There are a plethora of SEO companies vying for your business out there. Some of them will say just about anything to get you to become a customer. While it’s true that SEO is an essential investment in this day and age, many SEO companies make empty promises and are merely out to make a buck. Protect yourself from SEO scams by looking out for these 5 warning signs when hiring a company for your business’ SEO needs.
1. Recommending web content with specific keyword densities
Back when Google first started it may have been possible to rank with keyword-stuffed content but these days it’s worth your while to appeal to human readers more so than search engines. Sure, it’s a good idea to utilize keywords in your content but don’t overdo it. Run the other way if an SEO “specialist” tells you that your content must have a 15% keyword density or something of the like. Excessive keyword usage can get your site banned from the search engines.
2. Charging prices that are too good to be true
You may have come across supposed SEO companies that charge very little for their services and promise you a lot in return. The rule of thumb is that if it sounds too good to be true, it is. Large SEO companies that charge thousands of dollars for their services and provide you with expert analysts, programmers, and link building experts would not be able to stay in business if those cheap SEO services really worked.
3. Guaranteeing a number one Google ranking for your site
Any company that guarantees you a number one rank on Google is outright lying. Just because a company won’t guarantee it doesn’t mean they can’t do it either -it is simply something that cannot be set in stone. Buying the top organic search engine rankings is not possible and Google decides the ranking of each website based on over 100 different factors. Now if a company promises to get you in the top 10 or 20 of Google search results that is more realistic.
4. Promising to get your content on the front page of social media sites
Some SEO companies may promise to get content from your site to the front page of social media sites like Reddit and Digg. They may tell you that they have a bunch of people working for them who will vote for your article in order for it to get to the front page. Not only do these unethical practices risk getting you banned (because it’s obvious when content doesn’t really belong on the front page), you won’t get much link love anyway unless your content is incredibly interesting and informative. But in that case, you shouldn’t have to pay someone to get it on the front page for you anyway!
5. Suggesting black hat SEO practices
If an SEO company mentions any black hat practices such as putting hidden text on your website, adding your link to a link farm, or stuffing meta tags with keywords, steer clear. You can risk getting your website banned from the search engines by meddling with black hat SEO techniques. The short term results are not worth the long term consequences.
Keep these warning signs in mind when interviewing SEO companies. You must find an SEO company that promises realistic results and utilizes ethical SEO techniques. Remember that if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. You may have to splurge on worthwhile SEO services but your investment will pay off in a big way.