Engagement for SEO

Want to Win the SEO Game? Improve Your Website Engagement

Engagement for SEOSummary of Want to Win the SEO Game?  

  1. What are top considerations for SEO focus according to SEOs and Marketers?
  2. Which of the top considerations for SEOs and Marketers are relevant to SEO in 2018?
  3. One tactic that will help you beat your competition with SEO.
  4. How is engagement measured by Google?
  5. How do you improve engagement for SEO?
  6. Other ways to improve engagement for Google.

I get asked by business owners all the time what they should be focusing on for SEO.  There are a lot of considerations to this answer and there’s no doubt you will get a lot of different answers.  Some of those answers will be completely wrong.  Others will be a part of what you should be focusing on for your SEO strategy but not the most important piece.  Here’s a list of the responses other business owners have been given:

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Some of these answers are great.  Some are important but not as important.  Some are completely wrong.  Here’s a quick explanation of each:

  • Link Building-this SEO strategy is still a very important component to SEO. It has also evolved from its earlier days.  It takes a lot more strategy, planning, execution and time to do it right. Link farms are gone, and black hat link building will likely cost you Google Rankings in a big way.
  • Web Page Title-Yes, this is important but probably not as important as engagement
  • Circle Link Building-this is a link building tactic that I would consider grey hat. I don’t think it impacts sites negative or positively.  Essentially a network of sites places a non-reciprocal link to another site.  The next site then links to another the same way.  This continues and forms a circle of links.  These links look spammy and while I cannot find proof that they will hurt I also see no evidence that they help.
  • PBN (Private Blog Networks)-Some SEO Solutions Providers swear by this type of link building. PBNs are groups of blogs and websites that have built some Google credibility (allegedly).  The sites then place links to other sites usually for a price.  Google has said PBNs are not allowed but as of this blog post there does not appear to be any penalties related to it.  This is not a practice my SEO agency uses as I do believe somewhere down the road Google will do what they did with Link Farms.  Site owners beware.
  • Blogging/Content-if you know me then you know blogging and content creation is a critical component of my SEO strategy for clients, and my business. Yes, make sure you are creating content.  End of story.
  • Videos-While Google cannot yet determine the content of a video there is related meta information that will help with Google crawling it. Video also greatly improves engagement.  If you read the title this blog post, then you know engagement is the focus here.  Think about it.  Google bought and owns YouTube, a video platform.  Don’t you think video will be an important part of SEO?
  • AdWords-AdWords is a very powerful digital advertising platform owned by Google. Some believe that using it contributes to your organic results.  This has yet to be proven and Google says it does not.
  • Google My Business-Yes, absolutely set this up. It is part of any successful Local SEO plan.  Not setting this up and maintaining is a huge mistake.  This adds your listing to Google Maps and the Google Local Pack.  Read my blog post 6 Ways to Optimize Your Google My Business Page for more information.
  • Yelp-Yelp is important to SEO in a roundabout way. It does add a link back to your site.  The link is a no-follow link so officially it won’t help your link building efforts, but Google does like to see some no-follow links.  Having a profile on Yelp should also increase traffic.  Who doesn’t want more traffic?
  • Social Media-Google’s official stance as of this blog post is that Social Media does not help with SEO rankings. Let’s think about it though.  This blog is about engagement.  Engagement happens on Social Media.  Social Media also drives traffic to websites.  Social sharing is a form of engagement.  Links to your website from social media help with link building, even if they are no-follow.  Plus, have you ever Googled a business and seen their Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram pages in the results?
  • SSL-In July of 2018 Google Chrome will display a Not Secured message for ANY website that does not have an SSL certificate. Google Chrome is the most used browser today.  Seeing this message may send potential clients running.  SSL is a ranking factor but not as big as mobile or relevant content right now.

Improve Search Results by Improving Engagement

Want to Win SEO?  Engage!

After reviewing the above list, you should now know (if you didn’t already) that content is a game changer.  Whenever I onboard a new client I tell them they need an active blog.  Adding content to your site for the purpose of winning SEO is not enough.

