3 Things Shady SEO’s Don’t Want You to Know
Small Businesses, like yours, are an easy target for shady search engine optimisation (SEO) consultants and agencies.
They make promises they can’t keep, convincing you that once you rank high in Google’s rankings, the sales will start piling in. Plus, they know that once their lies are exposed, you simply won’t have the resources to hold them accountable.
It’s easy to understand then, why many Small Businesses are sceptical about hiring an SEO consultant. But with 70% of customers starting their buying journey on Google, it’s hard to ignore how vital SEO is in you achieving your goals. So, rather than ignore SEO altogether, you need to make sure you hire the right person for the job.
Got $500 a month to burn?
In early 2017, I was hired as an SEO consultant for a Small Business. Over two years, they’d invested $24,000 with an SEO agency, only to see $0 in return. I investigated further, and it turned out, that for $500 per month they were getting a four-page report that included:
- A list of the keywords being tracked.
- Changes in their ranking position.
- % search ranking visibility.
If you’re new to SEO, all you need to know is this; this information is not worth $500!
There is software that can tell you this for between $50 to $100 per month. Plus, the majority of the keywords being tracked had no search volume. That’s like tracking a parcel which is actually just an empty box. This is just one example of how shady SEO’s take Small Businesses for an expensive ride every day.
So, if you’re yet to see a return on investment (ROI) on your SEO investment or you’re in the market to hire an SEO consultant, here are three things you need to know first:
1. Website traffic won’t guarantee sales.
It’s true, over 80% of people don’t scroll past page one of Google when they do a search. It’s also true that the top five organic search results get over 75% of the clicks. So, of course, the higher up your website ranks, the more traffic it’s likely to receive.
What shady SEO’s don’t tell you though is ‘how’ that website traffic will get you more:
- Brand awareness.
It’s pointless getting more website traffic if you don’t know how this translates to tangible opportunities. A qualified SEO does more than report on your website traffic every month; they empower and support you to achieve your business goals. This may include making recommendations on how to improve your website, so you get the most out of your position on Google.
2. SEO is not a secret science.
Shady SEO’s often lead Small Business owners into thinking they’re some kind of sorcerer; going off into a Matrix-like world and reappearing with more sales than you know what to do with. But that’s just not true. In fact, SEO is something you can learn and do yourself, especially if you’re running a website like WordPress or Squarespace.
So, it’s not that you can’t learn how to do it, it’s more a case of whether you have the time to learn SEO, implement a strategy andrun your business? If the answer is no, then, like any marketing strategy, SEO is something you should take the time to understand before you make an investment.
Your SEO consultant needs to on hand to educate you so you can make an informed decision. They also need to be:
- Transparent about their strategies.
- Clear about their process.
- Across your business objectives.
Steer clear of SEO’s that want to silo themselves off from the rest of your marketing activities or business in general. For any SEO investment to be worthwhile, it needs to be holistic. This means your consultant’s activities need to be integrated into your overall marketing strategy. Anyone that wants to hide away and makes you feel confused and overwhelmed is to be avoided at all costs.
3. SEO agencies use PBN’s
The thing is, shady SEO’s aren’t just random sole traders working out of their living rooms; unfortunately, they are ‘reputable’, national agencies too. Remember the client I mentioned at the start who was paying $500 per month for the four-page report? Well, that’s not all they were getting for their money from this agency. They had dodgy backlinks too through private blog networks (PBN’s).
PBN’s are websites built solely for the purpose of linking to your website, so it ranks well on Google. These links don’t carry any authority, and if Google finds out, your website can be blacklisted from their search engine.
You see, shady SEO’s don’t care about getting your business results. Their one objective is to increase your rankings by any means necessary so they can perpetuate their outlandish claims. As a Small Business owner, you can’t afford to fall foul to shady SEO’s. Over time, they will drain you of your resources and patience, leaving you feeling jaded and sceptical about how to move forward.
By keeping these three things in mind, you’ll be able to navigate away from shady SEO’s and into a much more fruitful relationship with an SEO that cares about the success of your Small Business.
Now over to you, what if anything is holding you back from hiring an SEO? Pop a comment below; I’d love to know.
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