Identifying unethical SEO companies and how to avoid them
It’s very easy to find an SEO company. The real challenge for business owners and managers is identifying the good SEO agencies from the bad. Unfortunately, poor quality SEO companies will use unethical sales tactics to dupe businesses into signing with them.
Spam sales tactics employed by SEO companies are designed to hoodwink businesses rather than build a real business relationship. These companies have no issue with bombarding their targets' inboxes with voicemails, unsolicited advice and flimsy promises.
Luckily, these nearsighted sales tactics will damage the reputation of shoddy SEO agencies in the long run. To combat this trend, here we offer business owners and managers some sound advice on how to identify four of the most common unethical sales techniques used by these SEO companies.
1. Cold calling
Aggressive sales tactics are often lead by telemarketers. These people are required to cold call potential clients and try to convince them to either, stay on the line, or return their call.
The issue for business owners and managers is that when these telemarketers leave a voicemail, they frequently pretend to be a friend or a client so that their call is returned. In this way, businesses are duped into wasting valuable time and money, returning a call that was based on a lie.
2. Cold emailing
Cold emailing is a cheap – and therefore, a very common – sales tactic. Most businesses will no doubt spend time clearing out spam from their email inboxes each day.
If you are getting cold emails from an SEO company you have no prior relationship with, then it’s best to assume that they are more interested in your money than improving your business.
What’s more, many of these emails will be filled with advertisements and clickbait. This information won’t provide business owners and managers with any relevant advice or material relating to their business.
3. Free SEO audit and site check-up
Watch out for companies that advertise 'free' SEO audits or website checks. Often, these ‘checks’ will be pretty basic and might just tell you what you already know.
What’s more, many of these free audit offers, are just rebranded automated reports from software platforms like SEMrush. Sure, they can be helpful, but they aren’t going to go into as much detail as a fully-fledged SEO agency report would.
Moreover, be aware that a bad SEO company might exaggerate some of your website’s ‘problems’ and frame their company as the number one or only fix. And note that a quality SEO company will often do a website audit as part of their pitch for your business anyway.
4. Free consultation
Another warning sign of a bad SEO company is when they advertise a consultation for free. Often, you'll see claims that these services are normally valued at $200, $500 or even $1000.
Realistically, B2B companies want face time with potential clients. These kinds of promotions or advertising campaigns trick business owners and managers into thinking they're getting something for nothing. Again, a good SEO company will sit down with a potential client for free anyway.
SEO is a tricky industry, and it is important that business owners and managers understand that results like this are unrealistic, at least in the consultation phase. In your first meeting, a good SEO company will be realistic about timelines and offer a long term strategy with key milestones and targets.
Hopefully, you now have a better idea of what poor quality SEO companies will do to gain your business. By identifying these tactics, you and your business should be able to distinguish the good SEO companies from the bad. And you might even avoid some of those pesky phone calls, too.
Still unsure? For all enquiries, please contact one of our SEO specialists in Melbourne today.
Digital360 on 15 May 2017
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