Evolocity knows that there are no shortcuts to SEO success, but they also know how to spot the tactics of the less-than-reputable-quick-fix organisations.

Whilst SEO is considered an art rather than a science (with no formal training or qualifications required to offer services), it also requires a considerable investment in time keeping abreast of the latest online marketing developments and algorithm changes.

As Google rarely provides concrete information about algorithm changes or even ranking factors, much of the SEO information comes in the form of online “chatter” and industry blogs, making cause and effect of SEO often difficult to substantiate. This makes it challenging for business owners to track the efforts of their SEO campaigns and ensuring they’re receiving what they pay for.

I’ve seen businesses fleeced by paying SEO Agencies their monthly retainers, without any work being done for several months. It’s relatively easy to tell (and prove) if your SEO provider is doing the work they claim. To avoid this, I suggest business owners start by asking for a checklist of tasks that were performed, with some cursory checks themselves, around services that were agreed on in the engagement such as links being built, content written/optimised etc.

What is also of concern is those SEO companies that offer their clients fast rankings in the space of a few weeks. Unsuspecting business owners aren’t made aware that SEO agencies do this by either buying links or subscribing to a link network (both of which contravene Google’s terms of service and place their websites at a significant risk of Google penalty), where their whole site can be removed from Google’s search engine, until they comply by removing such links and applying for the site to be indexed Google again.

It’s fair to say that most business owners have received emails offering SEO services from offshore businesses, many of which pretend to be Australian, but we’ve experienced several smaller Australian SEO agencies also flouting the ACMA’s anti SPAM laws, by directly approaching businesses trying to sell SEO services, without following the consent (inferred or otherwise) that is required.

Also, some of our clients have alerted us to Australian hosting companies (that also offer the same services) approaching them trying to cross-sell digital marketing services. I’m aware of a couple of instances of what could only be considered deceptive conduct, where these businesses appear to be trying to trick business owners by sending them SEO reports of domain names that are owned by them, but have no website, or by running reports of very similar top-level domains (.com instead of .com.au) that show their sites don’t rank for any keywords; to aim, I can only imagine, is to strike fear and panic into business owners in an attempt to sign up to SEO services.

Search Engine Optimisation is a vital aspect of most business’ Digital Marketing mix. It’s renowned for having a great ROI and is most often the highest source of traffic to a website which is responsible for the highest volume of leads and conversions.

There really are no shortcuts to SEO.

It takes months (often even up to a year) to see results and that time frame is growing as the search landscape becomes more competitive each day. Be wary of any SEO agencies offering faster results than six months, as they either can’t deliver on their promises, or they are taking shortcuts that will hurt your business more in the longer term.

Also, use reputable Australian businesses that are bound by Australian laws and are held to higher standards. As part of your service agreement, I suggest you find out how many clients your account manager handles, and what tasks are outsourced/offshored, if any.