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How To Distinguish Bad Seo's From Good Ones?


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22 replies to this topic

#1 virtualmisc

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Posted 14 October 2009 - 01:55 PM

How can 1 distinguish bad SEOs from good ones?
Someone please help me


#2 Randy

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Posted 14 October 2009 - 03:40 PM

There is no simple answer to the simple question.

It really comes down to whether they know what they're doing or not, which you can only determine by asking them the right questions and knowing what the right answers should be. But by the same token you shouldn't expect them to fully lay out everything they know for free.

You can sometimes limit your exposure by first requesting a paid site review, before hiring them to do any actual work. See what they pick up on and what changes they would recommend to your SEO plan.

There are a couple of dead ringers though, at least in my personal opinion.

I would never, ever, ever hire an SEO who contacted me through my web site. If they initiate the contact then chances are they're not going to be very good. Sure the SEO business has slowed down just like everything else in these rough economic times, but in my mind at least you're not going to see many if any legitimate SEO's out there dredging the backwaters for business.

The best of the best probably turn away more clients than they take on, for any one of several reasons.

And the second ringer is I'd never do business with someone who promised/guaranteed 1st page ranks or whatever. Nobody can guarantee that since the search engines are outside their control. Not to mention the fact that each market is different.

Combine those two and you have my favorite spam that I get these days. Supposed SEOs sending me a pitch via the contact form of my sites that promise a 1st page ranking. Which would be pretty simple for them to accomplish since all of my sites already have 1st page rankings for every keyword phrase I've targeted. giggle.gif I have to admit I do get a good giggle out of each of those I receive, which happens practically daily anymore.

#3 LizardSEO

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Posted 14 October 2009 - 03:59 PM

Very good points. I get asked that question a lot. I think it really comes down to transparency and trust. Does the SEO have a way of following through with what is promised?

I do engage in marketing, so I would tend to disagree about the point that good SEO's turn away clients. If you are turning away clients, then you should maybe think about expansion to grow your business. Just because you received a mailer from Honda does not mean they do not make great cars.

In the end, talk to a few SEO's and any other business owners you might know who have used SEO services. If the SEO is willing to spend the time formulating a specific plan of action for your business, and provide you with specific measures of performance, then they might be right for you.

#4 Jill

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Posted 14 October 2009 - 04:14 PM

I wrote about this awhile back:

How to Tell if Your SEO is a Quack

#5 1dmf

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 03:32 AM

Ask them what they thinks of standards, semantics and W3C, if they don't know what you're talking about or claim it's a load of rubbish -> walk away wink1.gif




#6 Jill

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 08:20 AM

I disagree with 1dmf since those are not SEO issues but website design issues.

#7 1dmf

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 09:35 AM

my point exactly bighug.gif

#8 seodesire

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Posted 17 October 2009 - 08:02 PM

When dealing with an SEO it's best to first read absolutely everything on their website/offer.

You should be able to pick up enough information on what they are really offering/what they are really capable of.

In saying this, I worked with a guy recently who went with a very reputable SEO company and they didn't even build a single backlink to the site (backlinks were definitely needed) in 6 whole months. I couldn't beleive my eyes but it just goes to show, you need to take due care when hiring an SEO company.

Though the real the answer to this is all down to finding a solid reason to fully place your trust in them by using effective questioning to get the answers you need.

This way you'll see past the copywriting and peer into the eyes of the business behind it all.

#9 donp

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 09:38 AM

We all get calls from potential clients with unreasonable expectations, they see emails every day guaranteeing rankings and other claims - they get a lot of disinformation before they ever talk to us and let's face it, most folks eyes glaze over when we describe what we do and how we do it. (To this day my family and friends still describe my business as making websites, never making websites work.)
Me? I try to get a potential customer to reveal what basic expectations and goals they have, and may briefly touch on plans and prices. I ask them to contact any one or several of the clients I have listed in my porfolio. If they do that, they are very likely to call back and join me in a partnership to achieve those goals and expectations. If they don't call back, they most likely haven't used even basic due diligence before hiring a contractor - you can pretty much figure if they won't do the basics, they won't do what will really work to help themsleves.

Sounds kind of egotistical, I know. I used to be a building contractor and sold a ton of work to folks who never bothered to check my references or credentials. I took the money and did the best job I could but was always amazed at people shoving money at me, basically a stranger.

#10 Randy

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 04:37 PM

Don, if anything I was worse when I still did this stuff for other people. So don't feel too bad about having high expectations of your prospective clients.

Towards the end before I decided to chuck the clients and make a living from my own sites I got really bad according to many SEO's. Because when someone would contact me wanting to hire me I'd give them homework. giggle.gif

Nothing earth shattering mind you. The only assignment was that they had to come up with and reveal to me their USP/UVP. (Unique Selling or Value Proposition)

I'd tell 'em right up front that I wouldn't work for them if they didn't have one or couldn't figure out one. And that their USP/UVP couldn't be something obtuse like "We provide great customer service!" or "We have the best prices." It had to be real and verifiable, that wouldn't be able to be trumped by a competitor. If they couldn't come up with one I wouldn't even consider taking them on as a client.

How's that for bad? Not to mention jaded. wink1.gif

#11 1dmf

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 04:03 AM

Careful Randy, you'll give the industry a bad name hysterical.gif

QUOTE
This way you'll see past the copywriting and peer into the eyes of the business behind it all.
If only it was that easy in life, to be able to spot the bad guys, just from the look in their eye.



#12 adibranch

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 04:35 AM

QUOTE(Randy @ Oct 18 2009, 04:37 PM) View Post
Towards the end before I decided to chuck the clients and make a living from my own sites


Randy, why did you decide to do this out of interest?


#13 1dmf

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 04:45 AM

The same reason people start their own business perhaps?

-> Why make someone else rich, when you can make yourself rich!



#14 adibranch

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 05:36 AM

yeah but most SEO's are self employed/run their own business anyway? I certainly am...

Besides, get experience and branding behind you and there's no reason why your service based business cant 'make you rich' either. I used to work for an SEO company that the bloke had built up from a few years back, doing very very well for himself with large premises and numerous staff (but he was 'old skool' SEO and wasnt willing to take on or alllow new ideas, and as a consequence they're now struggling for clients, along with a high staff turnaround).

Mind you, i'd happily do what Randys doing, i just havent got time to try or research anything of my own at the mo.

#15 1dmf

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 06:26 AM

QUOTE
yeah but most SEO's are self employed/run their own business anyway?
So most SEO's are one man bands?

QUOTE
(but he was 'old skool' SEO and wasnt willing to take on or alllow new ideas,
That's an interesting comment, how do you see old school vs new school.

I thought SEO hasn't changed hardly at all, apart from the obvious keyword density issues SE's used to suffer from, many, many years ago.

You write quality copytext focused on your product / service, correclty use title tags, headings, anchor text and image attributes (all which you would do if writing semantic , standards compliant markup anyway) and get as many links to your pages as possible.

Keep your site up-to-date, diversify and offer resources and quality information / customer service, provide affiliate programs or other 'link' bait. Market your business.

you did all this long before a computer was even invented, ok terminology and mechanisms change, but basic business concepts and marketing hasn't , just the medium in which to do it.

I'm interested in your defenition.





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