Tips for Hiring an SEO Consultant
If you own a small business, it probably doesn’t make financial sense to hire someone to do your SEO in house. Small to medium sized businesses can benefit from outsourcing the work to an SEO firm, but we understand that sometimes that isn’t financially possible either. The next best thing is to work with an SEO consultant who can outline what should be done so that you’ll know that the work you’re doing on your own is what you should be doing in order to improve your website’s presence in search. Of course, not all SEO consultants are created equal. Here are a few tips to follow during the hiring process:
Do your own SEO research
Having a basic understanding of what SEO is and what SEO work should look like is extremely valuable when hiring an SEO consultant since you want to work with someone who is going to play by the rules and utilize modern tactics that will actually make an impact. Start with the Google Webmaster Guidelines and SEO Starter Guide. Other industry leading blogs to browse include Search Engine Land and Moz. It’s important to understand how SEO and the search engines work at a high level and that nobody can promise results and it takes time to see results, typically at least 4 months to a year.
Have an initial phone conversation
You want to know that you’re hiring someone that you can work with. Email is great, but a phone conversation helps to establish a rapport. An initial phone conversation with an SEO consultant should be two-sided. You can learn about their experience and ask them questions about their process. Equally important, the SEO can ask you about your business, its history, target audience, other advertising and marketing efforts, competition, etc. An SEO consultant will do a much better job when they take the time to get to know your business in order to create a personalized, relevant strategy. If they aren’t asking you these types of questions, you might want to look elsewhere.
Ask for references
In the SEO world, like any service-based business, references are pretty standard. A reputable SEO consultant will understand that a business owner will want to speak to prior clients and should be able to offer at least a few references. If the consultant isn’t willing to provide references, it could be a red flag.
Working with an SEO consultant should be an enjoyable experience. After all, they’re going to help you make improvements to your website that will enhance the user experience and increase organic traffic in order to grow sales over time. Selecting an SEO consultant to work with shouldn’t be done on a whim. Take the time to do your research and get to know any SEO consultant you are considering. This effort will pay off in the end.
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