Find out how to detect an SEO Scam
Is SEO a scam? Achieving a strong ranking on Google Search is something all businesses aspire to – or should, at least. But if you’re afraid to take this step, read on for updated insights into the world of SEO for 2023.
Plenty of marketing professionals promise overnight results using tools such as paid ads and sponsored posts. Sounds too good to be true, especially if your goal is to get organic traffic.
There’s no magic spell that will instantly propel your site to first place on Google. It takes time, patience, and a number of strategies, including technical SEO, on-page SEO and off-page SEO.
SEO is effectively an ever-changing science, which relies on a series of strategies to get results. Think of it like making a cake without sugar: the mix won’t rise properly!
How to detect false promises
Let’s get straight to the point: is SEO a Scam? The answer is NO – if done properly. SEO is a vital marketing tool, but understanding why it works is essential to success.
We’ll look at some of the right ways to conduct SEO campaigns later on in this article. Always be aware of false promises in SEO. Run for the hills if you come across SEO professionals who:
- guarantee fast results
- act like they have insider knowledge of Google
- promise impossible results
- use outdated techniques such as:
- Keyword stuffing, i.e. piling up the keyword every possible chance they get
- Private Blog Networks or PBNs – irrelevant blogs that are used exclusively to rank other websites
- avoid mentioning costs
- don’t provide references.
Now that we’ve got this covered, it’s time to explore what search engine optimization strategies really are.
What is Search Engine Optimization, or SEO?
Search Engine Optimization encompasses a set of actions which will lead to your site ranking higher on Google search result pages. But that’s not all. It is also a means of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website in an organic way.
Your site can receive two kinds of traffic:
- Organic traffic occurs when your audience reaches you naturally, and will lead to long-lasting results.
- Inorganic traffic – aka paid results – stems from paid ads. It will lead to an instant ranking, but this will only last for as long as you keep paying.
It goes without saying that the ultimate goal is to obtain organic traffic. This takes more time and effort than its inorganic counterpart, but it will be worth it.
Getting organic traffic involves exploiting the three main pillars of SEO:
- On-page SEO
- Off-page SEO
- Technical SEO
Let’s get to know each one better.
On-Page SEO refers to all the strategies used to optimize a page, whether in content, keywords (i.e. in the title, images, or subtitle) or information architecture (i.e. meta-tags, internal linking, and URL).
Many different elements make up on-page SEO, including:
- High-quality content – simply posting is not enough; what you post needs to be both compelling and original.
- Page Titles – try to use the keyword contained in the page title in an organic way
- Headers – Incorporate short and long-tail keywords naturally
- Meta Descriptions – these are the short descriptions that appear below the title on Google search pages. Take the time to make them as informative and appealing as possible.
- Image Alt-text – consider accessibility while using the keyword here – everyone needs to be able to understand your content.
- Page URLs – these should be easy for readers to grasp
- Internal Linking – hyperlinking to other pages that will lend authority to your content
- Mobile Responsiveness – over half the world’s population owns a smartphone. Your site will inevitably be accessed via these devices, so make it accessible and intuitive for smartphone users.
- Site Speed – your audience is in a rush. They want results, and fast. If your site is too heavy to load, then your potential audience will leave and never come back.
As its name suggests, Off-page SEO involves everything which can be done outside the website to make it rank higher on search engines. Google is always improving the results which it displays to its users.
Common Off-page SEO activities include:
- Link building
- Content marketing
- Social media
- and more
Crucially, Google is concerned with whether websites can be trusted, in part by referencing their off-site reputation (a.k.a. Reputation Research). This is where Off-page SEO comes in.
Reputation Research involves looking at online reviews, recommendations from experts, and mentions on authoritative news sites and Wikipedia.
This is where the backstage SEO of your website takes place; the crawling and indexing phase. Technical SEO is all about User Experience, and includes:
- Crawl Budget
- Site speed
- Site architecture
- Structured markups
It encompasses everything that can be done to improve your audience’s experience on the site, code included, to make sure they stick around.
We’re just scratching the surface of what SEO is and what it can do for your website. But at least now you know how to avoid getting into trouble.
Use SEO in your favor in 2023 and get as strong a ranking as possible on Google. And if anyone asks you if SEO is a scam, you’ll already know how to answer, and how to help others out.