They promise amazing results for your business:
- “Advertise on [search engine] and you would have had 1500 views last month with an estimated 40% click through rate.”
- “We will bring you thousands of potential customers, every single day.”
- A good Search Engine Optimization can give you unbelievable results.”
- “We will get you 30,000 views on Facebook from your target audience.”
- “Using techniques that I’ve learned, I’ve helped many other businesses bring in a ton of fresh new customers and skyrocket their earnings – and I want you to be next.”
- “We will help you achieve phenomenal results.”
Our customers are receiving hundreds of these messages a year, you can see from this small sample how repetitive the theme gets. All of the quotes on this page are quoted direct from email marketing material or websites from those companies who have been pestering our customers, who in turn have informed us.
Ask questions, in particular, ask to see the data and evidence for any claims about forecasted results, and question the source of that data. Any forecasted results will need to be substantiated with real proven evidence. Any sweeping generalisations such as ‘unbelievable results’ should be treated cautiously. Unless any numbers can be backed-up with evidence, you should be wary. If anyone you ask for proof of any such claims gets defensive, or ignores your questions, the chances are that they probably can’t back-up their claims – in which case their promises could be too good to be true.
Google’s comprehensive guide to hiring an SEO company (available here) has some useful questions to ask a potential supplier. Example questions include:
Do you follow the Google Webmaster Guidelines?
What kind of results do you expect to see, and in what timeframe? How do you measure your success?
What’s your experience in my industry?
What’s your experience in my country/city?
Every business and every website is different. Even if the SEO company can back-up their traffic claims with evidence, it’s important to ask the right questions on how they will achieve the same results for your website. You can always ask to speak to one of their existing clients and find out directly from the source whether the traffic claims hold true.
Read more of our SEO mythbuster posts here: