Everyone loves a good look alike—Elvis, Cher, Madonna. But, when it comes to investing your marketing dollars, don’t be fooled by the SEO imposters lurking all over the Internet.
Reputable online marketing companies have been delivering great services and proven results for years. But, as with any successful industry, there are companies out there that have tried to jump aboard the online marketing and SEO boom by making promises that they cannot keep. Not only is this hurting businesses who hire those imposters, but it is hurting the reputation of online marketing and SEO.
Even well-known and longstanding companies have been making promises to deliver excellent SEO for your site by giving you a user interface that makes it easy for you to submit your site to search engines and have search engine ranking optimization. It can be very difficult to distinguish between the ethical SEO companies and ones that are just trying to scam you out of money, especially when those companies have names we have trusted for years.
Here are some warning signs that the company you are thinking about hiring is not an ethical and reliable SEO service:
- #1 Rankings!—nobody can guarantee #1 rankings in the organic results. And, anybody who says they can is lying. Unless they pay for that top spot with advertising, it is not possible for them to guarantee any spot on rankings, much less the #1 spot. Search engines use innumerable methods for deciding rankings, and it is an ever-changing process.
- Results in 2 weeks!—nobody can deliver real SEO in two weeks. It just isn’t possible. When your business hires a company to do your SEO, your natural progression with rankings will take months and will require continual changes and improvements. There is no such thing as a “quick fix” for SEO.
- Top Rankings for $19.95 a month!—if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Reputable and reliable SEO does cost much more than $20 a month, but the money you spend on proper SEO will deliver a great return on your investment. You see, good SEO is both science and art. Companies offering cheap SEO services try to use automated optimization methods….and they just don’t work. Good SEO will utilize experts to craft your site to rank well in the search engines and be received well by people who visit your site. Rather than flushing a $20 bill down the drain every month, you could put real money behind something that will deliver results.
- Submit Your Website to 1,000 Search Engines—while there are thousands of search engines in existence, there are only a handful that a vast majority of people use. While search engines used to index sites based on submissions, that practice is now a thing of the past…the very distant past. A reputable SEO service will optimize your site in such a way that it is indexed by the major search engines for ranking consideration; they definitely won’t tell you they’re “submitting” your site to thousands of search engines.
These are just a few of the examples that look-alikes will say to get your business. Once they have sold you on a package, they sometimes employ tactics that might work for a short period of time. However, the tactics they use could have grave consequences for your online reputation. Major search engines can penalize websites that use unethical tactics for quick SEO. Many businesses are disappointed with their lack of results from look-alike SEOs and, ultimately, become disenchanted with SEO in general. This is unfortunate. Because good SEO can help businesses get more clients and yield the strong ROI they desire.
Don’t risk your company branding and online reputation by trying to cut corners. When you try to substitute an impersonator for the real thing—in the long run—it will end up costing you money.