Mistakes are human, on the SEO field, getting confused over and over again is the only way hit number one position on web rankings, which is the reason why we are used to this kind of M.O. more than any other online marketing field, to deal with useless tactics or a wrong approach until we press the right button. Is hard to learn from other's experiences, since we didn't live them, but here's a list of things you'd like to know to save you some time and a few headaches with your SEO company or your Page Ranking agency.
It is clear that older tactics don't work anymore, and because of that it is more important than ever to validate your agency or SEO professional's capacity to ensure you that they know what they're talking about, and even more important, that they won't cause you any permanent penalty or ban to your website.
A little clarification here
It is very possible that in any other area of your SEO campaign may not be giving you the results you were expecting. Aside from the typical online marketing variables, we find a Google factor, a mutable algorithm that changes at least once a day. Also the SEO usually depends on interdepartmental coordination (Social Media, IT, content ...), that in many cases is not fast or it is not directly related, what could be the answer to some of your goals are not reached as expected.
Also, it would make a great difference if you have used any online audit, link building campaign, or a full SEO service only once.
With this being said, there's simple ways of detecting when a company is not what they promise.
Not thinking about goals:
This is applicable for any area, but in SEO it lies in an ABC approach.
Your SEO plan shouldn't be "Increase SEO traffic" or "Rank number one on this keyword". Establish concrete and reachable goals, and evaluate how much does this goal adapts to your case. Is not the same that you want to increase your link profile, that making your landing page traffic quality better, in both the KPI's and targets will vary.
Too Many Links, Too Fast
Every good website needs its prelims, just like asking out a girl or a conversation with your boss about a raise.
If the month the agency you work with tells you they've created 100 back links, do not trust. In fact, distrust a LOT. It wouldn't be the first account that i see that all of the sudden has 50 articles with an obvious spinning in every article farm from here to China. Ask for details and go over them manually. Some tools like Ahrefs that give you the option to see a 2 months history of your link profile growth, so you can see if your growth is coherent or not.
Quality over Quantity
Same way, if the strategy is built to increase authority of your website goes over hundreds of low quality links before some high quality ones, keep asking questions. You could be in front of a clear scam indicator or faulty criteria.
Thinking of Google
The previous SEO used to be a little pirate. Let me explain myself here, if 1 out of 3 words from the text have to be cheap catchy phrases to be top ranking for Google, we do it and the user, well.. let them survive as they can.
But as Bob Dylan would say, Times are a' changing, so what we must do now is make sure that Google understands what is our website about (that shows on the content and everything else) but overall that the user feels comfortable navigating, that reads it well and that shares, links or interacts with the website.
SEO without garrison
SEO a Capella is very tasteless, it needs some dressing that makes it come out to live and give sense to it, try serving yourself some Social Media or PPC, and keep looking at the buffet to see what else would you need.
A good SEO company will suggest you content to make them viral on Social Networks, blogger contests for products, the possibility of making an event, a usability audit, test a new platform for your e-commerce, change a word here or there, an injection on SEM for a long tail keyword.. if they're not doing this there's huge possibilities that they're not putting love into your account that is serious mistake
It is clear that there's a lot of horrible websites, that makes you feel sad when you see them and some even take you back to 1999, to the Frontpage times, keyword stuffing and SEO's with avatar pictures of Matrix (Flashbacks everywhere!)
Luckily we're leaving that era behind, the hard way and a slower pace than we would like to, but it's being left behind for good.
And also luckily for everyone, it is becoming easier and easier to identify an agency that is trying to scam you.
Hope you like this reading, stay tuned for more.