With the explosion of content marketing and Internet advertising in the last few years, there's been an equal explosion of Internet marketing firms trying to capitalize on it. Many of them are perfectly fine businesses, offering good services and trying to honestly do right by their customers. But others, well, simply aren't.
There are disreputable SEO firms out there, although this Atlanta Internet marketing company isn't one of them. We've seen quite a few in our time, though, so we thought we'd put this quick guide together.
If you see any of these three things in an SEO agency you're researching, walk away and find yourself a serious Atlanta Internet marketing company instead.
Three Red Flags You Won't Get From A Reputable Atlanta Internet Marketing Company
I. No transparency:
Anyone who runs a disreputable online marketing firm knows it, and does their best to cover it up. There are a number of ways they may try to hide the truth from you, including:
• Hiding fees in the fine print
• Refusing to discuss their exact SEO methods
• Claiming they cannot produce hard numbers or statistics
• Keeping control of your content or locking you into proprietary systems
The easiest way to avoid this is to look for a firm that can provide detailed case studies and evidence of their effectiveness up front, as well as one that lists all their prices and services up-front. If they can't show you the goods before you sign, they probably won't afterwards either.
II. They value numbers over customers:
At heart, SEO is about a lot of numbers and the field tends to attract people who are comfortable dealing with them. While this is great for crunching statistics, it makes it easy for them -and you- to lose sight of your larger goals. Fundamentally, if your website isn't making sales, it isn't doing its job.
An Atlanta Internet marketing company knows that content is king online. You cannot place numbers and statistics above your customers. Many less-reputable companies will try to dazzle you with numbers that don't matter, such as talking about your page views without discussing sales, or even visitors' length of stay.
There are far too many SEO firms out there who will sell you a short-term boost in meaningless numbers while providing nothing that actually turns visitors into sales. You need one that is focused on customer engagement and retention.
III. They engage in "black hat" SEO tactics:
Everyone wants to find a neat new trick that allows them to jump up the ranks on Google's search engine results pages, but some of these tricks go beyond being clever and instead become harmful. Worse, most of these tactics are against Google's policies and will ultimately cause your search rankings to be hurt if you use them.
There are a few broad categories:
• Fooling search engine spiders: These involve coding tricks such as masking website redirects or showing a different home page to spiders than what visitors see. Any practice that misrepresents search results is fundamentally negative SEO.
• Creating junk content: A lot of these Internet marketing firms like to use a variety of computer systems which churn out content that looks real to a search spider, but no human would want to read. Since the point of your website is to engage customers, filling it with meaningless fluff is self-defeating.
• Link-buying: This used to be common, but recent Google updates have rendered it an absolute no-no. Never do business with anyone who buys or trades for inbound links, aside from equitable link-trading between established sites.
There are a lot of SEO firms out there, and this Atlanta Internet marketing company wants you to play it safe. Stay on the straight and narrow, and remember that a deal which sounds too good to be true probably is.
Have you ever had dealings with a dishonest SEO company?