Okayyyyy, I’m reloaded. I think of Scarface every time I come across a client that believes SEO is the end to all of their problems. Truth is, nothing is more concerning than a potential business partner approaching me for help after years of unsuccessful branding, and misguidedly, expecting overnight results. Their product has been failing to catch attention, fire, or buzz for the past 5 years and they expect SEO to be their miracle fix.

In some cases, it could just be your product or website. For others, it was their choice in Digital Marketing companies or branding agency. Either way, the most daunting task is trying to convince those potential clients that it might be time for a new website, refreshed branding, and the need for fresh content. Unfortunately, SEOs are often met with the ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ speech and the client continues their search for an agency who is just looking for their next client, not help grow their business. This is one of my biggest pet peeves, but it doesn’t stop there. Take a look at my top SEO & Marketing Pet Peeves.

  1. Clients who do not understand the importance or value of content: Great marketers like C.C. Chapman; the Co Author of Content Rules made a living screaming out the famous line, content is king. However, most clients just don’t get it. I have to convince more and more of them why it is important to produce as much relevant content on their blog as possible. But I’m not talking about the random blog post about your annual golf outing. I’m talking about producing unique, relevant content that helps drive traffic and convert leads.
  2. Paying for Popularity: Equally disturbing is when a potential client asks to pay for followers and likes because their social media pages are not engaging or growing naturally. “Yes Mr./Mrs. Client, we did advise you not to pay for followers and friends as social accounts full of useless contributors do not grow businesses. Also, I asked you not to post pictures of cartoon people holding up corny signs with funny jokes that had nothing to do with your business because unfortunately, that doesn’t increase brand awareness.” How about we focus on posting helpful, do it yourself articles about how people can fix a leaky sink or faucet since you’re a plumbing company? Now that is useful information.
  3. Black Hat SEO: Enough about clients, you know we love you, just let us do our job the way we have been doing for years. Remember your friend who recommended us because we blew his traffic out of the water and increased his sales and conversions? We’re not those black hat companies who take good practices and ruin them. Which is my third pet peeve, Black Hat SEOs  that keep Google on their toes. The companies responsible for Meta Keywords being ignored by Google. The same companies who stuffed anchor text with useless keywords and made them all but useless, are the same ones who abused the Guest Post system and have Google ignoring those links altogether. The whole Black Hat SEO game that ruins REAL marketing, what a pet peeve that is!
  4. Terrible, Outsourced Content: I think this one is everyone’s pet peeve. Have you ever gotten to a site and it sounded like a 4th grader wrote the content? More than likely the content was farmed out to content farms with little training in proper content development. Unfortunately, many organizations choose to outsource content in hopes to hoard all their marketing dollars or reallocate those dollars into other channels. Too bad for you, Google dislikes websites that have a high volume of grammatical errors, potentially causing you to drop in rankings or receive penalties from Google. Question: Do you believe potential customers will consider you a reputable brand with improper grammar and use of language? Nope! They will probably call a competitor whose site is full of great content without grammatical errors. At the end of the day, would you put poor content on your sales brochure? Your website is no different.
  5. Outsourced Link Building: The only thing worse than companies who outsource content are companies who outsource link building. Trading quantity for quality, I see. You know those companies who promise to build you 500-1000 links for $299.99? Sounds like a deal right? Wrong! You know the old saying, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. The real cost of that low cost link building is that you have to pay a reputable Internet marketing company substantially more to remove all of those links and try to get your penalty removed. I built a site for a client, and after building one semi-authoritative, relevant link, its rankings skyrocketed and it started receiving over 250 referral visits a month. Better yet, the bounce rate from the traffic was under 40% and converted at almost 2%, with no penalties from Google. Build on that formula and you will be just fine. Do it fast, and you will probably be paying for recovery in the near future.
  6. Directories Requesting Money for Link Removal: Enough about black hat companies; we would be here all day. My sixth pet peeve has to be directory sites that charge you to remove toxic links. Huh? It’s not your fault; you paid your SEO company for healthy, quality links, not a bunch of useless backlinks. Google frowns upon charging for link removal so follow the proper guidelines, make an attempt to have the links removed, but most of all, document! If they try to force you to pay – don’t! Request 3 times then make note of their refusal when you apply to have your penalty removed. Better yet, hire an expert to do it for you.
  7. Trigger-Happy Forum Moderators: It may seem harmless but it frustrates me when I find a relevant forum for a client and then they ban me for giving people what they want. People come to your forum for answers and my client has a blog full of answers to those questions, but you penalize me for adding links to relevant content? Is that not what they come there for? To receive the best answers no matter where they come from? Guess not cause you banned me for helping them. Looks like your readers will be forced to go elsewhere for answers.
  8. Bait and Switch Social Networks: Finally, you made it to my top pet peeve. You know I had to save the best for last. Without naming names, here it goes. I lose all respect for social media companies who start off free and then after years of building a brand for free, they go public and start charging for everything. Especially now with social media being so important, they pretty much force you to give up those dollars or find another platform. Kudos for your bait and switch.

If I missed anything that makes your SEO head spin, feel free to share your own pet peeve. Even if you do not agree, let me hear your thoughts. Am I am alone or are there more of you who have those stressful moments?