I often get to hear that a lot of SEO Consultants from India are fake, fraud and black hat guys. These remarks frequently come from my friends who outsource a considerable amount of SEO work to India and if they get busted, they ask me to pitch in and get them out of penalties. Very recently, when I pinged a friend to say a quick hello, she asked me if I could recommend some SEO guys from my network. She gave me a list of consultants which she had picked by using Google search. She runs a couple of blogs in a variety of niche markets related to her locality and she doesn’t have any SEO knowledge.
I skimmed through her selection and educated her that nearly 8 of the 10 consultants she picked appeared to be unethical search engine optimizers. She asked me how I could figure that out to arrive at that judgment. I shared the following checklist I use to find if some one is good with Search Optimization or not.
1. Check and recheck the consultants’ website
Ask for the consultant’s website and check for the following:
- Does it have a good look and feel? Check the design, colors and fonts used etc. It doesn’t matter if it is simple. Try to determine if his website appeals to your eye and judgment.
- Check if the website does have a blog. As blog is a key part of SEO strategy, it is important to know if the consultant is following the game rules on his own website.
- Inspect the content on the website as well as the blog. You need to look for spelling mistakes, repeated usage of keywords, sentences that do not make any sense but contain a major number of keyword phrases etc.
These aspects will tell you if he is a spammer or not. From here, you will know if you should move any further. If you are satisfied by in all the three above listed areas, it’s time to move to the next step.
2. Enquire about past clients
With cut throat competition in the Indian SEO industry, a lot of consultants might not talk about current clients for various reasons. So, ask instead, for past clients and enquire specifically, what they did for the client. If the consultant says they did keyword research, competitive intelligence, improved on page and off page factors etc., ask them if you could talk to the past clients and take an opinion of their work. Genuine SEO consultants will always be happy to part with the contact details of happy clients, or will connect you with the client on an email chain. If the consultant is reluctant to let you talk or email any of the past clients without a valid reason, then drop it and look for new consultants.
3. Email works but speak to your consultant
It is easy to fake a lot of things on the web and as is clear from the experience of my friend, Indian SEO is crawling with folks like that. So, once the first two steps are done, it’s time now to talk to the consultant. Many consultants can write stories about the work done, achievements, current clients, past clients etc. over emails or chat messages, but a phone call can make all the difference. By talking to your consultant over the phone, you will know how genuine he is, can feel his command on the subject as he explains to you all the jargons, and his demeanor will give you a hint if he is a committed person or not.
Here’s how you can identify a genuine consultant from a fake one by a phone conversation:
- Too many pauses indicate he is unsure of the subject.
- Obvious discomfort in talking about his strategies indicate he is in the business for too less a time
- Unwillingness, apprehension and/or indefinite deferring of connecting you to a past client indicate that he/she might not be the right person.
- His command on language – is the consultant able to explain to you any topic (say, a brief about his company, work done, services etc.) clearly? If he cannot talk well in English, it is very unlikely that he writes well. And SEO Consultants have to be good writers. Most search optimizers normally hire content writers, but they must have a judgment of what is good and bad content. In the SEO game, there are a lot of factors that need constant communication and if your consultant is not good with language, there might be trouble ahead.
These are just few of tips that you can use to pick a good search engine optimization consultant from India. There are tons of methods to figure out and judge the best of SEO consultants.
Do share the post on your preferred social profiles and put your thoughts in comments section. If you have any questions and queries about your SEO campaigns, write in to me in the comments section.