With the advent of the Internet, disreputable marketing companies are becoming more and more aggressive with ways to bilk businesses out of their money.  Since most businesses are not knowledgeable about some of the new technologies employed by the marketing industry, it is becoming quite prevalent.

Recently several of our clients have been approached either by mail, on the phone, or in person by some companies who at best are using deceptive technics to sell or defraud businesses. Since this seems to be a growing industry, I’ve decided to alert people to some of the scams we have been seeing.

One of these scams is coming from companies selling Search Engine Marketing (SEO).  There are two kinds of SEO.  There is organic SEO and paid SEO.  The difference is organic SEO is how well your website uses keywords to help people find your site on search engines. Paid SEO is when you pay search engines to place your site at or near the top of the search.

When you are approached by a marketer that wants to sell you SEO as a service, first determine if they are talking about organic or paid SEO.  If they are talking about organic SEO, the only businesses that could justify a monthly fee for monthly SEO are huge companies like Walmart. The reason for this is doing a monthly SEO will not improve search engine ranking for most businesses by enough to make a difference. Whereas, large companies like Walmart could benefit from very small improvements in ranking.

If you are a smaller company, the only time you need organic SEO is when you first build your website. At that time your website builder should include the most important keywords in your site to help searchers find your site. If this is done well when your site is first built, it is likely you will maintain your search ranking for years to come.  Perhaps over time if things change and people start using different keywords, or competition increases, you may want to do a new SEO on your site.  But doing SEO on a monthly basis will not make any perceptible improvement in search engine ranking for the vast majority of businesses.

Paid SEO is quite different. While you still need relevant keywords on your website, you can pay search engines to place your site at the top, or near the top of searches.  To do this well, most businesses need to hire a professional because paid search campaigns can be very complicated and there are many different types of campaigns and many ways to implement them.  What you may need to watch out for are the companies that offer to do monthly organic search and guarantee that you will see a certain increase in traffic to your site. If they are guaranteeing a specific increased in traffic to your site, they are either doing paid SEO or lying to you.

You can learn more about SEO on my blog called Are You Paying for SEO and Getting SO?