If you have a website or own a business, you’re probably aware of the benefits Search Engine Optimization (SEO) offers. And if you’re anything like the team here at Post Launch, you’re getting several calls a month from bogus SEO companies who promise that your website can be number one on Google with their help. The reason many business owners fall for these SEO scams is that they don’t understand the amount of time and effort that goes into optimizing a website, creating content, and the link building necessary to get those results. They may also lack the knowledge needed to compare one SEO company to another.
It’s true that SEO has the potential to launch your website to success, but in the wrong hands, it has the potential to damage your company’s reputation, your sales, or even get your site removed from Google’s index. With all the wannabe “SEO gurus” sending unsolicited emails and spamming your phone lines, you must be ever-cautious when deciding to pay for SEO services. Today, we’re handing you the knowledge necessary to avoid scam artists and fraudulent SEO companies.
The majority of the SEO scams out there revolve around guaranteed rankings, claims that promise “#1 Ranking on Google,” “First Page Rankings,” or “#1 on All Search Engines.” They’re all impossible to substantiate.
In fact, some of these SEO scammers will even claim to have a special relationship or work with someone at Google. This type of scam is such a hot issue that Google mentioned it in this article (check out the section titled No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google). The only way you can get a guaranteed #1 ranking is if you advertise with Adwords where anyone can pay to have a top placement.
Every business owner wants quick results, and at Post Launch, we are no different. Can you imagine how much simpler life would be if you could rank a website overnight? We can, and we just teared up a little. However, anyone promising to rank a site overnight, in two weeks, a month, or any time that sounds too good to be true is not selling you a high-quality and trustworthy service. SEO is a long term process. It takes times to build credibility, write engaging content that is SEO friendly, make technical SEO fixes, and everything else necessary to rank.
A legitimate SEO company should be able to explain what they will do to help your website and provide an outline of their overall strategy. If a company claims to use trade secrets or secret SEO techniques, you can be sure they’re using black hat SEO techniques that could potentially get you banned from Google.
If you’re paying for SEO, well-written and engaging content should make up a huge portion of the services you receive. Some SEO companies will provide excellent services, but hidden in the fine print of your contract is a clause that gives them ownership of the content they write for your website.
The problem with this is that if you ever decide to move on to a better SEO company, they can hold your content—or even your website—hostage. In a best-case scenario, you’ll be forced to pay a steep fee to regain control of your content. At worst, you’ll have to restart both your website and SEO from scratch.
Like most things in life, if an SEO company makes you an offer that sounds too good to be true, it probably is. As mentioned earlier, SEO is complicated and takes hard work, some serious time, and a rocket-load of knowledge to pull off. To put it simple, there is no such thing as a cheap, high-quality SEO service—you get what you pay for. You’d honestly be better off learning how to do it yourself than paying some “SEO expert” to do it for an absurdly low price.
When hiring for SEO services, you must be vigilant and carefully investigate any company you’re considering working with. Interview the company, check out their reviews and above all, read your contract.
At Post Launch, we pride ourselves on transparency and will never make a promise we can’t keep or engage in shady business practices. If you’re interested in launching an SEO and web presence marketing campaign, fill out our contact form or give us a call.