SEO isn’t a scam, but some unscrupulous digital marketing companies use the service as an opportunity to charge customers but not provide optimization that is beneficial for your website or business goals.
Search Engine Optimization can offer a competitive edge when completed properly by professionals well-versed in SEO best practices and current Google trends. You won’t see results if you trust someone with a one-size-fits-all mentality.
Find an SEO company with a good reputation, proven results and happy clients. Ensure the SEO strategy created for your business makes sense.
Is SEO a Waste of Money?
We’re sorry to hear you feel this way. Your company paid for SEO, and now you think all search engine optimization services are a waste of money. The truth is, you picked the wrong people to do the work. Please don’t think it doesn’t work. It does when we do it.
Many local businesses experience terrible results after paying big bucks for SEO. The reason why this happens is that you worked with an SEO company that:
- doesn’t truly understand how search engine optimization works
- creates a cookie-cutter SEO strategy that isn’t custom-tailored for your website
- doesn’t know how to implement search engine optimization tactics properly
- has entry-level people doing the work who lack any real experience
One or a combination of these scenarios convinces a small business to believe that SEO doesn’t work and is a complete waste of marketing money.
Is SEO a Ripoff?
Many digital marketing agencies worldwide claim they know how to do SEO by providing services to optimize websites for organic search. Still, they never produce any positive results for any of their clients. SEO is a ripoff when you hire the wrong SEO company. You waste money only when hiring and working with scam SEO companies.
You wouldn’t even know this because they typically have stellar salespeople whose only job is to sell SEO services at premium prices. They may produce beautiful presentations outlining their services and tell you their results rather than pulling up actual Google Analytics or other data reporting platforms to show you factual data. Please don’t fall for their smoke and mirrors. Some SEO companies will do this to trick you into thinking their services work.
Avoid Long-Term SEO Contracts
Don’t sign an SEO contract that locks you in for a long period of time or one that doesn’t allow an easy exit plan without major penalties. The best SEO companies will work with you month-to-month or on an as-needed basis. That’s how we do it at SoFloWeb. No contracts and no long-term commitments. Why? We are confident in our ability to optimize websites and get results. If we weren’t, we would force you to sign a long-term contract, as many SEO companies require. Once locked into an SEO contract, you are stuck paying for SEO whether it produces results or not.
Tracking SEO Progress and Results
If you solely base your decision on the SEO company’s sales pitch and take their word for what they claim they can do, you are setting your website up for failure.
Ask for proof. Either sit down with them in person or do a conference call using screen-share to view real-time reporting in Google Analytics, Search Console and other SEO reporting tools if the company uses any.
If you do not have access, ask your web development or digital marketing agency to grant administrator-level access to your website data sources.
Custom SEO Strategy vs Cookie-Cutter SEO Strategy
Please don’t get stuck working with an SEO company that uses a cookie-cutter strategy for every client using their services. An SEO expert should customize the plan for your business and your personal online marketing goals if you pay for SEO services.
When SEO companies churn out the same optimization tactics for every one of their clients, they do not produce good results. How do we know this? At one time or another, we have worked for digital marketing companies with in-house rules for doing the bare minimum at top-dollar rates. It had nothing to do with generating the best SEO results possible. It was all about making the owners of the agency more money.
Are You Working With A Leading SEO Expert or Not?
While there is nothing wrong with working with people learning SEO guided by experts, that doesn’t mean you should be paying an SEO company top dollar for services. Make sure to ask the SEO company who will do the work. Are you getting the leading SEO expert in the company, or are you getting the high school intern who is curious about digital marketing?
It is your choice if you are comfortable with getting your website off to a novice. If you are paying for professional SEO services, you do not want the actual people doing the work to have barely any SEO experience. You want the experienced specialists to do the job, and if the company does bring in new staff or interns, they should be upfront and honest with you about who will handle your SEO tasks.
Avoid SEO Scammers
Sadly most SEO companies who email you a sales pitch about their services through your website’s contact form or send unsolicited direct messages are scammers looking to take advantage of companies. These bottom-feeders will take advantage of you and won’t produce real organic growth or, even worse, disappear after you pay upfront fees for SEO services they never intend to do.
When you are ready to hire an SEO company, do some research. Look up their reviews online. Most businesses have customer testimonials on Google My Business, Nextdoor, Yelp or Facebook. Business owners seeking SEO services can also find digital marketing agency testimonials on review websites like Clutch, UpCity and Trustpilot.
Most companies won’t have reviews on all of these websites; however, you should be able to find at least a few testimonials online.