SEO Guarantee Scams and How to Avoid Them
What is the purpose of an SEO Guarantee? No one buys a drill because they need a drill. They buy a drill because they need a hole. Just like you don’t need your website to appear on page one of Google for the sake of being on page one – you need qualified traffic coming to your website so that you can ultimately increase sales (directly or indirectly).
Here’s how you can get exactly what you need to avoid the most common scams and what to expect from a real SEO Guarantee.
SEO Guarantee#1: Page One Rankings
Typically, a page-one SEO guarantee is successfully achieved with keywords that are not searched by anyone. The more words in the keyword phrase, the fewer searches that are conducted. A “long-tail” keyword strategy is a good one, as long as the keywords are not too long. A keyword phrase with 6-10 words is not likely to be profitable, so if your SEO “specialist” tells you otherwise, they should have data to back it up.
Even if the keywords are exactly right, no one can control what gets listed on Google except for Google, so a page-one SEO guarantee is likely to be using some fairly questionable tactics, which could ultimately get your site banned from search engines completely. This is especially true if the SEO provider is guaranteeing a specific time frame as well.
SEO Guarantee #2: Increased Web Traffic
Since traffic is what you need, an SEO guarantee that includes increased traffic to your site – and data to prove it – is what you should be looking for, right?
Nope. Remember, not just any web traffic will do. Many “black-hat” providers will back up their SEO guarantee by showing you the log files from the web server to prove that traffic has increased. And while it’s true that there are more visits, what the SEO provider is not telling you is that the traffic includes “robots” (software). Server log files do not differentiate between human visits and robot visits.
A good web analytics software program will not count robot visits, so you don’t have to sift through mounds of raw data to determine exactly which visits were human and which were not. While using an analytics program, you will see significantly lower numbers, but those visits are much more likely to lead to increased sales, conversions and increased brand awareness.
A Real SEO Guarantee
So what can you expect as a legitimate SEO guarantee? You should expect upward ranking movement within 6-12 months, and increased traffic for well-researched and client-approved keywords.
This means, you will approve keywords, and the SEO consultant will do the research to determine if those keywords will be worthy of pursuing. If your SEO consultant determines that the keywords are not highly searched (or are perhaps too competitive), he or she will be able to recommend related keywords that would be better to target. You should then review that list to see that they match your company’s offering. Working back and forth like that – as a team – you will come up with a list of keywords that you can expect to get real results with. An ethical SEO consultant will not agree to work with just any keywords that you provide. They will do the research to first determine if those keywords are highly competitive, cost-effective, and highly searched.
Questions to Ask About Your SEO Guarantee
Ask the following questions before you put your trust in an SEO guarantee:
- How many people are searching for the targeted keywords (on a monthly or daily basis)?
- Where is the keyword data comes from?
- Where is the traffic data is coming from?
- Does the traffic data include robots?
- Can you show which keywords are driving traffic?
Hopefully these tips will help you avoid falling for the two most popular SEO guarantee scams. Remember, even those with Google certifications and partnerships cannot control where a website ranks in Google’s search engine, and there is no such thing as a “special relationship with Google.” Anyone who tells you otherwise is a fraud. Only Google gets to decide where a site ranks, and they keep their magic recipe for determining the results quite secretive so that spammers and scammers cannot cheat the system.
So, do expect an SEO guarantee, but understand that your SEO provider can only guarantee so much. If it looks too good to be true…