The online marketing industry has made so many strides in gaining a more credible reputation, and – truth be told - many of the so-called “experts” have made lots of mistakes. I have tried many marketing ideas that have failed, but the important thing is that I do it on my own website, and not on my client's websites.
I still see many people falling into the trap of doing SEO with overseas companies who send an email or just call out of the blue. Painfully, I’m also still seeing SEO companies (even in Brisbane) who claim “to get you #1 ranking on Google” or are secretive about what they do (i.e. they create deceptive or misleading content on your behalf). To see more I recommend you check out Google’s Support Page “Do you need an SEO?” as it’s great read.
To help, I'm going to give you my top 10 groups of companies, offering SEO Services to watch out for when hiring an SEO consultant. Don’t hire these type of SEO companies from overseas or even locally, in Brisbane or the Gold Coast. So let’s have a bit of fun and maybe the following can help you to separate a dud from a star!
The 10 SEO Consultant Danger Signs
- The "Foolishly Cheap Guy" – Don’t hire someone on the cheap that guarantees you a top ranking for "XYZ keyword", when no-one on the planet would type that XYZ word into Google. Yes, you will rank #1 on Google for this keyword, but it’s of no use if you don’t get any sales. You’d be better off standing naked out the front of your buss - you still won't get sales but at least people will see you!
(To be fair, sometimes a bad experience with an SEO firm is the client's fault. Perhaps they never implemented sound recommendations, were the cause of delays, or just never put enough of their own resources into the effort to make it a success.)
- The "Reports-Warrior" - the web company that gives you a lot of reports but you receive very little in the way of real value. Each month they give you a 15+ page report, which takes you more than 3 hours to get your head around. It’s death by report overload.
- The "High Pressure Guy" - uses high pressure selling tactics like "buy or rent this #1 Google ranking website now, or else your competitor will". They are using fear to sell to companies who don’t understand all the technology.
- The "Computer Nutter" who will tell you 10 cool tricks that will get your website ranked on Google, but will give 100 reasons why it didn’t work for your business.
- The "$100 a month Slow Club" - How many hours do you expect them to work on your website for this price? Not much time that’s for sure. They’ll tell you what needs to be done and tell you to make the changes. Ok you’re just starting out, but there’s more to running a website than just updating it.
- The "SEO for Free" Guy - they sell you a new website and you get 12 months of SEO or online-marketing for free. It just means that they won’t do the online-marketing, but at least they sold you the website! I’ve lost sales to competitors who offered free SEO for one year; it’s a shame because the business has then lost a whole year!
- The "#1 Google Guarantee Tosser Club" - The club that guarantees a number 1 ranking on Google, which is an outright lie. Only Google and other search engines decide what gets ranked first. This club thinks they have a "good chance" getting your website to number #1, but you have to pay them months before you can check the results, so they have no risk. And if they don’t succeed you’re the only one that loses as you’ve already paid them.
- The "WOW Guy" – The Graphics Designer who claims to be an SEO or Marketing consultant, when in fact they’re just a web design firm who has jumped on the SEO bandwagon after reading a few books on the subject. Let’s be honest, you wouldn’t ask your accountant to fix your computer for you, would you?
- The "SEO-Shark" - This is a dangerous group. There have been many people and companies who’ve taken advantage of people's lack of understanding of technology and pounced on the opportunity to earn a few quick bucks "doing this SEO thing." They set up a website with good claims, take your money, and then disappear. They are easy to spot, they don’t put their physical address anywhere on their web site or they have a phone number that re-directs overseas.
- The "Lightning-Fast Flakey” Guy - They promise lightning-fast results. The only way to get lightning-fast results in SEO is to break the rules. This will have negative repercussions for your site and business, that will last long after your relationship with this company.
Thankfully SEO has become a lot easier, thanks to the work that search engines like Google and Bing have done in recent years. Now, many businesses don’t need to hire an SEO consultant, as this work can be done simply by the company’s own staff.
When you create good content and follow Google’s best practices you don’t need to hire an SEO consultant for the long-term. Most of the SEO work we do at Crocodile Marketing is SEO training of staff and our client’s do the work themselves at a much cheaper rate.
As a business owner, whether you hate or love technology, at some time in the future you’re going to end up dealing with an SEO consultant, so I hope by reading this post you’re now able to avoid the bad, the inexperienced and the just plain rip-off merchants!
Until next time.