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Jason Hawkins

SEO Company Scams: How to Avoid Getting Ripped Off

Jason Hawkins

As a partner of No Risk SEO Inc., we commonly receive requests from business owners about how they want to dominate Page 1 for some extremely competitive keywords on a national scale. Yet, they have budgeted less than $1,000.00 per month for this goal.

These are the types of clients we must turn down and/or reset their expectations; if they’re willing to listen. What scares me is I know if they do go elsewhere, some company will take their money — knowing their goal will never be reached — to line their pockets.

Here is what you need to do to avoid the SEO Company scams that are currently in the market.

Countless times, our prospects have been taken advantage by a “cookie cutter” approach. It appears these firms are offering link building packages that remain the same whether the business is a local plumber or a national e-commerce store. Absolutely no difference in services rendered. A majority of that payment is going to the SEO Company, not resources dedicated to their campaign that make a difference.

Need proof? Read this case study on how failure is inevitable with cheap SEO services. Here are some things to check.

Do extensive research on their website

Doing the below may take you 30 minutes to one hour in total. However, it can save you months and months of time and thousands of dollars. Please use this as your guide to ensure you find an elite internet marketing company.

Avoiding-SEO-Scams-with-SEMrush

  • Use SEMrush and type in the domain of the SEO company you are considering doing business with. Then go to Organic Research and click Positions. Any decent SEO company should have over 20 Page One rankings in their own industry. If they can outrank their competition, they can likely outrank yours. Give them a bonus point if they rank nationally for keywords like: doctor SEO company, insurance SEO company, etc. If they have no organic presence, run. Big red flag.

alexa-ranking-to-avoid-seo-scams

  • Use Alexa.com and type in the domain of the SEO company. It should be under 200,000 in the USA. This shows that the website is getting a favorable amount of traffic. Anything over 200,000 in the USA should be a red flag.

anchor-cloud-avoiding-seo-scams

  • Use a backlinks checker like SEMrush.com or Ahrefs.com, and type in the domain of the SEO company. They should not have one “main keyword” that is over 10% anchor text density. This is an immediate red flag.

Other things to look out for:

  • Google the Company name – Take three minutes and search the first three pages of results. If you find a pissedconsumer, ripoffreport, etc. Run fast.
  • About Us Page – Look at their About Us page. You should see the team in their About Us page. If not, run. Many companies that do not show who is involved is doing so for a reason. Do they just have a paragraph of text and no members of the team photos? Not a huge red flag like the above, but should raise suspicions.
  • Results/Case Studies – Are they displaying current results? Do they release case studies? Look at their website to identify the type of results they are achieving for their clients. If no results and/or case studies are displayed, this is a red flag.
  • Authority on SEO – Have the management team been featured numerous times on industry leading blogs like Search Engine Journal, SEMrush.com, Ahrefs.com, Moz.com, etc? Bonus points for that organization if so! Likely not a scam if this is the case.
  • Social Media Presence – Look at their social media presence. When is the last time their social media channels were updated? It is updated frequently? It takes a decent amount of time to constantly update these channels and only SEO companies that plan to be around for a long time will constantly update their channels. Take it a step further if you wish, and look at the owners on LinkedIn. Have they been endorsed? Have many connections? (Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook).

SEO Company scams are likely going nowhere. But by using the above research techniques, you will surely know you’ve found a professional SEO company. Hopefully you will find two or three that pass this checklist, and then ask what makes them different. This will eliminate the chances of you wasting thousands of dollars, time and, potentially, a valuable domain name.

Author bio:

Jason Hawkins is the President & Co-Founder of NoRiskSEO.com and TheMiamiSEOCompany.com. He has over eight years of experience in search engine optimization, conversion rate optimization and lead generation. His core responsibilities include identifying ways to increase value of services rendered, ensuring industry leading response time from staff, training staff on advanced SEO topics, and A/B testing internal processes to consistently improve client return on investment. Follow Jason on Twitter here. His last article for SEMrush was, “Search Query Analysis: How to Maximize Lead Generation & Sales."

Jason Hawkins is the CEO & Co-Founder of TheMiamiSEOCompany.com. He has over ten years of experience in search engine optimization, conversion rate optimization and lead generation. His core responsibilities include identifying ways to increase value of services rendered, training staff on advanced SEO topics, and A/B testing internal processes to consistently improve client return on investment.

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