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SEO’s, the “extremely rare species” that will get your website on the first page of Google or so some of them will claim…. 1000s of $$ are spent each day on consultants that don’t produce any actual results! Now you don’t want to end up with a Search engine specialist like that now, do you? Well then, here are the top mistakes made when picking an SEO consultant.
SEO Consultant Hiring Mistakes
Not spending time reading about Search Engine Optimization
If you are reading this thankfully you are an exception to this mistake. Too many people receive a spammy email from someone, hire them for “SEO” and then say that SEO doesn’t work or is a scam because they didn’t get any results.
You have decided to spend some time reading about SEO consultants before going right out of the gate and hiring one. This may seem to be counter-intuitive but I believe that you should read about the basics of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) before you go about hiring an SEO consultant.
But Jeremy, “why do I need to learn about Search Engine Optimization if I’m hiring you?” Well let’s look at it this way, I don’t know how to code and hence hire web developers to work for me, however, I understand the basics of how programming works and that makes it easier for me to communicate with them as well as make sure that they’re not bullshitting me about the time and work it takes to achieve the end goal. Similarly, when it comes to consulting as an SEO, it makes it easier for both of us, the consultant and the business.
Now I don’t mean that you should spend hours learning everything about Search Engine Optimization, definitely not! I’ll be out of a job then, haha and you still won’t be able to optimize as well as someone who has been doing it for years!
But to make sure that you don’t get scammed, I recommend you skim through this article by Google where they share the basics of what they like and don’t like so you get a pretty decent idea of what this “SEO” thing is all about, and no it’s not ‘magic’.
Hiring an SEO Consultant that doesn’t follow Google’s guidelines on their own site
One of the main reasons I recommend reading up Google’s basic guidelines on SEO is so that you can quickly check and see if your own potential SEO consultant is following the guidelines. If they’re not following them on their own site, how can you expect them to do it for yours?
Take for example the second point in the general guidelines
Does your potential SEO consultant have an HTML sitemap? Most probably won’t despite Google directly recommending it on their website. Most of SEO is understanding what Google wants and giving it to them, by that idea it seems like a good idea to follow their public guidelines. Now adding that page won’t make a huge difference, but SEO is about paying attention to the tiny details and each drop adds to the bucket!
Your Seo Consultant does not understand your objective
Before getting you more traffic from Google, as an SEO consultant I need to understand your end objective. What do you hope to achieve with that traffic? Do you just want more traffic for a sake of it or is there an objective behind it?
For example; let take my articles on the Best Carry On Travel Backpack 2018 or the Best GoPro Knockoff I wrote a while back, I optimized and got it as one of the top results on the first page of google for “GoPro alternatives” as the links in the articles are affiliate links and make me money, and that was the end objective. Similarly with my Airbnb coupon 2018 article.
So as an SEO consultant I need to understand your business so I can best serve you. If your SEO consultant doesn’t spend time understanding your end objective and then sees how he can best help you achieve that, that’s a red flag right there.
If they are promising you that you are going to the #1 result for any keyword, run in the opposite direction. No one can promise you the first result of Google especially when Google changes their algorithm as often as they do!
An experienced SEO consultant will at most be able to give you an educated guess as to the possible increase in traffic and how soon you can expect to see it.
Proof of work
Does your SEO consultant have proof of work to give you any reason to work with them other than empty promises? Have they successfully been able to improve organic traffic to any business or is your SEO consultant full of talk?
I pride myself on being able to get this blog on the first page of Google for multiple phases, from highly profitable ones like “Best Kids Smartwatch 2018” to other many highly competitive queries like “Best Travel Drone 2018” in just a year of starting this blog. Even this article comes in the first 20 results for the phrase “SEO consultant” worldwide, which is an insanely competitive query. Test out any claims made by your consultant and demand proof of work!
Hiring based on the lowest price
The 400$ SEO package might sound appealing but you are rarely going to get any actual results by hiring your SEO consultant based on the lowest price. You are rarely going to get any good services if you just hire the cheapest person available on the market.
IMO it’s better to do it slowly and do it yourself than it is to hire an inexperienced SEO consultant as it might do more harm than good over the long-term!
One Fit All SEO packages
I’m sorry but it’s not possible to package SEO services and just sell it to you in a tiny one fit’s all package, it needs to be customized for your particular website or business! SEO has to be 100% customized for every client and anyone trying to sell you packages is just bullshitting you and trying to make a quick buck instead of actually helping you achieve the end goal you hope to achieve.
They make Search engine optimization seem like voodoo
Nothing is worse than an SEO consultant who looks down on you for not understanding how the industry works. The main reason I decided to write this post because I’m saddened by the state of the industry at times! Many SEO consultants try to make Search engine optimization seem like black magic and too complicated to understand in common terms so they can charge high fees for less work.
As mentioned earlier, a lot of Search Engine Optimization is about understanding what Google likes and giving it to them and paying attention to the fine details.
Promote Buying Backlinks
If your consultant is ever trying to sell your links or asking you to buy links, drop him right there! Google clearly doesn’t like people who buy links and try and game the system, if you go down this path you will be hurt over the long term.
SEO takes time, anyone who promises you quick results is just saying that for the quick cash! It takes time, especially for a new site to grow its authority!
SEO is king
Many SEO consultants like treating coming higher up in Google as the holy grail of marketing, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In the day and age of Social media and the Facebooks and Instagram, all of those platforms are incredibly important. I wouldn’t spend time having 1000s of followers personally on Instagram if SEO was king.
When I work with startups and businesses over the long term, I always end up working with multiple teams and we work together on seeing how our Social campaigns can improve our SEO strategy and vice versa. It’s a very good investment idea to not have all your eggs in one basket and it applies here as well! Social and SEO can go hand in hand if done well.
Location of Your SEO consultant
The location of your SEO consultant matters if you have a business in a single location. I personally travel full time so I work with businesses remotely. This works great for 99.9% of businesses however some businesses are very strict and want their consultant to be in the same city/office.
Most of the best SEO’s I know focus on a certain industry when it comes to SEO. Some choose to focus on local SEO while others prefer a certain industry like travel. I personally like and usually work with start-ups and online businesses! I personally specialize in WordPress SEO.
My recent biggest interests have been businesses in Bitcoin, Cryptocurrencies, Artificial Intelligence and Online Businesses and Magazines but I’m always looking for cool projects to work on especially if they’re run by fun people.
Biggest SEO Consultant Mistake: You Don’t Hire Me 😉
It would be a terrible mistake if you fit the above criteria and are looking to hire a SEO consultant to close this page. It’s rare that you’ll meet someone like me; if I do say so myself haha! ;)! Contact me on the form below! Let’s see if we can work together or email me at email@example.com