Why you get ripped off over and over again by a SEO


While you are reading this article, there is someone, somewhere getting ripped off by some dodgy/dishonest SEO professional/agency.

If you as a SEO professional, think why so many dodgy SEOs take away your business then this article is for you.

If you as a webmaster/business owner wonder, why I get ripped off over and over again, then this article is for you.


You really think SEO can be done cheap

Lot of businesses don’t understand the ‘value’ of getting the desired rankings esp. in the competitive markets.

It takes real money to displace real money.

Websites which are in top 10 for highly competitive keywords have been spending shit load of money in content creation and marketing for years. They didn’t come up on page 1 of Google, overnight and certainly not with a shoe string budget.

What that means, if a business is spending say $5000 a month on SEO and has been doing it for the last 3 years, then it has spent $5000*12*3 = $180000 so far to get/remain in top 10 for number of competitive keywords.

And if your idea of replacing this $180000 worth of rankings with total budget of say $500 then you need to wake up.

Businesses which don’t understand the value of getting desired rankings often fall in the trap of SEO noobs who sell them their dream rankings for $5000.

The seo noobs themselves don’t know the value of desired rankings and the amount of efforts and skill required. So they make any promise and place lowest bid on every type of project, irrespective of the industry and competition.

Whereas experienced SEOs know that getting the desired rankings will require lot of efforts and budget. So they place the actual bid for the project. Businesses being unaware of the real value of desired ranks opt for lowest bid.

Now if you attack $180,000 with $5000 then what is going to happen?.. you won’t see results..

Takeaway –Understand the value of getting desired ranks in your industry and pay accordingly.


You are not ready to pay the actual fees

The entrance threshold for becoming a seo is very low. There is no minimum qualification requirement, no certification and no regulatory body.

Anyone can read ‘something somewhere’ and start selling seo services. This has resulted in population explosion of SEO noobs (often dressed up as SEO Experts) around the world.

With so many dodgy SEOs out there, it is hard to find the genuine experienced seo. But even when you find them, you don’t want to pay them their fees and look for cheaper/cheapest alternative which often result in being ripped off as explained above.

Takeaway – Find the genuine SEO and pay him/her the actual fees. My old post on seochat may help you here: Beginner’s Guide to identifying the Genuine SEO


You have unrealistic expectations

Many webmasters have unrealistic expectations from their online businesses.

They set up websites with little to no industry knowledge and budget, and then look for SEOs who can make them millionaire overnight or get them rankings for keywords which are worth million of dollars at rock bottom price.

Experienced and genuine SEOs estimate the true value of ranks and don’t accept the project. This gives dodgy SEOs the opportunity to cash in on the unrealistic expectations of business owners. Since their only aim is to collect money and move on, they are ready to promise the moon.

Takeaway – Gain industry knowledge and understand competition. Get basic knowledge of SEO and how search engines work before you start any marketing campaign or hire a SEO


You can’t differentiate between marketing risk and Scam

You hire a SEO. He worked on what he agreed to work upon and bring your site in top 10 for money keywords. Nothing much happened sales wise and you screamed ‘rip off’.

There can be ‘N’ reasons for top rankings and negative ROI.

  1. Your product sucks to begin with. It has no market value or just no market at all.
  2. You are overcharging for your products.
  3. You are expecting more sales than the actual market.
  4. You have bad reputation in the market and the list goes on and on.

All these factors are beyond the control of a SEO and therefore you can’t accuse him of scamming you. If you want a SEO to also share your marketing risks then you are looking for a business partner and not SEO.

Takeaway – SEO is a marketing risk just like any other form of marketing. You as a business owner must be willing to take this risk and accept the consequences.




How to spot a SEO Expert

Genuine SEO Expert


Look for his/her contributions and reputation on seo forums, blogs and industry events.

Often he likes his ideas to be scrutinized and challenged by other SEOs and has overwhelming urge to heavily contribute to the SEO industry.

Often such guys are known to other well known SEOs. These guys really know what they talk about. Another good way is to ask for references from credible sources.



How to spot a SEO Noob

These guys are rarely found on seo forums or blogs. Even if they are found, they are generally busy in spamming there.

