How to Find a Good SEO Consultant: Tips and Queries to Ask
How to Find a Good SEO Consultant: Key Takeaway
Finding a skilled search engine optimization specialist requires your time and effort. Rushing into a decision would be a mistake since you may wind up in a counter-productive scenario. You must find a candidate who perfectly fits your requirements to help you with your online marketing efforts.
Regardless of the difficulty, hiring a good SEO consultant is a worthy investment since they can help you improve your website's ranking on search engines. After all, 70% of marketers believe that SEO is more effective than PPC when it comes to driving sales.
SEO, or search engine optimization, is the key to growing organic traffic and optimizing inbound marketing today. When done correctly, your website will appear towards the top of search results when your target audience searches for keywords related to your services.
Many businesses don't know where to start when it comes to improving their website's ranking, so they employ the services of SEO experts. Deciding to employ a consultant might be tough. On top of that, you likely have a limited budget if your brand struggles to build a reputation. Fortunately, knowing how to find a good SEO consultant can turn things around.
In this blog, we'll show you how to do just that.
What Does an SEO Consultant Do?
An SEO Consultant does a lot more than you may realize. The list below details what an excellent SEO consultant does:
An SEO consultant lends you a hand with on-page optimization
On-page SEO is essential for ensuring that your website ranks effectively for the keywords that have been researched. At times, the SEO consultant may actually perform on-page SEO for your business.
How you implement specific methods will be determined by your staff's bandwidth, willingness to provide your SEO consultant administrative access to your website, and so on.
An SEO consultant should assess your website and make optimization recommendations
An SEO consultant performs various audits on your website. Here are a few examples of essential audits and strategies you should familiarize yourself with:
SEO Content Audit
This type of audit includes recommendations for improving, consolidating, and even pruning, among other recommendations, your site's content in order to improve and refine the ones that search engines have indexed.
This type of audit should also help you acquire researched keywords for some of your most important pages.
Technical SEO Audit
This type of audit includes recommendations to fix crawl errors, optimize your robots.txt file and XML sitemap, set up redirects, resolve rendering issues, and adopt other technical SEO best practices.
An SEO consultant develops a keyword-researched content strategy
A content strategy guarantees that your business has a well-devised plan to provide the content your target audience is looking for. On the other hand, a sound content strategy extends beyond keyword research. It includes recommended content techniques that work in your market and the type of business you're conducting (for instance, lead generation, eCommerce, publishing, etc.)
An SEO consultant seeks out prospects for link building
You need to be utterly cautious with this one since the wrong types of links can expose you to Google's algorithm updates. Avoid SEO consultants who promise a set amount of links per month, place too much emphasis on anchor text, or solely focus on directory links.
A qualified SEO consultant can assist you in identifying topically-related websites and blogs that link to competitors but not to your website. They will also help you identify contributor (guest blogging) opportunities on industry-leading websites where you can promote your brand by contributing expert and insightful content.
On your end, you may discover other link-building strategies that SEO consultants can help you with.
An SEO consultant assists you in ensuring you have the right metrics in place
Although most businesses utilize Google Analytics, not every website has Google Search Console or Bing Webmaster Tools set up.
Further, premium SEO tools like Moz Pro, SEMRush, and others can provide additional reporting metrics that can assist you and your SEO consultant keep track of errors, traffic, keyword rankings, acquired links, and content opportunities.
An SEO consultant reports on key indicators that aid in measuring the effectiveness of their work
Most businesses are initially focused on ranking for specific keywords, but the ideal SEO consultant will fix their gaze on the bigger picture instead.
The key metrics to monitor are overall organic search traffic and lead/revenue growth. After applying your SEO consultant's recommendations consistently, you should see early growth indicators in three to six months (if not a bit longer).
The last thing you should expect is rapid growth. Initial growth will likely be minimal, but it will accumulate over time. Remember, SEO requires a long-term approach.
Why Should You Hire an SEO Consultant for your Business?
The more traffic volume you get from Google, the more profit you make. That’s why it’s critical that your website is optimized for search engines.
But how do you tell if your website is optimized? How do you know if it's even worth it? Logging into your browser to see if the site is working fine is out of the question, as it could take years.
Fortunately, a good SEO consultant can assist you in determining what needs to be improved and how to get started.
With that said, here are the top reasons why you should hire an SEO expert:
Making the right impression on your potential customers is important
Hiring an SEO service provider helps you get discovered by potential clients who were previously unaware of your products and services.
SEO consultants can also lend you a hand in launching a digital marketing campaign that will drive traffic to your website. They have a well-documented experience working with small businesses and can provide recommendations on how you can ensure your website is ready for its big break. Interested in having your website checked? We are here to help. Reach out to us for a free consultation today!
The competition is doing better than you
You might think other companies in your industry are already implementing all the best practices. But that's not always the case!
An experienced consultant will assist you in determining what strategies work for other companies in your industry and how they do it. It will also give you peace of mind knowing that experts will handle any of your SEO-related concerns.
You need to make sure you’re doing the right thing
Many business owners believe they can do most of the work on their own.
But in reality, only a select few businesses can keep up with the changes in search engine ranking algorithms and Google updates.
Even if you've been doing everything right, there are still ways you can boost your rankings and bring in more clients online to maximize your profits.
There's still a lot of SEO work to be done. Hiring a professional SEO consultant is the most effective strategy to ensure your website ranks competitively on search engine results pages.
