Let’s Face It, No One Likes Scams
I’m pretty certain we’ve all experienced cold calls, random emails, and scam artists that try to hurt your business or take your hard-earned money. In fact, something like this occurred recently with a client of mine! In this case, the email they received was a fairly obvious example of an SEO scammer. However, it caused me to think about the various methods scammers use, and what some of the warning signs might be that an SEO consulting service isn’t as reputable as they seem. So, I decided that it would be a good idea to blog about some of the most common signs to better understand what to look out for when researching SEO consulting services.
But, it should be known that this is not meant to accuse or call out any specific organization or group as scammers. The goal of this blog is to help anyone with a private practice website stay secure. Even if you aren’t currently a client of our SEO services, this info can help you and your practice stay safe in our online world.
Related: Read about a “professional photographers” phishing scam affecting therapists and private practice owners here.
Of course, some of these are more obvious than others! So let’s get started with a more obvious sign.
Sign 1: Guarantee First Place Rankings
Google has become so complex that the promise of being the first place is just not realistic. Algorithm changes have made it more difficult to keep up with the constantly changing nature of Google. As a result, beware of anyone who claims to have a surefire way to reach the top of Google. In truth, there isn’t any easy way to guarantee how you will rank in the search results. The quality of optimization that goes into the site is the best determining factor.
Some other factors that may influence rankings:
- Local competition
- How long your site has been around
- The difficulty of targeted keywords
- Other marketing efforts (such as google ads)
Additionally, it is important to also remember that keywords are not the only thing that is going to help your site succeed. Hearing an offer to help your site rank for 100’s of keywords might sound like a no-brainer in terms of getting your site out there. But, if none of those terms are helping your ideal client find your site, you likely won’t be any closer to receiving the results you want.
Sign 2: Unsolicited Emails
Now there’s nothing wrong with being confident in life or in business. However, a professional SEO consulting company will not likely email you out of the blue. Oftentimes, these scam messages may begin or include issues with your site in order to warrant some kind of response.
Hypothetical examples of these issues may look like:
- “I‘ve analyzed your website often and noticed your rankings were still a bit low. We can help you reach the top 10 search results guaranteed!”
- “Google’s most recent update has been negatively affecting your site. Our company can help fix it!”
- “We can sell you premium, high-quality backlinks to hundreds of sites to help you compete!”
While some scammers will tell you how they can help fix vague issues with your site, others may throw in confusing SEO jargon without explaining anything in hopes to confuse you. It is always best to delete these messages. Working relationships like these are generally initiated by you, the client!
Ironically….the better your SEO the more often you will get these unsolicited emails claiming your SEO isn’t any good.
Sign 3: Secrecy Surrounding Methods
In the world of SEO, there are many ways to gain rankings. Some of these are ethical, client-focused ways you can optimize a site known as “White Hat” SEO. On the other hand, it is also possible to rank well using tricks and tactics that are against Google’s guidelines. These can come in many forms, but they often result in your site being penalized. This is “Black Hat” SEO.
A telltale sign that an SEO consulting service might be engaging in less ethical SEO tactics is by keeping you in the dark about what exactly they are doing to help boost your site. When deciding to work with an SEO consulting service, it’s important to understand the how behind their methods. Do they promise to build you backlinks? Great! How are they going to get you those links, and what kind of links are they? Do you understand how their services work?
These are good questions to ask, but it is still worth mentioning that companies will not be able to disclose everything they do behind the scenes. Working with an SEO consulting service should involve clear transparent communication between the client and company to achieve the best results.
As with any other important investment or decision, it is essential to conduct proper research. Not doing your due diligence could result in a less than reputable company working on your site, and potentially doing more harm than good in the long run.
Begin SEO Consulting Services with Simplified SEO Consulting
Our team of trained SEO specialists would be honored to support you in ethically ranking on Google! We have experience working with clients across the country and would love to work alongside you in optimizing your site. For support with improving the SEO of your site, follow these steps:
Other Services Offered by Simplified SEO Consulting
Simplified SEO Consulting offers multiple SEO services to help meet the needs of your private practice website. We offer a variety of services including DIY Online SEO Courses, Done For You SEO services, and our Done With You 12-week SEO intensive program. For more helpful info, feel free to read more from our blog!
About the Author
Sterling Humburg-Cage is a member of the 2020 graduating class from the University of Missouri. He is intent on using his B.A. in Psychology to help provide the best results as an SEO specialist. Sterling prides himself on helping alumni problems solve difficult SEO issues. He’s great at giving clients multiple options about how to approach a situation and responding quickly to client concerns. Since he started, Sterling has met frequently with our alumni and provided them extra problem-solving support, often going the extra mile to do outside research and make sure alumni have everything they need to continue ranking well!