Be Wary of Deceptive Practices When Hiring an SEO Company

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There is widespread deception in this industry that must be addressed. As a business owner, you must know it when hiring a marketing company that offers SEO, link-building, and social media marketing. Consider the SEO aspect of an online marketing campaign. Choose the #1 seo agency.

When hiring an SEO, marketing, or web design company, you must ask specific questions; the answers are critical in determining which company to hire.

1) On average, how many hours per month does your SEO company spend optimizing and marketing your business?
2) Does your SEO firm perform manual or automated optimization and marketing?
3) Will your SEO company work on internal website optimization and external website marketing?
4) Will the company provide you with a list of their accomplishments, quantify them, and provide ongoing MEANINGFUL analysis of their progress?
5) What are their external marketing efforts, and will they provide a detailed list of what they accomplished?
6) Will they research and use the most competitive keywords and phrases in their SEO?
7) Are they marketing your company in the right geographical areas?
8) Will they keep you involved in their marketing efforts and solicit your feedback on their company and its objectives?
9) What additional benefits will they provide at no extra cost to improve your results because they care about your success and long-term relationship?
10) Will they assess your website and current marketing efforts wholly and honestly and provide a comprehensive list of objectives and plans to achieve them that will address all phases of a successful marketing campaign?

We talk to several companies every day that are getting quotes from SEO companies. We’ve discovered a standard list of unsettling revelations from their previous experiences with other SEO companies.

The first topic is cost, and the conversation begins with, “How much do you charge? I received a few quotes ranging from $150 to $250 per month, and they guarantee excellent results!” To begin with, no one can guarantee any specific result (assuming the goal is to compete using the top vital phrases) because that is determined by the search engines, not the company doing the marketing.

I bring up the topics on the list of questions above, and the business owner on the other end of the conversation is usually silent. “You are the first company that has delved into these topics and educated me in such detail!”

What we call “The Phantom Key phrase” is a common deception. This is the most common. A client hired an SEO firm to handle their SEO. “Well, our current company has us #1 on Google, and they got us there in just a few days!” they say. My first question, to which I already know the answer, is… “No joke! Tell me, what key phrase do you rank first with?” Here’s an illustration of a commonly used deception. “Broward County Plumber is the key phrase we rank #1 with,” said the CEO of one company.

Little did this CEO realize that “Broward County Plumber” is so rarely searched that there is almost no competition for that key phrase, resulting in an instant high ranking once their pages are indexed in Google. Yet, the CEO of this company thinks it looks and sounds great… HEY! I am the winner! Then I told the company’s owner that a teenager with basic coding skills could have done it for free in about an hour. “Did you know that the key phrase “Fort Lauderdale Plumber” is used by people in your area who need a plumber?” I ask. Did you know your current keyphrase receives TWENTY TIMES the number of searches as your current key phrase? And did you know that you are virtually unfindable on search engines for that top competitive key phrase? We’re talking about thousands of searches per month that you’re passing up.

This deceptive practice can also be carried out in a variety of ways. You can use keywords that sound popular but aren’t, change a letter, add an extra note, pluralize a word, or change the structure of the phrase, and presto! You are number one, and the company owner is unaware they are not using competitive and accurate vital words. But, hey, you got a good deal, didn’t you?

A lot of work and marketing is required to rank high for competitive key phrases, and no legitimate, experienced company will put in that kind of effort for $200 per month. They’d be out of business in no time. However, you can hire the expertise you require for a few hundred dollars more to achieve the desired results and exponentially increase your revenue! You want a significant increase in business and ROI, and your investment will more than pay for itself.

We’ve taken over another company’s SEO and marketing work too often, only to discover that they hadn’t touched anything in months. The last time the XML sitemap was updated was five months ago! The pages have not been updated in months, and the website has not been expanded. But, hey, you got a great deal!

Another way for SEO firms to take on clients at rock-bottom prices (which is very appealing to budget-conscious business owners who make SEO decisions without this knowledge) is to use automation. Websites or software that automatically submits your pages to search engines and broadcasts data with the click of a button.

You may have seen these options on your hosting company’s website or on television from ineffective budget website builders who always use templates. Unfortunately, you can only go so far with automation. It is inept and weak, giving you a false sense of security that you have done everything necessary to compete with and market your website to search engines. The software cannot perform the extensive and essential manual work required for successful SEO and marketing of a company’s website and online presence. You can get limited results with little effort or automation, but you’re passing up a large piece of the pie and a lot of business!

We have a client who has hired us for SEO, Link Building, Press Releases, Blog Creation, Entries and Syndication, and Social Media Marketing and has signed a long-term contract with us. The issue was that they refused to pay to expand and improve their website, which was severely lacking in content, among other things.

I told them honestly that they must complete their website design and improve its structure for us to succeed in our efforts. They told me not to worry about it because it was not in our budget. However, we are concerned about our client’s success. So we restructured their website, built it, redesigned it, and expanded it with relevant industry content, links, and coding… all for free.

They are pleased, and it would not have been possible if we had not gone above and beyond for them by providing these additional benefits. This, along with the services listed above, is the level of commitment you should expect from the SEO company you hire. SEO, marketing, and web design all go hand in hand, and it takes complex work, effort, expertise, and dedication daily to succeed in a competitive environment. The more you know and the harder you work in life, the more successful you will be.

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