Things to Look for When Hiring an SEO Consultant
In the process of choosing an SEO consultant for you to work with, you'd want to make sure they have the necessary skills and experience to make your investment worthwhile.
At the minimum, 97% of your potential customers will perform an internet search to look you up. Given this number, hiring an SEO specialist to do the task for you will ensure that you will make a great first impression.
The following are some of the most important qualities you need to look for:
Solid Background in SEO
One of the first things you'd want to find out about your aspiring SEO consultants is if they have an extensive background in marketing, communications, or other related fields.
They should have a keen understanding of how different SEO tools interact as part of a holistic strategy to boost your company's online reputation without needing the support of external agencies.
Also, it’s important to ensure they have worked with companies like yours. A qualified SEO consultant should be able to provide proof of the clients they worked with previously, together with the outcomes they have achieved.
Make sure that they have also worked with companies similar to yours. A qualified SEO consultant should be able to give evidence of previous clients and their outcomes.
Go for an SEO consultant who can tell you in detail about their skills and experiences in dealing with different businesses and industries, as well as the specific needs of your business.
Experience with SEO
The next thing you need to look for when hiring an SEO consultant to help your business rank higher in major search engines is extensive experience and familiarity with Google's or Bing's ranking algorithm.
Ideally, SEO consultants should have prior experience with the kind of website you're working on. They should also be able to let you know about its performance metrics, such as traffic, bounce rates, and other data that will enable you to assess the extent of work your site requires.
Further, they should be able to lend you a hand in optimizing your website's content to make it more search engine friendly.
Last but not least, your SEO consultant should be able to explain how specific SEO techniques will help your business grow and which ones will be the most effective for your actual needs based on what you require from your SEO service provider.
Passion for SEO
Finally, the SEO consultant you're looking for should be passionate about their work. They should be eager to help brands and businesses expand their online presence through effective online marketing techniques such as content creation or link building.
It can be challenging, but someone who genuinely enjoys this line of work will have an easier time than someone who isn't as interested.
Your SEO consultant should also be able to tell you in detail the type of long-term relationship you can expect if you hire them for the long haul (e.g., six months or more).
Tips to Find a Good SEO Consultant
The digital space is as big as they come. With the emergence of a new set of experts almost daily, hiring experienced consultants who know what they're doing and can help you rank competitively in all the major search engines can be challenging. Here are some expert tips to help you with your search:
Ask for Recommendations from your Trusted Contacts
If you have a professional network full of coworkers, friends, and even family members who have been in your shoes, you have the assistance you require.
They may know someone who has hired the services of an SEO consultant before and would gladly share the details with you.
In case they don't know anyone, they can always recommend someone who does. Then, all you have to do is inquire about the experience and whether or not they are satisfied with the results.
Search for Worthy Candidates on Credible Sites
If you're having trouble searching for your next SEO consultant because there are so many, you need not worry. You can find experts in search engine optimization and ranking websites on reputable job posting sites online.
These sites should provide a list of top-rated SEO consultants based on feedback from clients who worked with them before.
You may also refer to the reviews of top-rated SEO consultants on sites like Yelp and Google to have an idea of what other clients think about their work or via LinkedIn Groups to see if there are people in your region looking for an SEO expert.
Read Testimonials and Review your Candidate’s Portfolio
Search for testimonials made by your applicants' previous clients. Take note of all the reviews and ensure they aren't exaggerating what they can and cannot do for your company.
Further, check out their work portfolio and see what projects they've completed in the past, so you know what type of experience they bring to the table once you decide to push through with the collaboration.
Questions to Ask Your SEO Consultant
Now that you have a better idea of what makes a good SEO consultant, the next agenda on the list is knowing the right questions to ask them before reviewing any proposal. While at it, you can determine if the consultant is speaking with confidence.
You may also ask for case studies that prove the applicant's claims and the details of different SEO processes that will be carried out during your relationship. The following are some of the specific questions you can consider:
In what aspects of SEO do you specialize?
Ideally, you should hire an SEO consultant who can handle all aspects of SEO consulting, including technical, content, content optimization, and content marketing assistance. If the candidate you're considering indicates that they focus on a particular aspect, like link building, it should raise some red flags because SEO is much more than just link building. In reality, many SEO campaigns can produce outstanding results despite the absence of any link-building outreach effort.
How long will it take to see results?
One thing you need to remember about SEO is that it takes time. If the applicants for the SEO consultant position promise favorable outcomes within the first couple of months, they better have concrete proof to justify their claim. Typically, noticeable organic search traffic growth takes at least a few months. And this is only the case if your company implements all the recommendations made religiously.
What processes and specific applications do you use?
This is much more important than it might seem at first glance because if you're opposed to certain working methodologies, applications, or communication styles, you'd want to know whether your would-be SEO consultant will use any of them. It pays to ensure that the applications and processes are familiar and that you and your team will feel at ease using them.
Can you guarantee rankings?
This query is meant to be a test. If your aspiring consultant guarantees specific rankings, the only course of action is to stop the conversation right then and there. First and foremost, coming across experts who guarantee specific search engine rankings is a rarity. If they do, you should run the other way. Remember that we have no control over search engines, and their algorithms constantly change. Simply put, rankings cannot be guaranteed.
Do you have conflicting clients with my business?
This is a question that most marketing practitioners and business executives ignore. The aspiring candidates should make it a point to mention if they have a current client who may pose a conflict of interest. The last thing you want is to have a conflicting interest against any of their clients.
Interested in learning more or ready to increase the sales and revenue of your business? Book your free consultation with us today!