Spotting Suspicious SEO “Experts”

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If you launch a new small business website, and especially if you don’t choose the “private registration” option offered by your domain registrar, you will eventually get inundated with phone calls, e-mails, and even letters from a number of “SEO experts” offering their services for your search engine optimization efforts.

Unfortunately, most of these vendors don’t plan on doing much more than cashing your check and providing you with a lot of information you could have found by yourself, usually for free, and in a few minutes on the Internet. Their information is almost always “out of date” and some of their tactics may even hurt your site instead of enhancing it!

These firms rarely really do their homework regarding your business and it’s obvious when you start asking questions. We get these calls all the time since they believe MaryDesigns® is a hair salon, interior decorator, etc… Like I said, they don’t even do their homework! I almost always play along to see what they will tell me!

Since my attorney won’t let me put the transcript or recording of the conversations here for you, I’d like to offer a few items you can ponder before your next “SEO cold call.” Be on guard for any of these common warning signals that suggest you might be doing business with someone who isn’t reputable:

1. Getting calls that reference info and reports you never requested. Why don’t you just outright ask them where they got your contact information? Why do they have time to do work for a company that hasn’t even hired them?

2. “Marketers” who are vague about their company name, background, or stumble around with the question of how they found your information.

3. Telemarketers who don’t know what you do for a living. They’ve never been to your website. Isn’t it interesting that they don’t know what you do but they already know they can get you to rank on the first page? What for?

4. Fast talking salespeople who act like they want to do you a favor or are tossing around technical jargon meant to make you think they know what they are talking about.

5. The “guarantee” … they love throwing out that 100% guarantee about how they can organically rank you on Google!  Many will outright tell you that they have some sort of an arrangement with Google.  Google has a much different opinion about that!

6. Price tags under a few thousand dollars.  That $300 deal to be submitted to thousands of search engines is not anything close to what you want!

How about doing a quick search for “search engine optimization” in your citiy and see if that company is even in the first page SERP’s themselves! Check them out on the Better Business Bureau website…any complaints there?

Regardless of what these people may tell you, there aren’t any shortcuts to the top of search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing – so learn to spot the scams and stick with reputable web partners.

MaryDesigns has a background and expertise in  SEO consulting to make your web project a success.  We also have the time to research your business and offerings to thoroughly understand your positioning and then raise it.

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