Professional SEO is a tough thing to find. It really is. Though pros go to the main conferences, write the best blogs and keep the closest eye on the latest trends, there’s something that is overlooked: Everyone else trying to find good SEO practitioners, but don’t know where to start.
If you type in SEO services or any other inquiry about wanting someone to do SEO for your website, you’ll find a slew of companies out there wanting to provide you with guarantees, free e-books, free analysis and anything else to get you to choose them.
The problem is that some of these are good solid companies and others are of ill-repute.
This happened to a friend of mine just last week. Through networking on Facebook, we reconnected on the recommendation of a mutual friend (those who don’t see a benefit to Social Media pay attention) and wanted to talk SEO for a certain site of his.
He paid more money than he was comfortable with to a company that only did two things:
1. Fill his keyword meta-tag to overflowing
2. Submit the URL to several different search engines.
“Thank you. Come again!”
When I read that, I didn’t want to know who it was who did it or how much he paid because I’m trying to control my blood pressure.
What got me the most was that these outdated tactics were STILL being practiced and people were STILL paying for them. The only way a company like that can keep going is by doing the following in this little play-let starting SEO Client “Bob” and a Bad SEO person:
Bob: The results from your efforts aren’t bring anything new to my site
BadSEO: Well, this stuff takes a lot of time.
Bob: How much time?
BadSEO: Tough to say, could be 6 to 8 months. It depends on how much competition is out there. If there’s a lot of competition, more needs to be done.
Bob: More? As in, pay you more to do more than what we just did?
BadSEO: Of course.
Bob:Because it might be needed due to the possible competition?
Bob: So how who is my competition?
BadSEO: For $XXX we’ll do a competitive analysis
BadSEO: Sorry, industry secret.
Ick. I had to wash my hands after typing that. Perceived value in the mind of client is huge and a lot of bad SEO companies don’t know how or don’t care on how to bring a client to a great level of perceived value. A lot of bad SEO is, apparently, still profitable because “in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.” The knowledge isn’t there to deflect bad techniques and money is wasted. Useless techniques are masqueraded under a banner of “more is needed due to competition.” Now, there IS competition that requires additional techniques to rank higher and increase conversions, but it requires VALID additional techniques, not outdated wasted efforts like keyword stuffing.
So what should you do?
1. Read More – Reading quick tips on SEO from trusted sites will give you a sharper edge on how to ask the right questions.
2. Ask the right questions – Ask what will be done to your site and ask how that will help and what would be the conditions in how it won’t help.
3. Ask for case studies on previous work.