Take some time and look at Google Analytics.  Look at some of the data Google analyzes.

  • Bounce Rate-How many users leave the website after visiting a single page versus visiting another page on the site measured in a percentage.
  • Duration Per Session-How long is the site visitor staying on the page
  • Pages per Session-How many pages are the visitors viewing during a session (visit to the site)

These three pieces of data are indicators of engagement. This means Google cares about engagement and uses it for analysis.

RankBrain is Google’s Machine Learning portion of their algorithm.  RankBrain attempts to determine a searchers intent when displaying search results in the Google Search Results Page.  RankBrain uses engagement to help it determine if a result is relevant to the searchers intent.  Google continues to utilize RankBrain more over time.

How is Engagement Measured by Google? How do I Improve My Engagement

Google measures engagement by factoring in the following:

  • Bounce Rate-Bounce Rates vary by industry but generally speaking a bounce rate of 60% or lower is considered good. There are a few things you can do to improve bounce rate.
    • Create relevant, timely and interesting content. I know it’s not easy for some industries, but it can be done.  Most people find SEO to be boring or confusing, but I do my best to simplify it for non-professionals.  The more information you can provide the better.  Relevant means make sure the title of your blog matches the content of it.  Use tools like Google Trends and Buzz Sumo to find ideas that are timely.
    • Keep pop-ups and distractions to a minimum. I never put more than one pop up on any page.  The more distractions there are the more likely they will leave the page.  Google is also strongly discouraging pop-ups that take over the page.
    • Add a video related to your content. You don’t need a full production.  A video recorded from your phone works fine in most cases.
    • Link to internal resources. This serves multiple purposes for SEO but for this article, it helps keep people on your site longer and increases pages per session.
  • Duration per Session-Google measures how long a visitor is on your page and site. The longer they’re on your site the better it looks for you.  This indicates to Google that the visitor finds your content to be relevant and of value.  The bullet points above will also contribute to a better duration per session.
  • Pages per Session-a lower bounce rate naturally correlates to a higher page(s) per session rate. You can increase this further by ensuring all of your content is well thought out and there are relevant internal links to other pages and/or blogs on your site.
  • Social Shares-Share your content and encourage others to share it. It’s OK.  Send it in an email, share it to all platforms that will help.  The more shares the better.   This will increase the visits to your site and indirectly tells Google that people are engaging with your content.
  • Comments-Comments can be the bane of any website owner’s existence but can also be of great value. Comments encourage spam but there are ways to counter the spam.  Legitimate comments are another indication that people find your content to be of value to them.  One important tip here.  Make sure you respond to ALL comments.  Just like reviews, it’s important to acknowledge the comments. This is often overlooked by site owners. Responding to all comments encourages even more engagement.
  • Natural Internal Links-linking to other relevant content on your site is a great way for your audience to get more information related to what they came to your site for in the first place. Google also sees internal links as a part of link building.  Internal links also make it easier for Google to crawl your site.

        More Ways to Increase Engagement on Your Website

  • Consistency-Adding a blog post once every 6 months is not consistent. You need to have a plan.  Have a content calendar prepared for each quarter.  Make sure that the calendar is fluid as topics may come up during the quarter.  For example, one of my clients is a roofing contractor.  If a hurricane is forecasted for Connecticut then a blog post about preparing your home for a hurricane becomes relevant and can address people’s concerns.
  • Avoid Tech Talk/Jargon-don’t tech talk people to death. Talk to your audience as if they know nothing about what you do.  Some of them may know and that’s great but chances are if they are on your site they are looking for some information.
  • Answer Questions-Answering Questions is a great way to drive engagement. If you know of direct questions that need answers, then provide the answers in a blog or FAQ.  Use bullet points to highlight answers.  This may even get your blog post into the knowledge graph on Google.

