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Shajith Ali
Shajith Ali

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How to avoid SEO scams?

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SEO is an essential part of any effective online digital marketing strategy . When done right, it can generate long-term positive results for businesses. Unfortunately, there are a lot of SEO agencies and freelancers who are constantly trying to scam honest companies in order to make a quick buck.

It often takes weeks and months to see appreciable results from even the most legitimate SEO efforts, which makes things even easier for scammers. By the time you realize they're not really helping you, you've already been paying them for months.

Creating an SEO strategy is a real job, with the implementation of a multitude of skills and specific webmarketing levers.

Faced with ignorance, the job of SEO can appear obscure, and it is easy for charlatans to sell services by exploiting the flaws of poorly informed and overly gullible customers.

It is important to know the prices of SEO services in order to better understand what to expect and not to fall into the trap of low-cost services without hope of performance.

How to avoid pitfalls? What are the arguments to avoid? How to set up a visibility strategy while avoiding scams? Here are some tips to better understand the challenges of a real SEO strategy and put in place the right actions to position yourself on strategic queries at the top of Google results.

What is natural referencing?

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Natural referencing is a webmarketing action. It consists of positioning the pages of a website at the top of the organic (non-paying) results of an online search engine. The objective of SEO services is to create content that responds to the queries and search intentions of Internet users in order to generate a targeted audience and conversions.

Its development revolves around 3 axes:

  • The technique: a reliable, fast and well-built site for Internet users and search engine robots.
  • The contents : content that offers what they were looking for to Internet users, with the aim of converting. The content is semantically optimized to be well understood by the search engine and visible prominently in the results.
  • Popularity: Google considers sites worthy of interest if they receive a multitude of quality links from other sites. Netlinking is the strategy that aims to develop these external links.

While it is true that there are sets of rules and practices that everyone follows, the whole concept of SEO is based on search engine algorithms. These algorithms change frequently, and so does the SEO landscape.

An SEO service is:

  • A strategy developed for each client with specific objectives.
  • Continuous work over time.
  • Results that are evaluated over the long term.
  • Disappointments, successes and readjustments.
  • Moving results based on Google's algorithm change and competitors' actions.
  • Perseverance in competitive sectors to achieve results.
  • Costs vary from company to company and sector to sector.
  • Teamwork with its customers.

An SEO work is not:

  • Endanger the sites of its customers.
  • Selling shares that have no effect.
  • Magic.
  • A quick fix.
  • Not expensive, not free.
  • Ultra fast.
  • Guaranteed.
  • Without risks.
  • An exact science.
  • Advice 15 years out of date.
  • Simply resting on a tool.

What are the SEO traps and scams to avoid?

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Claim secret SEO knowledge or technique

Offers are often put forward with arguments claiming "secret methods and techniques" or "known secrets at Google" . SEO work is based on basic knowledge which is then used in different ways according to SEO strategies and preferences.

Placement on the ground of the secret formula must attract the suspicion of companies looking for a serious service provider.

SEO is a profession that meets standards, a serious SEO agency will give you relevant advice, with figures and feedback on which to rely.

Impersonate a Google Partner Agency or Consultant

Some β€œprofessionals” pose as partners working with Google, guaranteeing easier and risk-free results. It is absolutely false. No SEO company has special ties with them.

Make SEA (paid advertising referencing) look like SEO

Some offers put forward a guaranteed positioning in the first place and voluntarily generate confusion between natural and paid referencing . SEO and SEA are very different strategies

SEO = natural referencing in organic results.

SEA = CPC auction paid advertising via the Google Ads network .

Guarantee results and positions

Apart from extremely uncompetitive keywords, it is not possible to guarantee first place rankings on keywords , let alone in a competitive environment. Currently, rankings in search engine results can vary based on different criteria, so relying on rankings doesn't really make sense anymore. The overall goal is to capture a quality audience capable of achieving the desired conversions.

