How to Find a Good SEO Consultant
SEO is vital if you’re looking to run a prosperous business nowadays. It gives you the power to become the first power to the questions your potential customers have to ask. SEO helps you get more online exposure and lure new potential customers through organic traffic.
But not all people are SEO experts, so if you want to extend your presence on the Internet, you’ll have to find a person that is. Finding a good SEO consultant could be vital if you’re looking to grow your business online. SEO experts can offer you valuable insights about how to get your company featured at the top of search results.
With the vast demand for reliable SEO consultants, many people are trying their luck in the field, but not all of them have what it takes to help you advance. So if you’re wondering how to find a good SEO consultant, you’ve come to the right place. Keep on reading, as we will share valuable information that’ll help you employ an SEO expert that’ll improve your score in no time.
How to Find a Good SEO Consultant: Top Qualities to Look For in an SEO Expert
Finding a reliable SEO consultant can be challenging, but if you stick to a list of requirements, you may be able to take advantage of the situation and land an expert in the field. If you need a little help to prepare for the task, here’s a list of the things you should consider while reviewing applications and potential candidates.
As we’ve already mentioned, the number of people trying out their luck in the SEO field increases as we speak. Opening an SEO agency doesn’t require any special skills or preparation, so you can quickly encounter consultants and entire companies that don’t have what it takes.
The first thing you will need to check in your potential candidates is their years of SEO experience. Practice makes perfect, and SEO is no exception to the golden rule. Hiring an experienced SEO consultant will help your business grow rapidly. Experienced professionals can tell you what’s missing from your website by having a quick look. They will also know how to help you work on the flaws and suggest proven strategies to get a better SEO score.
Knowledge of different SEO levels
Search engine optimization works on three different levels: technical level, on-page, and off-page optimization. So, unless you’re looking to hire three different professionals or a one-dimensional SEO, you’ll have to find a knowledgeable consultant experienced with all three levels.
The technical level targets the site’s structure, which determines how hard or easy it is for search engines to go through your content. On-page optimization refers to using elements like keywords and HTML tags that increase search engine traffic. The third level, or off-page optimization, works with link building to make your website more manageable.
If you’re looking to maximize your chances for success, you’ll need to find a consultant that’ll tackle SEO from all three angles.
Track record of success
With the availability of information, everyone can get access to various SEO tactics and strategies. But if you’re looking for someone that’ll help your business grow, you need a consultant with a proven track record of success. With that in mind, you should always check your candidates’ history and ensure it features at least three satisfied clients listed as references. If you’re considering a particular applicant, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t use those references and reach out to past clients and get valuable insight into their work.
Marketing and SEO consultants work for a single cause – to promote the business. After tackling the website terms, SEO becomes very similar to conventional marketing. Therefore, while considering your next SEO consultant, make sure you check out their marketing experience and expertise. The content needs to be written and organized during the search engine optimization to outline the product or service’s benefits. Therefore, your SEO consultant will need to be marketing savvy to make the most out of the SEO tools at their disposal. Related: How Businesses Use Social Media for Marketing
Even if a candidate checks off all the above requirements, that doesn’t necessarily have to mean that they’ll fit in with your company’s spirit. That’s why you have to look for consultants that are willing and able to adapt to different environments and cultures. They will have to interact with various IT, marketing, sales, and analytics divisions. Therefore, the ability to fit in with the company’s culture is essential.
SEO is closely related to marketing, but an SEO professional needs to have an even broader perspective to be able to take your business to the next level. They will need to know the psychology of the human brain, understand the different cultures they’re presenting the product or service to and the broader social media landscape. In terms of tech experience, they will have to be able to work with web analytics, design and development, viral marketing, business models, and so much more. Also read: How to Grow Your Brand on Social Media
These aspects are interconnected and have to be incorporated with one another in a successful SEO strategy. Therefore, you should avoid SEO consultants that only focus on ranking web pages and nothing more than that.
A good SEO consultant must have excellent communication skills. As we’ve mentioned above, they will have to communicate with many other divisions in the company, so being communicative and precise is essential.
They will have to explain different SEO strategies and explain why changes are needed in a clear way that everyone involved in the process will understand. Furthermore, they will have to get their point across to different types of employees, so they need to be able to explain the bigger picture from various aspects.
Questions You Should Ask During an SEO Consultant Interview
After tackling the qualities you want your SEO consultant to have, it is time to prepare for the interviews. The best way to prepare for the interview is to write down everything you want to ask and make sure you conduct the same procedure for all the candidates. If you need some help formulating the questions, we have prepared a “cheat sheet” you can use while interviewing prospective SEO consultants.
