How to Avoid a Website Audit Scam

Scammers come in all shapes, sizes, backgrounds, and professions. One of the best ways to protect your website project while hiring a professional digital marketing team is to know what to expect from them up front. A website audit should give your business a deeper understanding of why conversion and sales are up or down.

A Refreshed Understanding of SEO

Search engine optimization is all about optimizing a website so that it sends the right signals to search engines. Millions of people go online to search for information about products and services. Once people submit a query, search engines to go work to search through billions of records to deliver the most relevant results. Of course, not all search engines are created equal.

The big search companies design their search engines to analyze ranking factors and to keep people from gaming search results. “Gaming the system” is another name for manipulating the system. Google has truly evolved to a point where the most relevant information appears in a search engine query. Google also wants you to rank by honest means.

On-Page SEO

A full technical and SEO audit can reveal if the website’s content is compelling enough. The audits should also reveal anything a search engine identifies as a red flag. The auditors should also be able to fix any problems. For example, are status codes in order? If the audit does not address the quality of content, website authority, responsiveness and speed, then you may have a scam on your hands. A successful audit examines for duplicate content, keyword cannibalism, and overall quality of information architecture.

Another way to tell if you are in the middle of an audit scam is if the person or team you hired fails to determine if your site is accessible or not. You may have put a lot of time and resources into your website, but it is all worthless if users do not have fluid access.

There are a number of page ranking factors to take a look at as well. Page content and titles can help make your site worthy of scrutiny when people search for products and services. Compelling page content is a major reason why people remain on websites, and why content converts.

Is your website audit able to tell if your content is substantial? Each page should contain no less than 300 words. Write more if possible. Content must be compelling, relevant, and written well. Are images optimized? Provide metadata with images. This aids search engines to factor this into your ranking. Reexamine keywords even if traffic is robust. There may be an overlooked keyword phrase that can increase traffic and sales. Your site may also contain keywords that decrease traffic.

Off-Page SEO

This reveals everything about your brand that takes place everywhere else other than your website. What are people saying on social media about your brand? Are there blogs in the digital universe with backlinks leading to your website?

If your SEO auditors cannot provide insights about websites linking to yours, then keep looking for a team that gets it right. They should look for spam and malware on those sites linking to you. They should also look for keyword stuffing, cloaking, and even hidden text. It is not good enough just for your site to be legitimate. Sites linking to your website must be legitimate as well. If not, Google sees this as if you are associating with bad company.

Competent digital marketers can search for bad links and disavow them. Another warning sign that a website audit scam is in the making is if an auditor guarantees top ranking. If they promise to give your site a first-page ranking right away, stay away. Earning rank takes time even with effective and proven techniques. The reality is that several months may pass before any real change becomes apparent.

Finally, avoid any so-called SEO wizards who claim to possess secret techniques that will rank your site immediately. Of course, it may be understandable for an SEO company not to share all of its techniques or tools they use. However, they should be able to clearly outline their strategies and provide clear deliverables.

Today's Author

International SEO consultant is my title…but who cares about those? What I love is creating strategies that include marketing, social, SEO, relevance, ruffling feathers and starting revolutions. What you read on this blog will hopefully inspire you to continue the conversation. When I’m not multitasking around Level343 I sneak away and go sailing. I’m crazy about pistachios, and of course Nutella.


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