As a small business owner you are probably inundated with phone calls every day from companies offering you SEO services, unfortunately most of them will do your business more harm than good. Bad SEO may not sound like it’s that bad but in reality it can cost you thousands of dollars. First in money wasted paying a company who doesn’t understand how SEO works and lastly by the revenue you can potentially lose if Google decides to de-index your site.
Here is how to avoid bad SEO companies:
If they promise you the same amount of backlinks every month
Building links is one of the things a good SEO agency is supposed to do, and building the same amount every month isn’t always a red flag. However the exact same links every month can mean they are using an automated link building tool and that is a big no-no. The best links are relevant to your business and send you traffic to your website. Here is an example; putting a link on an industry newsletter is relevant to you. Getting good links is hard work and getting the same amount month after month is impossible without building some spammy links. That, you do not want.
No digital marketing agency can guarantee you a first page ranking, especially within a specific time frame there are simply too many factors involved. While there are black hat techniques that can get you to the first page, you won’t be there long and you’ll probably never see it again either. Some shady SEO companies promise to rank you for x number of keywords, the problem is they aren’t keywords with many searches or relevance to your business.
A good agency is pretty good at showing you how they will increase your rankings and the milestones you can expect. They will send you monthly reports that include not only your position but the search volume as well.
Guaranteeing a Specific Amount of Traffic
While you ultimately want to increase the numbers of visitors to your site, you also want visitors that are interested in your products and services. However quality traffic that converts doesn’t happen easily, it takes time and effort. Traffic is another metric that varies with competition and search volume. Here is an example a small town plumber isn’t going to get 10,000 new visitors per month. Even with all the planets lining up in your favor there just simply isn’t that many people searching for a plumber every month.
There are a lot of unscrupulous SEO agencies out there but there are some that are very good at their job and they work hard to get you what you need from your website.