Make no mistake. There are plenty of good, even great, SEO companies out there that use proven techniques to get results for their clients. But far too often our industry is given a black eye by shady SEO companies ripping clients off for thousands of dollars with nothing to show for it.
Whether you’re just now looking for an SEO company or you’ve been with one for a while, you need to be on the lookout for these 7 signs of a sketchy SEO provider.
1. They promise specific rankings—Your SEO company doesn’t run Google. So, no matter what they say, there’s no way they can guarantee your website will reach a certain position in the search results. If your SEO company is making this promise, run away as fast as you can. They’re liars.
2. They can’t show you proof of their past work—You want to make sure the SEO company you hire has actually gotten results for their clients in the past. The best SEO companies have detailed case studies showing where the client’s website was before they started working on it and where it is now. If your SEO company can’t show you proof of their work, I recommend taking your business elsewhere.
3. The price doesn’t seem right—There are shady SEO companies on both ends of the price range. On one hand, you have the guys who promise to optimize your website for just a few bucks. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Then, on the flip side of things, you have the companies who charge tens of thousands of dollars for their SEO services.
4. They promise hundreds of back links—Sure, it’s nice to have an SEO company who can handle all your link building needs, but whenever you come across one that promises hundreds or even thousands of links, you can bet these are low quality and even spammy links. In the end, this can hurt your website more than it helps.
5. They don’t provide any insight into the process—Always choose an SEO company who speaks to you in plain language and lets you be involved in the process. Too many shady SEO companies leave clients in the dark, don’t answer their questions, and when they do decide to talk, use industry jargon to speak over your head.
6. They sent you an unsolicited email offer—Not a day goes by that I don’t get a message in my Spam folder from an SEO company who claims they can help my website rank #1 in Google. These unsolicited emails violate the CAN-SPAM Act, and they’re sent by bots to thousands of other webmasters. Believe me, if the SEO company was really that good, they wouldn’t have to resort to this spammy tactic to get customers.
7. Their website sucks—I can’t help but shake my head when I come across an SEO company’s website that is poorly designed and incorrectly optimized. If they can’t even build a great website for their own company, they won’t be able to make one for you.
Have you ever dealt with a shady SEO company? What were some of the warning signs you noticed? Share your experiences by leaving a comm