How (not) to Hire an SEO Marketing Consultant

May 3, 2017
David McMahon

David McMahon

I wrestle with marketing technology so you don't have to. In my spare time, I run a marketing group with 1100+ marketers helping each other to attract new customers and share ideas. You are welcome to connect with me here.

crooked salesman The online marketing industry has made so many strides in gaining a more credible reputation, and – the truth be told -- many of us so-called experts have made many mistakes.

I have tried many marketing ideas that have failed, but the important thing is that I do it on my own web site and not my client's Web site.I still see many people and companies who claim to be online marketing and SEO marketing gurus. But most of the simply take your money and run!

So I'm going to give you the top 15 groups to watch out for when hiring an SEO consultant. But first let me explain, you see before I become a marketing and SEO marketing Consultant myself, I was a damn good computer guy; I had to be otherwise I would have never been hired as the IT Director for AAPT Mobile. But my transformation from computer nerd to marketing junkie did not happen overnight it took a lot of time.

So let have a bit of fun and maybe the following can help you to pick a dud from a star!

So here is the SEO marketing Consultant Danger Sign List:

 

15 SEO Consultant Danger Signs

 

  1. The "High Pressure Guy" - uses high pressure selling tactics like "buy or rent this #1 Google ranking website now, or else your competitor will". They are using fear to sell to companies who don’t understand all the technology.

  2. The "Computer Nutter" who will tell you 10 cool tricks that will get your website ranked on Google, but will give 100 reasons why it didn’t work for your business.

  3. The "Foolishly Cheaper Guy" – If you hire someone on the cheap that guarantees you a top ranking for "XYZ keyword", when no live soul on the planet would even type the XYZ word into Google. Yes, you will rank #1 on Google for this keyword, but it’s no use if you don’t get any sales. You would be better off standing naked out the front of your business, you still won't get sales but at least people would see you!  (To be fair, sometimes a bad experience with an SEO firm is the client's fault. Perhaps they never implemented very sound recommendations, were the cause of delays, or just never put enough of their own resources into the effort to make it a success.)SEO consultant
  4. The "WOW Guy" – The Graphic Designer who claims to be an SEO or Marketing consultant when in fact they’re just a Web design firm who has jumped on the SEO bandwagon after reading a few books on the subject. Let’s be honest, you wouldn’t ask your business accountant to fix your computer for you would you?

  5. The "Read-a-loter’s" Guy - The guru that reads a lot, gets given the name of the World’s Best SEO Expert, and they will quote you the latest Google or Bing case study, software review etc. But most really good SEO’s will tell you that online marketing is both an science and art, you become good at SEO by doing SEO, over and over and over again. You need to practice a lot more than you need to read.

  6. The "SEO-Shark" - This the dangerous group. There have been many people and companies who have taken advantage of people's lack of technology understanding and have pounced on the opportunity to earn a few quick bucks "doing this SEO thing." They set up a website with good claims, take your money, and then disappear. They are easy to spot, they do not put their physical address anywhere on their web site or they have a phone number listed that goes to some place overseas.

  7. The "Report Guy"  - the web company that gives a lot reports but you receive very little in the way of real value. Each month they give you a 15+ page report, which takes you more than 3 hours to get your head around. It is death by report overload.

  8. The "Long-term contracts” Guy - The big SEO companies want to lock you into long-term contracts because they have big offices and lots of staff and marketing expenses of their own to cover. And they do it with YOUR money!

  9. The "SEO Coach" – This is a training program for business owners who want to learn ‘do-it-yourself SEO. The big down side to why you should not do an SEO course is that the learning and research changes every 90 days so. More important is to first learn the core business skills to increase sales and cash flow.
  10. The "Lightning-Fast flakey” Guy - They promise lightning-fast results. The only way to get lightning-fast results in SEO is to break the rules. This will have negative repercussions for your site that will last long after your relationship with them is over.

  11. The "Online Marketing Extremist" - These guys believe the world revolves around them, they’re so full-of-themselves that they start believing their own on bull$#!t and try to act like Gods online. The danger signs are when they start telling you that marketing methods like direct mail, radio and TV advertising or telemarketing does not work anymore. The truth is that both online and offline marketing works, you just need to work out what is best for your business.
    Google Guarantee Guys
  12. The "#1 Google Guarantee Tosser Club" - The club that guarantees a number 1 ranking on Google, which is an outright  lie. Only Google and other search engines decide themselves what gets ranked first. This club thinks they have a "good chance" getting to your website to number #1, but you have to pay way before you can check the results, so they have no risk. And if they don’t succeed you’re the only one that loses as you’ve already paid them.

  13. The "$50 a month slow Club" - How many hours do you expect them to work on your website for this price? Not much time that’s for sure. They will tell you what needs to be done and tell you to make the changes. Ok you’re just starting out, but there’s more to running a website than just updating it.

  14. The "SEO for Free" Guy - they sell you a new website and you get 12 months of SEO or online-marketing for free. It just means that they won’t do the online-marketing, but at least they sold you the website! I have lost sales to competitors who offer free SEO for one year; it’s a shame because the business has then lost a whole year!

  15. The "Inexperienced SEO illogical" - they sit and hunt SEO forums and newsgroups and post information about things they have just read about a good technique that they have not tested so they would not know for sure if it works or doesn't work.

Thankfully most SEO firms actually know what they're doing and are seriously looking deeper into their customers business and uncovering the roadblocks to success. As a business owner, whether you hate or love technology, at some time in the future you are going to end up dealing with an SEO consultant, so I hope by reading this post you are now able to avoid the bad, the inexperienced and the just plain rip-off merchants!

Until next time.

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