15 Ways to Spot a Shady SEO Provider – Tuesday Tip Video Clip

It’s a sad fact – there are far too many shady SEO providers out there… Most dealers don’t know much about SEO, which makes it easy for the unscrupulous SEO providers to prey on them. Our latest tip video shares 15 easy tips to help you spot the SEO providers that won’t help your dealership.


Welcome to this week’s Tuesday Tip Video Clip. As the Director of Search and Social here at AutoRevo, I talk to customers all the time who have had bad experiences with SEO providers. Just like there are bad dealers out there who are willing to screw customers, there are bad SEO companies who prey on dealers who don’t know any better.

I’d like to list a few warning signs that your SEO provider sucks. By “sucks”, I mean they’re shady, or inexperienced, or stretched too thin, or aren’t on top of the latest trends in SEO. I also want to warn against “black hat” SEO providers. These people may show or promise you fast, impressive results, but they’ve actually used nasty tricks that will get your website penalized by Google.

When your site gets banned by Google, you won’t show up any searches… for anything. You definitely DON’T want to be on Google’s bad side.

Here are some red flags and warning signs that your SEO provider sucks:

They promise to get you to the number one spot. Nobody can promise that.

They guarantee rankings. Nobody can guarantee that.

They don’t charge you unless you rank on page one. The small print here is that they’ll get you to page one for terms that nobody searches for, so it won’t matter.

The do article publishing. This is an outdated tactic that doesn’t work anymore.

They guarantee links. Link building isn’t simply a numbers game anymore, it takes work to find relevant, quality links. There’s no way to guarantee a set number every month.

They don’t ask for access to your Google Analytics. If you’re paying them to increase your visibility and get you more traffic, shouldn’t they need access to your analytics to see the results of their work?

They don’t give you access to Google Analytics. If they set up an analytics account but won’t let you see it, they’re trying to hide something.

They don’t do anything with citations. Citations are one of the most important aspects of Local SEO, so if they’re not doing anything with them, they’re not going to be effective.

Your report only shows rankings. Ranking reports are useless to you – who cares how many terms you rank for? If you’re ranking well, the things that you should be looking at are how much your organic traffic increases and how many more leads you’re getting from organic visitors. I could get your site to rank #1 for 100 terms in less than a week – but they would be obscure terms that no one ever really searches for… So does your report showing 100 #1 rankings mean anything at all? No!

They don’t attend SEO conferences. If they’re not going to conferences, they’re not staying up to speed on the latest developments in SEO.

It’s impossible to get in contact with them. It’s crazy, but it happens. We talked to a dealer who hadn’t talked to his SEO provider in 6 months, even after repeated phone calls and emails – but he was still paying his bill!

They tell you that they have a special relationship with Google. Google doesn’t have special relationships with SEOs, and definitely doesn’t tell anyone how their algorithm works.

Ask who Matt Cutts is. If they can’t tell you, run.

You haven’t received a detailed report in over a month. Again, it’s crazy, but it happens. You should get a report every month. Period.

They put a block of text with a bunch of keywords separated by commas on the bottom of your website. Ring, ring… 2005 called, it wants it’s SEO tactics back.

Virtual high five – you just learned how to spot a shady SEO provider. Have you run into SEO providers that show any of these warning signs? Are you worried your provider might not have your best interests in mind? Feel free to give me a call – we’ll go through your website, and I’ll let you know if it’s optimized correctly. A consultation doesn’t cost you a thing, and it might save your business a lot of money and stress. Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you again next week.