If you check your email inbox more than once a year, it probably won’t come as any surprise to you that there are a lot of terrible search engine optimization (SEO) companies out there.
You can tell this from the way they email you relentlessly, promising top three Google rankings and thousands of social media followers for an incredibly low price.
Believe it or not, there are a lot of business owners who actually take the bait and follow up with them. Unfortunately, they tend to quickly find out that you get what you pay for when it comes to Internet marketing.
To help you understand why – and avoid making an important mistake – here are four things a terrible search engine optimization company won’t tell you (and you probably won’t find out until it’s too late):
1.“The success stories you see are misleading (or made up).”
A lot of these types of companies have so-called “success stories” or “case studies” that can make you feel encouraged. However, upon closer review you’ll almost always find that the companies are made up, in very non-competitive industries, or experienced only a short-term boost in search traffic (more on this in a second). Trust your gut and learn to be skeptical if something seems too good to be true.
2.“Our tactics barely work anymore.”
There actually was a time when you could essentially game search engines, overloading pages with keywords and cheap links to make them appear more credible and authoritative than they actually were. While some of these tactics will still give you a search engine boost for a few weeks, Google and the other engines now penalize you heavily for even attempting them.
3. “We’re hurting your brand and your search rankings.”
Because of those penalties we mentioned a moment ago, trying to look for cheap shortcuts in search engine optimization can be dangerous at best. Even more costly, though, can be the damage done to your reputation when an outside company starts posting scraped or poorly written articles all over your website and social profiles. These damage your brand and credibility, and tell customers you can’t be trusted.
4. “There’s a reason we’re not charging you much.”
As you’ve probably gathered by now, old-school search engine optimization tactics just don’t work anymore. The fact that they can now be automated and outsourced with ease just shows how behind the times they are. If someone’s offering you a “great price” for SEO, the sad fact is you’re probably going to get even less in return.
Search engine optimization isn’t just time-intensive, it’s a genuine mix of science and creativity. So, if you’re serious about bringing buyers in from Google, invest the hours and dollars needed to get the job done right. Otherwise, you’re not getting a great deal… you’re just asking for trouble.