Does this email look familiar?
“Hello website owner,
I am SEO expert having great working experience in this field.
I checked your website, and it looking good, but lacking strong tags, keywords and backlinks.
I have attached report that has number of broken links, pages with no tags, too long title, etc.
I have a large professional team that can fix all these problems for an affordable, monthly price.
Looking forward to hearing from you!
If you own a small business and have a web presence, I’m sure these emails come in several times a week. This is what is known as an SEO scam, and is a blight that is hard to avoid.
SEO scams take many forms, and in this month’s Vortex Marketing Blog, we will go over what they look like and how to protect yourself.
How Can I Identify SEO Scams?
The email example mentioned previously is one of the most common SEO scams. An official looking email will arrive in your inbox, detailing how your website comes up short in several different aspects. While some are easy to spot (broken English, no specific problems identified), some can appear to be genuinely helpful. However, in our many years in the industry, there are a couple key giveaways that it’s a scam.
The first is a monthly fee.
In Vortex Digital’s SEO philosophy, there are two types of SEO. The first is onboard SEO, which includes factors like title and description tags, keyword-rich website copy, sitemaps, image file names and alt text, website page structure, and page headings. Onboard SEO should be done once, right. There is no need for this to require an ongoing monthly fee.
While onboard SEO should be tweaked and evaluated over time, this is not a constant, ongoing project that requires a monthly retainer. A more realistic approach would be to have a meeting every few months, or when beginning a new marketing campaign, to closely examine the keywords that your website is targeting and how this can be improved or tweaked to adapt to what customers are searching for, or what services your business is focusing on.
The other pillar of SEO, offboard SEO, is more abstract and includes other entities linking to your website, organic clicks, reputation, traffic, and more. These factors can be bolstered by factors such as blog posts and social media posts, and is also an important part of increasing your organic ranking.
However, we have seen too many companies charging an obscene amount of money for this service,
and provide underperforming results.
An offboard SEO strategy should be well planned and targeted, and differs for every business. This is not something that a blanket monthly retainer can cover and effectively deliver.
If a business is charging you a monthly fee for backlinks, social media profile creation, forum commenting, and other SEO buzzwords, they are trying to rip you off.
An effective SEO campaign requires ongoing communication between the agency and the business, discussing what is working and what isn’t working, and how to constantly improve. In our extensive experience, agencies trying to hook you into a monthly plan are only trying to make money, with no real intent on helping your business grow.
We have rescued numerous businesses from spending almost $1000 a month on underperforming SEO, and we understand how imperative it is for small businesses to budget correctly and ensure that any money being spent on marketing is providing ROI.
Please do not be confused by scammers who equate doing Google Ad Advertising with SEO.
Ads should be an important part of your business’ marketing strategy, but when determining SEO ranking, Google does not view paid traffic as highly as organic. Organic SEO and pay per click advertising are two different variables, and require different strategies.
If you’re worried about your site’s SEO, or that you may be suffering from a scam, we would be happy to provide you with a free consultation. Please call us at 319.621.0191, or visit VortexBusinessSolutions.com for more information.