Living in the information age is a blessing and a curse. Everything is at our fingertips at a moment’s notice. Anyone can learn anything, and that’s great. But when you’re trying to find SEO professionals, the line between expert and con artist starts to blur.
Recently BoostSuite created an infographic that depicts three of the most common types of SEO phonies. Avoid wasting your time and money by familiarizing yourself with these personas before you look for SEO help.
The SEO Illusionist
Armed with minimal knowledge and empty promises, the SEO Illusionist will tell you they can solve all of your problems. In reality, their experience consists of having read a handful of articles. This trickster will offer you delusions of grandeur and when you have a specific issue for them, they dance around it with sweeping empty promises.
Hiring such an ‘expert’ will get you nowhere. In the event that they devise a strategy for your company, you’ll likely see little improvement in your search results. And your wallet will probably feel a bit lighter as well.
You’d be better off teaching yourself SEO than trusting this clown. Sites like Search Engine Land, Search Engine Watch, and eZanga offer free information on SEO that could put you ahead of this trickster in no time.
The Fast Talking Expert
This persona may very well be an expert in SEO. But that doesn’t mean they’re going to put their skills to good use. With great power comes great responsibility, but they never got the memo.
Watch out for flashy talk and industry jargon. They’ll say anything to gain your trust. Once they have your trust, they have your money. And when you finally need their “skills,” they’re nowhere to be found. Even if you created an SEO strategy with them, they never intended to go through with it. Now you’ve wasted your money AND your time!
In order to weed this one out, ask them to explain their jargon. Ask about past clients and how they helped them. If they hesitate, then it’s time to let them go before it’s too late.
The Friendzoned SEO Strategist
This is typically someone you’re already familiar with, like a family member or a friend. You’ve already known them for a while and they’ve never let you down before, so why wouldn’t you trust them with your campaign?
Often this persona is considered, “one-dimensional,” and lacks the necessary skills and experience to solve your problems. If the area you need help in isn’t their area of expertise, you’re out of luck.
Stop and Think
Before you get all worked up about all the crooked SEO frauds out there, ask yourself, “Do I even need an SEO specialist?” If you have enough time, you could very well teach yourself about SEO.
And if you don’t have the time, then maybe you do need an SEO specialist. And now that you know what makes an SEO phony, you know what to look for in a real one:
- Detailed strategies
- Experience in SEO
- Satisfied former customers
- Realistic (doesn’t promise you the world)
- An understanding of the three tiers of SEO
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