How to Stay Away From Bad SEO Consulting

Internet marketing and online media is taking over the advertising world.  It is more cost effective and more measurable.  Almost every marketing director these days has a CFO to answer to.  CFO’s think only about the bottom line and will demand ROI…and rightfully so.  Having a comprehensive measurable campaign with a strong ROI will attract more marketing dollars than other forms of media.

Organic search engine optimization is on everyone’s mind, especially the companies who are not yet invested in it.  The first step is education. People want to know more about it and how to choose the right Internet marketing company or SEO consultant.  This type of marketing strategy takes time and often a significant financial investment.  In the long run it will save any company money.  Here are some tips for things to watch out for when interviewing an SEO company:

  • Overly Budget Minded Consultants – If a consultant changes the strategy based on your budget you should probably walk away.  To clarify, there are certain tactics that create a solid healthy SEO campaign.  A good campaign will usually come with some kind of minimum price tag.  If you tell the consultant, “I can only afford $500 per month” and then they completely change the strategy, you might be wandering down a dangerous path.
  • Dirt Cheap SEO – Many times you might find companies that will say they can offer great SEO for $300 per month.  Usually this is a complete sham.  These types of companies generally use black hat tactics that will get you penalized…or they will basically be doing nothing at all for you.
  • Guarantees – Never work with an SEO company or Internet marketing company that offers first page guarantees within a specific timeframe.  Again, these types of companies are using short cuts that will hurt you in the long run.  Even if they offer to give refunds for goals not hit, walk away.  They DO NOT plan to miss the milestones and will use short cuts to achieve the goals.  But the results won’t last.
  • Traffic without Conversions – Many SEO companies out there are all about rankings and traffic.  This is great especially if they are delivering.  Nothing is more satisfying for an SEO client than to wake up in the morning, Google your main keywords, and find your site right there on the first page.  HOWEVER, the really good firms take you all the way.  There is no point in having a great site no one sees.  Similarly, there is no point in having traffic if that traffic is not turning into customers, repeat users, etc.  This is where true conversion analysis comes into play.  A good SEO campaign will be continually monitored and adjusted based on results.
  • Outdated SEO Knowledge – The problem most people have (and SEO firms know it) is that they really don’t know enough about the technical aspects of SEO and Internet marketing to know if something they are hearing is relevant, outdated, or just plain BS.  Firms with true integrity will educate the client before doing any work.  They will do research with you, develop strategies with you, and become intimate with your company’s business model.  If a firm is being vague about the strategy and not communicating with you from day one, walk away!  A good firm will also have engineers that constantly stay on top of the new algorithms and how to use the best strategies – it can change every few months.  The basics stay the same but some of the technical details adjust over time.

The search can be long and time consuming, but it is better to interview a few firms before choosing one.  To be quite honest, you may not choose the right firm the first time but you will be all the wiser after working with a few that are not the best.  Of course we all would rather not learn the hard way, because the hard way ALWAYS costs money.

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