CAUTION: Don’t Hire Any “SEO Expert ” Until You Read This…
Recently, I was speaking to a prospective client who had been working to increase his sales online. Eventually, our conversation came around to Search Engine Optimization (SEO). He was truly frustrated with finding trustworthy SEO experts. He had recently hired a SEO consultant who promised to put his site at the top of the search engines.
Within a few weeks the newly hired “SEO Expert” managed to get my prospective client’s site banned from the major indexes by using “black hat” SEO practices. This caused him to lose nearly all of the traffic & sales he had. He’d also paid this expert a lot of money… It all ended up in a total loss and my prospective client in worse shape than before he hired the expert. Unfortunately, this is not the first time I’ve heard this type of story.
I’m losing count of how many people I’ve spoken too that have had this or similar experiences with SEO experts. Many have lost thousands of dollars being promised top search engine positions & rankings. Others have had their site reputation severely tarnished & punished by Google (by much lower positions) or have been dropped from indexing totally.
It’s important to know what to look for when hiring an individual or company for your project. So… I wanted to list the top 5 mistakes I believe people make when hiring a SEO expert. Hopefully this will help you from doing the same!
The Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring a SEO Expert:
1. Be Careful with #1 Ranking Guarantees
If a SEO expert guarantees you a #1 ranking on Google… run away! This cannot be guaranteed. However, there needs to be some performance milestone and ethical guarantees in place. A high quality SEO professional can put you in the top 10 listings of your term searches (keywords) within 3 to 6 months in most cases. This will vary depending upon keyword research & keyword competition. The more competition on a specific keyword, the longer this process could take. An increasing Google ranking among selected keywords should be assured at the least. When referring to an ethical guarantee, if any SEO process causes you to be banned or penalized from indexing, you should receive a full refund. That needs to be in writing!
2. Paying in Advance Policy
Our SEO team will not begin work without a partial payment. However, as in the case of a home remodel project, it is not wise to pay a contractor in full before a remodel project is done or a house is completed. The same is true of a SEO expert. Our clients pay us monthly. When the payment is made, we initiate that months planned work and continue it throughout the month. People who lose thousands of dollars often make the mistake of paying for up to a year of SEO work in advance. We do not expect or advise anyone to ever do that.
3. Be Sure To Receive Rankings Reports
A true SEO expert will use tools that generate rankings reports at regular intervals. In fact, most can supply those rankings with a comparison on an automated weekly report basis. That is our practice. Avoid “SEO professionals” who do not supply weekly or, at least, bi-weekly reports. Accountability is key and good SEO work is absolutely reportable.
4. Insist On Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a FREE tool that provides information on your sites traffic, traffic sources, keywords searched to find your site, etc. Any SEO expert worth your time will offer to set up Google Analytics for your site and generate a report to be sent to you automatically each week. Even deeper insight can be generated that will track conversion goals, clicked links, etc. It may cost a little extra, but it should not be a problem for you to receive that information from your SEO expert and the extra information very valuable in your SEO quest.
5. Ask Questions About Link Building Activities
You are not an SEO expert. If you were, you would not be seeking help from one. However, you need to be able to ask intelligent questions concerning link building. The quality and quantity of link generated through SEO matters. Build too many links quickly and Google will punish you by lowering your ranking. Build too many links in “suspect” areas and Google will punish you by lowering your ranking. Through a balanced and well-timed link building campaign that includes blogs, articles, directory listings, news releases, etc. your page can soar in the rankings.
6. IGNORING CONTENT
I know I said only 5 but I have to mention this. The truth is, with Google and the other search engines, content is king (you’ve heard this before I’m sure). Content that is rich in keyword density and searcher relevance is imperative because relevance is Google’s aim. Content that is continuously updated (preferably monthly) is a must because current relevance is Google’s goal. Content that is unique is also very important because Google despises content that appears to be copied between sites or is simply cloned.
Need a Solid SEO Expert?
Chances are you found us through a search engine or a referral from another site. This was no accident. We are GREAT at search engine optimization! We continually work to increase our visibility and rankings through SEO. We can do the same for you. The best way to get new clients & customers is to have them find you when they are looking for your exact product or service. Then, have offers & systems set up to have them respond to you.
Get a FREE, No obligation, 30 Minute SEO Consultation
If you would like SEO advice to increase traffic/sales on your existing website or a new one you are considering, feel free to contact me for a consultation.
I’m not a pressure sales guy & there’s no obligation. However, I do not accept all new clients. An initial meeting will help us both see if we are a “good fit.”
I’ll take a look at your existing website and your existing search positions or discuss any questions you may have for a new one. I’ll listen to your objectives and give you some pointers & ideas to help increase your sales, or the goals you are trying to achieve online.
Then, we can both see if working together in the future is a possibility.
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To your success!