Did you know that, according to a recent Gartner study, search engine optimization services and other marketers across the world are expected to increase their digital marketing budget by 10% this year? Needless to say, this points to the increasingly online world of modern business. Without effectively implementing general and local SEO strategies, the $1.5 trillion eMarketer estimates web users will spend online in 2014 will effectively be out of reach, after all.
As in the past, small business owners, like you, are relying on SEO company services to help them implement smart search engine optimization strategies. However, as in the last few years, the sheer number of SEO services available seems to have multiplied many times over. To track down the best SEO services, you can’t just look for the signs of a good company; you also need to look for the warning signs of a terrible company.
Three Surefire Signs You’ve Picked the Wrong SEO Services
- They Require Complete Access to Your Site
- “We Guarantee We’ll Get You Top Ranking”
- They Don’t Listen to Google — At All
As About.com writes, many less than desirable SEO services will ask for complete control over your website in order to show you what they’re capable of. The problem? Too often this is a scam, or used as an easy way to implement abusive black hat practices across the board. In other words, this is the single best way to get yourself banned from search results. Any company that insists on this much access is doing something wrong.
Anyone familiar with the way consumers use search engines like Google knows exactly how important it is to win ranking on the first page and how much more important it is to try and get listed in the top three spaces on results pages. That’s why so many SEO services try to promise they’ll get you a number one spot in Google. As Entrepreneur details, this is all rhetoric meant to get your business. Google is far too dynamic for anyone to guarantee results of that nature. If someone tries to promise you this sort of result, walk right out the door.
The single biggest mistake any marketer can make in a marketing environment completely dominated by Google — remember, the company owns 60 to 70% of search engine market share — is ignore Google’s guidelines for smart, ethical marketing practices. Not sure what those guidelines are? Head on over to Google and take a look at the “Help” section under “Webmaster Tools.” If a marketer is violating any of those rules, you should probably look elsewhere — immediately.
Have you ever accidentally subjected yourself to SEO services from Hell? Tell us about it in the comment section below.