How to recognize a bad SEO Company

SEO, or search engine optimization, is one of the most effective methods for attracting targeted traffic to your website and generating more leads online. While DIY SEO is a possibility, most business owners don’t have the time to learn the intricacies of SEO and apply it to their own websites, so they hire experts to get the job done.

But as SEO has grown, so has the number of bad SEO companies out there that pretend to know what they’re doing and scam unknowing business owners out of thousands of dollars. Here are signs that an SEO company should send you running for the hills.

Guarantees a #1 Ranking

While an SEO company *might* be able to get you a #1 ranking for your target keyword, there’s no way they can guarantee it. SEO companies can influence SEO rankings, but they cannot control them. It’s ultimately up to the search engines themselves.

Promises to Post Many Comments on Different Blogs

Blog commenting, when done properly, can increase traffic to your website and help you build links back to your site. The keyword here is, “properly.” Some SEO firms will tell you that they’re going to post a bunch of comments on blogs to drive more traffic to your site, but what they really mean is that they’re going to spam blogs. And comment spam won’t drive traffic to your website – it’ll get stuck in spam folders and possibly get you in a pickle.

Writes You from an Anonymous Gmail Account

If somebody from an SEO company emails you out of the blue from an anonymous Gmail account, telling you how much they can improve your website’s search engine rankings, beware. It either means they don’t have a website or they don’t want you to see their website for a reason that surely can’t be good.

Uses Too Much Jargon

When you talk to the SEO company, do you understand what they’re saying or do you hear nothing but jargon? SEO is complicated, but it’s not rocket science. With some thought and effort, an SEO professional should be able to explain SEO concepts to you in layman’s terms so you can understand them. Any reputable SEO company will want you to understand exactly what they’re doing with your website.

Doesn’t Have Any References

Avoid SEO companies that cannot provide you with any references. It’s essential to talk with previous clients in order to determine whether a particular SEO company would be a good fit for your needs.

Only Does On-Site SEO

On-site optimization is an important aspect of SEO, but alone, it’s not going to help your website achieve good rankings. Off-site SEO, which refers to link-building, is essential to a successful SEO campaign. So, if an SEO company tells you that link-building is unethical and they only do on-site optimization, pack your bags and look elsewhere.

Claims They’ll Submit Your Site to Thousands of Directories

Directory submission is still an effective link-building strategy, but only if you submit your site to high quality directories that don’t contain any spam and are edited by humans. It’s all about quality, not quantity.

Remember to do plenty of research about the SEO industry before shopping around, so you know exactly what you’re getting into. If you understand the fundamentals of SEO by the time you start looking for a service provider, you’re far less likely to fall for an unscrupulous company’s tricks and far more likely to find a company that has the skills, integrity, and knowledge to help you achieve top website rankings.

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