Hiring a professional SEO consultant may be your first step towards promoting your site/blog, but the wrong choice could be disastrous to you – pouring tons of money, hiring the wrong consultant, not ranking in search engines, and so on.
You get the picture?
So make sure you are aware of the advantages of hiring an SEO specialist as well as all the risks involved and potential damage a bad SEO consultant can do to your business and your site.
1. Don’t believe their “Hype”
If an SEO consultant or a company guarantees “#1 ranking in Google” in a very short span of time, within a week, inquire about their SEO tactics. If they hesitate, just move and find another one.
Fast ranking is possible, however, it takes time.
In fact, it takes a lot of time, probably 3 to 6 months at minimum to rank for a competitive market/ keywords.
So do me a favor – ensure that your potential SEO consultant is not going to get you there by using Google Adwords paid service!
Well, there’s nothing wrong using Google Adwords paid service to bring more traffic to your site, but if your potential SEO consultant tells you that you are not going to rank well in search engines without pouring money in “Google paid service,” its time your move on.
Remember, paid service (ads) is not search results!
It is acceptable to supplement traffic to your site using Google ads in order to rank, but just ensure what you are paying for. Nobody can predict high SERPs rankings, but many SEO firms do make unrealistic guarantees.
Watch out when they make wild promises to submit your business site/blog to 1000s of directories, or any other “apple in the sky” schemes that are impossible to achieve.
Heard about the old saying, “If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably isn’t true?”
2. Inquire About the SEO Consultant and Accept No Secrets
Sit down and talk with your potential SEO consultant and figure out what you will be getting and also how they will plan to achieve those results.
Just remember – you are putting your business reputation on line when you submit your site to a SEO consultant. How your site will rank and get in the 1st page of Google could either make or break your business.
For instance, if the potential SEO consultant are using “black hat SEO” tactics or by violating Google’s rules, it is YOUR site/blog that will get penalized or even banned from SERPs.
Of course, most SEO consultants won’t tell you all the details about their SEO tactics as it would be tiring and time consuming.
Sometimes, the best search engine marketers also don’t know everything about the SEO methods they will use until they actually get “into” the project. If search engine optimization was that simple, you could have done that all by yourself wouldn’t you?
In fact, SEO is not only a time consuming process, but also a very complex and evolving process.
So, if a SEO consultant sighs away from giving you at least an overview of their optimization process and claim that it’s their “well-kept secret,” then they are someone you don’t want to trust your business with.
In order to avoid hiring a “Bad” SEO consultant, you can ask these questions during an interview:
Ask them to show past success stories – i.e. examples of their work
How do they figure out what keywords phrase to target for your business?
Do they comply with Google’s Webmaster Guidelines?
Do they have marketing experiences besides search engine optimization service and backlink building?
Do they offer any other type of marketing services?
What kind of result you will likely expect from them and the timeframe to achieve it? How will they measure the site’s success?
How do they get backlinks? Do they use paid link schemes in low-quality sites that won’t do anything useful in search engine rankings?
Localization is very important! Do they have experience in local marketing – in your country, city, or region?
What different SEO strategies they use and what do they consider the most important?