Looking for the right SEO consultant might be a tough one, especially when you are essentially a novice in the online marketing world. Make your search easier by avoiding these 11 mistakes when hiring an SEO consultant.
1. Paying long-term services in whole
Most clients tend to agree with package deals and long-term contracts because these are normally cheaper than the individual services. However, although you can really save in the process, you are also taking a gamble by paying something that you have yet to prove if effective or not.
You may want to consider individual services first if it is your first time to hire a search engine optimization consultant.
2. Believing promised results in a short amount of time
Experienced SEO consultants can promise results because they already have tried-and-true strategies and formula to success. What they cannot promise though are results in a short amount of time. The truth is, no one—not even experienced SEO experts—can say for sure the specific time when results can be seen. No one is in control of that, so you may have to wait a little longer than promised.
3. Falling for fancy SEO tools
A lot of SEO consultants try to dazzle their clients by presenting a lot of fancy tools that are supposed to be their trump card. While SEO tools do help in ranking a website, studies show that they do not significantly boost a website’s ranking because tools cannot keep up with the frequent updates in analytics. Expertise, not tools, make a real difference.
4. Availing of black hat SEO services
Black hat services are a big no-no. They are illegal, unethical, and are very likely to get you in trouble. Availing of black hat services may only lead to your website getting blacklisted and penalized.
Black hat services are SEO strategies that try to bypass Google analytics by using misleading html, tags, content, headings, and landing pages. SEO writing that used to be the golden standard in online marketing can now be classified as black hat strategy too, provided that it utilizes keyword stuffing or very high keyword density.
5. Signing up for a contract with a lock-in period and no-contest clause
You better run as fast as you can when a search engine optimization consultant tries to offer you this kind of contract. This is basically a way of stealing your money even when the consultant can no longer deliver.
Online marketing is the fastest evolving segment in the marketing industry. One consultant may be good at first but may also fail to deliver in the end when it fails to stay updated. Unless you have tried a consultant’s services before, you are advised to take it slowly and continue researching for the best options in your SEO marketing campaign.
6. Focusing too much on the SEO and SEM plans and less on their execution
Any search engine optimization consulting with enough knowledge about the technicalities of SEO and search engine marketing (SEM) can create an impressive marketing plan. They are easier to understand by the book and thus, to interpret. However, the execution is a very tricky process as search engines change their analytics faster than how search engine optimization consultants update written plans.
7. Not consulting past clients for reference
An SEO consultant can claim a lot of things that it is not. To be sure that you are not being fooled, check the consultant’s past clients if they really rank well in their niches and if their websites do appear professional. Many websites also indicate their SEO consultants, so you may want to scour their websites for details.
8. Not doing enough online research
Everything is being talked about online. It is impossible not to find a discussion about a particular search engine optimization consultant. In fact, you should be suspicious if a consultant remains unknown in cyber space.
Look for reliable reviews, but it is better to join forums to fish for more information.
9. Availing of general SEO services without understanding how they are relevant to your website and online marketing campaign
Every client has the obligation to know what his website might need in order to rank high in search engines. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the search engine optimization consultant to lay down the specific details, but a client should have also done prior research just to familiarize himself of the SEO industry. A client who does not know anything about SEO or online marketing in general is only susceptible to scams and substandard services.
10. Expecting guaranteed and targeted results
The right term is “to look forward” and not “to expect.” It is hard to expect any guaranteed and targeted results when it comes to SEO because other websites in the same niche also do something about their ranking and marketing campaign. If you think that you are doing so much for your website, do not think that your competitors are not doing the same.
11. Disregarding the SEO consultant’s own website
The consultant’s own website is the best testimonial that you can get. If the website does not rank well and it appears to be rushed, you better look for another consultant that is more likely to be telling the truth.