Warning: Rant Ahead
I’m sorry, I hate to rant. I try to avoid it where I can but I feel I must say something. Right now “Recent” SEO providers are emerging from every dark corner of “failure town” to hock their wares on unsuspecting small biz owners. So, I wrote a rant.
Is your SEO company fraudulent? Maybe your SEO person isn’t a fraud, she’s just not really an SEO person? SEO douchebags come in a few different shapes and sizes. Engaging an SEO company is a big risk (and a big expense) for small business and we’ve seen, time and time again, the fallout from choosing badly. Here’s a few “warning signs” that your SEO company is a bad choice!
The two types of SEO frauds
There’s probably more than two but these are the two you’ll find spamming your inbox or social media groups.
The Alpha SEO
This is a sales rep from a large scale digital marketing company. They tend to be aggressive about the sale and they have lots of “proven examples” of their success. Unfortunately, the fact that they pushed “McDonalds” to number one for the keyword “fast food” doesn’t actually have any bearing on how they’ll perform with your small business.
The alpha doesn’t have to work for a big gun SEO company either. The small biz SEO alpha is the kind who boasts that he can “outsmart Google” and answers questions with a disdainful sigh. Learn more about the structure of digital providers here.
The Recent SEO
This is an ever-growing trend on Social Media. A former online store owner, blogger or virtual assistant has been taught the basics of SEO and sees potential to profit. Unfortunately, the monthly report she used to get from her SEO company (or the ebook she bought) is just a tiny snapshot of all the knowledge and strategy that goes into SEO. She’s dangerous. Cheap, but dangerous.
Her strategy is generally very “vague” and she tells you that SEO is sooooo simple. She’s got a bunch of clever tricky-tricks up her sleeve and for a few pennies a month, she’ll make it rain sales for you!
How to spot a “Douchebag” SEO
Jargon. It helps industry types discuss complex issues in an efficient manner. It’s a necessary evil because the industry moves at such a pace, terminology grows and grows just to keep up.
It helps industry douchebags make you feel inadequate and confused about your SEO options. The Alpha SEO loves his jargon and will deter your questions by appearing frustrated and impatient. The Recent SEO won’t use much jargon at all. She’s not confident with industry terms and instead prefers to stick to “strictly layman”.
Top signs you’re talking to an SEO douchebag:
Leaving a conversation with a potential new SEO provider means feeling a little more educated and knowledgeable. You should feel more confident to make a choice, not less. If you walk away without gaining any new insight (through lack of information or through confusing jargon) you might be talking to an SEO douchebag.
KPIs and guarantees
No matter who your SEO is, he is not the boss of Google. Nobody is the boss of Google, in fact, it’s getting to a point where Google is the boss of all us. In this article, you’ll find a big list of desirable SEO elements and how to identify a good SEO strategy. Spoiler: They should be able to develop reasonable KPIs without promising the world.
When trust is actually mistrust
“We have a global network of websites that allow us to guarantee you big results”.
Decoded: We have what’s called a Private Blog Network and we just farm links from it for you. This is a red flag that Google’s coming for them, and their clients. PBNs are high risk, black hat SEO strategies. In the last year, some of the world’s biggest PBNs were taken down overnight and took tens of thousands of big websites with them.
Authentic SEO tactics may be more expensive and they may take longer but they’re the answer to long term SEO ROI.
Checking out the providers website will give you a lot of insight into their approach. It’s not just about looking pretty either. Alpha SEOs will be all substance no style, Recent SEOs will be all style no substance. Do a quick SEO test on their owns sites to see how much they walk the walk. You can find free SEO analysers all over the internet. Just search for them.
The Beddazler strategy
Here’s where you get a strategy that’s encrusted with gorgeous graphic design but generic information. If you’re paying for a long term SEO strategy, you need to be able to see your goals and a clear map of how to reach them. This isn’t just pretty generic graphs about how social media works. A proper digital marketing strategy is never cheap, never generic and never just about the SEO. You should receive a comprehensive marketing strategy translated into digital marketing activities. Here are some links that can help:
- Marketing and Branding Strategies
- Social Media Strategies
- Keyword Strategies
- Digital Marketing Strategies
- Our approach to digital marketing
How much should SEO cost?
About as much as a piece of string… but remember that string can be pretty low quality!
Not long ago, there were SEO companies (both Recent and Alpha SEOs) promising 2000 links for $50 a month. When the inevitable and devastating penalties rolled out, these guys packed up shop and stopped returning calls. Months later they reappeared with their “quality, authentic” SEO packages. This happens a lot. It’s mind-mindbogglingly common. Undoing bad SEO is a great big, rapidly growing niche in the SEO industry.
Talk About Creative doesn’t actually provide set and forget SEO packages because every single business is unique and has unique challenges and opportunities (learn more here) We develop a package for each client and then constantly monitor and tweak it. This is hard by the way. Authentic, client focused SEO is harder than you might think. Keeping on top of the client’s progress and Google’s plans is a big job, which is why our team is so large and clever (and good looking of course). When you receive a package from your SEO provider, check out exactly what it’s worth here. What’s the bet you’re paying a fortune for stuff you don’t need?
Suspect you’ve nabbed your business a douchbag?
We can take a look at what’s being done for (to) your website and let you know if your SEO is actually doing their job! Call us on 07 33 14 15 13 if you need to talk!