5 SEO Traps to Avoid for Local Business Search

There are no magic formulas, no miracles, nothing that's overnight, or guaranteed with organic search engine rankings

It's gone crazy out there! Every place you turn, there's someone selling a number one ranking on Google. The really dangerous ones are selling top organic ranking on all 5,000 search engines... really? As a responsible citizen, Inspired 2 Design felt it MANDATORY to let our clients, fans and readers know, if it sounds too good to be true, it still is! Even on Google. Here are 5 traps to avoid, or buzz-phrases you need to be aware of that should immediately put up a red flag: Safety-Tape-150x150

1. We only charge $9.99...per month Basically, when you stop paying, you stop ranking. Beware of any contract-yielding salesmen. Even if you decide to pay for Adwords, DO IT YOURSELF, or make sure you double, triple check references, and get referrals from other trusted business owners BEFORE hiring anyone to handle your Pay-Per-Click advertising budget.

2. We'll optimize your page at yourpage.oursite.com Don't let anything come between you and your .com! Subdomains are the name, getting traffic to THEIR page is the game. Don't fall for it! Only pay for optimization that actually optimizes YOUR website, your domain, your URL. The usefulness or effectiveness of using subdomains onsite for SEO is still arguable. We recommend a solid directory structure instead, but when you're paying monthly for optimization, don't put the money on their site. Put it on your own.

3. We set up a completely trackable 800 number for your customers Generally speaking, these service companies set up a duplicate site to your original that is stuffed with black hat SEO practices like keyword stuffing, duplicate content, gateway pages, and the like. Sure, the use of the 800 number will tell you exactly how many people came through the mirror site, but be sure that you're aware of the phone number. One company (and we won't say their name) used this service, but ignored each call from the 800 number not realizing the callers were potential clients, they thought they were salesmen!

4. We submit your site to thousands of search engines There are only 3 top search engines: Google, Yahoo and Bing. Everything and everyone else work off of these three. So if a company tries to tell you that you'll rank on all 100, or some other crazy number that's > 3, hang up! Secondly, you don't really need to Submit your site anymore. The spiders crawl and will find the site.

5. We GUARANTEE page one Yeah right! There are two things no one can guarantee: timing and ranking. It is impossible to say how much traffic will be generated in any given time period. You should RUN if a search engine optimization company promises otherwise because some changes may take less than a week, some a month, or some may not happen for 3-6 months or even more after proper, white hat optimization of a website. As for promise of ranking, what keyword are they promising page one for? Is it even a keyword that's competitive or valid for your business? Google itself has a section on their website that states: "Beware of SEO's that claim to guarantee rankings, or that claim a "special relationship" with Google, or that claim to have a "priority submit" to Google. There is no priority submit for Google."

Summary Remember there are no magic formulas, no miracles, nothing that's overnight, or guaranteed with organic search engine rankings. What are there? Many victims of bad SEO, expensive schemes, and simple rip-off artists. Unfortunately, you can't save everyone. What we can do, is responsibly inform businesses that there are options. Good SEO results come from good content, relevant use of keywords, and an honest website that delivers what is promised. Keep in mind as well that a poorly designed, ineffective site can attract visitors, but your goal is not to make big numbers of visitors, it's to convert visitors to leads and sales. Work with the pros who know how to accomplish those goals. Your website is another marketing tool, not a bunch of programming language. Treat it as such and work only with marketing professionals who are straightforward and don't make it sound too good to be true. Good luck!!!

Inspired 2 Design offers website design and consultation for marketing your website via search engines, directories and more. Contact us for an appointment.