10 Red Flags to Help Avoid Choosing a Bad SEO Service – Part Two

Home Online Marketing →10 Red Flags to Help Avoid Choosing a Bad SEO Service – Part Two

10 Red Flags to Help Avoid Choosing a Bad SEO Service – Part Two


By Bob Speyer – Web Success Team

SEO conjures up the worst fears and the most apprehension for those looking at it as a necessary evil. Companies know they need it but aren’t confident in its results. Many have spent thousand of dollars without much return and are reluctant to spend more. Part Two of this article helps navigate the SEO waters and avoid the whirlpools where money drains away by showing you red flag to watch out for so you can make more informed decisions before hiring an SEO firm or specialist.


Red Flag #6:  Too Much Emphasis on Metadata and Not On-Page SEO

Metadata is information that alerts search engine spiders what the page is about. It differs from web page content that the visitor sees on the page, such as page title, description and keywords. Customers pay SEO providers to constantly revise or tweak the metadata. However, today search engines are giving much less emphasis on metadata when determining page ranking. It is important to have a unique title and several keywords for each page; you don’t need an SEO firm to pack keywords. This takes away the focus on what really matters… good content on each page. Page headers, H-tags, captions for images and text on each page are where your efforts should be concentrated.

Red Flag #7: Creating Fluff Content

Content is still the best way to be searched on the Internet. Good web content, whether it is a good blog post, a case study, white paper, or other keyword rich web page will attract inbound links. Content has to have value and not just meaningless content filled with keywords. Avoid recommendations to scraping content from high-ranking websites to boost your own ranking. And of course, do not pack keywords into your content or have low quality articles, just to have content to attract visitors. You should be informed that Google has updated their search algorithm to downgrade a site with poor or low quality content.

Red Flag #8: Quality over Quantity of Traffic

Putting the pedal to the metal and driving traffic indiscriminately isn’t going to benefit you other than make your statistics better. The true judge of SEO efforts is if you are getting business as a result of getting higher rankings and traffic. Performance determinants are: lead generation, conversion rates, time spent on site and online sales. If people are leaving your site or not viewing important pages, you will need to tweak your keywords and address your content issues in order to boost results. Remember there are lies, damn lies and statistics.

Red Flag #9: Avoid One and Done SEO

Proper SEO is not a quick fix. SEO firms will give you a sweet deal promising to boost your traffic and search engine rankings but offer no continued maintenance. SEO is an ongoing process. Your site has to have constantly refreshed content, inbound links need to be continually added, and you have to test and track your keyword performance. Do not just hand off your SEO to a firm. You need to be fully engaged and be a true partner in their SEO efforts. That includes understanding their SEO strategy and tactics, suggesting keywords, writing content and working on link building. The greater the maintenance and analysis of efforts, the greater the SEO results.

Red Flag #10: Avoid Black Hat Linking Opportunities

Inbound links have high SEO value because they tell the search engine bots that people value your site and it is worth connecting to. You become an authority site in the eyes of the search engine spiders. So link building is one of the most important strategies in SEO. However not all inbound links are valuable and some may actually lower your rankings. Avoid SEO firms that use the strategy of email link prospecting where they randomly request webmasters to link back to your site. Another black hat tactic is link trading, offering reciprocal links to place your link on their site and vice-versa. There are also programs that will automate link building. Again these are low quality links and will do more harm than good and often times not even relevant to your area of business.

What Are Your Viewpoint?

We always welcome feedback from our readers. Let us know what “bad” experiences or frustrations you have encountered from using SEO firms. Let’s help each other to avoid SEO pitfalls and put your online marketing dollars to best use.

To Your Web Success!

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  1. Pete Johnson
    July 21st, 2011 11:56  / 

    You speak the truth. Seems 90% of the people selling mortgages five, six years ago are now in the SEO business, employing all ten tactics. I probably hear, “I’ve spent thousands of dollars on SEO with nothing to show for it, what makes your firm different?” No truer words were spoken!


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