Marketing a business online through search engine optimization is a great way to draw in targeted customers at a low cost. The problem with most companies, though, is that many don’t know how to get their website ranking for the keywords they want. This is where a search engine marketing company will come into play. With thousands of SEO companies out there, it’s important to distinguish the good from the bad. Since so many scams are floating around in cyberspace, here are five things a legitimate SEO company will never do:

#1 Guaranteed Rankings – To the Top in 48 Hours!

Search engines can be very unpredictable and if a company ever claims that they can get you number one rankings, it’s best to run very fast. First off, how can they get these number on rankings? Do they have some special relationship with the search engines? Probably not. With a natural marketing strategy, rankings will usually follow.

#2 Unknown Company Name – Who are They?

A great SEO company won’t only offer a great sales pitch but they will have a great presence online. Since they will practice what they preach, a good company will rank for great terms and have a great reputation online. Usually, a quick search for the company will bring up some decent results. If you’re reading a lot of negativity or nothing at all, it’s safe to say that this company may not know what they are doing. Now, this isn’t always the case, but if you can’t find anything about them, it’s safe to consider someone else.

#3 It’s a Secret – We Won’t Share

If a company won’t talk about their marketing strategy or content development up front, then there’s probably something to hide. See, most search engines rely on hundreds of factors. One of those main factors include gaining backlinks from other sources to your website. If your website has thousands of unnatural looking backlinks, then this can actually come around to bite you in the butt down the road. A great company will not only lay out a plan but they will tell you exactly how they are going to promote you to the top. Always make sure that you get this information in writing.

#4 Spelling and Grammar

Upon landing on a SEO website, it’s important to read the content that they have written. A lot of the bad SEO services out there are outsourced through countries such as the Philippines or India. While there are great companies in these countries, a lot of them have shady tactics that just don’t work. A great way to find these bad businesses is simply by reading their sales copy on the front page. Since there’s a good chance that they will work on content development for your website, would you want the world to know that your website can’t spell or write right?

#5 Bad References – Nothing to Show

A great company can showcase a lot of the clients that they worked for. Wouldn’t it be impressive if a company could rank a client for the terms like “credit cards.” If they can prove they can do something like this, then the proof is in the pudding. Yes, it’s a cliché, but it’s so true. Always ask for references and a portfolio before signing a long-term contract.

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