What to Watch Out For When Avoiding SEO and Marketing Scammers

The need for a well-informed marketing strategy – whether you’re targeting email, search engines or social media – is generally understood by most brands. What isn’t understood is the level of complexity and individual decisions that must be made with each marketing campaign or SEO strategy.

While there can be room for on-the-job learning with regard to these elements, many opt to enlist the services of professional instead. These services can be quite effective but also can involve spending a sizable amount of money over time. For this reason, it’s vital to verify the services and professionals you’re utilizing are in fact legitimate.

Today, we’ll look at what you should watch out for when hiring SEO gurus and marketing professionals if you don’t want to be scammed.

Reluctance to Share Past Client Info and Experiences

Successful marketing and SEO companies understand that the nature of their services can feel or seem intangible. As such and to earn the business of others, it is common practice for referrals, documented examples and other instances of proof to be provided for prospective clients to verify.

While no firm will necessarily reveal every client or outcome, a hesitance to share any past client info or experiences that can be verified is a sure-fire sign that something is amiss. In some cases, it may be relatively innocent (such as a new company presenting itself as a greater authority than it truly is); in others, it is due to downright malicious intentions.

Safeguards Over Analytics Mid-Campaign

Proper firms have no issue with sharing data in the midst of a campaign and keeping clients abreast of developments. After all, legitimate firms are monitoring campaigns as they’re pinging users with content, ads and optimization strategies: otherwise, they’d have no idea whether their efforts were producing results.

If a company is not willing to share information and analytics during a campaign and instead wants to provide excuses such as “it’s too soon to tell” long after they’ve begun, then that is a major red flag.

A Lack of Explicit, Custom Strategies for Your Particular Brand

There are obviously core tenets of marketing and SEO that apply regardless of your own niche or industry. However, that doesn’t mean that every single marketing or SEO effort is a cookie-cutter approach. Professional firms will understand this and can outline specific objectives and unique actions that will need to occur for a brand prior to the launch of any effort.

If a prospective firm is unable to tell you how your brand is different from other industries – or even other brands within the same niche – then it is almost certainly indicative of an unqualified company. While it might not be scam-level in terms of intentions, it’s best to steer clear anyway.

Unclear Timeline for Expected Results

SEO is an ongoing effort and marketing campaigns constantly require deployment and tweaks to continue delivering results, but each individual campaign or effort should have a defined timeline. Competent agencies and firms will be able to outline an approximate period of time after which expected results can be seen and verified.

If a prospective hire cannot give you a time-frame that they feel comfortable with in terms of delivering results, then walk away.

While any SEO or marketing effort can easily start pinging users with ads and/or new content, the quality of such efforts impact performance. Plenty of “experts” lack true capability yet manage to swindle brands and drain valuable ad and search budgets. These four signs are among many that can help you differentiate truly reputable firms from fly-by-night operations and outright scammers.

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