Buyer Beware: SEO Companies
Top 5 Ridiculous Claims Unscrupulous SEO Companies Tell You
It pains me to hear what so many of our clients have been telling us over the years. We get phone calls every week from our clients and even from prospective clients who are looking to market their website online so they can get more traffic to their site that will convert into new clients for their business. But sadly, many fall victim to unscrupulous SEO companies cold calling them and trying to vie for their business by making false and misleading claims.
There are numerous SEO companies out there who claim to be able to drive traffic to your site to help you gain new clients. But did you know that many of them don’t do a very good job at it? And many will provide you with inaccurate information. Yes, there are legitimate ones out there that do really well, but for every good one there seems to be many more that use underhanded business tactics to get you to sign a contract that you’re locked into that will do next to nothing for your business.
The stories we hear about what other SEO companies are telling them is surprising and often quite misleading. Unfortunately, business owners have little to no knowledge in most aspects of SEO or online marketing, mainly because they are experts in their own field which it to be expected, and are left to rely upon these companies who call them up and provide them with false or misleading information, taking their word for it.
Here are the top 5 ridiculous claims and misleading information some unscrupulous SEO companies are telling business owners:
1. There is something wrong with your website, and we can fix it for you.
Technically every website has some errors – even Google.com has w3C errors on their site. But that doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with your site. There are always things you can do to improve a website’s technical optimization, but unless you commission someone to do this, its not going to be done automatically. In the mean time unless you can’t see your site when you go to it or see an error message on the screen, then your site is just fine. This is often a scare tactic to get you interested.
2. We will guarantee you page one search results in Google.
Unless you are using a Pay-Per-Click marketing method to drive traffic to your website, no SEO company can guarantee page one SEO rankings for any keyword. Even Google itself warns businesses of SEO companies making this ridiculous claim. That’s not to say that its impossible, because it happens all the time, but no one can guarantee such results. Especially in highly competitive markets. Often there are many dozens or even hundreds of companies in a geographical region vying for page one results, but only a handful can actually be on page one. This takes time and effort, but there are no guarantees unless you use non-SEO marketing such as Pay-Per Click.
3. You are missing out on thousands of leads each month.
Just because there are 20,000 searches each month on Google for a keyword that is related to your business does not mean each of those is a lead for your business. In fact, most of them probably are not. For example, there are thousands of people who type in “Home Builder” into Google each month, but are they looking for builders in your specific area? Are they looking to actually buy a new home, or apply to them for a job, or solicit them for new business? The list goes on and on. So the real number is way lower than the total searches. Again, that is a tactic to get you thinking about how much business you are losing, but it is usually way over estimated or exaggerated.
4. We’ll submit your website to hundreds of directories that will bring you lots of new traffic.
There’s nothing wrong with submitting your website to business directories online (reputable ones that is), and this is a good way to help with your SEO. But its just one small factor of SEO. And did you know that the majority of business directories online send you next to ZERO traffic each month? When is the last time you looked for a business online anywhere else other than Google or Bing? Who uses Yellow Pages or 411.ca anymore to look up a business? It is estimated that Google is responsible for nearly 75% of all searches on the web, then Bing at around 8%, Yahoo around 7%, after that are foreign or no name search engines.* This is just another tactic that is misrepresented and by itself, does not provide any real ROI (return on investment).
5. We’ll optimize your site on Google for really cheap.
When it comes to SEO you really do get what you pay for. If some overseas company calls you up and says they are going to do SEO work for you for some really cheap price, be VERY careful. Too often they will claim they are using ethical business techniques (white hat SEO), but in reality, they are often using unethical (black hat) techniques to try increase your website rankings. This will only lead to your site getting delisted entirely from Google and seriously damage your business marketing efforts. This is a tactic to get you on the hook for a really low price, but one that you will pay dearly for. Real SEO takes a lot of time and effort and cannot be rushed.
In addition to the above, be aware of large SEO companies trying to pin you down to an annual contract that do not even specialize in SEO. Without naming names, most of these directory companies who have a dying business model and suddenly decide they want to offer SEO to their clients because no one uses their directories anymore, often do not have the proper level of SEO education and expertise, and do not provide the dedicated time and support that is needed to successfully optimize and rank a website in Google because they are inundated with thousands of SEO requests from businesses all over the country who don’t know any better. Just because a business had a monopoly and was in its prime 15 or 20 years ago, doesn’t mean it knows what its doing now that their entire business model has changed from being a print directory to an SEO provider, or worse yet a web developer (that’s a whole other article).
If you think about it, how can any reputable SEO company possibly take on any more than 9 or 10 companies in the exact same industry and claim to be able to rank them all on page one when there is no more than 10 organic page one search result positions in Google? At some point, they are simply no longer doing their clients any justice by not limiting the number of clients they have in any one particular industry.
Smaller SEO companies will spend more time on a client’s SEO project because each client is way more valuable to them. You can either be a one in a hundred client or a one in 50,000 client. Which one do you think is going to get the better service and bang for their marketing buck?
Not all SEO companies do business this way, but next time you get a cold call from a sales rep telling you they want to fix your site or they guarantee they can get you on page one of Google, take note and do a little research. Best to ask your web developer that built your site if their claims are legit or not before you lock yourself in to a long-term contract that will do nothing to help your business and only drain away your marketing dollars.
For more information on Marketing Your Website Online, call us at 780-702-2706 or visit: http://www.sitewyzesupport.com/website-marketing/