Despite anonymity becoming a thing of the past on the Internet these days as far as prying government eyes are concerned, it’s still relatively easy to hide your true credentials from other regular citizens of the interweb. Regardless though, first impressions matter, even if you don’t know who is truly behind a given online operation. When you take to the Internet to browse for some type of service you need, you’re likely going to be attracted to businesses with respectable looking websites first. Good design brings a professional feel, however, like most things in life, looks can be deceiving.
comic via commitstrip
Regardless of how many qualifications or quality standards listed, you could still be dealing with straight amateurs! Some things you can do to try and gage the quality of an agency is to look at their past work, references, or word of mouth. So if you are hoping to hire a social media marketing firm for example, how do their profiles look on social media sites like Facebook, Google+ or Twitter? Are they practicing what they preach with any degree of success?
I can’t tell you how many crazy offers we get from spam SEO agencies looking to ‘help us’ boost our traffic, yet they don’t have any hits themselves! I’ve seen some spiffy looking websites too, only to soon learn they are a front for some poorly run or worse, scam operation. Making bad hiring or spending decisions can be costly for any size business.
So the next time you’re out there looking to hire help online, make sure you go the extra mile and do your homework first!
Daniel, I agree. we do our SEO in-house…. but we get a gazillion calls and occasionally I research them just for a laugh. Why would I ever hire a company that doesn’t at least try to rank themselves for the thing they sell? Or someone that has a lousy social media presence? They usually open by critiquing you for something that they haven’t even verified “you aren’t ranking for your keywords”. When I ask them for examples, they rattle off keywords that have nothing to do with what I sell. “Why would I want to rank for that?”
Cute comic and great point!
“I can’t tell you how many crazy offers we get from spam SEO agencies looking to ‘help us’ boost our traffic, yet they don’t have any hits themselves!” This is so true. If they don’t believe or use their own product or services that’s a red flag.