#1: Use the word ‘secret’. There are trade secrets in every industry, but there are no magic tricks in seo. If your agency is a quality one, they will go out of their way to tell you that there are no secrets when it comes to ranking your page well.
#2: Pretend social networks don’t exist. Focusing only on fixing up your site and submitting various content to blogs and networks isn’t going to cut it. A social campaign requires a light, fine touch, and your business needs an agency that knows how to use (and not abuse) the social networks.
#3: Imaginary link building. When an seo outfit talks about building links back to your brand, but makes absolutely no mention of content creation, you know they aren’t serious. The word ‘building’ is used for a reason: these things take work and must be properly constructed.
#4: Quickly pushing more services onto you. Having you pay extra for big projects and web design is one thing, but if you sign up for SEO and realize you’re going to have to pay for ten other services on top of it, what’s the point? Differentiating between honest, paid help and aggressive sales tactics is fundamental.
#5: Never be reachable outside business hours. While seo is a process involving hard work, and doesn’t have to always be to-the-second, there’s no reason your seo company should stick to old-style 9 to 5 hours. They’re an internet-based business and should take advantage of that fact.
#6: Spam forums and comments sections. Forums and comments are for constructive conversation, not just a place to dump filler and post a link. Not only will this give you a bad reputation amongst webmasters, real agencies know this strategy has very limited returns.
#7: Ignore the value of research. To compete online, you have to know your competitors. If your agency blindly throws you out there, among God knows how many other people selling the same thing as you, then you’re wasting your money. Research is fundamental.
#8: Stick with only what they know. The same reason old-fashioned ad agencies are going out of business today: they aren’t following how people get their information. Great seo agencies will continuously evolve, knowing that the internet never stands still, either.
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