On October 10, 2022
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the process of improving the visibility and ranking of a website or web page in search engine results pages (SERPs). The higher the ranking, the more likely people are to find the site. SEO is a very common standalone service that marketing agencies offer, and it can be extremely effective when done correctly – but avoid getting scammed.
However, there are a lot of agencies out there that overcharge for SEO services, or that use ineffective techniques that can actually hurt a website’s ranking. This means that people who are looking to improve their website’s ranking can easily get ripped off. SEO is indeed an on-going and complex process, but it doesn’t have to be expensive.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the ways that people get ripped off with SEO, and how you can avoid them.
Paying for Ineffective Techniques
There are a lot of different techniques that can be used to improve a website’s ranking. However, not all of these techniques are effective. In fact, some of them can actually do more harm than good.
For example, keyword stuffing is the practice of filling a web page with an excessive number of keywords in an attempt to improve its ranking for those keywords. However, this technique is now considered to be an outdated and ineffective way to improve ranking and can actually result in a website being penalized by search engines.
Another common technique that is often used is creating low-quality backlinks. Backlinks are links from other websites to your own. The more backlinks you have, the higher your website will rank. However, not all backlinks are created equal. Low-quality backlinks, such as those from link farms or spammy websites, can actually hurt your website’s ranking.
Overpaying for Services
There is no doubt that SEO is a complex and time-consuming process. It requires a lot of knowledge and experience to do it effectively. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to overpay for SEO services.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of agencies out there that overcharge for their services. They may charge exorbitant monthly rates, or they may charge a flat fee that is way too high. Either way, you are likely overpaying for the services you are receiving.
Common SEO Scam: Installing a Plugin & Running
One of the most common SEO scams that Hartmann Industries sees during an SEO audit is when a “SEO expert” installs an SEO plugin (like Yoast or All in One SEO Pack), runs it, and calls it a day.
This is not SEO.
These plugins are helpful, but they are not a replacement for a real SEO strategy. A real SEO strategy involves a lot of research, analysis, and implementation. It is not something that can be done in a few minutes by installing a plugin.
If you are paying someone for SEO services and they are only installing a plugin, you are getting ripped off.
Common SEO Scam: Automated Reports
Another common SEO scam is when an agency provides you with an automated report that doesn’t actually tell you anything useful.
These reports are often full of technical jargon and data that is difficult to understand. They may also contain a lot of information that is not actually relevant to your website or your goals.
These reports are not helpful and are a waste of time and money. If you are paying for SEO services, you should be getting reports that are clear, concise, and that actually tell you something useful.
Common SEO Scam: One-Time Fees
Another common SEO scam is when an agency charges a one-time fee for their services. This may sound like a good deal, but it is actually a bad sign.
If an agency is charging a one-time fee, it is likely because they are using techniques that are not sustainable in the long term. These techniques may include link farms, keyword stuffing, or other black hat techniques that can actually hurt your website’s ranking.
If an agency is using sustainable techniques, they will need to continue to work on your website on an on-going basis. This means that they will need to be paid a fair market rate on an on-going basis.
Not Getting What You Pay For
When you pay for SEO services, you should expect to see results. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
There are a lot of agencies out there that will overpromise and underdeliver. They may tell you that they can get your website to the first page of Google, but then they don’t deliver. Or, they may use techniques that actually hurt your website’s ranking.
Either way, you are not getting what you pay for.
Not Knowing What You’re Paying For
When you pay for SEO services, you should know exactly what you are paying for. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
There are a lot of agencies out there that will try to upsell you on services that you don’t need, or that will use jargon to make it sound like they are doing more work than they actually are.
Either way, you should know exactly what you are paying for and what you can expect to see in terms of results.
What To Do About SEO Scams
If any of this sounds familiar, all hope is not lost yest! You can still get the SEO services you need without getting ripped off. Here are a few tips:
- Do your research: Don’t just choose the first agency you come across. Do some research and read reviews to find an agency that is reputable and that has a good track record.
- Know what you’re paying for: Make sure you understand exactly what you are paying for and what you can expect to see in terms of results.
- Get a second opinion: If you’re not sure about an agency, get a second opinion from someone who is an expert in the field.
- Be wary of promises: Be wary of any agency that promises to get you to the first page of Google overnight. SEO is a complex and time-consuming process, and there are no shortcuts.
- Don’t be afraid to walk away: If an agency is trying to upsell you on services you don’t need, or if they are using jargon to make it sound like they are doing more work than they actually are, don’t be afraid to walk away.
Hartmann Industries is a full-service digital marketing agency. However, we do not offer “SEO services” directly. Instead, all of our content marketing, social media, and paid advertising services include SEO as part of the package. This means that you get a holistic and integrated approach to digital marketing, and that you don’t have to worry about getting ripped off by an SEO agency.