5 mistakes business owners make when hiring an SEO consultant

I truly believe that business isn’t just about the products you sell or the level of service you provide. I believe it’s about making smart decisions which can have a massive effect on your overall business strength.

When it comes to marketing your business you have to be smart and come up with a strategy that works. You need to find out where your potential clients visit and then make your product accessible to them. Sometimes a marketing strategy needs an SEO consultant to get you going on the right track.

SEO consultantThere are many ways of marketing a business, so many we wouldn’t be able to fit them all in one article. With that said, today we will be talking about search engine optimisation and what to look out for when hiring search engine optimisation consultants.

Digital marketing, in general, is a tough field to navigate, especially if you don’t have any experience in it. For example, I have tried pay per click marketing for my business and for a spend of £0.54 I was able to get a sale for over £800. Now if I was dishonest, I could market myself to small business owners as a pay per click marketing expert. I could show these potential clients my results like above and blow them away. However, I’m not a pay per click marketing expert and those results above were lucky.

Mistake 1 – Not checking past clients results

So the first mistake small business owners make when hiring an SEO consultant to help them grow their business is not checking past work, seeing if there are enough results to show that it wasn’t a fluke and can be replicated.

Mistake 2 – Having an unrealistic budget

Search engine optimisation marketing is a long haul strategy. If you have a small budget and want to get clients in competitive fields chances are you won’t be able to compete.

Some of your competitors could be spending £10,000+ on their marketing per month, if you only have a small budget you will need to be more realistic with the results you want to achieve.

There are many SEO agencies out there that will take your money without explaining this important piece of information, and this is why the SEO field has a bad reputation. Clients can sometimes be unrealistic and agencies won’t turn down their money.

Mistake 3 – Hiring a big agency

Now there are some excellent marketing agencies out there, but big doesn’t always mean better.  

Bigger agencies have more clients, more staff and care less if they lose you as a client. As a client of a large agency, you are also far more likely to have different people working on your marketing campaign over the duration of the services. This isn’t always bad, but in my experience getting to know a client’s business is one of the best ways to get creative when it comes to marketing.

Big agencies often have junior staff members working on your campaign. Everyone has to start somewhere, but do you want a junior marketer learning with your money?

Mistake 4 – Not having patience

One of our most successful SEO campaigns took over 8 months to start seeing results for the client. In the 8 months previously, website traffic had increased slightly but not at a rate which was worth writing home about. When the 8th month of the campaign was reached we started to see the website in question hit the first page for over 400 keywords. As a result website traffic had increased to over 25,000 visitors a month.

If the client had stopped beforehand there is no chance this would have happened and they would have lost all of their money and more than likely complained of a bad experience. Thankfully they were patient and saw a 10x increase in online sales.

Mistake 5 – Doing no research

SEO is a complex field, and what worked last year won’t work this year as the field is always changing. These changes make it difficult for small business owners to know what agency is right for them.

One tip I can give you is to do a little research on what is happening in the SEO marketing field and then prepare some questions to ask the agency you are potentially going to hire.

If the agency then doesn’t know the answers or gives you an answer that is the opposite of what you have read you can then question them on this. It doesn’t automatically mean that they are lying or untrustworthy if the answers are different, it just means that they may have a different way of doing things.

With that said you will want to listen to the answers, they produce and then use your best judgement to see if they are trying to pull the wool over your eyes.


Hiring an SEO consultant can be costly if done wrong. Some agencies can charge you too much and deliver nothing. Others can be practising methods which went out of fashion 10 years ago and other agencies can have junior staff members working on your campaign.

Hopefully with the advice above you now have more information so you can hire an SEO consultant that can grow your business.

Ricky Davies is the director of an SEO consultancy that helps small business grow through digital marketing.