Many of my clients are asking about SEO. Either they are interested in increasing their visibility on search engines or they received a cold call from a SEO company offering them "guaranteed first page" results. I don’t like to see my clients get scammed by unscrupulous salespeople convincing my clients that they can provide the impossible - for a hefty monthly fee. Instead I like to educate my clients on what SEO can and cannot do, and offer a plan for "white-hat" on-page and off-page techniques to realistically improve their SEO rankings.
I found this helpful article that I shared with a client today that debunks many of the claims that he was offered recently: http://purelybranded.com/notes/top-10-seo-scams-and-how-to-avoid-getting-burned/
According to this article on PurelyBranded.com the Top 10 SEO Scams are:
- Guaranteed Rankings
- They know someone at Google, or have a special relationship with Google
- Offering free SEO trial services
- Submissions to thousands of search engines
- Undisclosed or secret SEO strategies
- Top Ranking within 48 hours
- The lowest priced SEO
- We work with someone at Google, or are partners with Google
- We know the Google Algorithm, we are Google Algorithm experts
- Avoid SEO companies that take ownership of content
And here’s more important info straight from Google on what to watch out for from possible SEO scammers: http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=35291
Special points to note – straight from Google: • No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google.
• Advertising with Google won't have any effect on your site's presence in our search results.
• Google never accepts money to include or rank sites in our search results, and it costs nothing to appear in our organic search results.
• Be careful if a company is secretive or won't clearly explain what they intend to do.
• Be sure to understand where the money goes.
• Watch out for:
o guarantees ranking, but only on obscure, long keyword phrases you would get anyway
o offers to sell keywords in the address bar
o doesn't distinguish between actual search results and ads that appear on search results pages
o owns shadow domains
o puts links to their other clients on doorway pages
o operates with multiple aliases or falsified WHOIS info
o gets traffic from "fake" search engines, spyware, or scumware
o has had domains removed from Google's index or is not itself listed in Google
The best place to start on SEO is to optimize your website, utilizing on-page SEO techniques where you pay attention to the content of your page to make sure that it is optimally written to be worthy of a good search engine position.
Ideally, your webpage will meet these criteria:
• Be relevant to a specific topic
• Include the specific topic in URL
• Include the specific topic in title tag
• Include unique, relevant, & specific Description & Keyword meta tags
• Include the specific topic in image alt text
• Specify the specific topic several times throughout text content
• Provide unique written content about a given subject that is of relevance to visitors
• Link back to the category and sub-category page (if applicable)
• Link back to the homepage
If you would like to request an SEO analysis of your site, please give me a call at 888-530-BEAR (888-530-2327) ext. 3 or (530) 324-BEAR and be prepared to provide me with your domain name and top 5 keywords. Or visit www.BearRiverWebDesign.com for more information.