There is no doubt about it there are some real snakes in the search marketing industry and we have all heard the horror stories from clients who have fallen prey. Search marketing “experts” saying crazy things to acquire clients only to result in bogus work and almost no marketing value are out there lurking on non-savvy website owners looking to market their businesses online.
Here are some ways to smell a search marketing snake:
If either the person on the phone or the company is invisible in the search results than I would steer in the opposite direction. Anybody that is truly passionate about the industry and provides a great search engine marketing service is not going to be invisible online.
If the person you are about to do business with has absolutely no photo bouncing around online when you search their name this could be a red flag also. I don’t care if you are shy about your photo or if you think you are not attractive if you don’t show your face anywhere it is usually because you don’t want to be found.
Search the company or personal name and see what others have to say. If you have any negative reviews on their business practice or the person specifically bouncing around in search results I would walk away entirely. Even if there was negative review that you could look past the company should know how to market themselves in order to clean that information up.
If the person on the other end of the phone starts telling you things like “we use a secret recipe” immediately raise an eyebrow. There is no secret sauce to SEO! It is hard work coupled with a marketing hat and strong branding that get the job done. Sure there are some technical aspects like linking and keywords but anybody that cannot explain what their process is might not be the right person or company for you to work with.
If you don’t see an address on their website either than there could be a reason for this. A business should never want to hide their address unless they are hiding from something. A website with no address usually has no address for a reason so be weary.These are important areas to look out for when getting involved with any search engine marketing company or freelancer. Any company looking to do business with the B2B community should be willing to show their face and provide their contact information with no questions asked.