When you hear something that's too good to be true, it probably is. This is especially true with some link building or SEO companies that will promise you the world, and leave you with a possible penalty. And when you hear something that might require some work, you might think your SEO is full of it.
For those of you looking to outsource your SEO efforts, here's a quick list of times you should listen to or question your SEO consultant or online marketing agency.
LISTEN When They Say You Need More Link Worthy Content
It may sound like an upsell at first, but having quality content on your website is extremely important when it comes to link building. Unless you want to have someone pay for your links (that's right, I just said paid link building), you will need something other than product or service sales pages on your site that is worthy of a link.
Quality content doesn't have to be something as fancy as infographics or videos (although those are the best). It can be as simple as informative blog posts. Give other webmasters something interesting to link to, and you'll start getting more quality links.
QUESTION When They Say You Can Get Links by Using Auto-Generated Content
A big warning flag should be auto-generated content. What this sometimes means is one article is going to get put into a piece of software to turn it into 10, 20, maybe even 100 more articles. Then those articles are going to be submitted to article directories.
There are two problems with this approach:
- Many of the article directories have been lowered in value since the Google Panda updates. This means even lower quality links than before that may or may not count for anything.
- If anyone does happen across one of these "spun" articles and your company name is on it, then it might leave a bad first impression, as the spun articles usually aren’t reader friendly.
LISTEN When They Say You Need Help With Your On-Site Optimization
On-site optimization is just as important as your links. You can't just have someone build 100 links to your page with keyword anchor text and expect to rank for it if your page isn’t also optimized for that keyword or keyword phrase.
At that point, you're just paying someone a lot of money for little in the results department. If you start off your link building campaign with a well-optimized site, then you'll get much better rankings. At the minimum, this includes keyword optimized title tags, meta descriptions (for clicks, not rankings), header text, and images.
QUESTION When They Say They Can Guarantee You Results Within a Specific Timeframe.
The only thing that can be guaranteed as far as placement within a search engine is an advertisement via Google AdWords or similar program.
The goal of any search optimization efforts is to put a favorable influence on search engines to rank your website. If someone says they can guarantee you No. 1 ranking within 30 days, then they are either going to spam you to the top with short lived results or take your money and run.
LISTEN When They Say They Can’t Guarantee You Results
It's probably not something anyone wants to hear when they sign a contract, but be sure to listen to those who are honest when they say they can’t guarantee you results. The world's top SEO may not be able to help you, especially if they have suggested you add link-worthy content or properly optimize your website and you’ve chosen to ignore them.
QUESTION When They Say They Will Build Links Via Blog Commenting & Forum Posting
While blog commenting, forum posting, and other forums of link building have been traditionally popular in the past, you really need to consider what this means for your reputation. When some services offer "bulk" commenting as a part of their link building package, those comments may not be the kind of quality that you want associated with your brand name.
LISTEN When They Say You Need to Set Up Google Analytics
This isn’t just for your online marketing agency, although it can certainly help them out.
Google Analytics is a free way to see the results of your online marketing efforts. By simply looking at your traffic for a particular keyword phrase when you started your SEO campaign and comparing it to today, you can see whether you're getting tangible results.
Note: Due to some changes within Google Analytics, your keyword data before October 2011 might be higher than it is now thanks to Google hiding data from logged in users.
When are other times you should listen to or question your SEO consultant or agency when it comes to link building or other online marketing strategies? Please share your thoughts in the comments!
Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/drachmann/327122302/