As digital advertising becomes more popular, the pricing of it has become murkier as many digital activities (like SEO) can’t always be measured (or more aptly, aren’t properly measured). A lack of understanding of what SEO does often leaves businesses confused when presented with a quote. To judge whether or not an agency is charging you fairly, you must understand what’s being offered – and if it’s in line with best practice SEO principles. Here are a few obvious indicators you can use to spot a fraudster before spending a cent.
- IF THEY OFFER GUARANTEES….
SEO is predictable, but when you’re dealing with the constantly evolving world of search engines (and contradictory consumer behaviour) it’s very difficult to provide an SEO guarantee, as you cannot control every possible variable. If an agency offers you the guaranteed number one ranking for a competitive term like ‘car hire’, walk away.
- IF THEY OFFER INSTANT RESULTS….
Search engines are complex and made up of many interrelated parts; all functioning at the same time. You can’t press a button and achieve an outcome. For long-lasting quality results from any SEO effort, you need consistent time and effort. If an agency promises to get you ranking on the first page of search results within a week, chances are they are using “black hat” techniques and you may run the risk of being penalised by Google. Achieving excellent organic rankings is something that should take several months of work at a minimum.
- IF THEY PROMISE A ONCE-OFF SERVICE….
Ever had an agency promise to sort out your business’s online rankings once and for all and in one go? This is not possible. SEO requires constant effort as the online advertising realm is constantly changing. If an agency asks for a large lump sum to permanently ‘fix’ your rankings they won’t be able to deliver on their promises. An agency requesting a monthly retainer (with a comparative review after a predetermined time period) are more likely to offer the real thing.
Keep the above promises in mind when evaluating your next SEO agency and you’ll be much less likely to end up with a bad one. Partnering with an SEO agency is the start of a long-term relationship, so take the time to make sure you’re happy before getting into one.
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