Avoid Dodgy SEO Providers – Top 10 Tips!

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is important in all kinds of ways – so important, in fact, that many businesses, large and small invest a small fortune in outsourcing SEO activities to other expert, specialist companies.

Happen upon a great SEO provider or company and you will soon notice the results. However, end up with a provider that seems to talk the talk, walk the walk, but doesn’t deliver on results. Then they might end up taking your money for effectively doing nothing, or very little at most.

1. Low quality and duplicated content

SEO at one time was about cramming as many keywords into a sentence, paragraph or blog post as many times as you could – even if it made no sense whatsoever. Those times have thankfully changed, and more SEO companies know that high-quality content, regularly and consistently posted is the key to SEO success.

Monitor your blog and content. Shady operators will simply rehash the same pieces over and over again, changing one keyword for another, from one post to the next. The bad news is that if this is happening your website could be being penalised by Google and others for poor quality and duplicate content.

2. Outdated tactics

Overly long meta tags, a huge number of meta keywords, everything hidden behind a ‘read more’ link. If it all sounds a bit like, ‘I can’t be bothered’ then they probably can’t and you will end up paying not only their bill but also the price of your website getting nowhere – other than sliding down a slippery slope.

If you are not sure, a quick search online for current SEO practices will either confirm or deny your suspicions.

3. Blog posts… one after the other… and only blog posts

Blog posts are undoubtedly a key part of SEO, but if the strategy is focused solely on blog posts, then this is not good news. There is more to making your website the must-go-to authoritative place than umpteen blog posts.

Woman frustrated at computer

Blogs and articles are just one slice of the SEO pie.

4. Lowered bounce rate


The bounce rate of a website is the percentage of people who visit your site but ‘bounce’ away after visiting only one page.

Some experts suggest that an increased bounce rate gives an indication that the home or landing page is boring and not what it should be. Clearly. Creating an enticing homepage will make for a better-used website but obsessing over this one statistic means you or your SEO provider are missing other important aspects of SEO.

If the SEO company say they can drastically reduce bounce rate, then ask them what they are doing, as there are technical means of artificially decreasing this rate, without adding any value to the process.

5. SEO buffet

This is where an SEO provider offers you a menu of choices allowing you to pick and choose what you want doing and how.

animated man with menu

You may think this is a good sign – it saved on the budget! – But, the SEO provider should be THE expert on SEO so offering a piecemeal approach to their services is not giving you the service that you need.

Clearly, there will be different levels of packages but no choice of SEO components.

6. Guaranteed ranking

We’ve all seen the websites that promise or guarantee instant success. ‘Hand over your cash,’ they more or less say, ‘and let us propel your website into the stratosphere within 10 minutes or less.’

This is rubbish – and it always will be. Rankings are worked out via a series of complex ranking factors, the majority of which remain hidden and secret, known to only a handful of search engine executives, a bit like the recipe for Coca-Cola.

No one can guarantee rankings.

7. Cheap-as-chips SEO

SEO is one of those time consuming, labour intensive activities IF it is done being done correctly. And this is why you, along with thousands of other companies outsource their SEO activities to an expert company.

If they say that they are cheap-as-chips, check that what they are doing is SEO work and not posting a blog every week on your behalf. There is a difference.

8. Set up fees

At the other end of the scale, you have SEO providers that charge set up fees. All well and good you may think but, ask them what it is you are actually paying for.

There is research needed at the front end of the project but if this is not included in the first month’s fee then ask questions because seriously, this is a bit of cheek.

9. No Google Analytics

Google is THE biggest search engine in the world, so frankly, these are the people and the algorithm that you want to please with SEO activities and tactics.

There are some shady SEO providers however, that for some reason hide Google Analytics from their clients and there is, in all honesty, no reason why they should be doing this. Likewise, if they don’t ask for your Google Analytics, then you should run away just as fast.

10. “What monthly report?!”

It is your website. You have worked hard on it. You have spent hours on it. It cost you a fair bit of your budget too. It is the shop window to your business on the web.

Investing in SEO is a big move too, and so you want to know what you are getting for your money. If the package does not include a monthly report, look elsewhere.

Monthly Report

If the monthly report is next to useless, only offering ‘feedback’ on keyword rankings, for example, then this is of little use whatsoever. A report should show organic traffic and trends over time.

Avoiding shady SEO providers

There are times when, due to our lack of knowledge and expertise, we can be sucked in by someone who seems to know what they are talking about. Bear these ten tips in mind to get the best out of your SEO provider!

If you are looking for an SEO Provider, be sure to focus upon your local area prior to launching any national campaigns. For tips on how to succeed with your localised SEO strategy follow this link: http://digitalnext.co.uk/blog/6-tips-ensure-local-seo-campaign-track/

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