Another good way to spot them is through their bid on your project. If you know the true value of your rankings, you will find out instantly that the bidder has no knowledge of your industry and competition. They are often reluctant to sign any seo contract as it will make them legally responsible for their deliverables.


Other articles you will find useful:


Do you know the difference between Web Analytics and Google Analytics?

99.99% of course creators themselves don’t know the difference between Web analytics, Google Analytics (GA) and Google Tag Manager (GTM).

So they are teaching GA and GTM in the name of teaching Web analytics.

They just copy each other. Monkey see, monkey do.

But Web analytics is not about GA, GTM.

It is about analyzing and interpreting data, setting up goals, strategies and KPIs.

It’s about creating strategic roadmap for your business.

Web Analytics is the core skill. Google Analytics is just a tool used to implement ‘Web Analytics’.

You can also implement ‘Web analytics’ via other tools like ‘adobe analytics’, ‘kissmetrics’ etc.

Using Google Analytics without the good understanding of ‘Web analytics’ is like driving around in a car, in a big city without understanding the traffic rules and road signs.

You are either likely to end up somewhere other than your destination or you get involved in an accident.

You learn data analysis and interpretation from Web analytics and not from Google Analytics.

The direction in which your analysis will move, will determine the direction in which your marketing campaigns and eventually your company will move to get the highest possible return on investment.

You get that direction from ‘Web analytics’ and not from ‘Google Analytics’.

You learn to set up KPIs, strategies and measurement framework for your business from ‘Web analytics’ and not from ‘Google Analytics’.

So if you are taking a course only on 'Google Analytics’, you are learning to use one of the tools of ‘Web analytics’. You are not learning the ‘Web analytics’ itself.

Since any person can learn to use Google Analytics in couple of weeks, you do no get any competitive advantage in the marketplace just by knowing GA.

You need to know lot more than GA in order to work in Web analytics and marketing field.

So what I have done, if you are interested, is I have put together a completely free training that will teach you exactly how I have been able to leverage web/digital analytics to generate floods of news sales and customers and how you can literally copy what I have done to get similar results.

Here what You'll Learn On This FREE Web Class!

1) Why digital analytics is the key to online business success

2) The number 1 reason why most marketers are not able to scale their advertising and maximize sales.

3) Why Google and Facebook ads don’t work for most businesses & how to make them work.

4) Why you won’t get any competitive advantage in the marketplace just by knowing Google Analytics.

5) The number 1 reason why conversion optimization is not working for your business.

6) How to advertise on any marketing platform for FREE with an unlimited budget.

7) How to learn and master digital analytics and conversion optimization in record time.


My best selling books on Digital Analytics and Conversion Optimization

Maths and Stats for Web Analytics and Conversion Optimization
This expert guide will teach you how to leverage the knowledge of maths and statistics in order to accurately interpret data and take actions, which can quickly improve the bottom-line of your online business.

Master the Essentials of Email Marketing Analytics
This book focuses solely on the ‘analytics’ that power your email marketing optimization program and will help you dramatically reduce your cost per acquisition and increase marketing ROI by tracking the performance of the various KPIs and metrics used for email marketing.

Attribution Modelling in Google Analytics and Beyond
Attribution modelling is the process of determining the most effective marketing channels for investment. This book has been written to help you implement attribution modelling. It will teach you how to leverage the knowledge of attribution modelling in order to allocate marketing budget and understand buying behaviour.

Attribution Modelling in Google Ads and Facebook
This book has been written to help you implement attribution modelling in Google Ads (Google AdWords) and Facebook. It will teach you, how to leverage the knowledge of attribution modelling in order to understand the customer purchasing journey and determine the most effective marketing channels for investment.

Himanshu Sharma

Digital Marketing Consultant and Founder of Optimizesmart.com

Himanshu helps business owners and marketing professionals in generating more sales and ROI by fixing their website tracking issues, helping them understand their true customers' purchase journey and helping them determine the most effective marketing channels for investment.

He has over 12 years of experience in digital analytics and digital marketing.

He was nominated for the Digital Analytics Association's Awards for Excellence. The Digital Analytics Association is a world-renowned not-for-profit association that helps organisations overcome the challenges of data acquisition and application.

He is the author of four best-selling books on analytics and conversion optimization:

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