Almost every business has received a phone call from a self-proclaimed SEO specialist who is also a “concerned” community member. This person announces that they did a Google search for the business services, but couldn’t find the company. This is promptly followed by an upbeat, “It’s a good thing I called, we can fix this” song. Being able to tell an SEO provider’s credibility may seem tough. And chances are the ones who make these enticing phone calls are from the bottom of the quality barrel. By knowing how to spot a good, reputable SEO consultant, business owners can better protect their investment while getting a truly, professional-grade service. Here we’ll help you separate the hacks from the pros.
Don’t be Caught by Surprise
Be prepared. As a general rule of thumb, the hacks will promise to get your business on the first page of Google very quickly. They may even have the audacity to tell you that you will be in the coveted number one position on page one. Promising the number one ranking spot in Google in a short period of time is a clear red flag.
Don’t become smitten by good sales pitches. Familiarizing yourself with SEO will help you better prepare for false prophets of online marketing. However, not all businesses have the time to do this and often become victimized. Just know the quick and easy way is never going to work.
Knowing the Good From the Bad
The expression you get what you pay for holds true for outsourcing an SEO specialist. Familiarize yourself with tactics that SEO hacks use to get your money and engage in black hat SEO practices that will result in Google penalizing you. Here are some tactics to watch for:
- Low quality articles that sound regurgitated from other sources
- Automated, low quality directory submissions
- Reciprocal links
- Posting blogs to low quality sites with no social media presence
- Link farms
- Purchasing links from other sites
- Placing keywords in article titles
- The guarantee of quick results
What to Embrace
Here are some white hat SEO practices that truly help grow small business website authority and rankings legitimately:
- Publishing quality content that attracts natural links
- Online brand building through partnerships with other companies that mingle both online and offline events with organic link building
- Creating a social media marketing platform that includes blogging and syndicating through Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn
- Studying website key performance indicators (KPIs) to improve the quality of your website traffic visits
- Website page optimization including proper headers and tags
- Submissions to local industry directories
- Online reputation management to prevent penalties