As Search Engine Optimisation evolves, the industry gets more entangled in issues that have so often caused a headache among businesses. Getting cold calls from SEO companies with a disreputable background does not sit well with business owners. This article serves as a warning to SMEs lest they fall into the trap set by shady SEO firms.
Note, however, that not all SEO companies use this kind of strategy. There are those who focus on providing leverage to your business by improving your website and boosting your online presence. In Australia, tons of SEO and digital marketing firms have physical offices in tall buildings. Legitimate companies have a better, more innovative approach beyond spamming your mails or bombarding you with calls.
So be forewarned. Know which SEO companies to work with and which ones to blacklist. Cold calls or spam emails indicate that they are definitely not worth your time. These companies usually do not have a real office. If you ask these so-called experts technical questions about SEO, you would be surprised at the lack of knowledge and their run-of-the-mill paid advertising strategy (which obviously anyone can do).
Know that a real SEO company will not:
Offer false hopes and impossible promises – If your gut tells you “this is too good to be true,” believe it. Because it usually is. The hard truth is that search engines are beyond anyone’s control – not even automated bots and software. Who are you kidding? Real SEO specialists know better than to tell you something that isn’t likely to happen.
Deny your request to call back – Once the caller tells you to call them back, it is possible that they are calling from elsewhere. Not in Australia. Try to test the waters by offering to call some other time. If they vehemently try to stop you, then this might not be the deal you’re hoping for.
Make excuses if you ask them about their website – An SEO company with no website is not worth your time. If there happens to be a website, explore its anatomy. How well does the website look? Does it look professional and is the content well-written? Check whether they rank well on target keywords. Moreover, is there a physical location? If none, then you know what to do.
Send random emails – Generic email address offering you “comprehensive” and “results-driven” SEO services? Well, think again. Unless the email comes from a legitimate domain, you may set aside reading such messages. For all you know, it could be a malware or malicious file.
Hesitate to explain their SEO strategies – If an SEO company fails to disclose their techniques, prepare to walk away. Not sharing their strategies with potential clients could be a sign that there are underlying “black hat” techniques. Being blacklisted by Google is the last thing you need for your website.
Promise instant results – When a company boasts about instant results, and even if this works, you can guarantee that this is not a sustainable technique. Actual SEO strategies take time to bear fruit. As long as a couple of months to a year, depending on your niche or industry or the overall size of your campaign. Real SEO takes a lot of work and implementation and instant results are a myth.
Be a stranger to Google – These days, and as much as we do not want to admit, it seems like Google has the answer to almost anything. If an SEO company is giving you shady vibes, then “Google” them straightaway. You will see where any bad reviews were written about them in the past. Or if the company had been involved in a scam before. Such information can be readily available to you with a click of your mouse.
Short on referrals – SEO is an investment. Your reputation as a company as well as your hard-earned money may be at risk if you work with the wrong agency. A company referred to you by a friend would be more trustworthy than a company offering SEO services through a random cold call.
Do your homework, get a second opinion and spend your money where it’s worth it. Your reputation as a business depends on the choices you make.