May I have a list of references?
We’ve already stated how vital the track record of success is, and if you couldn’t get clear references from the candidate’s application, now’s the time to ask for a list of past or current clients.
You can use the references to see how well the candidate performed in the past and see whether their work could benefit your business. If the candidate hesitates to provide you with the references, that’s usually a sign that they may not have the experience you’re looking for.
How can you improve the company’s SEO score and rankings?
If an SEO professional has a clear vision about improving your rankings, they won’t be shy to share it. The candidate should be able to explain how they plan to achieve the set SEO campaign goals.
While answering the question, the candidate should include a basic technical review of your current website and point out any problems that are lowering your search engine ranking. You can also ask for a brief on-page optimization and see whether the candidate has experience with off-page level strategies.
Do you follow search engines’ webmaster guidelines?
Google’s webmaster best practices are a set of SEO rules that specifically ban 12 SEO tricks that aren’t quite equitable. So if you’re looking for a committed worker instead of someone that works with spammy content and bogus hidden content and links, you need someone that abides by these policies. If your SEO consultant doesn’t follow these guidelines, you risk your website’s ranking and may get banned by Google.
Can you guarantee a high rating across all major search engines?
This is where you can see the candidate’s honesty in action. If you get a yes on this question, you know that the interview will take a downward path. Making promises that no one could keep is a big red flag that’ll tell you a lot about the person you’re interviewing.
Will I get to review the changes?
Search engine optimization will probably require numerous changes to the existing code of the web page. If you want to be kept in the loop and give permissions for all the changes, now’s the right time to ask.
During the interview, you might want to ask whether the SEO consultant intends to modify the existing HTML code or rewrite it from scratch, whether they’ll add additional copywriting content, or redesign the navigation.
What are your fees?
If the interview is going well, you’ll have to pose a question regarding the consultant’s fees. Make sure you clear out the details and see whether the consultant gets paid by the hour, retainer, or project. SEO consultants usually go with project-based payments, which vary widely. Based on the size and complexity of the project, prices may range between $1000 and $7500.
If you’re looking for a price range for the monthly costs, surveys suggest that cheaper alternatives cost between $250 and $500, while more premium services may cost up to $5000. In terms of hourly salaries, you should expect fees ranging between $76 to $200.
What happens after the contract expires?
Another important thing you should discuss with potential SEO consultants is the ownership of the optimized web content. After the contract expires, you should maintain ownership over the content you paid for. See what the consultant has to say about that, and if you decide to hire them, make sure that ownership over the content is explicitly stated in the contract.
Where to Find a Good SEO Consultant
If you’re on the lookout for a good SEO consultant, there are a couple of places you should turn to.
Ask around you
People you know and trust should be your first resort to finding a good SEO consultant. Words spread fast, so if their job title requires them to communicate with SEO consultants or they’re connected to SEO in any way, they may have some connections or proper recommendations for you. The chances are that people around you already work with an SEO consultant and would be happy to recommend them to you.
Google is a valuable resource that can answer many of your questions, including ‘how to find a good SEO consultant.’ So if you want to expand your search beyond referrals, Google is your best friend. We are talking about SEO experts here, so if they’re as good as they claim to be, they’ll probably pop up among the first results of your Google search.
Look through online directories
Clutch and UpCity are excellent online directories that can give you recommendations for a good SEO consultant. Online directories will provide you with a list of SEO companies and their specialties, average fees, and even reviews from past clients. That way, you’ll get access to more information to make a well-informed decision.
Social media networks like Facebook offer their users the chance to enter their job titles and history. Therefore, if you need to extend your search, you can enter some keywords in Facebook’s search field and get incredible results. Additionally, you can look for SEO consultants in social media groups to see whether you’ll find any potential candidates. Also Read: Why Small Businesses Need Social Media
Why You Need a Good SEO Consultant
A good SEO consultant will help your website and business get ranked on search engines and improve its ranking. But SEO isn’t only about the ranking. A good SEO consultant will help you optimize your website and make it perform better and more efficiently. They will also provide professional assistance during content creation and help you attract more traffic and customers.
But your business’s needs are unique, and so are SEO consultants. That’s why you have to be very careful while considering potential candidates. Make sure that they have the experience and expertise you need and that they’ll be able to adjust to your company’s needs. If you can achieve that, you’re guaranteed incredible results from your new SEO strategy.