Google wants to serve up the best responses possible to a searchers inquiry.  Using the steps above will help your site visitors to engage more.  More engagement means that Google will recognize your content as being the most relevant answer to searchers inquiries.  Your search rankings will improve.  Higher search rankings mean more people see your site.  I think you can see where this is going.

I hope you find this helpful.  If you know of a way that improves engagement on your site please share.  We love comments (See what I did there?)

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Local SEO

6 Reasons You Need Local SEO to Crush Your Competition – Updated

Local SEOUpdated April 19th, 2018 | Originally written October 10th, 2014

6 Reasons You Need Local SEO to Crush Your Competition Summary

  1. Branding
  2. Sales
  3. Traffic
  4. Cost Effective
  5. Competitiveness
  6. Return on Investment (ROI)

I wrote this post 3 1/2 years ago and saw that it is still getting a lot of attention according to Google Analytics.  I decided to update/refresh it for Spring 2018 for a couple of reasons.

First, I want to show my audience and clients how re-purposing can be used to drive qualified traffic to your blog and website.  It is a tried and true method of increasing traffic to your website.

Second, as with most blog posts over time, they need to be updated to provide timely and relevant information.  I am a person that not only preaches but practices.


Local SEO
has become one of the most indispensable components of every brand and business that desires long-term success across search engines. It has grown significantly over the past few decades, particularly given the upsurge of smartphone usage and better connectivity. As the name implies, local search engine optimization is about focusing on online searchers who are looking for particular services and goods that are available locally.

According to a recent study, over 80 percent of local consumers use search engines to find local businesses. People constantly request information while on the move via Android phones and iPhones or laptops. Gone are the days of dusting off the yellow pages from below the coffee table or cabinets. Consumers have now become savvier and require information on local businesses quicker than ever. If a local company cannot be found online, then it is already missing out on a plethora of opportunities to its competitors. Here are 6 reasons why businesses cannot afford not to use Local SEO.

Why Local SEO is Critical To Your Business Success

1. Branding

Local SEO will help establish your brand and business online, allowing potential clients and customers to find your website. Local SEO SignThis, in turn, will help to build your online presence. A professional business website that is simple to navigate and provides a positive user experience is extremely imperative as it is the first impression a potential client or customer will receive. Additionally, the combination of a user-friendly, high-quality website will automatically result in more phone calls, leads, sales, and revenue.

Update: While it is still a must that you have a website for your local business it’s also important to understand how the Google Search Engine, and to a lesser extent the Bing Search Engine, work.  Google Search Results will display several sections depending on the query.  In most cases, the results will include in order Ads, Google Local Pack, and Organic Results.  If the search is a very specific question or request for information then it may also include the specific answer or rich snippets.  There are multiple opportunities to show up on the first page of Google and you should try to occupy them all.

The Google Local Pack is set up through Google My Business and has had a lot of new features added in recent months.  I mention this because while your website can and should be connected to your Google Business listing people are less likely to click on your website from the Google Local Pack. If optimized correctly all the information they need will be included.  The first contact may be them sending a message or calling directly from Google Maps or the Google Local Pack.

2. Sales

The right SEO service will also boost your company sales. Wondering how? Well, imagine if more customers found your site, don’t you think that would lead to more sales? Of course, it would! Position your company in front of your potential clients and see for yourself. If more people view your site, it will translate into more sales. With the entire world connected through the internet, it makes it extremely imperative to be found online.

What’s even more valuable for businesses is that 18 percent of local searches lead to purchases within a day – more than double the rate of non-local searches (7 percent). This means that for every five times your web content shows up in a local search result, one person will likely make a purchase. 

Update: Your website should not be treated as an online brochure but let’s be realistic.  Today’s consumers and business operators are very savvy.  Chances are if they are contacting you they’ve already been to your website and have done the research.  This is the premise of inbound marketing.  A lot of the selling has already been done thus increasing your closing rate.  At this point in the buyer’s journey if the sale is lost it is likely due to the sales process, or the salesperson.

