If you’re a small and medium sized business owner, you’d be receiving tons of emails from SEO service providers with promises of getting you more customers by improving the search engine rankings. However, about 80% of the SEO firms adopt fraudulent tactics for improved rankings. This could lead to a penalty by the search engines and a drop in your website traffic.
Choosing the right SEO service firm is critical for your business. Your primary objective to hire a SEO firm is- improve search engine rankings for attracting relevant target audience to your web pages. But, if you’re not careful with your choice of the SEO firm, the results achieved will not be at par with the expectations.
Let’s take a look at the top 7 warning signs that you must consider to avoid poor search engine rankings, search engine penalization and getting ripped off:
1. Guaranteed Top Results in Search Engines: Reputed SEO firms don’t guarantee top rankings or first page listings to their clients. Search engines work on complex algorithms which can’t be manipulated to gain the top rank. It’s best to use the recommended SEO best practices and guidelines to achieve the best possible results.
2. Assurance of Thousands of Backlinks: Link spamming and buying backlinks are two most common unethical practices adopted by SEO firms. Having backlinks is important but having high quality backlinks from high authority domains is critical. Having thousands of backlinks from low authority sites will not achieve good search engine rankings and may even lead to penalty.
3. No Proof Of Earlier Work: Always ensure to have a look at the SEO firm’s previous work and portfolio to get a clear understanding of their abilities and success. Check for case studies, customer testimonials, eBooks etc and you will know how they’ve achieve the acclaimed results.
4. Cheap Content Automation: High quality unique content is critical for SEO success. Watch for the quality of content and the content strategy being offered by the SEO firm. Your content acts like your voice, representing your business and its expertise; indicating worthiness and proof for ranking. Hence, cheap automated content will be of no use if you wish to improve your search engine rankings.
5. Standardized ‘One Size Fits All’ Packages: Your business is unique and so is its offering. Why restrict yourself in a standardized package when you can have customized SEO packages suitable for your business needs. A good SEO firm will discuss with you regarding your business objectives and then design a custom package for you to help you achieve those goals.
6. Poor Reporting: Good quality reports are an indication of a great SEO firm. Ask for examples of the kinds of reports the SEO firm offers to their existing clients. Also check for the frequency of their reporting. Proving reports at regular intervals are important as it will keep you updated about the progress of the SEO campaign and take corrective measures if required.
7. Ineffective Strategies: SEO strategies vary from business to business and what may work for a certain business may not work for another. But there are certain SEO best practices and recommended strategies which form the foundation for success. Check for the SEO firm’s strategy and recommended tactics to decide on its credibility.
Know any other warning signs? Let us know in the comments below.Talk to an SEO expert!