SEO Red Flags

Hiring someone to take care of your company’s SEO is a great business building move. If you’ve made it past the ramp-up phase of business, you definitely understand 2 things: the merit of hard work and the importance of delegation. Hiring someone to handle your business’ SEO is a great decision, but it can also be an incredibly overwhelming experience. A quick Google search for “SEO” brings up dozens of ads and THOUSANDS of results. How do you know which one to pick?!

Ultimately, the choice is yours. However, while every company’s needs are unique, there are a few universal “red flags” to watch out when hiring a company to handle your SEO.

They Won’t Tell You What They’re Doing

SEO is a very advanced field. Some less-than-reputable companies take advantage of this fact and use it as an excuse to not explain what they’re doing to you. Obviously, they’re not going to be telling you all their trade secrets, but they should at least give you a basic understanding of what they’re working on.

RED FLAG COMPANY “We can’t tell you what adjustments we’re making to your site, as it would be a violation of our privacy policy. Just know that you’re in good hands.”

GOOD COMPANY – Per our discussion earlier this month, we’re focusing on boosting your site’s load times! We’re going to optimize your images, cut down on unnecessary bulk, and run regular speed tests. We’ll send you a brief report at the end of the month to show you what we’ve done.

They have “tricks” and “hacks” that they use for fast results.

Unless you’re the first website to arrive in a VERY exclusive niche & get boatloads of organic traffic right off the bat, there’s pretty much no way that you’re going to get to the top of Google quickly. SEO takes persistent effort over time. Think of your website as a party guest; they’re going to a party where they’re complete strangers to everyone. Unless there’s something about you that’s you that’s fundamentally and instantly irresistible, you’re not going to walk in and instantly be the most popular person there. You gotta spend some time there. You gotta make friends. You gotta mingle. You gotta prove that you have interesting and worthwhile things to say. You’re not going to “hack” your way into being the most popular person there.

In the early days of the internet, it was possible to “trick” your way to the top. If you wanted to rank at the top of Google for a certain phrase, all you’d have to do is type that phrase (plus a few variants) over and over and over. If you were REALLY slick, you’d type up a big brick of keywords that you wanted to rank for, then turn the text white so that no one visiting your site could see your big ugly a wall of keywords.

There are also companies that you can pay to drive a massive amount of “bots” to visit your site. These companies claim that they’ll be able to boost your site’s ranking by giving you a huge spike in site traffic.

Seems like an easy way to get the job done, right? WRONG. Search engine algorithms continue to become more advanced every day. In fact, you’re likely to get blacklisted or pushed way down in the rankings for trying to artificially increase your ranking. Don’t fall for these “quick-fix” traps! Seek out reputable companies who are willing to put in the long-term effort, and avoid the ones looking to make a quick buck with a few gimmicks.

They’re not focused on creating quality content for your site.

Content is king. There is nothing more important for your site’s SEO than the content you put on it. Google’s algorithm is advanced enough to distinguish between, helpful, relevant content, and filler.

If the company you’re looking at is all focused on minor optimizations and completely ignores the content of your site, you can expect to see poor results. If someone tells you that content isn’t as important as (insert SEO jargon here), run like crazy in the other direction. It’s not true! Again, content is king. If your site is full of useful information, people will go there.

Looking to optimize your website? We offer SEO services for sites of all sizes! Contact us today to find out what we can do for you and your business.

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