Industrial Marketing

Top 5 Ways to Tell If Your SEO Agency Is Ripping You Off

How can you tell if you are getting the short end of the stick from your SEO agency? It may not be obvious, so watching out for these suspicious behaviors can help you avoid getting ripped-off.

Top 5 Ways to Tell If Your SEO Agency Is Ripping You Off

Con artists and scammers are notorious for cheating people out of their hard-earned dollars. In business-to-business, this type of swindling can be just as common.

In a perfect world, you would not have to worry about this. Unfortunately, it happens to the best of us.

How can you tell if you are getting the short end of the stick from your SEO agency? It may not be obvious, so watching out for these suspicious behaviors can help you avoid getting ripped-off.


1. They Market Themselves More Than Your Company

Are you only seeing a small percent of the money you pay go to your pay-per-click program?

Your SEO agency may be pocketing a large amount to put towards their own efforts in promoting themselves. They may be more focused on gaining new clients than getting results for you.

This is clearly not a good business practice.

What you want is a SEO firm that actually cares about increasing your traffic. Not one that sees you only as a source of income.

IQS Directory is a cost-effective choice for PPC management. This helps you get seen by as many people as possible and is a great value.


2. They Don’t Perform Keyword Research

 Google Keyword Planner Example

Keyword research is essential for driving the right kind of visitors to your website.

In fact, Moz states “keyword research is one of the most important, valuable, and high return activities in the search marketing field.”

A SEO company not interested in getting you the best value for your money would skip the process of research and purchase advertisements using sub-par keywords. This would result in unqualified traffic visiting your site and a high bounce rate.

Instead, look for a Google AdWords Certified Partner such as IQS. AdWords Certified Partners have knowledge of the latest tools and best practice techniques to help you stand out drive qualified visitors to your website.

Google AdWords even has a handy and free-to-use Keyword Planner. Enter your product or service in the search box and the tool will give you related keywords with information such as search volume, level of competition, and suggested bid.


3. They Take a “One-Size-Fits-All” Approach

 One size fits all social media approach

Every business is unique and requires a personalized digital marketing strategy.

Just because a strategy worked for one business does not mean it will work for another. The world of digital marketing is huge and there are a variety of factors that determine which program will have the best results.

For instance, LinkedIn is a great place for business-to-business (B2B) marketing. A B2B manufacturer of air filters would benefit the most from being active on LinkedIn, rather than YouTube or Instagram.

On the other hand, Facebook is “the gold standard for B2C social media marketing.” (Oktopost)

The best social platform for your business may be left out in a one-size-fits-all plan.

A disinterested SEO agency will not take the time to get to know your business and understand your strengths and weaknesses. They will not leverage your budget effectively and you will miss out on quality leads.

One-size-fits-all may work for sock and hats, but not for SEO tactics.

Chose a company that asks you questions and then creates an approach based on your needs.


4. They Hide Information from You

 Google Analytics Logo

They do not send you Google Analytic reports.

An untrustworthy organization will give you an excuse as to why you cannot see your digital marketing results.

If it seems like they are trying to hide something from you, they probably are. Many times, this is because they promised you something they know they cannot deliver, such as the #1 position on Google. According to Rick Whitttington, “you simply cannot promise a specific position in search results.”

An honest agency communicates effectively and shows you how your campaign is going. You can expect access to statistics like Google Analytics and monthly marketing reports.


5. They Have Bad Reviews

Do they have negative reviews on Google or Facebook? What about complaints on Better Business Bureau?

If others are having bad experiences with a SEO agency this should be a red flag.

While customers may be more likely to leave bad reviews than positive ones, an overwhelming number of unfavorable reviews is a strong indicator you should stay away.

Negative reviews mentioning companies “not getting what they paid for” or being “mislead” are especially relevant. Rude customer service and high price complaints are less likely to be related to a company ripping its customers off.

Instead, look for a company that others have positive experiences with.


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Avoiding fraud requires common sense, attentiveness, and diligence. Being able to notice a scam is a valuable skill.

IQS takes pride in being up-front and honest with our clients. We cannot imagine doing business any other way.

From web design to SEO and PPC management, we can assist you in a variety of marketing services that help send qualified customers to your website. Visit the IQS Directory Homepage to read more and get in touch with us.