Dodgy SEO Melbourne

 In Articles, Business

A review of Dodgy SEO Melbourne from a Small Business’s point of view

We have wasted too much money on SEO and I am writing this post to inform anyone out there that runs a small business to hang up when a SEO company calls you with their interchangeable copy/pasted sales pitch.

As a small business we don’t have a huge budget  for advertising, previously when we’ve signed up with a Dodgy SEO Melbourne company we’ve had to pull money out of our PPC campaign to fund it. The problem is by doing so there’s a massive drop in calls, online inquiries, emails everything because PPC is instant traffic, where as SEO on the other hand takes time to build up rankings through back linking, link building, landing pages etc.
When we’ve moved to a new SEO provider they have generally had a great action plan, everything is structured well with timelines for new content, however here in lies the problem – there is a big difference between an SEO companies proposal and what they actually provide. I understand the importance of good website SEO however it’s next to impossible to achieve a positive ROI as a small business because a monthly account of say $1500-$3000 is petty cash to the larger SEO’s and they couldn’t care less if you’re not getting a positive return.

Over promising – particularly with ROI

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Dodgy SEO Melbourne companies will give you a time frame in which to expect close to 1st page rankings, all of our previous SEO providers gave roughly around 6 months and we would see multiple keywords on the 1st page of Google. As a rule of thumb it makes no difference if your on the 2nd page or the 30th page of Google, if you aren’t on the 1st page (particularly the top 5) you may as well hide a dead body there because no-one will find you. After our experience with SEO I rate them about as highly as people involved with Multi-Level Marketing (MLM), they prey on naive people that just don’t know any better.

Focus on the wrong keywords

In the past we’ve usually focused on 7-10 keywords however out of those there are only 3 that will actually bring in any worthwhile traffic, the rest are just filler keywords. When a keyword is more highly searched it makes the SEO companies job harder because there’s much more competition for them to contend with. What I’ve found multiple companies do is focus their efforts on low traffic keywords in a weak attempt to get you 1st page rankings. Case in point… “Cleaning Contractors Melbourne” is the only keyword we’ve had ranked 1st page… EVER! That particular keyword  was in position 1 on the first page of Google for 6 months, we didn’t receive a single call from it being there.

Transparency

Dodgy SEO Melbourne companies will claim to be transparent regarding results and actual work being done on your site, provide you with monthly if not weekly reports showing the progress of your keywords. What generally happens is in the first few months they are cleaning up all the broken links/problems from the previous SEO provider and your rankings might start out at say position 110 then suddenly might jump up to anywhere from 60-90. When they get you out of Google purgatory suddenly they actually have to do work to continue the upward trend, that’s when your weekly/monthly reports don’t come through anymore until you start chasing them down. – Reason being because they can’t show you positive results.

Technical Problems

We’ve had SEO companies pull out all sorts of excuses as to why rankings aren’t happening, my favourite was when a previous provider blamed our web designer (who is also a close friend of mine) for broken links, to which the only change made was an image update which worked perfectly on all devices. We ran the website through a “Broken Link Checker” and there was absolutely nothing wrong. On to another one… Below is a screenshot from our previous website, it shows a laughable menu update provided by the good people in the SEO industry.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Big results are ALWAYS just around the corner

When you call your Account Manager to discuss the future of your working relationship, SEO companies use all sorts of delay tactics to stop you from leaving. They prey on the idea that if you leave now, you’ll lose everything!

Client Turnover

SEO companies have massive client turnover, it’s a known fact. The sales force behind the facade that is SEO brings in so much business that by the time you’re ready to leave they have three new clients coming on board to replace you. SEO is no longer “Seach Engine Optimisation” but has become a massive sales force with minimalistic staff that actually provide the service – or lack there of.

Holding your back-links to ransom

When you eventually get fed up with the BS that is the SEO industry and leave your current SEO, if you jump into Webmastertools you’ll notice that suddenly all your back-links have disappeared. No it’s not because you stopped doing SEO, it’s because your SEO provider pulled all your back-links. SEO companies are in control of ever new piece of content that is published online whether that be an article, blog, whatever so keep in mind if things don’t work out with your current SEO provider and decide to move to another provider chances are you are going to lose all work done and start from scratch again!

Unaccountable for any performance problems

It’s always funny reading through SEO companies terms/conditions or contracts, there is always something down the bottom tucked away in teeny, weeny writing that indemnifies them of any performance based problems. One of my favourites to read was the inability to sue a company in question if the clients website is crashed due to bad coding. Below is a copy/paste from our previous SEO providers contract…
“SECTION 3c. The use of [Company Name] search engine optimisation Services is at the Customer’s own risk.”

It’s NOT JUST YOU that’s having problems ranking

When I sacked our previous SEO, out of curiosity I went through their original proposal and found some of their client testimonials which boasted ranking positions anywhere from 1-3 on first page for particular keywords. I spent about an hour going through Google searching all the keywords they had listed in original proposals. I couldn’t find a single client that had a keyword ranked let alone one that still used that same SEO company. – It makes you wonder, if by some miracle an SEO company can actually get me onto first page. Can they realistically keep me there?

Conclusion

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I’m sure there will be people in the SEO industry reading this going through our website and nitpicking all the aspects which haven’t been SEO’d properly. Quite frankly because of the above reasons I just don’t care, this website was built after our disastrous SEO experience and was created to function well not be SEO’d to death creating all sorts of flow problems. We have dealt with multiple companies ranging from the cheap right through to the expensive SEO providers, essentially the end result is the same it just comes down to how much money you are willing to throw down the toilet. Our previous SEO company was one of the expensive ones and it’s quite sad to see just how much money gets pumped into the scam that is the SEO industry. It begs the question, where does all your money go?

The industry is littered with companies that over promise and under deliver, just like many other industries this one desperately needs some intervention with guidelines and regulations. My limited understanding of how Google’s algorithm works is that SEO companies aren’t particularly liked by Google and all these “Panda” updates are making it harder and harder for them to provide a service that is billable. There have been many articles recently like this regarding the dodgy state of SEO and the promises that they can’t keep, it’s great to see people are wising up. I look forward to the day when dodgy SEO providers are named and shamed for the scam artists that they are!

In conclusion I’ve made a bet with a friend that this article ranks better than any keyword an SEO company has attempted for us. I hope this honest account of our experience is a refreshing change to all the generic obviously paid forreviews you see all over SEO companies websites/facebook/google+

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