Your brand needs SEO (at least, it does if you want to achieve long-term, sustainable growth). But it’s a big job – like, a HUGE job – and to reach maximum results and ROI, you’re going to need some help. Finding the right SEO consultant or firm is critical to your brand’s success. You’ll notice we said “right” – that’s the first and most important criteria.
So, how do you know when you’ve met the right SEO consultant? Ideally, they should align with your budget and goals, and also understand your brand mission and values. Finding the right professional SEO consultant and constantly monitoring the quality of their output is vital.
But moving too fast, or looking for a bottom dollar consultant could mean you’ll pay in the long run (in time, headaches, and of course, $$$).
Keep your eyes peeled for signs you’re being taken in by a consultant or firm that delivers less than your brand deserves, by looking for these 11 red flags.
1. They focus only on search engines
It is a common misconception that SEO is all about search engines. However, things go beyond that: Google prefers websites with decent page experiences that users love clicking. Therefore, your SEO expert should be focusing on link building, optimizing code, and user experience, as well. If they aren’t, it’s time to switch.
2. They write for search engines
Search engines are not your audience, nor are they your readers. So, when you create content, it should cater to the reader first and the search engine second. If you find your SEO expert focusing more on search engines while writing an article, you have a problem on your hands.
3. They don’t focus on link earning
Google prefers natural link building and doesn’t encourage forced linking, purchasing links, and link schemes. The search engine always favors quality content that naturally attracts backlinks. If your SEO expert doesn’t focus on earning links like this and gives more preference to link building, you should consider hiring a new person.
4. They guarantee #1 Google rank within 3-6 months
You may want fast results, but SEO takes time and consistent efforts. This is why one of the biggest red flags in an SEO expert is their promise of making your website rank #1 in a short period. With over 200 ranking factors and more in progress, ranking on Google is not predictable.
5. They don’t focus on Technical, Off-Page, and On-Page SEO
Back when the concept of SEO was new, it was the norm to add keywords carelessly and create backlinks. However, if you do this today, Google is bound to penalize you because the search engine expects you to focus on three SEO aspects: Technical, Off-Page, and On-Page. If your consultant doesn’t conform to these factors, it is a red flag.
6. They sent a spam email as an introduction
Most SEO experts attract clients with the very thing they help their clients with: organic search engine growth. However, that’s not the case for subpar professionals who resort to bulk emails, which are often flagged as spam by Gmail. It is best to ignore such experts because they won’t be able to help you.
7. They don’t tell you about their approach
Normally, an SEO expert offers you a detailed plan about what they are going to do with your website. This includes strategies for different SEO aspects and how they are going to approach them. If your consultant doesn’t keep things transparent, it’s time to make a switch.
8. They don’t offer enough organic traffic to your website
Organic traffic growth is why you hired your SEO consultant. If your expert is doing their job properly, you will see a difference in a few months. But if they aren’t, you can expect stagnant growth or even decreased rank, in which case, you should get a new consultant.
9. They offer abysmal client support
Ideally, a professional consultant keeps the client in the loop via regular communication and meetings. Moreover, they offer quick support by answering your queries on time. This aspect must be considered when hiring an SEO expert. However, if your consultant doesn’t offer you this, you may want to consider getting a new expert.
10. They build low-quality links
Backlinks are valuable only when they are high-quality and related to your industry. However, not all businesses realize this, which allows scammers to offer subpar links, costing the business a lot of money. Thus, it is best to get a second opinion, and if needed, replace the expert.
11. They asked for a link to their or other websites
No good SEO expert or company would ask you to link your website to theirs. This is their way of showing that they have worked on your site. This is not standard practice and shouldn’t be encouraged.
SEO is an essential tool in today’s world, and your brand won’t be able to grow without it. This is why you need only the best person or team working on your website’s SEO.
With the right expert like Khepri Digital Marketing, your website will flourish, and you will get to experience the benefits of a well-executed SEO plan – a thriving brand, better ROI, and long-term, sustainable growth. Using these 11 red flags as your guide, you can fend off incompetent agencies and find the right fit for your brand.