3. Traffic

With search engine optimization, your site will receive augmented traffic, which will be highly targeted based on relative search phrases and keywords. While creating an SEO strategy, we search and identify phrases and keywords that are highly searched terms related to your company and location. Wouldn’t it be great to have your site at the top of the search engines? Potential clients usually believe that the top results are the best results. This, in turn, will drive huge traffic which can later be converted into profits.

A client who is ready to purchase the products or services that you offer, who wouldn’t want that?

Update: Make sure the content that sits at the top of the Google Search results is relevant to the search query you intend it to be for.  Irrelevant content won’t last long at the top.  Your competition has hired me, or someone like me, to take that spot from you.  If the SEO that they hired is good at what they do then they’ve already done their research on you and devised an SEO plan to take that top spot from you.  That plan might include better content with more information.  Part of branding is setting yourself up as the expert.  If someone makes it look like you’re not the expert then your traffic will drop.

Also contributing to traffic decreases (and I have seen this numerous times) is a website that suddenly stops producing content.  I see this professionally from businesses who are not in it for the long game.  They want the quick sale for a few dollars of profit but are not considering tomorrow, next week or 5 years from now.  When they’re not seeing the bank account increase as fast as they had hoped (even though they were advised in clear terms what the expectations should be) they give up on the plan.  6 months to a year later their website traffic is non-existent.

4. Cost-Effective

Think about the thousands of dollars your business spends on other forms of sales promotion and advertisements.  For instance, print media is very expensive and does not provide great returns in most cases because you target the masses when using this form of advertising/marketing. The masses are not ready to buy from you. Most of them have not even considered your service or product. Instead, you should consider investing your print media budget into a digital campaign using highly targeted local SEO and marketing.

A recent campaign managed by my company averaged just under $20 per referral for a service that cost $197.  Taking one week of the campaign; the highly targeted ad spend and associated fees was a little over $600. The client sold 33 units at $197 each. This resulted in a net profit of about $5900. Not bad for one week, right?

That businesses competition was using billboards on a major highway in New Haven County, Connecticut.  I don’t know what the ROI was for the billboard but I can promise the investment was more than $600 and can almost guarantee that the ROI was not as good as the Google Ad campaign I ran for my client.

Update: Organic SEO and Local SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. You don’t plan to fund your retirement in 5 weeks and you shouldn’t expect to be rolling in money within 5 weeks of executing an SEO plan.  SEO takes time and has to be analyzed and adjusted constantly.  The long-term ROI of a well-executed SEO strategy cannot be beaten by any other form of marketing or advertising.  Combined with Social Media Marketing and Digital Advertising you can consume the bulk of your industry’s Local SEO and drive revenue while your competition continues to advertise in the local print newspaper that no one reads anymore.

5. Competitiveness

With a well thought out and executed local SEO plan, your business can easily outrank a competitor, thereby acquiring the online market share locally for your industry. Your companies online presence and the overall image it portrays online are extremely crucial. This is the first thing every potential customer will notice. Times are changing and if your business does not dominate online, then it is not taking full advantage of the opportunities that are available. Time is of the essence. If you want to win the local marketing war then get started on your local SEO now!

Update: One key component to dominating your local SEO is your Online Reputation.  Online Reputation Manage (ORM) includes reviews and review responses.  Responding to ALL reviews is one of your most important jobs with regards to Local SEO and ORM. 

I worked with two businesses who went against my advice regarding responding to negative reviews.  Both decided instead of responding to the reviews, trying to put a positive spin on a negative review, they would just delete the reviews.  I am not going to say that one ignored negative review caused this but the mindset behind it probably caused both businesses to eventually close, one of them was in operation for 35 years.

People want to know that you address concerns as well as you address adoration.  Don’t ignore the former to look like a local hero.

