SEO: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

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Note: if you’re thinking, “what the **** is SEO?!” go read this first.

 

Tips for Choosing an SEO Specialist

SEO consultants make good money providing a valuable service to firms like yours. But as with any industry, there are some unscrupulous practitioners out there, and it can be hard to tell them apart.

Here are some red flags to avoid when choosing an SEO consultant:

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  1. Promises to get your firm “to the front page of Google”. While there are lots of ways to improve your chances of ranking well, Google’s algorithm is complex and continuously changing – there are no guarantees you will rank for your chosen keywords. Anyone who says otherwise is misinformed, lying, or both.
  2. Any suggestion that the specialist will employ devious or “black hat” SEO tactics (usually to accomplish red flag #1). These tactics may work in the short term, but will sink you over time. Think about it: Google has some of the most brilliant people on the planet working on ways to weed out bad apples. You will not outsmart them.
  3. Evasiveness or secrecy about the SEO process. A good SEO consultant will be proud to show you exactly how they are optimizing your site.
  4. Hyperbole about their abilities. If someone calls themselves a ‘guru’, back away slowly and head for the door.

 

Things to look for:

  1. Someone who seeks to understand your business BEFORE making any recommendations. SEO strategy should be an extension of your overall business and marketing strategy. And remember, YOU are the subject matter expert in your industry and should be consulted throughout the process.
  2. A practitioner who is willing to collaborate with other specialists. Good SEO does not exist in a silo, so beware any person who is unwilling to work with your internal and external marketing teams.
  3. References and proof of past success. Top-notch SEO people usually have a list of happy clients who will gladly vouch for them. They should also be able to demonstrate (with data!) the impact of their efforts over time.

 

By Krysten Merriman

 

 

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