Ethical SEO, sounds intriguing doesn’t it? Ethical = Honest, reliable, considerate. Yet something is bothering me. With increasing regularity I am hearing SEO horror stories. Someone whom I respect and admire a lot, told me that 85% of all SEO companies are selling ‘snake oil’. This saddens me to the point of writing about it. I want to point out how SEO should work and what kind of results you should be getting.
The reason I am using the term Ethical SEO is pretty obvious. An ethical SEO consultant should have your businesses best interest at heart. Internet marketing is big business. That is one of the reasons you get rather unscrupulous chracters delivering sub-standard work.
A common practice for shady SEO ‘expert’ is to promise you first page search results. No matter or discussion of your business or keywords, they just guarantee you first page results. Immediately this should set off warnings signs for anyone that has even a remote inkling of what SEO is.
Just the other day I heard a story from a potential customer. A ‘seo’ guy paid them a visit recently, pretty much guaranteed first page Google results for them. They took the bait. Signed a contract and paid the fees. After a period of time they received a report stating that the work was complete. What they saw next completely shocked them, they were indeed in first position, for completely wrong keywords. Keywords that do not receive much search traffic. Money wasted on pure crap SEO. Unfortunately, this happens a LOT. Don’t let it happen to you.
Typically these people will charge an arm and a leg. $5000 is not an uncommon price. Often times they deliver really bad results often hurting businesses more than helping them. Consider this for just a moment. If you spend no time researching keywords, understanding the clients business and what people are searching for, how in the heck can you deliver results. The answer to that is pretty simple, you cannot.
If your thinking of hiring an SEO consultant here are a few things to look out for.
- Takes the time to talk to you about your business. A great SEO consultant will take the time to learn what it is your business does. How you make a living, what type of products and/or services you specialize in. I wont need your entire businesses history, typically I can learn enough in about 30 minutes.
- Understands how to read keyword tools. This is very important as this pertains directly to what people actually search for. This will help them determine if they can meet your SEO goals.
- In addition to understanding keyword tool usage, explains what people search for and what keywords you should be targeting. An Ethical SEO specialist will tell you if there is not enough search volume to warrant the expense. SEO types cannot make people search for your product.
- Makes no promises of guaranteed first page results for highly competitive keywords. The ethical SEO specialist will explain what keywords they think they can get you to rank for.
- Will tell you if you are fighting a losing battle. Even though a SEO consultant is a sales person, the ethical SEO guru will tell you if they CANNOT help your business. It is rare but there are some cases where there is too much competition and not enough funding available to accomplish the desired goals.
- Will make you sign an agreement outlining very specific details of their work, and you’re expected results.
That’s about it for now, if you have something to add I would love to hear your comments.