Smart businesses and individuals understand that it takes a lot more than just setting up a Web site to find online success these days. In order to achieve sales or lead generation goals of a Web site, that Web site first needs to be found by target audience members. Internet users use search engines like Google and Bing to find information on anything, including the products or services that you have to offer. In order to be found on a search engine results page, your Web site needs to be optimized. SEO is a long-term process that takes time. Since many companies or Web site owners don’t have much SEO knowledge or time to dedicate to the process, they look to hire an SEO service provider. What some prospects don’t realize is that there are vast differences from one SEO service provider or company to the next. Before signing a contract, it’s important to understand what’s “good” and what’s “bad” in the world of SEO.
Here are some warning signs of a “bad” SEO service provider:
The cost of good SEO can sometimes be a turn off for companies that think that it’s something that they can do themselves for “free.” Maybe that’s true, but without knowledge or time it won’t be done right. Bad SEO is sometimes worse than no SEO. It’s tempting to turn to an SEO service provider that offers 1,000 links for $29.99 but as they say, you get what you pay for.
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They Spam You
A good SEO company doesn’t need to seek out clients. They practice what they preach and build a positive reputation and brand image in the search engines and online in general. If they are any good at what they do, this will generate leads for them. They don’t need to email or cold call companies out of the blue to get business.
They Make Guarantees
If you come into contact with an SEO company that boldly states that they can get you to #1 in Google, end the relationship with them. Google itself even states “No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google” and we should listen to Google, right? If a company does get you to #1 quickly, it’s because they are probably using black hat (unethical) practices that can end up resulting in search engine penalties. You might achieve a quick rise to the top, but it will likely be followed by a painful plummet. It’s really not worth it.
They’re an “Expert”
It seems like everyone in the world of online marketing is a self-proclaimed SEO or social media “expert” these days. There are true experts out there, but not as many as it seems. It takes years to become a true expert, so, before signing up for SEO services, it’s important to check their background. In addition to having a robust online portfolio, an expert will have no problem with providing a potential client with a significant number of references and testimonials.
Avoid SEO providers with these warning signs, and you’ll likely end up with a real expert that helps give you the search success you are looking for.