6. Return On Investment

Return On Investment on ChalkboardEvery business wants to know what their ROI is going to be. A professional SEO plan that utilizes all aspects of Search Engine Optimization and Marketing will provide your business with an excellent long-term return on investment. Radio and TV advertisement is extremely costly and there is no guarantee that the audiences are even remotely interested in your service or product. With Local SEO, the potential customers are landing on your website page after searching for related and relevant search terms and keywords related to your business. What do you think would achieve better results for your business? 2000 random people viewing your advertisement on TV or 2000 people visiting your site because they are interested and actively searching for your service or product? This is what makes Google Search Marketing so imperative. With SEO as a Solution, you can help grow your business consistently, increase revenue and profit over the course of the plan, and increase the longevity of your business.

I want to take a moment to point out that you should consider hiring a professional, experienced SEO.  I am not saying this just so you will hire me.  I am saying this because the SEO Industry changes very rapidly and it’s important that your SEO evolve with the changes.  The Google Search Algorithm averages 2 updates per day. What worked yesterday might be frowned upon by Google today.  You can do your business a huge disservice by cutting corners on SEO.

That being said, I hope you find this and all information on this site helpful.  As a thank you for checking out this blog post click here to get your Free Local SEO Audit.

 

Title Tags Concept on Laptop Screen.

First Steps to SEO Success – Webpage and Blog Titles for SEO

First Steps to SEO Success – Webpage Titles

Title Tags Concept on Laptop Screen.

The Keyword Research is done, and you’ve purchased an awesome domain name after some intense domain research.  What’s next?

It’s time to start putting everything together.  Not so many years ago building a website was all about how it looked.  SEO was in its infancy and was very easily manipulated to benefit those less than scrupulous website owners.  Today the SEO needs to be a major part of the consideration of your overall site plan before you begin building your website.  It’s likely that you already have a basic idea of what the content of your site will look like and we’re going to get into the content of your shiny new website in a not so distant future post.

At this point, if you’re going to do everything yourself (I don’t recommend this) you’re going to want to work with a CMS.  For SEO purposes I would not recommend using the website builders like Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, Website Builder or similar products.  Your SEO will suffer significantly using one of these drag and drop type website builders.  Short of building your own site by hand, meaning using HTML, CSS, and PHP to code and design your own site, the best option is WordPress.

There are other Content Management Systems (CMS) available (Joomla, Drupal, etc..) but WordPress is by far the easiest and most popular to work with.  Approximately 25% of all websites on the internet today are built with WordPress.

I start this post/section of First Steps to SEO Success by mentioning WordPress because if you’re reading this then you probably are planning to build and manage your own website and SEO.  Again, this is not something I would recommend to most business owners but if I can’t change your mind then continue reading.

As I mentioned earlier it was not that long ago when building a website was all about design.  SEO was a secondary thought in part because the practice of SEO was still easily manipulated.  Keyword stuffing, Link Farms, Irrelevant Content and many other less than ethical practices were being used successfully.  Those days are long gone.  Today SEO must be a big part of the initial website plan and strategy.

As part of your keyword research, there was some competitive analysis.  You should continue with that competitive analysis to determine what content you should have on your website.  This does not mean you should copy your competitor’s site.  This is not ethical or legal. Use competitive analysis to get an idea of what content should be added.

Pro Tip: If your goal is to become the best at what it is you do then you will want to be better than your competition.  You will want to stand out from your competition.  There are several ways to do this beyond being the best at what you do.  Brand Development is one way.  Another way is to stand out using your web presence.  It’s hard to say what that will look like for every business type but suffice it to say you should avoid being another cookie cutter business in your industry.  Be Bold.

 There are some pages that should be included on your website for your audience.  Your audience includes potential clients, and Google/Bing.  Google wants you to think of your audience with every aspect of your site. This includes the navigation, how fast it loads, readability and overall content.  If your audience shows no interest in your site, then Google won’t either.

You should plan on including an About page, a Contact page, a Blog, Product/Service pages, Reviews and any other pages that will help your audience understand what it is you do and what makes you the best at it.

