When hiring an SEO consultant it’s important to do your due diligence and research the specialist whom you are considering. It’s important to dig into their background, speak with some of their previous customers and ensure you have a clear plan in place so both parties understand the deliverables.
The following 6 tips provided by industry experts will help you to uncover any red flags and ensure you are partnering up with a reputable SEO consultant.
- You get what you pay for
Roberto Torres of Turrem advises “Like with any industry, consumers are always searching for the lowest price. When it comes to investing in your business, try to avoid the race to the bottom. Instead look for agencies or freelancers who have worked with similar businesses and always look for referrals. The experience of another business owner can speak volumes.”
Aiden Angeli of Ripe Marketing shares “Good SEO is not cheap, as it requires a lot of work both onsite and offsite. A business owner is at risk of being taken advantage of if they go the cheap route. That usually translates to no results and possibly getting into trouble with Google for shady SEO practices that break their terms of services.”
- Watch for red flags
Kylie Moore of The Loop Marketing advises to “Avoid any agency or company that is secretive about their approach, promises #1 rankings in 3-6 months, causes a dip in organic traffic, ignores technical SEO, or builds exclusively low-quality links.”
Christopher-Robin Lamont of We Are Monumental cautions “It’s no secret that there’s been a gold rush, over the years and a lot of dodgy SEO work too. It seems like every business has a horror story to share about it. It’s one of the most saturated areas of marketing and there seems to be a shortage of good SEOs out there. Some red flags to watch out for are:
- they 100% guarantee that you’ll be ranking highly in search engines yet charge $150 a month, it takes around 20 hours of work a month to get good results and that often involves expensive data tools.
- They don’t talk about your site and its potential.
- They can’t provide actual evidence of a site they worked on that’s ranking, just ambiguous screenshots of analytics dashboards.”
Veronica Fernandes of Creative Media Technology says “With the increase in the digital marketing business, many companies have arisen, who promise their clients results but don’t deliver what they promise. In my opinion, there is a high risk of getting scammed when it comes to getting SEO help. SEO scammers usually target small local businesses that do not pose any threat to their scam.”
Tanuja Mahdavi of Gold Mango Design LLC advises “Businesses need to carefully research SEO companies and reviews before signing on. There are many SEO agencies that use unethical practices to improve search rankings. This can result in a Google penalty.”
- Speak with references to build trust
Brady Balhorn of Checkerboard Development suggests “Don’t select an agency based only on what they claim they’ll do for you, go with someone you trust to do the job right. Remember that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. SEO doesn’t work overnight, and not knowing this could lead to some major disappointment or even a hacked website.”
Cheryl Friedenberg of High Key Impact LLC says “The key to a truly reputable SEO company would be to engage with a professional who has an understanding of your industry, the competitive field, offer tools to help optimize your website, and not use ‘spammy’ methods in order to increase your search presence. Before hiring an SEO partner, talk to referrals whom you know. That’s the best way to make sure you’re not being taken advantage of.”
- Ensure both parties are on the same page
Brad Simonis of E-Marketing Solutions LLC advises “Get a clear proposal of work to be done from that company and be sure to check testimonials and reviews. Thorough SEO work takes time and costs money. An offer that sounds too good to be true usually is.”
Barb Davids of Compass Digital Strategies says “It’s important for your SEO specialist to be clear with you about what’s being done each week and reviewing the numbers in addition to why we’re looking at those numbers.”
- Educate yourself on the basics
Niles Koenigsberg of Real FiG Advertising + Marketing advises “As a business owner, you just need to keep in mind the fact that SEO takes time. You won’t see immediate results after hiring an SEO agency to improve your organic search engine rankings. However, given enough time, your SEO strategy will pay off with impressive results.”
Savannah Bilbo of Online Optimism says “SEO changes frequently. Keyword stuffing used to be a great way to boost SEO and now Google is penalizing websites that do that. Google’s algorithm “reads” a page, assigns it a numerical value for each trait and the page with the most desirable traits ranks the highest. The algorithm is constantly updating and changing to think more like humans instead of like machines. This is why, when writing, it’s important to sound as natural as possible and not like AI. Businesses are at risk when they seek SEO help because they may go to someone who is not up to date on all best SEO practices.”
- Look at case studies
Jerome Williams of JWorks Studios suggests “Make sure the SEO specialist can prove their success and explain their tactics. For me, I write case studies that track how a website ranked before and after my work. I show clients the changes I make and the progress that was made until the client reaches page one. Another thing I do to prove my worth is to give prospective clients a list of keywords that they can plug into Google so they can see the current results for themselves. I want them to be confident that I have great skills and have produced page one results time and time again.”
In conclusion, when hiring an SEO specialist ensure you research a little about SEO so you can be educated on what you are looking for. Ensure you do a thorough background check in terms of work they have provided their previous clients, and take the time to speak with 1 or 2 of their previous happy clients. By doing your research you are ensuring the SEO specialist you hire will be a great fit for your business and will deliver you the results you are looking for.