Let’s start by going over the five best SEO tools real marketers use. There’s no fluff here, and I’m not getting a commission for sharing these or trying to sell you something indirectly. We really use them, and they really work. The 5 Best SEO Tools Are:

  1. Ahrefs
  2. Pro RankTracker
  3. SEM Rush
  4. Pitchbox
  5. Google

That being said, SEO is one of the scummiest industries on the planet. It’s lawless and debatably ethical depending on the techniques and resources used. Finding a good SEO marketer is like finding a good mechanic. Possible, but takes some acuity for digital marketing and an extreme amount of patience.

When buying SEO services, you have a great chance of flushing your money down the toilet. I know that sounds intense, but take it from someone down in the trenches fighting for fair rankings in Google… SEO is an industry like the Wild West. It’s the modern gold rush and everyone is cashing in on it.


The Big Boys

Ok so first of all, we have to keep in mind that Google is a robot. A robot that was built by two guys (and a few others) to collect data about your online experiences. It wasn’t always the go-to power player that it is today. There were other search engines like Bing, Ask Jeeves, Yahoo, etc. But today, Google’s got a greater hand in the game than all of those companies combined. These major players set the tone for the digital economy. They select who shows up in search, who gets the most impressions, which countries get the furthest reach, and who gets banned or penalized. It’s kind of a big deal. It’s a big deal because if Google doesn’t like you, your business is screwed.

The Little Guys

So tech is the PERFECT industry for taking advantage of unsuspecting business owners. If you’ve been in business for a few years, you’re probably very good at what you do. However, mastering SEO has probably not been your focus. And that’s ok.

I’m sure you’ve received plenty of phone calls and emails from people saying they can “get your business on the first page of Google” and that they “guarantee results.”

Does this sound familiar, “Hello Web Admin, I noticed that your On-Page SEO is missing a few factors, for one you do not use all three H tags in your post…”

How about this, “This solicitation is to inform you that it’s time to send in your search engine registration for yourwebsite.com. Failure to complete this order by [[insert date 3 days away]] may result in the cancellation of this offer (making it difficult for your customers to locate you, using search engines on the web.”

Oh really, a cancellation of this offer makes it harder for customers to find me??? That’s interesting.

Unfortunately, business owners fall for these kinds of things all the time. Here’s why…

Easy Prey

The truth of the matter is, nobody knows anything about SEO except for a very few people. These people who have legitimate knowledge of how search engines work don’t usually start a medical practice or a law firm. They either work for Google or are busy ranking hundreds of pages for themselves (affiliate marketers) or their clients.

This puts you in a vulnerable position if you own a business. Not having the knowledge to properly vet an SEO, but needing the services is quite a conundrum. You know it has the potential to send your business into the stratosphere, but you don’t know who to trust.

Even huge companies, which I won’t name, are taking advantage of you. If you’ve been upsold on things like visibility in the search engines or search engine submissions, you’re giving away money for something that has virtually no effect on your rankings.

After paying for SEO services with no ROI in sight, a callous is formed along with a tinge of bitterness toward SEOs.

Valid Emotions

After shoveling out thousands, maybe even tens of thousands, it’s now very clear to you that SEO is a gamble and that person basically lied to make the sale.

It’s such a sad situation that I see all the time. Good luck getting your money back in an unregulated, digital industry where everything is full of loopholes.

I was in talks with a doctor out of San Francisco and he’d had some shoddy SEO done to his website and reached out to me.

Unfortunately, I’m much better at tech than I am sales so he walked away from the deal. Fortunately for my team, we avoided a very difficult situation.

The SEO Conscience

You see, all of the good SEO’s & marketing agencies I’ve seen have a conscience behind what they do. They spend hours researching instead selling, and they work really hard to make sure their clients are getting results.

They take on clients who have had bad experiences with other SEOs, and they don’t charge an arm and a leg.

I’m going to be honest. Taking on the wrong client is a lot like dating someone whose last partner was a total scumbag. You have to deal with a lot more than you should, and you find yourself patching wounds you didn’t create. It’s the reason we have to be selective with clients, and also the reason why there are so many horrible reviews on decent SEO agencies. It’s a game of trust and you [as the business owner] have to hold your water as long as possible while miracles happen…

Well, they’re not miracles, but it takes years to understand how search engines work because the algorithms always change. It’s kind of like trading stocks, and an SEO guarantee is like betting on our reputation with every client.

Confessions Of A Real SEO

Everyone looking to grow their business exponentially and sustainably needs SEO, making leads a dime a dozen. The hard part is trying to decipher who will be fun to work with and who will start to panic in two months when they’re not #1 for every term in the book.

Making the wrong choice can be devastating.

Stopping the flow of work to give a client a virtual hug and pat on the back can bring productivity to a screeching halt. Time is limited, and as an agency, we can use it to quell fears or get more traffic flowing to your business. It’s ultimately up to you because we don’t have a business without you. But if you can hold your water long enough, the $3000/month you’re paying will only be a drop in the bucket…

What To Do Now

I know I’m supposed to put a call to action at the end of this article begging you to work with my team, or get on our email list so we can bombard you with marketing material – but I won’t.

I genuinely hope this article helps you trust your intuition. Hang in there with your current SEO dude if they’re getting results. A good SEO is hard to find. Very freaking hard.

Our pipeline isn’t always overflowing with qualified clients who have ample marketing budgets and a clear understanding of SEO.

But we try. We do our best to help business owners who have no idea where to start, even if we don’t make money from it. We’re grateful to have trusting & motivated clients and continue to focus on slowly expanding while serving them to the best of our ability.

In closing, I just want you to promise me that you won’t fall for any of the aforementioned BS floating around in this industry. It really sickens me. Always trust quality over quantity. There are no “quick” results in SEO. There are no shortcuts, and most industries are only getting more competitive. Just be diligent and trust your gut.