Optimising a website to achieve high rankings in search engine results pages is an extremely effective internet marketing strategy to drive leads and sales to any given website. But be careful, SEO is highly technical and mysterious discipline any so called “SEO professionals” rely on the lack of knowledge to the subject scam prospects.Which leads us to the question: How to Identify Bad SEO Services?First lets understand what SEO or search engine optimisation is all about. SEO is an ongoing process of optimising individual pages of a website with related keywords so when prospects search for these terms, the optimised pages appear in the first results of SERPS (search engine results pages). This process will start to generate qualified traffic to the website which will start to generate conversions, sales, leads, sign ups, etc.Avoid False PromisesWith SEO there are no cutting corners so substantial results cannot be achieved over night. Avoid agencies and freelancers that promise high rankings in just 30 days or less. Anyone promising or guaranteeing first positions in Google is using deceiving techniques that will hurt your website in the long run.What would you prefer a sudden surge in traffic that will go away fairly quick or a steady increase in traffic which will continue to grow constantly without fading away?Black Hat TechniquesThere are many techniques used by these so called “SEO professionals” to game the SE algorithms in order to achieve high rankings in a short period of time. These procedures are known as “Black Hat” and are the signs that make seo services bad and ineffective.Some common black hat techniques are:Keyword Stuffing: Adding keywords right, left and centre on a page making it look unnatural not only for the search engines but also for its visitors.Invisible Text: Using same font colours as the background to try and fool the SE crawlers. This for me is child play; anyone who still believes that SEs are stupid enough to fall for it should look for help.Doorway Pages: Pages created with the sole purpose of ranking high, attract visitors and redirect them to another location.There are many more black hat procedures but the bottom line here is the Search Engines are very strict with their guidelines and do penalise websites that make use of such techniques.Bad Selection of KeywordsKeywords are the core of SEO; it is their rankings that will drive qualified traffic to your website. Some SEO agencies will come up with a huge list of keywords that relate to your business services and products, do not simply accept them. Go over the list selecting the ones that you would like to rank for and feel free to make suggestions of keywords that are related to your business but are not listed.Sometimes keywords with high search volume might not deliver the expected results because they might be too generic for your business. Work together with your selected agency or freelancer to come up with more descriptive keywords that despite having a lower search volume could deliver far more conversions.Paid Links SchemesAvoid such schemes by all means. Links are on the strongest ranking factors, search engines are strict in identifying and classifying them and yes they can recognise paid links by a mile away. SEs have no mercy with websites that engage in paid links schemes so make sure when you hire the services of an SEO they do not engage in these kind of schemes.Driving Irrelevant TrafficThere are many ways to drive traffic to website but unfortunately most of them are not effective. When I say not effective I meant that the traffic being driven is of low quality and by low quality I mean traffic that doesn’t convert at all. There are many ways to identify low quality traffic.A reliable SEO service should provide periodical analytics reports that indicate the behaviour of visitors when they land on your website. A high number of unique visitors doesn’t mean that the traffic to your website is good. Look for signals like bounce rate, average time on site, page views per visit and conversion rates.Be Careful with PricingSEO services vary in price according to a series of factors. Sometimes the most expensive ones might not be the best ones while affordable seo services could end up costing more than they were actually marketed. There are no set prices for internet marketing services some agencies offer set packages, others charge by the hour but the most important thing is to know how to identify bad seo services and with this guide you are now able to do so.