- April 30, 2009
Seriously. I’ve had several clients forward emails or “proposals” from other SEO firms that use unsolicited emails or phone calls to sell link building services or SEO consulting.
I’ve noticed they fall into two categories:
1. Laughable Long Shots
Riddled with typos, grammatical errors, or sometimes even the wrong client websites, these offers probably originate overseas. Most of these are easy to spot as spam or low quality and clients dismiss them immediately.
The worst part about this approach is that even SEO consultants like me receive offers to “opitimze your webstie for the google.” My advice, don’t waste your time or money.
2. Slick Salesmen
These guys can sell a ketchup popsicle to a woman in white gloves. They make all sorts of promises, amazing claims, and use words like “best”, “certified”, “only”, or “guaranteed.” They prey on the uninformed and misguided. Their websites are usually just as slick and typically full of misinformation or blatantly false data or testimonials.
The problem is, many small or medium-sized business owners do not know the right questions to ask to determine if the services being offered are legitimate, effective, and within the search engines’ guidelines.
Questions to Ask any SEO Cold Caller
I sent a list of questions to a client to pass along to the cold caller in question to gauge the response. I thought I would share that list here. Feel free to add to it in the comments.
- What types of sites do you place all those links on? Who owns them? Can you provide examples?
- What type of verification do you offer that the links were successfully placed?
- What happens to those links if you stop paying the monthly fee?
- Are the links placed on sites that receive little or no traffic? If so, it may be a link farm. Stay away, it’s just a waste of money.
- What kind of results do you expect? If they even mention a “guarantee”, run!
- If they write content for you, what assurances will they give that it is unique content and not scraped from other sources?
- What kind of reporting and analytics do they provide?
- Will they be available to answer any questions after the engagement?
- How will their services influence, and be influenced by, your other marketing, PR, social media, sales, and strategy initiatives?
- Have they even looked at your website, and can they offer any initial thoughts?
Finally, go with your gut. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!