July 4, 2017

Hire an SEO expert, but don’t sell your soul to the devil.

Hiring an SEO consultant can be the best first step in promoting your website, but the wrong choice can do irreparable harm. Make sure you know the advantages of good search engine optimization as well as the risks and potential damage that bad SEO consultants can do to your site and your business.

Don’t Believe the Hype

SEO snake oil salesmanIf an SEO consultant or company guarantees #1 rank in a very short time – like a few days, move on to another one. If they are guaranteeing great results like the first page of search results in less than a few weeks, ask for details. Fast ranking is not impossible, but good SEO takes time. Make sure they aren’t going to get you there just by using Google Adwords and paying for the spot if their optimization isn’t working. There is nothing wrong with Adwords itself, but anyone who is telling you they are going to get you to rank well in the search engines and then just takes out some Google ads is ripping you off.  Paid ads are not search results. Supplementing good SEO with ads to bring in traffic until your site really is ranking well is an acceptable practice. Just make sure you know that is what you are paying for. Nobody can really guarantee search engine results but many search engine optimization companies do make impossible guarantees.

Also watch out for wild promises about Google Places, promises to submit your site to thousands of directories or any other “pie in the sky”, impossible to prove claims. The old saying “if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is not true” definitely fits. So does “you get what you pay for”.

Ask Questions and Accept No Secrets

Find out exactly what you will be getting, and how they plan on achieving results.
Remember – this is your business and on the web, how you rank and how you get there can make or break your business. If you hire an SEO and they get backlinks to your site from disreputable or even illegal sites, it is YOUR reputation on the line. If they use “black hat” tactics or otherwise violate Google’s rules, it is YOUR website that will get penalized or banned.  Of course most SEO consultants are not going to tell you every little detail about their methods. That would be time consuming and probably overwhelming. And sometimes, even the best search engine marketing professionals do not always know everything that will need to be done until we get into the project. If optimization was as simple as following a “to do” list, you could buy that list and do it all yourself. SEO can be a complex, evolving process, but if an SEO will not give you at least some general idea what they do and they claim it is their “secret”, then they are probably not someone you should trust with your business.

Some things to ask SEO candidates:

  • Examples and success stories?
  • Do you follow the Google Webmaster Guidelines?
  • How do you determine what keywords and phrases to target?
  • Do you offer any other online marketing services?
  • Do you have marketing experience or just keyword manipulation and backlink building?
  • What kind of results do you expect to see, and in what timeframe? How do you measure your success?
  • What’s your experience in my industry? In my country/region/city? Localized marketing is very important.
  • What SEO techniques do you use? Which are most important?
  • How do you get backlinks? Avoid paid link schemes like the plague.
  • Will you tell me what you did and give detailed information about your recommendations?

Finding good SEO consultants you can trust can be difficult, but it is very important that you make an informed decision. Choose wisely and your SEO company can save you a lot of time and give you the results and great ROI your business needs to succeed.

Check back with Ker Communications soon (or subscribe to our feed) for similar tips on how to choose a web designer. After all, if your designer doesn’t know SEO, you’ll have a few more potential hazards to avoid in promoting your website.

Of course, we hope you will choose Ker Communications as your SEO consultants in Pittsburgh. We do SEO well, and we do it right. Contact Ker Communications and ask us anything and everything you need to know about being your SEO consultant.

  • sudip samaddar

    there should be some parameters based on which the SEO consultant should be evaluated.

    • Indeed. There is a follow up to this article that has a few more things to look for or avoid in a SEO provider: Warning Signs of Bad SEO.

      Now, if you mean there should be exact ranking numbers promised, an exact number and type of links “built” or guaranteed SERP positions, you are in the wrong place 🙂