HTML Title Tag for SEOYou’re probably wondering when I am going to get to the title tags, right?  When I design a site I typically figure out what the primary or first level pages will be and create the title tags keeping the keyword research that I already completed top of mind.  For example, your home page, the main landing page of your site, should not have a title of Home or Home Page.  It should be the name of your site and top-level keyword phrases.   I have landed on digital marketing agency home pages with the title being “Home Page”.  This is a clear indication that you should avoid working with this agency.

As an example, a roofing contractor client of ours homepage title reads “Roof Repair & Roof Replacement | Hartford & New Haven County | Yargueta Construction”.   The title includes their primary services, primary locations served and the company name.  The audience can determine exactly what this page and website’s purpose is based on the title.

The About page title should not be “About Us”.  In the case of Yargueta Construction, the About page title is “About Yargueta Construction Roofers in CT-Roof Repairs & Replacements”.  Again, this clearly defines what this page content will be about.

I mentioned earlier that for a DIYer the best way to go about creating a website for design, maintenance and SEO purposes is to use WordPress.  Most hosting companies have one-click WordPress installs and help is widely available on the internet.  Just Google your questions.  WordPress allows you to install plugins to improve the usability and functionality of your website.  For SEO purposes we recommend Yoast SEO.

Yoast SEO will allow you to set the Title Tag for your website as well as individual pages very easily, as well as other SEO components that we will get to as we progress through this series.  Yoast (or any plugin) is not necessary for Title Tags but it will help to ensure that you are optimizing your web pages as much as possible.  One of those opportunities for optimization is title tags.

SEO Title Tag

Each page should have a unique, relevant and keyword focused title tag that clearly explains to the audience what that page is about.  For blog posts on your site, the title should be descriptive but concise.  Your blog title should include timeliness, urgency and/or emotion.  Being a little dramatic also helps.  Including numbers attracts readers (and if done right might even get you into the knowledge graph).

An example of a good blog post title is 8 Ways to Recognize Cold Calling SEO Scams”.  I included a number and might even piss a few people off (I seem to be good at that) with this blog post title.  Emotions, maybe controversy and of course the number 8!

This post and the next couple don’t need to be performed in the order of the posts.  Title Tags, URLs, and the actual content can be done in order of preference and can be edited as needed.  In fact, I edited some of my examples as I was writing this.

Pro Tip: Do not use duplicate titles on your website.  Google does not like duplicate titles, URLs or web page/blog post content.  While a duplicate title probably won’t cause a penalty it also serves no purpose.  Neither page will rank if they are seen as the same content.  This will lead to wasted opportunities and SEO efforts.  Why waste time and effort when you could be crushing your SEO strategy.

Next up, URL structures

8 Ways to Recognize Cold Calling SEO Scams

8 Ways to Recognize Cold Calling SEO Scams by Scott Gombar CT SEO

Cold Calling SEO is Scummy

8 Ways to Recognize Cold Calling SEO Scams Is scummy even a word?  Well as I am putting this blog post together Microsoft Word has not marked it as a grammatical error.

I hear it all the time from business owners.  They get unsolicited cold calls from Google asking them if they need help with their Search Engine Rankings or SEO or Search Engine Optimization.  I too have gotten this call.  It usually starts off with something like “Are you the owner of the business?”.  This is an immediate indication that this is not a call I want, but I usually play along because I like to torture these spammers.  Let’s call it what it is. It’s spam over the phone.

It’s usually one of 3 spam/scam calls.  The Google call, the IRS call or the business loan call.  They always ask for the business owner and have never done their homework because if you knew what I did you wouldn’t even waste your time claiming to be from Google.

Just like the IRS or Commercial Lenders, Google does not cold call people.  There it is in plain English, please share it, copy it, get a tattoo of it, whatever helps other business owners not lose thousands of dollars on unqualified or black hat SEOs.  Google does not cold call people.  Yes, Google does call people if you are an advertiser.  They do this to make sure you are using the platform effectively, but Google does not have a platform for organic search results per se.  They do have tools, but they do not cold call you to ask if you are using Google Analytics correctly.

