In the perfect world it would be super easy to identify and sidestep a potential hustler – they would have a scar over their eye, wear a shady trench coat and have a Disney villain voice that would be a cross between that of Gaston and Jafar. As for what they’d be selling, it would be something along the lines of snake oil or shares in a pyramid scheme.

Unfortunately, real life hustlers very often wear crisp suits, smell of Issey Miyake and have a very slick slideshow that extols their virtues as an SEO guru. Pro tip: If anyone calls themselves a ‘guru’ of any kind you should be heading for the hills.

We’ve come across quite a few SEO swindlers in our time, which is why we’ve decided to let you in on a few sure-fire ways to identify these loathsome hustlers.

Here are the top 5 claims you should be looking out for to ensure that you don’t pour your hard-earned marketing budget down an unsubstantiated SEO drain:

1. They know the algorithms

Nope, they don’t. How do we know? Because they can’t – it’s impossible. Search engine algorithms are a) made up off hundreds of ranking factors (some of which are disclosed, most of which are not) and b) continually updating and adjusting. The process of improving your ranking should never include trying to trick the algorithms.

2. The same SEO strategy can be applied across industries

Complete baloney. If you want your SEO strategy to be effective you need to have a handle on customer intent, which requires industry knowledge and experience. To be effective, an SEO consultant should have insight and experience in your industry niche in order to understand your audience’s needs and how this translates to search terms.

3. A link is a link is a link

Horse…radish. Backlinks are a great way to establish your website as an authoritative platform, but Google is wise to link-buying trickery and ready to penalise domains that employ shady linking practices. Be sure that your SEO consultant is aware that you will not stand for link building strategies that could potentially hurt your ranking and will only allow legitimate, high quality backlinks.

4. Any content is good content

Not so. Duplicate content is a great way to get your site to rank poorly. Any SEO consultant worth their salt should know enough to warn you against the ‘copy & paste’ approach when it comes to creating content for your site.

5. I’ll get you to the first page of Google in a month

No, they won’t. A proper SEO strategy will roll out over a matter of many months, and take into account that there will be plenty of adjustments and redirects along the way. Page rank can change daily according to a variety of factors completely out of your control.

The best way to ensure that you are employing a scrupulous SEO consultant is to ask for case studies and references. Between real life word of mouth and actual, substantiated ranking results you’ll be able to determine whether they know what they’re talking about or if you are simply in awe of their slideshow.

Talk to us instead.

Get in touch with Lime Juice Communication for an obligation-free chat about how we can improve your SEO with tried and tested ranking strategies that don’t smell of Issey Miyake.