Top 10 Signs Of A Dishonest SEO Company
What you’ll learn: How to tell an ethical SEO company from an unethical one.
Who should read this article: Company and marketing leadership.
How to Separate the Good from the Bad
SEO is a noble calling, but like any business, it has its share of unscrupulous players. Unfortunately, dishonest SEO companies have burned clients and caused many organizations to be skeptical of having anything to do with SEO.
There are, however, many reputable and reliable SEO companies that will improve your business by bringing highly qualified traffic, sales leads and e-commerce revenue to your website. The trick, of course, is to find the right SEO partner. Use these 10 warning signs to spot the wrong ones.
The 10 Top SEO Warning Signs
- If the SEO company defines success as higher rankings and more traffic, run. The success of an SEO campaign should be measured by how many validated sales leads it delivers. (See # 5 for details.)
- If the SEO company gives you a proposal before doing research, run. SEO is not for everybody and not the same for everybody; ethical SEOs conduct preliminary research and review the state of your current SEO health before even thinking about a proposal.
- If the SEO company offers cookie-cutter campaigns or service packages, run. Such companies prey on an organization’s desire for a quick and inexpensive solution. But SEO strategies are by nature complex and unique to every business. There is simply no one-size-fits-all formula.
- If the SEO company provides sketchy monthly reports or none at all, run. Transparent reporting, including detailed activities, is fundamental to a healthy agency-client relationship. If an SEO company is unable to provide detailed reports, it is incompetent. If the company is unwilling to provide them, it is hiding something. Either way, you lose.
- If the SEO company doesn’t validate sales leads, run. All online inquiries are not sales leads! A phone call or website form submission could be a misdial, sales solicitation, personal communication or something else. SEO companies that lump all inquiries together and call them leads grossly inflate the success metrics of their campaigns.
- If the SEO company doesn’t include phone call tracking, run. For many organizations, phone leads are the best and most numerous source of SEO-generated leads. If the SEO company doesn’t have the expertise or budget to provide call tracking, you will never know how well (or poorly) your campaign is doing.
- If the SEO company doesn’t have a dedicated account manager, run. SEO campaigns have a lot of moving parts. Without a competent and non-overworked account manager to coordinate activities and channel communication, any SEO campaign will quickly deteriorate into a disorganized mess.
- If the SEO company doesn’t have a broad and deep bench, run. Successful campaigns require Web designers, developers, SEO analysts, content marketing specialists and copywriters. A company that outsources these functions, or is only one person-deep cannot be relied on for consistent, reliable performance.
- If the SEO company doesn’t invite you to tour its office, run. Either the company doesn’t have an office, or the company doesn’t want you to see it. Either way, this is a clear sign the SEO company is operating on a shoestring – so give it the boot!
- If the SEO company doesn’t provide you with several client references, run. Reputable SEO companies have scores of clients eager to talk to you about how their campaigns delivered sales leads or e-commerce revenue.
See how Straight North’s SEO services stack up.
Call us at 855-883-0011 or request a quote online.