In 2017, Google accounted for over 79% of all global desktop search traffic – source

Hence, omitting search engine optimisation from the marketing mix is not an option for businesses today. When the SEO strategy is implemented consistently and strategically, it opens a whole new world of opportunities for a business to grow online. But unfortunately there are a lot of problems and misconceptions about choosing the right SEO partner. There are certain mistakes that a business must avoid when hiring an SEO or marketing agency to improve their search engine visibility. In this article, I will be discussing three common mistakes clients can make when choosing the right SEO partner and how to avoid three problematic and even (at times) monumental mistakes.

I think it starts with the understanding that this is a service based business. Why is that important? Well, essentially, it’s important because you must realise you are not buying a product like an LCD, LED or 4k TV from a retailer. Seems obvious right…Well unfortunately, many clients decide who they will work with based purely on price.

In our opinion, the biggest mistake a client can make is based upon price.

1. Price

Clients are often heard saying that they are not going to choose an agency or professional, instead opting for a cheaper option. And this I believe, is the number one fundamental mistake any client can make. Choosing one agency over the other based purely on price does not make any sense because it all comes down to ROI (return on investment). If I said to you, this service will cost $90K in the first year, but in three to four years, this investment would make you $300,000 and grow exponentially year on year. You would snap it up faster than a seagull picking up a hot chip. Thus, it should come down to your ROI & business objectives.

Prices should be quoted by an SEO agency based on how ambitious your specific goals are over a min term of 12 months and how much work is required to reach them. Personally, I prefer 24 months for most industries today and competitive business environment we find ourselves in 2018. Most SEO agencies (ourselves included) have a base price in which to start from. From then on, it should be entirely dictated by the difficulty of the industry that your business is in and how much of the industry marketshare your business is aiming to takeover over a specific time period. So, it is safe to say that there is a lot of work involved and it doesn’t come cheap.

If you are in any industry that has incredibly large amounts of competition, large amounts of experience, authoritative, competitive and popular content, this will also increase the difficulty of reaching your goals and there needs to be a complex and well thought out strategy decided in the early phases of the campaign and reviewed every 6 months as things begin to change and shift within your industry. All businesses in 2018 (and beyond) should become a media machine in order to attract the audience, influence and attention your business requires to grow and develop at scale. Producing content alone is not enough. It requires a proactive approach to determine what the market will react to, share and like. Quality content is subjective as I have discussed on our YouTube channel.

Search engine optimisers and content marketing specialists will be implementing strategies and coming up with the overall content & strategic direction that your business is required to undertake, and therefore a very scary thought is to throw that level of responsibility at someone because they are the “cheapest”. Charging under $750 dollars per month doesn’t seem right for the work required in today’s highly competitive business environment. We live in an ever growing and noisy world and obtaining the attention that your business will require, takes time, patience and a heck load of work.

From what we have seen, “cheap SEO” mostly means bad work. Bad work that strictly goes against Google guidelines such as link networks, link farming and spam networks. Of course, just because a SEO is charging excessive fee’s does not guarantee results either, but it is definitely better than charging too cheap. In fact, no guarantees are to be made in SEO as no one but Google themselves have control over the algorithm.

If you are wondering, then how do we choose the right partner? You can watch episode 15 on Facebook (uploaded to YouTube)

2. Delegation of Work to Client

The second biggest problem is when clients object or misunderstand the importance they play in acquiring long term results for the campaign. I have found campaigns where clients are actively involved increases the chances of long term success significantly. According to my view, it is a joint effort, where you win and lose together. Our clients are more business partners because of their active involvement in our campaigns and we refuse to work otherwise. Not only does the SEO work need to be transparent, but in addition, clients should play a pivotal role in providing resources, assisting with link outreach and potentially making business related deals to maximise and increase a websites domain authority, awareness and influence within their industry. In addition, creating long term strategies that will attract natural links on an ongoing basis is the ultimate goal.

Avoiding an SEO agency “because they give you too much work” is a big mistake. In the last eleven plus years of my SEO career, some of the best work I have personally implemented, came at the assistance of the client following up some of my tasks. Getting involved makes sense on many levels as the client is learning, understanding the work involved and the results achieved is even more rewarding. I love connections I have built with our clients based on our assistance and direction of a campaign and working together to create amazing and long lasting results.

I am definitely not down playing the SEO’s accountability and responsibility to get results either. My entire point about the price factor is the reason why working with the right SEO is essential. Knowledge, passion, case studies and an active present in the online community are strong signs of a great SEO.

3. Transparency

SEO is a service-based business, please keep that in mind when deciding on who you choose to work with. You are not buying a computer or TV for your business. You’re about to embark on a very important strategy and the utmost care should be taken when deciding your next move. So let me just mention how important transparency is to your campaign and website’s performance online. Not only are you required to undertake specific tasks from a client perspective, but in addition are required to clearly see what tasks your SEO team is completing each month. My opinion is that a report on traffic is not enough. A report on performance to date is noteworthy information but as a client, the work being carried out must be reported on too. What is happening each month and the information around that is essential on how it will meet your long-term goals and objectives.

Transparency is not only ethical but essential for SEO. It is essential to develop long lasting and trusting relationships built on the care factor.

You are paying for work to be completed each month, right? Consequently, you need to be on top of it all and understand the specific work being carried out in a detailed format.

My last thought…

[ctt template=”12″ link=”aoYkZ” via=”yes” ]Once you have chosen your SEO partner, back them. Support them and when things take a turn for the worse, encourage them. It is a slog of a job and doing it right is already a challenge. My most loyal clients have seen both good times and bad. It is life. It is business.[/ctt]

For any questions contact me at – it would be an honour to hear from you.

Looking forward to hearing from you.