I’m so sick of bad SEO companies ripping off good businesses. I’ve sat down with many small businesses and charities who have been taken advantage of by SEO ‘cowboys’ and it’s a growing problem.
Although Google has done a lot to change their algorithms to avoid dodgy SEO tactics, there are still some bad companies out there preying upon those who have no clue about what SEO really is.
Scared? You should be! Just kidding! This video will help you to avoid bad SEO companies.
Here are 6 things SEO ‘Gurus’ DON’T want you to know:
1. It’s EASY:
SEO ‘gurus’ love to make SEO seem more complicated than it actually is. They love to make themselves feel important. (Believe me. I know a lot of self proclaimed SEO ‘gurus’). OK, so the coding may be complicated, but the actual theory behind it isn’t. It’s easy to understand what works and what doesn’t.
The truth is, if you have someone who insists that SEO is too complicated to explain to you it means one of two things:
– they don’t know what they’re doing.
– they want to purposefully make it seem complicated so they can take advantage of you and take your money.
2. EVERYONE can do basic SEO:
As with everything there are basic, intermediate and advanced levels. The truth is that everyone can do basic SEO. It’s so simple. There’s so many small things you do to rank for some good phrases.
The way platforms have become so accessible for non-coders has made SEO easy. WordPress has so many simple SEO plugins that require no SEO or coding experience. YouTube videos are so easy to optimise. Google’s various products make it super simple and easy to do basic things for your SEO and get good results.
3. It CAN be learned:
Don’t believe anyone who says that it can’t be taught or learned. Any SEO ‘guru’ has to admit that they had to learn it at some point — they weren’t born an SEO expert!
It’s like learning a language. It just requires hard work, dedication and the right people to help you along the way. How advanced you go depends on your interest level.
4. You DO need a document explaining exactly what they’re doing:
A lot of SEO ‘cowboys’ avoid entering into a contract with a company where things have to be written down. They thrive on you not knowing what’s going on. They’ll try and make it sound so confusing and advanced, hoping that you’ll just pay them and leave them to it.
WRITE THINGS DOWN! Make sure that everything is written down in plain English. Keep them accountable. Ensure they explain to you exactly what they’re doing and why. A good SEO company will often hold a free 1 hour session to go over basic SEO principles. This is great for building trust and transparency.
5. You CAN place measurable goals:
Following on from the above point, you can put in measurable goals. Any ‘guru’ who won’t commit to measurable goals is taking you for a ride.
You can measure certain things like:
– getting on page 1 for particular phrases
– increased web traffic for particular keywords/phrases
– increased traffic from a particular platform
Now, let’s put some balance to things. In SEO companies’ defence — they’re not miracle workers. Only Google knows their algorithms. Nothing is (or should be) guaranteed.
You can negotiate what the numbers look like. It’s OK for a company to try and increase traffic by up to 15%. That’s measurable. You have a target. If they reach it, great. If not, at least there should be some improvement. Do give grace and allow for targets not to be reached — at times. If they consistently don’t reach targets then something is wrong. But if there is clear improvement, then they’re doing a good job.
6. It shouldn’t be that EXPENSIVE:
OK, let’s put more balance on this. Every company charges differently. But SEO shouldn’t cost a small business thousands every month. If you’re a big brand, then fine. But the one man band or small business with 3 employees doesn’t need to be paying that much.
I once had a call from a client who said they were approached by a company who guaranteed to get them to the top of Google. And all it would cost is £10,000 a month.
Finisher Creative is an online marketing company based in Bradford, West Yorkshire, UK.