Monday, 16 July 2012

With So Many Self-Proclaimed Experts Online How Can I Find An SEO Consultant I Can Trust?

With so much misinformation online about what constitutes good SEO practise, finding the right SEO consultant to drive your business to the next level can be a real minefield.

You might think you can only lose money through employing the wrong ‘expert’ – and that in itself is bad enough. But what can also suffer too, is your reputation.

Enlisting the services of an SEO consultant who uses dubious or unethical techniques can do more damage to your business than by you not having a website in the first place. The worse case scenario being that the ‘fallout’ could be catastrophic.

So do make sure you choose a top quality SEO consultant – one that can prove his or her worth by showing you genuine testimonials from real people, together with real life case studies of businesses they have helped.

I’m always amazed when I come across websites who use people’s initials in front of testimonials and no company name. They smack of being made up. After all, why wouldn’t the CEO of a genuine company willingly give a glowing testimonial to a professional consultancy and allow their name to be used for this purpose? It defies logic. Please don’t fall for the explanation that “we do not provide testimonials as our clients’ details are confidential.”

Another warning sign to watch out for is someone who uses all the latest jargon or buzzwords in their pitch to you. So much so that it’s overkill. Could it be they are being deliberately vague or evasive by using words which sound like they’re related to the marketing industry, only you’re not sure what it all means for your business?

Another thing to beware of, do they talk too much about their SEO credentials and marketing solutions, without really taking the time to understand your business first? Do they talk too much in general? A professional SEO consultant will lead with the questions when they first meet with you. But they will also spend a long time listening to your answers and learning about your business before offering suitable and bespoke solutions that should make perfect sense to you.

And finally . . . their prices . . .

How straightforward and transparent is their pricing system. Will you have to pay a monthly retainer? How easily can you cancel the contract? What guarantees can they provide that they will achieve all they promise?

These are just a few indicators to watch out for when you are interviewing prospective SEO consultants to work with you in developing your business. Another good indicator is your gut reaction. If you get bad vibes about the person or company that is presenting to you, then just say no. You don’t have to justify your reasons.

Better that way round than to have to hire another SEO consultant to put the first one’s mistakes right.

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