7 CRITICAL THINGS YOU MUST KNOW BEFORE HIRING AN SEO COMPANY.
An effective SEO and digital marketing campaign can bring you thousands of leads, even during the most crippling downturn.
A bad campaign can destroy your Google presence and ruin your business.
Learn which type your SEO company will deliver before spending any money.
Do you know what to ask your SEO company?
If you’re like most companies who are looking to get found on Google, you’ll do a search and pick the top agencies that appear, and maybe ask for a quote.
You’ll then pick a few and have a meeting with them or conference call to decide which one to try out.
It’s at this point it gets tricky, because how do you know what they’re telling you is right?
SEO has been made complex and difficult to understand by thousands of companies who make more money the less you know, it’s in their interests to ensure it remains a “dark art”, but we don’t think that’s fair.
So, below is a list of the 7 things SEO companies might tell you in order to get you to work with them, and how you can learn to understand when they’re trying to pull the wool over your eyes.
Myth 1 – “The Key To Great Rankings Is Getting Lots Of Backlinks”
First of all, let’s discuss what a “backlink” is.
If you go onto any website you’ll see lots of links that help you navigate around. They can be buttons or highlighted text, but whatever they are, they take you around the current website or send you off to another one.
If someone links to your site from their site, that is classed as a “backlink”.
Good backlinks are from sites that have seen what you offer and decide that they want to tell their readers about it.
A great backlink is the same as above, but from a site that receives a lot of traffic. For example, if you received a link from the BBC’s website, that would be fantastic news!
What this does is tell Google that somebody thinks your site is important, and this helps your site do better in the rankings.
Beware “bad” backlinks
Some SEO companies will tell you that there’s no such thing as a bad backlink, but we’ve seen many cases where this is not true.
Let me set something out from the start:
“Never engage in any SEO campaign where attaining backlinks is seen as the most important task.”
Backlinks should NEVER be the focus of your SEO campaign and I would say from the outset that any company that says they will focus on this should be shown the door straight away.
Because backlinks can end up in your website disappearing from the search results entirely.
Don’t get me wrong, backlinks can help, but only if they’re good, freely given and NEVER paid for.
Let me just reiterate that.
“Never, ever, EVER directly pay for backlinks.”
Let’s go straight to Google and see what they say:
You can find this document yourself here: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/66356?hl=en
Of course, your SEO company is never going to say that they’re engaging in a “link scheme”, but they’ll use a number of other terms that we’ll discuss now that will indicate that they could fall foul of Google’s rules.
What to watch out for
As I’ve said before, the world of SEO has created a bunch of, quite frankly, inpeneterable terms that are designed to obfuscate the landscape and make it difficult for the layman to understand, so listen out for these phrases:
“Article marketing campaign”
This is simply publishing articles to multiple websites with a view to increasing the number of backlinks to your website, and it works to a certain extent, but you have to proceed with caution.
Which websites are used is critical, and some should not be used at all, but how would you know that?
Publishing the odd article to a third party site every now and then is OK.
Punlishing multiple articles to lots of different sites and putting links back to your main site is not OK.
This is currently very popular, and therefore rife for abuse.
There are tens of thousands of websites that offer guest posting opportunities, and some of them are very good, but many of them are not.
Of all the backlinking tactics at the moment, this is the one that Google is focussed on, and it’s the one where we’ve seen most disasters occur.
Bloggers will often offer to post an article on their website in return for a fee, and many SEO companies have a list of these sites and have already set up communications with bloggers so they offer the services to you.
In effect, they will post an article a blogger’s site in return for money.
Check out that list above from Google and you’ll notice this is quite definitely against the rules.
Of course, the odd guest post will help, but when it’s the focus of the SEO company’s campaign, it can lead to lost rankings and being kicked out of the search results altogether.
A company we dealt with for a while had this very thing happen to them, download our e-book version of this article to find out how.
Myth 2 – Get as many of your keywords on to the page as possible
Keywords are important.