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ghostWith Halloween just around the corner, we thought we’d explore the scarier side of SEO. Unfortunately, as with any industry, there are bad SEO companies out there giving good SEO companies a bad name. Take the recent goings-on in Poland, for instance. It’s been discovered that many SEO companies over the waters are taking advantage of their clients’ lack of industry knowledge and, instead of doing any good, they’re actually damaging these websites by breaking webmaster guidelines.

Putting your online business in the hands of a bad SEO company could be fatal! But don’t worry, you won’t need to hide around the back of the sofa for this one. We’ve put together this little guide for you to refer back to when it comes to searching for a good, professional and – just as importantly – a trustworthy SEO company.

1. Petrifying Promises

The number one thing to remember: No one can promise you anything! When it comes to search engine rankings, the only people who can guarantee you top positions are the search engines themselves and unfortunately, they just aren’t that kind. Achieving high ranking positions, a flow of good quality traffic and regular sales or conversions does take time and effort. So anyone who guarantees to provide you with fantastic results within a certain amount of time should be avoided like the plague. If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Remember, the search engines can move the goal posts at any time. They regularly role out algorithms to improve the quality of search and these can have a massive impact on a website. Just look at the damage done to numerous websites by Google’s Panda and Penguin algorithms; no SEO company could have predicted when they would be released, or even that they would have existed a few years ago. So who’s to say Google won’t hit everyone with a completely brand new black and white animal that’s going to come along in the future and target a completely different area of website spam? Beware the possible Zebra, Badger or Skunk algorithms!

2. Bloodcurdling Back links

It used to be the case of quantity over quality; the more back links you had pointing to your site, the more likely it was that you would be the winner in the rankings. Well, not any more. So anyone saying they will provide you with a large amount of back links within a specific period of time is not to be trusted. The chances are, if they did manage to honour this, the links you’d acquire would be from spammy, low quality websites. Not only could this cause your website to be hit by an algorithm, but even if you did manage to avoid a penalty, this type of link would give your website no value whatsoever.

3. Wicked Websites

pumpkinAnd in this case, we don’t mean wicked in the good sense.

At the end of the day, a website is the most important piece of advertising to an online marketing agency. First impressions are what count in this business. So be sure to review the content on their website – is it well written? Take a look at their blog – are they updating it regularly? In a nutshell, if they’re not looking after their own website very well, who’s to say they won’t treat your business in the same way?

4. Spine-chilling Social

As social media has become an important factor in helping to improve your brand awareness and referral traffic, you should assume that the company claiming they can achieve great results for your business should also be able to do a pretty good job on their own social channels. So have a look and see for yourself. Do they post regularly? Is their content of good quality? Is it generating engagement with their followers? If not, this should set alarm bells ringing.

5. Terrifying Testimonials

And whilst you’re looking at their social media, be sure to take the opportunity to do a bit of research into what other people are saying about them. There is a dedicated section on Facebook pages where users can leave reviews of a business. A quick search on Twitter using the company’s username will throw up a list of results containing tweets where that Twitter handle has been used. Take a look at their Google reviews to see what’s being said there. Social media opens up a mountain of opportunities for people to tell the world about their experiences when dealing with a business. Use this to your advantage and see what people are saying about your prospective SEO company. If you see a significant number of bad reviews or it sounds like dodgy tactics are being used, it’s best to move on and look elsewhere.

So hopefully this guide has helped you in your quest for a good SEO company and given you the confidence to know what warning signs to look for.skeletons2

Incidentally, as a long-established business with a cracking portfolio, we are a trusted online marketing agency with years of experience in SEO. We use only the best practices to boost our clients’ online presence, all of which adhere to webmaster guidelines.

But don’t just take our word for it. Feel free to do a bit of digging into our background and our clients; we’re proud to say we’ve got no skeletons in our closet!

If you’re satisfied that we’re the best online marketing agency to trust and you want to put your SEO in our capable hands, give us a call or feel free to pop into the office and meet us in person; we’ll even let you look in our closets to double-check for yourself that there are no skeletons hiding in there.

Categories: SEO, Business

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