How to Determine if You are Scammed By Your SEO Service Provider
Take this as a serious warning. Your SEO service provider could harm your site.
There are some businesses spending a lot trying to skyrocket in their rankings and then discovered they have been scammed.
There are lots of small businesses who have trusted SEO firms to optimize their sites, but were not able to do so because they are using black hat techniques.
This article will help you know whether your Search Engine Optimization provider is really helping you.
Signs Your SEO Agency is Hurting You
You need to know what your SEO agency is doing, particularly during the first few months of the contract. The sooner you can find out what they are doing, the better chance you have of knowing whether they are helping your site. Here are some warning signs that your SEO provider is hurting you:
- They have nothing to show.
Your SEO service provider should have something to show you. It does not necessarily mean results, but the actual SEO techniques they are doing. It may take 2 to 4 months before you can see significant results.
However, your SEO agency should be doing something with the dollars that you’re paying them. You have the right to ask for deliverables. On the first few weeks or months of a contract, your SEO agency should be able to provide the following:
- Optimized content on your site
- Articles with links to your site that are being or have been published on other sites
- An analysis of your site’s link profile
- An SEO audit of your site
You need to make sure that the agency is actually doing something and you need proof.
- They are doing it without asking anything from you
A reliable SEO company needs your help. Since you are the site owner, they need something from you like the following:
- Past audits/penalties/work
- Access to Google Webmaster Tools
- Editor or admin access to your CMS
- A list of target keywords
- Access to social media accounts
- View or admin access to Google Analytics
If they don’t ask anything from you, they might be adding linkbacks from spammy sites. If they don’t ask for access, there is a possibility that they are doing potentially harmful actions.
- They don’t suggest anything for improvements
If an SEO firm is not asking you to do certain things, it is a sign that they are doing something suspicious or aren’t doing anything at all. Unreliable SEO companies usually just point a bunch of links back to your website. They are crossing their fingers that what they have done will yield good results. They are not interested in working together with you. Instead, they simply want to provide you something that will make you believe that you are getting good results.
A dependable SEO service provider works together with its clients. In order for you to succeed, you will have to work together with them as partners.
- They cannot tell you what their techniques are
If you want to know what an SEO agency is doing, you can ask them what they are doing. The following are responses of unreliable providers and signs that you are being scammed:
- “We carry out a variety of things, but it generally involves optimizing your website for search engines.”
- “As an SEO company, confidentiality on our work is important.”
- “I’m not sure exactly, but I’ll get back with you.”
- “Oh, lots of things. It would take me too long to explain.”
- “Because of the nature of the industry, we’re not allowed to disclose our practices.”
If you get a response like that, it is best to terminate the contract and find other agencies right away. True SEO uses white hat practices that are legitimate and are very effective. If the SEO service provider you hire is doing those things, they should be able to explain them to you. If they cannot, then you have been scammed.
- You received a manual penalty
The worst thing that could happen to your site is being penalized. You will know if you get a manual penalty if you receive a GWT notification or an email. If you receive a manual penalty 1 or 2 months after your SEO agency starts the work, you have the right to be suspicious.
You don’t want to fire them right away just because you are being penalized. Maybe it is not their fault. But it might be.
The best thing that you can do is to do some careful thinking and questioning to determine the reasons why your site was penalized and what to do about it.
Your online business will fail or succeed based on SEO. It is important that you rely on a trustworthy SEO service provider.
If you really are concerned about your business’s success, you need to give SEO the attention and investment it deserves.