Red Flags You Need to Know Before Working with an SEO Provider

SEO, or search engine optimization, is more than just naming pages and inserting keywords into articles you post online. It’s a critical tool that “advertises” your website to the search engines and encourages visitors to browse through your site, and hopefully do business with you.

Because of its importance, hiring a company for virtual SEO services can be expensive. It’s only natural then that the last thing you’d want is to spend your money just to watch your Google search traffic go down. Maybe you saw a small boost in your blog’s traffic from Google, but that didn’t last. So, what happened?

Unfortunately, you probably fell victim to an unscrupulous SEO company that uses blackhat techniques. Google hates these tactics and makes sure these sites will get what’s coming to them. Bottom-line is to avoid SEO companies that exhibit these warning signs:

Too Good to Be True Promises

Be realistic here. If the SEO company tells you, “Your website will be #1 on Google’s search results in just two weeks,” better raise the red flag. No one can guarantee that your blog will be #1 on search engine results pages, and getting to the top of these results in two weeks is next to impossible without blackhat tactics that will do more harm than good in the long run.

Underpriced or Overpriced Services

Some unreliable SEO companies will do anything just to attract clients and make money, and that includes offering dubious rates. Reputable SEO companies offer SEO reseller packages at roughly the same rates, so a company whose prices are not in line with others is generally not to be trusted. Low quotes will likely buy you low quality work, and ridiculously high prices are probably just that, ridiculous.

Vague Details of their Work

If the SEO company won’t describe their processes and techniques to you, either upfront or during your time working with them, look for someone else. Reputable companies will lay out their SEO services for you to see, that is, tell you what they plan to do to your site, how they plan to boost your site’s search traffic through specific SEO tactics, and the likes. Probably the only reason an SEO company isn’t willing to share the details with you would be if they’re using spam techniques they don’t want you to know about.

SEO for your website and online business is a huge investment, and just like any other investment you make, you have to be discerning to make sure you’re not at the losing side of this deal.

About the Author

James Maxwell, a Media Buyer at a media buying agency in New York. He was a former media ethics professor at a university in Los Angeles.