How to Choose the Right SEO Consultant
Any improvement in your search engine visibility can be helpful in increasing visits to your website, building stronger brand awareness and greater sales and profits. But what if you have no time nor technical ability to meet your own site’s search engine optimization (SEO) needs? It might be time to hire a reputable SEO consultant.
Here are steps and considerations to make as you screen your prospects:
A good SEO consultant should be willing to provide names and contact details of some of their past and current clients. Make sure you talk to these references, asking them about their experience with the consultant. They may hesitate to provide specific analytics, but they should at least tell you whether their search ranking actually improved and if they are satisfied with the SEO consultant’s performance.
Methods to Be Used
If an SEO consultant isn’t open to discussing their methods with you, look elsewhere. As well, inquire whether they do “off page” SEO, a technique that drives attention to your content with the use of other places on the web, like blogs, social media, etc.
Strict Adherence to Webmaster Guidelines
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 site could be buried deep down the SERPs or 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! You just met a scammer.
The process of search engine optimization often includes making changes to your existing coding. You have to know exactly what those changes will be, and which particular web pages they will be applied to. If you want the consultant ask for your permission before changing anything, let them know.
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 have to show you the actual stats and provide an explanation, as well as recommend measures to improve your search ranking on a continuing basis.
In most cases, SEO consultants are paid $1,000 to $7,500 per project, depending on how complicated the task will be. Some consultants are also paid retainers of around $250 to $5000 or hourly rates that could be anywhere from $76 to $200.
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. This document should as well indicate whether or not they will charge a fee for early termination.