Lack of transparency on the SEO techniques used

You must be able to understand what actions will be taken and why, with complete transparency . An action plan generally takes place over a year. An audit is generally carried out at the beginning, it then gives rise to recommendations and a tailor-made action plan to be carried out over the duration of the operations.

If you are offered a standardized pack, without details of the actions to be carried out for your particular site, be careful.

Brag about positioning a brand on its name first

Positioning a company's site first on Google on its name is not a particular achievement . An β€œSEO company” that would mark this goal as an achievement is abusing your credulity.

Talk about quick results and positioning

Each referencing strategy is unique according to its sector of activity, the competition, the actions carried out endorsement… The results and their speed can therefore depend on many factors . Guaranteeing quick results is just a commercial argument that should not be a criterion of choice for a client.

Talk about very low rates that defy all competition

The average daily rate for serious and viable freelancers and SEO agencies ranges between 400 and 800 euros per day . If you want to put in place a serious natural referencing strategy, it is useless to give the slightest importance to services that promise results for a few hundred euros. Simply compare the proposed traffic to the average hourly rate to assess the time that will be spent on your project.

SEO is a long-term strategy, with means to put in place to target an objective. It is necessary to determine what will be the gain if the objective is reached, and what means it is necessary to deploy to achieve this.

If you only have a few hundred euros to devote to your strategy, the best thing is to find another lever for the moment.

No exchange on your activity before launching the service

For a referencing action to go well, a professional must understand your activity, study your competitors, your customers ... A service that would be done without trying to understand who you are, your objectives, should alert you. Bad advice can lead to perilous situations and big problems online for e-merchants.

No audit or SEO action plan

A SEO strategy is above all an action plan to develop your visibility on the internet . Depending on the progress of the strategy, the action plans differ. Packaged turnkey offers, without a prior audit of your site and activity, without a personalized action plan, will not lead to serious work and real results.

No performance indicator defined to monitor the service

The implementation of a visibility strategy targets specific objectives (more targeted traffic, more calls, more leads, more sales, increase the average basket of an e-commerce site, etc.). Clear objectives must be defined and measurement tools configured to assess the relevance of the SEO actions put in place.

Without measurement and evaluation of the work carried out, you navigate by sight . A serious service provider must be able to report the results. Each figure and indicator must have a meaning with the targeted objectives.

See how to choose the right KPIs in natural referencing and evaluate the success of an SEO strategy.

Generate traffic, but no actual conversions or sales

Generating visits to a website can be rewarding at first, but the end goal is still to achieve the desired conversions. The only measurement of increased traffic is not enough to evaluate an effective SEO strategy . The traffic must be qualified and generate the desired actions.

Significant traffic on non-targeted audiences, not generating conversion, reveals a strategy error that needs to be quickly rectified. Posting on social media and driving traffic can be a great opportunity depending on the industry, however it does not have a direct impact on SEO results.

Selling search engine indexing as an SEO action

On the internet you will see many services which, in exchange for tens or hundreds of euros, will offer you your referencing on Google and other search engines via a miracle tool. This only means indexing, the site is present in the Google database, but nothing will be done to improve its visibility.

It is very easy to index a site on Google, no need to use this type of services in vogue in the 90s/2000s.

Sale of automated actions carried out by SEO tools

SEO is a meticulous job that involves many stakeholders and different techniques . Even if some processes can be automated, SEO cannot be done automatically with a single tool, without human intervention.

True traffic, but false provenance

Some services sell you services with promises of traffic generated . It is a celebration of service using cheap labor located in poor countries, generating visits without interest or any power of conversion. Analyze the source of your traffic carefully to assess the results of SEO actions carried out by dubious service providers.

Dangerous netlinking techniques and Google penalties

Netlinking is an important lever of natural referencing. Obtaining quality links from authority sites in the same theme will improve your positioning. However, generating low-quality links in bulk could result in penalties from Google and sanction your efforts.

Run away from offers that offer you tens, hundreds or thousands of links for a few tens of euros. You should always know where the links are coming from if you decide to buy them. Get help from a professional.

If you want to obtain a concrete result and start developing your online visibility strategy, we are at your disposal.

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