The example below shows an actual proposal submitted to a DZ (name redacted). There are a lot of red flags here and I definitely would not hire them for SEO!
Read what is being offered and then read the red flags that jump out to me:
The Breakdown by Section
Many SEO companies offer a three month contract at a fixed monthly price (in this case, $750 per month). What generally happens is there is little to no SEO improvement but the business operator is locked in for a minimum three months. From our research, the three month contract is very typical and offers more than can be delivered.
These goals are where I begin to suspect the biggest red flags as the SEO company is promising measurable analytics, which would be good… if they really meant anything as it relates to SEO.
First Bullet Point Red Flag
- “Position (Name of Dropzone) online dominate specific keywords that enable (Name of Dropzone) to acquire new leads in the (name of region) area and beyond for in-house conversion to new business, and maximize ROI
– This may be basic but the sentence above is poorly written. Small, but I notice it. I believe they are using this script for all businesses and inserting the company name without proper editing.
– The expression “dominate specific keywords” is nearly offering a guarantee. No SEO company can make an offer to dominate specific keywords without at least conducting research to identify the correct keywords and then seeing if they can be positioned to the number one position (I would assume that’s the only position that dominates) in a Google search especially as it relates to competition that may be focusing on those keywords.
Second Bullet Point Red Flag
- Increase Alexa Rank to under 1 million (current Alexa score rank: 5M+)
This is the red flag that screams loudest to me and shows how SEO companies try to leverage the ignorance of business owners as it relates to good SEO practices. Firstly, what is an Alexa score and why wouldn’t an SEO company explain it?
An Alexa score is a measurement that indicates how much site traffic a site receives. It’s not a commonly used gauge for traffic because it can be manipulated and gamed. Does an Alexa score factor into SEO? Yes, but it is very minuscule and few serious SEO companies put emphasis on it because it can be gamed and easily improved.
To say that improving the Alexa rank to the tune of $750 per month as a major goal really smells like a big pile of…
Third & Fourth Bullet Point Red Flags
- Increase Google Page Rank (current page rank 3/10)
This also stinks of poo. Several years ago, Google provided something known as Toolbar Page Rank. It was a tool you could download and add to Google Chrome that would allow you to look at a site and see what the page rank was on a scale of 1 to 10. That toolbar hasn’t been updated since 2013 and Google has essentially said they’ve done away with the tool. SEO companies worth their salt do not use this tool.
Curiously, in the next bullet point that reads:
- Lay the foundation to acquire a favorable PR score in 6 months (current PR score 0/10).
By PR score they are referring to Page Rank which in the bullet point above, said it was a 3 and in this bullet point is now a 0.
It’s safe to say that this SEO proposal is suspect. I won’t go into each of the other bulleted points in the SEO Integration and Management section, but I can assure you that no one qualified in SEO is going to do all that is listed here for $750 per month – IT’S. NOT. GOING. TO. HAPPEN.
Remember, if you’re being pursued by a company to handle your SEO – buyer beware. Ask a lot of questions and feel free to send me your proposals.
I’ll happily have a look at it for you and give you some feedback at no charge.