SEO: Ignore the Scammers

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Avoid SEO scams

You may well have had calls from SEO agencies across North America, promising you first-page rankings within one, two or three months. If you are aware of the saying "If it seems too good to be true it probably is" then make sure you apply this to those phone calls. Avoid these SEO scammers.

If there's one thing you need to know about SEO it's this: nobody can ever guarantee you amazing results. Search algorithms change, your competition changes, your competitors might start working with digital marketing agencies, etc etc etc. With so any variables beyond your control, or the control of your SEO, it's utter BS for anyone to promise the world.

That said, they will likely get you ranking on the first page of a search result, but for keywords so loosely related to your business that nobody ever searches for them—hence getting you to rank is easy because nobody in their right mind is optimizing for these keywords.

I've received many of these calls, when the company I was working for had its website appear on the first page of Google, and high in a Google Maps result, too.

Sometimes I'd just say I'm not interested, but at other times I'd be fascinated in their company's process, exactly what they were offering and how they could promise me a first-page ranking.

Q. Did you not Google us before you called? Did you not carry out any research? If you had you would have noticed we are already on the first page.

[Clearly not everyone has this luxury, but it's worth saying just so you can hear the response]

A. I don't know the keywords you want to rank for.

At this point alarm bells should be ringing, like air raid sirens, for three reasons:

  1. If the SEO doesn't know what keywords you want to rank for then how on Earth can they make such bold claims?! The answer you're looking for is "they can't." Nobody—ever—can guarantee you first-page rankings on search results for keywords where there is competition. And unless you work in a remarkably niche industry, competition exists 99.9% of the time.
  2. As the SEO has called you, they know at least three pieces of information about you: phone number, business name, business location. With these three pieces of information they can either infer a number of keywords, or with the most rudimentary research find them. Moreover, many business names include the industry, trade or location (Pronto Taxis, Dave's Plumbing, Vancouver Pet Foods). It's not a stretch for a cold-calling SEO to have a number of keywords at the ready.
  3. And this one is the most important by far: if the company calling you were so good you would know the company and not respond with "who?" — and they wouldn't be calling you, you'd be calling them.

If you want to work with a client-focused, down-to-earth agency that build sustainable success over time, then get in touch with Pioneer Digital Media. And learn more about how we create an SEO strategy.


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