Do Not Buy SEO From a Snake Oil Salesman

Ok, I know the headling is a little strong. However, after many years in this industry it seems millions of people have come out of the woodwork to deem themselves to be an SEO or internet marketing guru. It just infuriates me how unethical and unscrupulous SO many of these self-proclaimed experts can be to make a buck. I know first-hand of the damage they do, because their clients come to me to save them from what they’ve gotten themselves into.

This wouldn’t be so bad, if could actually do what the business expects them to do. But almost always (I’m being generous with the “almost”)  businesses are stuck with long-term SEO contracts with zero results. These mistakes are made most often because the business lacked the ability to spot “SEO snake oil” when they see it. Then they get burnt and think all search engine marketing is a ruse, which it is not, when done correctly.

So, if you’re in the market for SEO services, RUN if you’re tempted by any of the following SEO salesman tactics:

1. You know the spiel, Guaranteed #1 Google search position …this is the most popular bait.
NOONE can guarantee #1 position on ANY search engine…it goes against everything search engines are built to do. Read what GOOGLE said about Guaranteed Search Engine Rankings here.

2. An unsolicited email telling you how great your site is and that they can get you more traffic with search engine rankings, they often have “placement”, “ranking” or “website” as subject lines. I am always shocked when I receive these messages…they obviously don’t REALLY look at the website they are attempting to solicit business from.

3. A cold call from someone telling you they found your website and want to help you get more search engine traffic…they will give you random keyword searches for you to look up on the spot while they have you on the phone to demonstrate they can achieve #1 Google rankings.  Trouble with this is, they are highly likely to NOT be keywords that coincide with those used by their target customer’s prospects. Not to mention, anyone can get #1 google ranking with the right keyword combo….doesn’t mean your target audience will be using those keywords. More on Search Engine Keywords Here.

3. Young hip “gurus” sell trendy methods…Be careful! Sure, technology changes quickly and it may be tempting to hire someone fresh out of college, or in the industry only for a short time because you think they may have an edge. This can work against you. If the methods they use are “black hat”, or simply perceived to be spam by the search engines, they can and will work against you and it’s not unheard of for companies to be “blacklisted” (removed from active results by Google and other search engines). So, seek a specialisty or firm that has methods they’ve been able to prove effective over time. There are plenty of qualified marketing experts out there that are fully leveraging best practices and emerging trends. Many voluntarily adhere to SEO Code of Ethics and “white hat” practices, which is a good start when selecting an SEO firm.

Moral of the story, Buyer Beware!
Please take the time to understand SEO and internet marketing. The time you take to educate yourself will pay itself off many times over!

Search engine marketing is important to your business, so seek reputable professionals that have ask the right questions before hiring a search engine optimization or marketing consultant.

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