The SEO industry is a little like the wild west in terms of how it operates, so it’s important to know about a few red flags in case you are shopping for a new SEO provider. Keep in mind agencies prices may vary greatly so know the differences between the pricing and make sure you fully understand what you are getting before committing to any SEO program. Often times no SEO is better then bad SEO.
To help guard you against indiscriminate SEO agencies with unethical business practices, read below. Be suspicious of any of the following promises:
- Guarantees. SEO firms generally can’t provide guarantees due to the constantly changing nature of the industry.
- Instant results. True, some SEO tactics can get “instant results” by gaming the system with black hat techniques. Be aware that these practices can hurt you in the long run. Instant results often involve SEO practices that are against webmaster guidelines put out by Google and other search engines. Invariably, Google seeks out these techniques and penalizes them with updates like Penguin and Panda, resulting in lost rankings that can take months or even years to recover.
- #1 spot on Google. If an agency promises you the number one spot on Google, run! Hopefully, you’ll be able to get it. However, it’s not something that a firm can easily promise to hand over to you, especially on a competitive keyword.
- Costs lower than $200/month. When it comes to SEO, you aren’t shopping for the lowest price; you’re seeking the best level of service. Be wary of rock bottom prices or “unbelievable deals.”
- Blackhat link building services. Link building is a crucial part of SEO. You can’t have a highly-ranked site without inbound links. But there’s a dark side of link building. Link trust is gaining importance to appear high in the rankings. Buying links or acquiring links unethically can simply piss Google off. Something you don’t want to do. Before you enter into an arrangement with an SEO agency for link building services, ensure that their link building services are ethical, white label services. You may even wish to ask them where they may be able to gain links for a business in your industry or sector.
- Long-term contracts. Before signing any long term contracts be sure you know what you are getting. Many SEO firms won’t have a problem working on a month to month basis, given they are given enough time to deliver results. (At least 3-4 months minimum)
Hopefully this will aid you in your search for your next SEO provider. If you have any questions about SEO or internet marketing in general contact us today.