As I was researching for this blog post I came across several blog posts about how SEOs can be successful at cold calling business owners.  These were on marketing and SEO agency blogs and I was shocked to see that businesses were agreeing to terms with the cold calling SEO agency, over the phone.  They don’t sit down with the agency to learn about their best practices.  They don’t have a clear understanding of the terms of the contract.  They don’t even know what the person who will handle their SEO looks like.

The cold caller’s strategy for generating leads is simple.  They search Google and any business that is on page 2-5 of the search results gets a phone call. One blog post even had a link to their script.  Out of curiosity, I looked the blogger up on Twitter and his account is suspended.  I wonder why.

I don’t have a problem with the way someone chooses to earn a living or gain clients if it’s not hurting anyone.  If you’re cold calling and representing your business as one that can practice ethical SEO while helping to grow a business, and you run your business in such a manner, then I would be OK with it.  The problem is most, if not all, of these cold calling SEOs do not practice ethical SEO and generally take the money and run.  This leaves business owners with a bad taste for legitimate SEO agencies.  I have heard this from business owners on several occasions as well.

8 Ways to Recognize Cold Calling SEO Scams

  1. They claim to be calling from Google (Google does not cold call businesses about SEO)
  2. They claim they can get you the top position on Google Search Results (Run Fast)
  3. They ask if you are “the owner of the business”. They don’t mention the business by name, just say “the business”.
  4. They claim that your website is not indexed by Google. How did they find you then?  I love to ask that question.
  5. They claim Google has penalized your site. See response to the previous bullet point.  The only way they would know if you have been penalized is if they have access to your Google Search Console account.  (You do have one of those right?)
  6. There’s a delay in response after you say hello. These are computer generated calls.  We like to use the term robocalls.
  7. They sound disinterested when they speak with you. This is a good indication they’ve been rejected numerous times already.  This will take a toll on anyone and is another reason I don’t cold call.
  8. The call almost always comes from a hyper-local number. Meaning the number will have the same area code and prefix as your number.

Cold Calling SEO ScamsStill not sure that the SEO Cold Caller is a Scam?  I can tell you that any legitimate SEO service provider that I have ever spoken with or know of has not used cold calling as a method for gaining new clients. If you still want to go down that rabbit hole here are 8 questions you can ask yourself or the cold caller.

8 Questions to ask Cold Calling SEOs

  1. What is their website address? While you’re speaking with them view their website and check for inaccuracies with the information they provide on the phone.
  2. What is their phone number? Don’t assume it’s the one on your caller ID.  They probably spoofed their number.  Check that number to see if there are any complaints against it online.  A simple (you guessed it) Google search will reveal this information.
  3. Ask for references from current and previous clients.
  4. Listen for poor grammar. Do you want someone who cannot speak effectively to develop content for your site?
  5. This applies to cold email. If the email comes from a free account like Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail just delete it.  A respectable business will email from their domain (yourbusiness.com).
  6. Check for social media profiles for the business or “experts” from the business. If it is an incomplete social media account they reference (or in the case above it’s suspended) you can end the conversation.
  7. Check for online reviews. If there are none that does not necessarily exclude them, but it is a good indication they are either scamming you or very new to the industry.  More than likely if it’s an SEO Scammer.
  8. Get a second opinion. In SEO we suggest always getting a second opinion.  I can’t tell you how many times I have spoken to business owners who have been misinformed by another SEO “Expert” or are their SEO “Expert” is using questionable SEO practices.  Don’t agree to anything, especially a long-term contract, without a second opinion.

I hope this helps business owners understand what to look out for when it comes to cold calling SEOs.  If you want a second opinion on a proposal from an SEO, feel free to email us at bold@scottgombar.com or call us at 203.806.0736.

One last tip.  I see this all the time, so I am just going to throw this out there.  If the SEO Service Provider’s home page of their site has the title of “Home”, they are not by any stretch of the imagination an SEO Expert.