In today’s digital landscape, everyone is an SEO expert regardless of their actual capability. It’s kind of like a financial planner who is in financial trouble giving financial advice. Sounds ridiculous, right? To kick off this blog, let’s first jump into a top five list…
Top 5 Places to Find Bad SEO Advice
- Unsolicited Emails
- Unsolicited Phone Calls
- Professional Conferences
- Social Media*
Let’s jump into the obvious first, unsolicited emails. One of the biggest things that waste time during an SEO campaign is having to explain why most email solicitations are bogus. For example, there are hundreds of SEO audit tools out there. Depending on how you run the report, you can make it look as nice, or as bad as you want to trigger an emotional response from a business or website owner. Digital marketing is built around visibility and inbound leads. If they are reaching out to you, there’s a good chance their own marketing isn’t that great which is why they have to rely on unsolicited emails or phone calls.
Professional conferences typically have a digital marketing segment attached to them and in most cases, the presenter is a glorified sales rep to build up the hype, and scare business owners into thinking that whatever they are doing, it’s wrong. I’ve attended dozens of professional conferences over the years and I’d say 90% of them give out terrible advice when it comes to SEO. Your franchiser typically will hire great salespeople to present, not great and proven marketers.
I could talk about the dangers of social media for days. Just a day ago, someone went onto Nextdoor.com and asked for advice on hiring an SEO. Within minutes, dozens of self-proclaimed SEO’s started dropping their websites and stating why they are the best SEOs in town. The only problem is; when you run their website analytics through tools like SEMRush.com, they have literally, zero organic traffic or rankings. Remember, if an SEO can’t rank themselves, how do you expect them to do the same for you? Before you waste time on someone’s SEO lunch and learn or meetup, be sure to check out their website’s traffic and rankings on SEMRush.com to see if they have any clue to what they’re pitching.
It’s always good to get a recommendation from a friend, however, unless they are a proven SEO themselves, take their recommendations with a grain of salt. Most people give recommendations because they like someone, not because they have any proven experience with them.
When you get a referral, be sure to run them through SEMRush.com. The general rule of thumb is; if they can’t rank themselves; or they can’t get traffic themselves; don’t expect them to do anything different for you.
Finally, if you’ve had an SEO company for any given amount of time and still cannot find yourself online. Run them through that tool. If their website doesn’t rank for anything competitive on the 1st page – run, and run fast.
Boom. Just saved you thousands of dollars. Now, take what you’ve learned and apply it.
Until next time…
Sean “Shakes” Hakes