Every business owner with a website now understands that they need an SEO consultant to rank their websites in the top results of search engines. The demand for these professionals has skyrocketed. So is the number of experts offering their services.
Most consultants tell you what you want to hear. These claims include helping your business rank on the top 10 pages of Google, increasing web traffic, more conversion, and so on. How do you know the consultant you are about to hire is legitimate and can really improve your website’s ranking? To make it easier, I have put together a list of things you must consider when hiring an SEO consultant:
There is No Quick Fix
SEO consultants are hired for two main reasons: to improve the organic traffic or fix a technical issue such as penalty. Regardless of the reason why you are hiring an SEO consultant, remember there’s no quick fix to your problem. It’s similar to the operation of a marketing staffing agency that says they can’t promise you a job.
No SEO consultant can deliver you results in 15 to 30 days. Those who claim this are not trustworthy at all. Claims like these are far-fetched.
A solid ranking is a long-term perk that takes time to achieve. The same goes for addressing penalties. Choose a consultant who is upfront with you. The best ones are those who under-promise but over-deliver. If your industry is competitive, it can take up to 8 months to see noticeable results.
SEO is Not Cheap
Let me tell you this straight – if you settle for the cheapest consultant out there, the solutions he will bring are going to be a recipe for disaster.
A consultant who says he can get a job done in a few hundred dollars may be more dangerous than helpful. Cheap services send spammy links to your website. This could result in penalties and bring down your ranking to a level you may not be able to recover from.
Look for a competitive SEO consultant with proven expertise. The more experienced they are, the more you can count on them. It’s also important they have hands-on experience in your industry. An experienced consultant will never offer his or her services in exchange for peanuts.
Focus on ROI, Not Keyword Ranking
Stay away from consultants who are not concerned about ROI. Don’t run after keywords. What is the point of ranking those keywords that don’t even bring sales?
Search Engine Optimization is a measurable form of online marketing. It tells where the conversions are coming from, what channel, and whether they are paid, organic, social, or search. At the end of the day, what’s important is ROI. You don’t want to work with a person who is focused on ranking but not the profitability or revenue the SEO efforts are bringing.
The return on investment on your online campaigns will let you meet payroll and continue building your business.
It’s More Than Just Link Building
A true SEO consultant will tell you that links aren’t everything. Their focus won’t be just link building. They will mention other important things such as page speed, on-page optimization user experience, content marketing, and more.
All the traffic in the world will not help if your website has a poor mobile user experience or its load time is slow. This will only make customers run away. Upon talking to the consultant, you will find out if they are focused on the big picture or merely on a small segment.
Multiple Streams of Traffic
Ever heard of the saying “don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” This applies to SEO too. A true consultant will advise you to create multiple streams of traffic. No matter how knowledgeable they are, they can never predict the move of Google or other search engines. What if you spend all the money in organic ranking and the traffic disappears overnight?
What are you going to do next? The traffic must be pulled from multiple channels such as email marketing, paid search, social media, and more. If one source of traffic gives up on you, at least you will have a plan B.
Putting all your resources in organic traffic is like suicide and a good SEO consultant will never let you commit this mistake.
What Strategies are They Employing?
Last but not the least, have a detailed discussion with them regarding how they will improve the search engine ranking of your website. They should be able to freely discuss the methods in detail.
5 years ago, I started my telecommunications staffing agency and launched a website that wasn’t performing well. When I hired a professional SEO consultant to audit my site, he sent a proposal including a thorough technical audit of my website weeding out the problems. The report also included strategies to fix the errors and boost my site’s SEO ranking. That’s the kind of professional you must look for.