Does this scenario sound familiar to you? Every day you or someone in your company check the responses of your online contact form. Some of these responses are real questions, some are scams, and some are from marketing company sale representatives. The rep just looked over your site and although it looks good to you, there’s definitely room for improvement. And there’s a bunch of errors that you or your current marketing team doesn’t know about and that’s why your SEO is in the toilet. But that’s ok, the rep had just talked to his creative team and it not only created a mockup of a new website for you but this redesign will guarantee results on the search engines within a month’s time. Wanna see? It’s free!

You know what you should do if you see this tantalizing offer from someone (usually using a Gmail address)? Trash it immediately. It’s a scam and sadly businesses fall for them all the time.

Being an SEO expert is a great career for a scammer because it can be hard to show the work that you’re doing. Most of SEO is done behind the scenes. Unlike a website design where you can see what the finished product of someone’s hard work looks like, you really can’t see the work an SEO specialist is doing except for maybe a couple of changes in your website’s copy or a page’s title change here and there.

Hey, we all want our businesses to be at the top of the search engine rankings. But it’s just not that simple. New website design doesn’t cut it – it’s a combination of many factors such as quality content, legitimate links, and knowing your target keywords. And it definitely is not a quick process. It can take anywhere from six months to up to a year to start seeing some movement on your website. It’s patience plus trust of your SEO specialist plus a lot of hard work.

But how can you figure out what’s a legit company offering you SEO help and a scammer? Keep these tips in mind:

  • Do some research. If the email is from a free email account such as Hotmail or Gmail, delete it immediately. But if it’s from a company email address, check out that company’s website. If the company knows what it’s doing, it would be reflected on its own website or even its listing in a search engine. Is there a meta description that makes sense and isn’t cut off? Is the title a proper length? Are they even ranking for an SEO company in your area?
  • Some catchphrases that are red flags you need to watch out for: guarantees of being ranked immediately; free trial services or a free mockup of a new website; Google algorithm experts; a mention of errors but don’t explain what they are; “SEO trade secrets.” And again, make sure they’re practicing what they preach.
  • “We work with Google to get you results.” No, you don’t. No one does. Our company is a Google Partner and we don’t work with Google to get search engine results. If that was the case, SEO would be easy.
  • Guaranteed number 1 rankings. Sorry, but any SEO specialist will tell you, there’s no guarantee. You can be ranking high one week only to see that position slip the next week. Even Google says there’s no guarantee.
  • Always ask for examples of work. If this company is as good as it says, then it should have some work examples available or at least point you to a website it worked on that’s ranking for a certain key term.
  • And never, ever, EVER give someone ownership of your content. You’re paying someone to create your content, be it a blog, a web page, even a social media post. Since you paid for it, the ownership belongs to you.

If you were scammed by an SEO company promising results but didn’t deliver, you’re going to need some help. Contact ENX2 Marketing today for a free site audit of your website and we’ll help any way we can.