5 Warning Signs about a Bad SEO Consultant

The world of search engine optimization (SEO) continues changing fast against the backdrop of many new techniques. The last few years have seen Google Penguin change, an increase in social sharing, the coming of mobile geddon, Google’s Mobile First Index, Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), and an upsurge of video in internet marketing among many other changes. In light of all these developments, website owners are overwhelmed about what they need to do to stay ahead.

There is no denying the importance of SEO in online marketing. According to a report published on the Search Engine Journal, 93% of online experiences start with a search engine and this highlights the importance of high ranking on Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). The same report shows that 70 to 80% of internet user signore paid ads and instead opt for organic results. In a 2013 survey, the first organic result gets over 33% of clicks. According to OutBrain, search is the #1 driver of traffic to websites, beating other sources such as social media by big margins.

These numbers highlight the importance of having a solid SEO strategy for your business website.  It is no longer enough to have a fantastic-looking website if it is not optimized for search engines. If your site doesn’t show on the 1st page of search engine result pages (SERPs), it is virtually impossible to reach your target audience.

How do you develop a good SEO strategy? It all starts with evaluating your website needs but more importantly, you need to work with an SEO expert. These professionals have the prerequisite skills and resources to get your site to the first page of SERPs.

With the demand for SEOs increasing by the day, there is a proliferation of companies offering these services. Finding the best consultant can be an overwhelming affair and it is common for website owners to make the wrong choice.

There are many stories about clients who have received poor services and ended up losing their investments. In some cases, clients have been forced to take legal action after losing a lot of money.  The wrong choice of an SEO consultant can lead to loss of business opportunities among many other problems.

To avoid this pitfall, here are some warning signs to look out for when working with SEO consultants:

  1. Unclear Mode of Operation

It is all good for an SEO company to advertise its services and go about promoting how much they have achieved. However, when hiring their services, remember the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Ask to see what will be done and if the company is hesitant to show how they operate, keep looking.  Such an SEO firm might end up using black hat SEO techniques, leading to devaluation of your site.

  1. Poorly Performing Website

If the company’s website is not ranking highly in the niche, then they are not practicing what they are preaching. The first proof that an SEO company is credible is in the performance of their site on search engine result pages (SERPs) for target keywords. If the company hasn’t used the best on-page SEO techniques on their website, then keep looking. Their site should exhibit the best SEO practices including mobile-friendliness, fast loading speeds, and easy-to-use design among other things.

  1. Unrealistic Guarantees

Of course every website owner wants quick results and this is something some SEOs are keen to exploit. You might find some guarantees too good to believe and this should set off alarm bells. One thing you must remember is that there are no guarantees in SEO. It might be cliché but in SEOalways remember, when the deal is too good think twice. Guarantees about the speed of indexing and top ranking on SERPs simply don’t wash.

  1. Past Complaints

This is one of the most obvious warning signs about a bad SEO service.  If you go online and find many bad reviews, then you better keep looking.  Try the local BBB and see whether there are any complaints. If there are complaints, check whether they have been resolved satisfactorily.

  1. Inside Connections In Google

Anyone who tells you they have inside information from Google is a scammer and you should run and never look back. No one has inside information on search ranking factors or algorithms.

There are many other warning signs such as a promise to submit your site to thousands of search engines, price per link for thousands of links, page creation using automation tools, asking for copyrights for SEO and Meta data, and lack of transparency among others. If you notice any of these signs.keep looking for a more reliable SEO service.