How to Choose the Right SEO Consultant
Improved search engine visibility can be crucial to driving traffic to your website, which can bring stronger brand awareness and better sales and profits. But what if you have your hands full with your business alone, and you don’t have the technical expertise required to meet your site’s search engine optimization (SEO) needs? Hiring a reputable SEO consultant could be key.
Here are steps and considerations to make as you screen your prospects:
A good SEO consultant should be happy to give you a list of present and past clients with their contact details. Be sure to give these references a call, asking about their experience with the consultant you’re considering. If they won’t give you analytics, at least they should tell you whether their search ranking actually increased and if they are satisfied with the overall performance of the SEO consultant.
Methods to Be Used
If an SEO consultant won’t discuss their methods, move on to your next prospect. Also ask them whether they provide “off page” SEO, which is a way of letting people know about your content through other channels, such as social media, blogs, and press releases.
Webmaster Guidelines Adherence
Pick a consultant who abides by Google’s public posted webmaster best practices, which particularly prohibit 12 specific SEO tricks, such as spamming and using hidden links and text. Otherwise, your website could end up way, way low down the SERPs, if not banned altogether.
If an SEO consultant promises you the top spot on Google, or claims they have an insider relationship with Google or any search engine, run! Only bogus experts do that.
Search engine optimization usually entails making a few adjustments on your current coding. You need to know what exactly those will be and on which specific web pages. If you want the consultant to seek your permission before changing any codes, tell them.
Consultants have to use Google Analytics to obtain and monitor various data, such as your website’s searching rankings, keywords people use when looking for your site, amount of traffic brought to your site from other sites, etc. They should show you the stats and explain them, as well as make recommendations as to how your search ranking can be improved on an ongoing basis.
Most SEO consultancy projects are paid per project, with rates ranging from $1,000 to $7,500, depending on the complexity of the task. There are also consultants who are paid hourly fees of $76 to $200 or retainers from $250 to $5000.
End of Contract
Finally, be sure that the contract includes the picture after it expires or if you want to end it early. In particular, all optimized web content should remain yours, and they must not remove or change anything up to the last content they added or modified. The contract should also indicate whether or not there will be a fee for early termination.