This is an article that is a long time coming. It’s incredible how many companies ask me for second opinions on other SEO companies’ work. It’s a fact that every search engine optimizer has to start somewhere. I understand that. However, the unfortunate truth is that far too many companies and freelancers are using SEO as a source of easy money (and making the pros look bad). Effective SEO takes experience and know-how.
Here are 10 signs that the SEO you hired is doing amateur work on your business’s website:
1. There’s a “Google PageRank Checker” banner with a number next to it on any and all pages of the site.
2. There’s a link on the homepage that says “as listed in ABCXYZ directory”
3. The main keyword terms on every page are repeated to the nth degree and are in bolded font.
4. Your SEO guy doesn’t know the nitty gritty basics of a website, like how to build one! I’m sorry but if your SEO person doesn’t know HTML, CSS, and some other important aspects of web page construction, you should probably stay away from them.
5. Your SEO claims he’ll submit to your website to the search engines.
6. Your SEO has found a “creative” way to hide keywords throughout the site. Methods generally thought to be unacceptable by search engines yet popular among amateurs include hiding keywords in white text on a white background, text hidden in <div> tags, among others. Similar amateur mistakes include hiding text far below the main area of the page (so when you scroll down far below the main content, you find a bunch of keywords and links, and so on.
7. You have a splash page with a Flash intro. Even though the search engines are getting better at reading some basic Flash, it’s wrong for oh-so-many reasons! (Ask an expert to explain why to you…)
8. Your ugly, dated, tired-looking website is not a problem to your SEO person. He hasn’t pointed out that a bad design is bad for business (in most cases). So, he tries to optimize your current site without a re-design, and worse, doesn’t add a call to action!
9. Your SEO only discusses being on the first page of Google and how high rankings are the be all and end all. This is one of the most common mistakes among SEOs in general. A high ranking on its own means increased visibility. What about the persuasive nature of the website? Has your SEO discussed web analytics, conversions, or long-term goals? Website visitors do not automatically become conversions (sales, newsletter sign-ups, etc). If your SEO hasn’t discussed this with you, you’ve hired an amateur.
10. Your SEO claims you need major updates every month but can’t tell you what they are.