Search engine optimization (SEO) is an important component of effective digital marketing. If you improve your website according to a search engine like Google, build relationships with other websites, and publish content that provides useful information to your customers, your website will appear higher in the search engine results.
Due to a sudden surge in demand for SEO, there are many agencies and freelancers trying to scam business and website owners to make money fast.
In reality, SEO requires accurate planning and execution. It takes weeks or even months to see any results of the efforts made by SEO agencies. This somehow makes things easier for scammers looking for inexperienced customers. When you realize that they are not generating results, you have already paid a good sum of money.
Now, the most important question that comes to the mind of any business owner is how to avoid scam SEO companies. Luckily, you can quickly identify these scammers by keeping the following points in mind:
1. They promise you fast results
There are no quick SEO results. Search engines like Google and Bing want to make sure that they provide their users with relevant search results. Therefore, they do not rank websites quickly, the algorithm searches for external links to the website, keywords, content on a website, and more to avoid any errors.
A reputable and experienced SEO uses strategies that involve a lot of planning. Agencies need time to research and understand the client’s industry, create relevant content, do a keyword search, devise new strategies and techniques, and more.
All of this takes time to implement, and even after implementation, search engines take longer to account for these changes.
If your company guarantees you results within a specified time, it won’t be worth your time, effort, and money.
2. They claim to have “internal knowledge” of the search engines
No one knows how the search engine algorithm works. It is so complex and changing that engineers do not know how it works. If an SEO company claims to have internal knowledge, then it is one of the main red flags, and you should avoid it at all costs.
Successful SEO is based on testing and industry experience. A good SEO company will study the current trend and implement a strategy to get the best result.
3. They guarantee impossible results
Legitimate and successful SEO agencies promise things like more traffic on a website, ranking on the first page within a specific time frame, and more. What you should keep in mind is impossible guaranteed results, like website ranking # 1 for a competitive keyword in a short period. Ensuring such things is impossible.
Another thing to consider is how the SEO company makes the guarantee. Different industries require a different set of SEO strategies and deadlines to implement those strategies. Achieving results in competitive industries will always take more time than domains where there is less competition.
If an SEO agency promises to deliver results without asking about your industry, you should avoid it.
4. Mention Old SEO Techniques
Some SEO techniques were effective a few years ago. But most of these techniques don’t work today, and many can even harm your website’s ranking. If you don’t have a lot of SEO knowledge, it becomes difficult to catch a scammer.
Here are some standard outdated techniques you should avoid using:
- Keyword stuffing: use a keyword as many times as possible in the content
- Buy or exchange backlinks
- Black hat techniques
- Using private blogging networks to increase website ranking
These techniques are still effective but only in the short term. If you are caught using such techniques, your website will be penalized or de-indexed from the search engine.
5. They are ambiguous about pricing and won’t provide references
These two traits are the hallmarks of a scammer who is on the market for only their money.
Since there is no industry standard price, any reputable SEO company will provide you with an estimated cost based on your SEO needs. If the lead does not provide any initial cost, then it is nothing less than a red flag, which could lead to a large loss of investment in the future.
Likewise, every agency worth investing in will be ready to provide its portfolio and a list of referrals that you can contact whenever you want. If your agency avoids giving any reference, it is advisable to say NO.
With so many SEO agencies on the market, it is difficult to find the right agency for your business. If you keep the above points in mind, you won’t have any trouble finding a good and reputable SEO company. Just be sure to do a thorough background check on the company.
Search engine optimization is like any other technical field or industry. It takes time to learn how to do the job right, and there are always people trying to scam by promising too much, too fast, and for too little. These scammers often use highly technical language and confuse their victims to buy.
The thing that makes their scheme work so effectively is that their lie is fitted with hints of truth.