How to not be Scammed by an SEO Firm

By on January 23, 2012

SEO Scam Many marketing companies (those you find online and those who call you unsolicited) claim that they can do search engine optimization (SEO) for your website.

The fact that they can do something that sounds so complicated is already enticing. Before paying someone for SEO services, keep this in mind…

Overpriced Services

At its core, search engine optimization is obtaining links so that keyword optimized content can rank higher, giving your site targeted traffic. SEO also involves hundreds of other things, which are complicated by the fact that nobody knows exactly what Google does to rank certain sites higher than others. This leaves the door open for ambiguity and confusion, which many “SEO” companies takes advantage of, scamming website owners in the process. The mysteriousness of SEO allows scammers to sell their services with minimal effort to unsuspecting business owners.

Get quotes from many SEO firms before accepting a bid from one. That way, you guarantee yourself that you are getting a fair price.

Pay Only For Results

Does the SEO expert have a history of providing results for his or her clients? If they do, you can be more comfortable about paying them upfront. If, however, they have a spotty record, arrange for payment only when they give you results in the form of increased traffic or higher rankings for your keyword.

Be sure, however, that that traffic and/or higher ranking brings in targeted leads…

SEO Firms Can Provide “Results” That Are Worthless

Be warned that some SEO firms will guarantee you top placement of keywords because they know that ranking those keywords will take minimal effort. For example, they may charge you $500 once they get you your #1 ranking for “San Francisco dental practice”, which ends up giving you no traffic. Top Google rankings only have value when they generate targeted traffic to your website.

An SEO service may have a long list of keywords that they’ve helped a previous client rank for, but those keywords mean nothing if they don’t bring in converting targeted traffic. Firms like these know that many people are impressed with “#1 rankings” and use that to dupe people into paying for their “services”.

Before paying someone to increase your keyword rankings, you have to be sure that those increased rankings will result in increased converting traffic. Check your Google Analytics and see which keywords have converted well for you in the past.

Rankings Can’t Be Guaranteed

No matter how good someone is in search engine optimization, nobody can guarantee you results within a predetermined time period because that is out of the control of anyone. Search engine optimization can influence results, but in no way can it promise to do something because results are determined by a Google’s secret algorithm.

Don’t Be Fooled By Guaranteed Services

1,000 .edu links! 1000 blog comment links! Guaranteed page rank! SEO services which provide guaranteed links may make you think that results will also be guaranteed because in the SEO world, more links and higher PR generally means more traffic. Before buying into such services, know what kind of links you’ll be getting. 1,000 or 500 of anything may sound like a great deal, until you consider the fact that those hundreds of links are likely of subpar quality and may actually hurt your rankings in the long run.  Increased page rank happens over a long period of time and cannot be guaranteed.

Avoid One Size Fits All Services

Companies that give the same flat monthly fee to each and every one of their clients don’t do their homework. Before giving you their prices, an SEO firm has to research your website, competitors, and what type of keywords your site has the potential to rank for.

Nickolay Lamm is an internet marketing specialist at InventHelp who manages InventHelp Scam.

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