailoring a specialised SEO service that is relevant for that client. This cannot be done through a free trial service – 30 days or so isn’t enough time to establish a successful campaign.
There are many scam SEO companies that offer a free trial for 30 days; by giving them access to your site you can reap the endless benefits. In this instance, you may as well hand over your credit card, pin number and house keys too.
4. Highest Quality Services at the Lowest Possible Price
If an offer sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. SEO is a highly complex and time consuming job which requires trained knowledge and intensive labour. There is no such thing as cheap, high quality SEO services – you get what you pay for.
5. Secret SEO Strategies
SEO strategies are no secret. Any genuine company will be able to outline a specific strategy to you and explain what they’re doing to your website so you’re constantly in the loop. Of course there are aspects that are proprietary; you won’t need to know all their research methods or software they use, but firms that entice you with their “trade secrets” will use techniques that will get you banned by Google eventually.
6. Ownership of Content
Well-written content makes up a huge amount of the SEO service you’re paying for, and anything you pay for should belong to you. A dependable SEO company will ensure you have rights to the content they write for you, so don’t sign off on an agreement where the ownership goes to the SEO agency.
7. Customer Service Skills
If a SEO company isn’t showing much interest in your expectations and needs, they are highly unlikely going to do a good job. Expect to be asked questions, a lot of them, and in return they should be answering yours. A reputable SEO company will do everything in your best interest to meet your requirements and help you to understand their process.