Making a poor decision when hiring an SEO company can do more harm than good for your business. Bad SEO agencies can do enough harm to your company’s website that it could land your website in a Google penalty causing it to go down or become de-indexed from Google.
To make sure you are working with the best SEO agency, here are some warning signs that you are working with the wrong SEO Agency:
1) They talk about content automation
In most cases, automated content creation is a really bad thing. This is an SEO technique that worked many years ago but is not effective today. Additionally, automated content usually reads very poorly and is not the type of content that you would be proud to have identified with your brand. Content is the basis of online marketing and it should be created with thought and purpose. SEO agencies that do content creation correctly are the agencies that produce great results for their clients.
2) They talk about SEO as if it a stand alone item, not related to anything else
SEO needs to incorporate traditional marketing, PR, social marketing and more. This is evidenced by Google’s Panda algorithm change and there are signals that Google is continuing to focus on quality of content and signals from other sources in its efforts to determine the quality of a website content, further emphasizing the need for quality content (see point 1). SEO should be tightly intertwined with social campaigns and PR efforts. From a pure implementation perspective, SEO changes on the company’s website will need to be made with a coordinated effort between the SEO agency and the website development team because the SEO changes will most likely require additional website pages to be created or modifications to the existing website pages.
3) They focus on quantity instead of quality when discussing inbound linking
Companies that are proposing to build an enormous amount of inbound links to your website are most likely using automated link building techniques and can do a lot of harm to your website. Good SEO practices involve quality content not just on your website but also quality links being point to your website from other high quality websites that contain high trust factors and relevant content.
4) They keep you in the dark and don’t explain what they are doing
If your SEO company, or an SEO agency that you are considering hiring, will not explain to you how they work, then you should immediately drop them from consideration. They should be able to give you a precise explanation of what they are doing. If the SEO contract includes creating content with links pointing back to your website, you should demand to see that content as it is a direct reflection on your brand.
5) They can’t explain their services in terms that you understand
SEO is not some magical, “black-box”, mystical element that only the best SEO agencies have their grips on. If you are not able to understand your SEO Agency’s methods and they can’t explain it to you clearly, consider moving to another SEO firm. The best SEOs are the ones that can take technical topics like SEO and boil it down to easy to understand, lay person terminology.
6) They guarantee you the number one position in the search rankings for a competitive term
Google’s algorithm is too complex, constantly being updated and is under lock and key. Anyone or any agency that guarantees they can get your website to the number one position and keep it there is lying. Effective and successful SEO requires constant attention and time to work. In fact, SEO that is performed on website to get quick results for competitive terms is very often spam driven and will cause the website to land in a Google penalty shortly after hitting the first page. Once this happens the site will vanish from search results.
7) They claim they have an inside track on the Google algorithm
This is closely tied to point number 6. There are no firms that have an inside track on Google’s algo. It would devalue Google’s results and ultimately destabilize Google as the world’s leading search engine which is why Google would never allow this to happen. Stay away from companies that claim they have an inside track on Google’s algorithm. Instead look for SEO agencies that analyze data and have test sites to determine what is effective and not effective regarding SEO.