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SEO

Four Ways to Spot an SEO Scam

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Four Ways to Spot an SEO Scam

Many business owners are hounded every day by solicitors selling various services and products. Unfortunately one of those services is search engine optimization, or “SEO.” These calls or emails often are laden with promises of amazing results – hundreds of leads, first page listings, and more.

Don’t get taken for a ride! Many so-called SEO experts are taking advantage of black hat methods that will hurt you in the long run, or worse, they’re taking your money and doing nothing!

Arm yourself with the right questions to ask a potential SEO or Internet Marketing or Content Marketing firm. We’ll help you spot red flags that can help you identify when you’re being scammed.

FOUR WAYS TO SPOT AN SEO SCAM:

PROMISES OF FIRST PAGE RESULTS

Run away quickly! NO real SEO expert can promise to get you to the top of page one. No one. The algorithm changes so frequently on Google, first of all. Secondly, unless you’re selling a super niche product nobody else has you will be up against websites with tens of thousands of pages of content. A website can only rise in natural search listing according to its potential. A small website of 30-50 pages will not usually outrank a giant like Amazon or Forbes, if that’s what currently holds the top spot for a given key phrase.

NO DEFINED TACTICS THAT ARE MEASURABLE

Great, they’ll help you get to the top of the search engine. But for what, exactly? What search terms are even important to you? How could the SEO company possibly know unless you told them? Be sure you know what you’re paying for. Are they developing content? Are they helping you disseminate content on social media outlets or blogs? Are they optimizing the current pages of your site? Get the specifics in writing.

TRAFFIC WITHIN HOURS OR DAYS

Optimization is complex and difficult. It takes Google a few days to even index your new content or site structure. If an SEO company is promising to get you traffic within hours of days, they’re not going about it the right way. There are no shortcuts, no secrets, no “insider info” that could make this possible. Period.

HUNDREDS OF LINKS

Be oh-so-careful with backlink strategies. Buying links or getting links in any way that is unnatural (that means anything other than your awesome content being passed around) is a Google no no. It’s a surefire way to get penalized and will hurt your ability to rank in the future, and may get you booted off search results entirely. Linking is an advanced SEO strategy that only comes from producing original content. If an SEO “expert” is offering to get you a ton of links, you need to ask how! 

Bottom Line: SEO takes time and a lot of hard work, but it is worth it when you’ve got a good partner on your side. Any good optimization firm should be able to explain to you, in a way that you understand, exactly what they’re going to do to help you gain quality web traffic. SEO is also very individual and has to have a customized approach. It is tied to your objectives, history in the search engines, and content – no one-size-fits-all program will do it.

Ready for a real, logical, results-driven SEO program? Contact Tangram Sky.   

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Directory Listings: the SEO X Factor

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Directory Listings: the SEO X Factor

SEO campaigns can be scary for small businesses. You don't have a $30,000 budget each month to throw at advanced link building strategies and expert blog writers. We get that, and we have good news for you. 

There are easy, simple SEO strategies that you can implement that won't break the bank or hog your time. One of them is often overlooked, and that's the almighty directory listing. 

Directory listings are like built-in back links you can get for free and with little effort. Think of the Internet like a spider web, with your website as the main circle in the middle. That's the end goal - it's where you want everyone to end up. Your Facebook page is one entry point. Your Google + or Google Maps listing might be another. You keep adding those "strands" and your web branches out. You want as many of those as possible. That's where directories come in! 

What is a Directory Listing? We're sure you've heard of Manta.com, Angie's List, Yellowbook, etc. These are directories…and each one of them has a free  component just waiting for you to set it up. We're not kidding. This is especially valuable for being found in local search results. You're repeatedly listing the name of your company, a link to your website, a description, and the location of your business. Every directory you submit to adds another thread to your web. 

Here are the top directories Tangram Sky recommends: 

1. Google (Google My Business, you need a profile) 
2. Bing
3. Yelp
4. Facebook
5. YellowPages
6. Yahoo
7. Angie's List
8. Manta
9. Merchant Circle
10. SuperPages
11. YP.com
12. LinkedIn
13. CitySearch
14. Better Business Bureau
15. Yellowbook
16. EZ Local
17. Hotfrog
18. Foursquare
19. Local.com
20. Showmelocal

This list may look intimidating to you, but rotate a few of these into your SEO strategy. Add four listings a month, maybe, or even two if that's all you can manage. Are there review sites that pertain to your business or industry? Get a listing on there too, and start asking customers for reviews there. 

Build your web, constantly adding opportunities for entry to your website. 

Interested in outsourcing? Call us and we'll work out a custom plan to reach your goals. 

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