Newsflash: A lot of people don’t trust SEOs. Why? Because the business is filling up so quickly with scammers that it’s hard for the honest SEO guys to get a word in edge-wise. Now before you go getting your feelings hurt and defending your company, you need to understand that there are 3 types of SEOs:
- The honest SEO who truly wants to help people by offering quality services.
- The goodhearted SEO who unknowingly comes off as a scammer.
- The SEO looking to squeeze a quick buck out of anyone and everyone he can.
Today I’d mainly like to focus on the second one. Why? Well the honest SEO offering a quality product is doing it all right. Fighting the image of the crooked SEO. And the third one—well he’s just a jerk. He may as well be selling fake watches out of his trench coat. And if you’re that guy and you’re reading this, get the hell out of this business.
But the second guy–the goodhearted SEO who is doing it all wrong–you can still save yourself and your company. How? Well it’s time for a self-analysis. Look for the following signs in how your run your business:
- Your prices are too extreme. This could go either way. If your prices are super low, people are going to think you want quick money for little work. If your prices are too high, well you’re just ripping people off. Research what your competition is charging and shoot for the same ballpark. Also, offer different packages. Like basic, intermediate, and pro or something like that.
- You send unsolicited emails. This goes for any online business really. No one wants to read email from people they don’t know. I can’t tell you the last time I did. Yet I still made this mistake when I first started out writing for SEOs. Luckily, one of the people I contacted straightened me out via an extremely informative/rude reply. But I deserved it.
- When people sign up for your email list, you email-bomb them. I recently signed up for a particular email list and, holy crap! They email me every 5 seconds. And the emails are all whiney and beggar-ish. “Awww you didn’t respond to my offer… don’t you like me?” Ok that’s not an exact quote but that’s the gist of it. Guess what button I’m clicking? UNSUBSCRIBE. Seriously leave me the hell alone.
- You guarantee a #1 page rank within a certain amount of time. OK I get that some of you are used to producing results. Really, I do. And maybe you can even guarantee a top ranking over a period of time. But the whole “I’ll get you #1 in X amount of weeks” thing is sketchy at best. I don’t care how good you are, you can’t guarantee that.
- Your website sucks. So maybe you get people to your site. If it doesn’t look professional, neither will you. What does an unprofessional site look like? Well… like a template. A website in a can. And the copy probably sucks too. Spend some time and money on your site if you want to look like a pro.
- You don’t meet your deadlines. Did you tell a client you’d have an article ready for syndication by tomorrow? Live up to your word! People hate waiting for things. And if you’re not meeting deadlines, your clients are going to start wondering if you’re legit. And if you can’t produce the work you promise, maybe you aren’t. By the way, this goes with payments to your copywriters and designers as well. If I have to wait 2 months to get a payment you promised me eventually I’m going to go write for someone else.
- Your site doesn’t rank well in the search engines. How can you offer SEO services if no one can even find your site. Now I’m not saying you should be number one for a huge keyword like “SEO” or “Search Engine Optimization.” But how are you doing on your location-specific keywords? If your answer is “not good,” then you better spend some time working on yourself.
- You don’t adequately explain your services to clients. Nothing sounds more suspect than “don’t worry how I do it, just pay me and you’ll get results.” To be quite honest, it sounds like you’re doing something illegal. And if I’m a potential client, I’m getting nervous just talking to you. Like maybe the Feds are going to bust through the door. Now I’m not saying you need to give away your best secrets, but educate the client on your business. That way they know what they’re paying for.
Did you find yourself in the above list? If so, it’s time to make a change. Otherwise, you’re eventually going to get blackballed.
What other things scream “SCAM!” when it comes to SEO?