shiny-seo-objectsI’m a sucker for new and shiny objects. When I was 16 I was a server at Macaroni Grill and was invited to a seminar. The seminar was CutCo. The speaker was really amped up and talked about all of the money a young guy like me could make working part-time and when I wanted. I was ecstatic and became a CutCo sales representative.

I was buying into the promise of making 6 figures a year and only working 4-8 hours a week. I pictured my life ahead and my CutCo career.

That all lasted about 2 weeks. It’s not to the fault of CutCo, I foresaw that I would have to work REALLY hard to get to where I wanted to go.
I quit. My CutCo career was done. It was a good learning experience for me, really.

When it comes to doing good Local SEO, business owners need to be wary of shiny objects too.

If you’ve been trying to get your small business online and are stuck on page 2 or below, it can be very frustrating. Then out of nowhere you come across a service that has some promises that make you believe it’s the right thing to do.
You start thinking that this is the solution to your ranking problem. You picture that if you buy this product or service the rankings will happen overnight. You begin to dream build and think about all of the new customers you are going to get.
How couldn’t you have found this before!
But like my career at CutCo, the dream won’t last very long.
Local SEO takes time and it takes a good amount of work, there is no real “magic bullet” that is going to get you the rankings you are looking for.
Here are some of these shiny objects that any business owner should stay away from:

-Guaranteed Rankings

I’ve said it time and time again. There is no company that can guarantee any type of results. Some spammy companies will say they can guarantee page 1 results, and just take your money and run.
We’ve been working with a dentist that signed a one-year contract with a spammy local SEO company and the contract had a $5000 cancellation fee. Comes out to 80% of the entire contract, it makes no sense.
Google also warns business owners to be cautious of companies like this too: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/35291?hl=en

-Buying High PR Links

Fiverr is a company that allows individuals to sell products/services for as little as $5. You can buy “highly targeted links” to get your website to rank.
These providers might do the work in the description, but it will not help your rankings. In fact, it will more than likely get your website a penalty and your website will be de-indexed.

-Buying reviews

Every small business owner wants to get more good reviews of there business. Who wouldn’t want that? Buying reviews to artificially inflate your rating is a violation of review sites like Yelp. Furthermore, if Yelp believes you are doing this, they may go as far as placing a nice sticker above your listing saying that your business has been known to violate Yelp’s ToS.

-Buying social followers

Get 10k Likes on Facebook for $15! Having a big social following is great, but not if they are fake accounts. Think about it, if you went to a page on Facebook and saw 10,000 Likes, and ZERO interaction with the posts, how does that look? It’s not real, and Facebook may eventually delete all of the phony fake accounts.

-Social media autoposting services

Paying a third party company $149 per month to post daily to your Facebook business page is a giant waste of your money. Not only does the third party not know anything about your brand or what your business is really about, they don’t share anything from you, the business owner.
The purpose of social media is to ENGAGE with your audience. Third party auto-posters are like a megaphone, just talking and talking and talking, not listening.
These are the most common “shiny objects” that business owners may be tempted to do.
Getting good rankings takes time and work. Some businesses may have internal departments that can take on all of the work. Other businesses don’t have the time to do the work required to do Local SEO. It may be a good idea to outsource your local SEO to a third party that you can trust. If you’re interested in outsourcing, be sure to read our post on 8 questions to ask a Local SEO.