Top 10 Factors to Consider When Choosing an SEO Consultant

Today, if you want to improve your inbound marketing efforts and increase organic traffic, you must focus on SEO (search engine optimization). When done properly, your website will rank well in SERPs (search engine results pages) when your target audience searches for keywords related to what you offer.

If you are unsure how to get started to improve your website’s rankings, you aren’t alone. This is when the services of professional SEO consultants can be invaluable.

However, not all SEO consultants are created equal. Use the tips and information below to make choosing an SEO consultant simple. You can also learn more about what SEO success looks like.

SEO Success

When you hire a professional and proven SEO consultant, such as, you can feel confident your website will achieve the SEO success you want and need.

However, if you aren’t familiar with SEO or what “success” means, it can be hard to tell if the efforts are effective. Put simply, SEO success will provide you with the following:

  • Increased rankings (more organic traffic)
  • Increased organic traffic (more web forms submitted and calls)
  • Increased web forms submitted and calls (increased sales)
  • Increased sales (increased revenue)

This shows how hiring a professional SEO consultant can be beneficial to your company. You also receive other benefits when you hire this service provider. These include:

  • Increased time to focus on business operations
  • Improved website and improved UX (user experience)
  • Improved search engine rankings

Now that you know what SEO success looks like, it’s time to dive into finding the best SEO consultant for your needs.

1. Determine Your SEO Goals

When choosing an SEO consultant, you have to figure out why you are hiring them.

Take some time to see what each agency offers. Which of the offerings best align with your goals? Taking time to do this will help narrow down the options and find the best SEO consultant.

Be sure to figure out what parts of your online presence need help. You can do this by conducting a competitive digital marketing analysis.

For example, do you need a whole new website, or do you just need to adjust the existing SEO tactics you have in place?

For example, if your business needs a new website, you need to figure out the “how” of this. A popular option today is WordPress; however, before choosing a theme, you have to consider things like:

  • Browser performance
  • Loading speed
  • SEO friendliness
  • Theme compatibility with different devices
  • Plugin integrations
  • Update availability
  • Ease of customization

However, just designing a website is not enough to find SEO success or make your business profitable. You also need help from an SEO consultant.

Therefore, you should choose a theme that will facilitate their efforts. If you aren’t sure what this is, hire a consultant to help you decide.

2. Check the Consultant’s Reviews and References

When you hire an SEO consultant, you need to see what types of services they have provided in the past and how successful these efforts were. Keep in mind, though, that this is a bit of a subjective service.

Take some time to look at several reviews. This includes Facebook, Google, and even look at the SEO consultant’s website. This will help you learn more about the companies you are considering, and you may even find a different service provider you want to use.

Another important step when trying to find an SEO consultant is to get references. Be sure to ask the company about what businesses, brands, or websites they have provided services for in the past. Write this information down.

Be sure that you contact these individuals. They will let you know if the company offered quality services or if you should search for a different service provider.

Make sure you get first-hand testimonials. This type of due diligence will go far when it comes to gaining peace of mind about hiring a quality SEO consultant.

Some of the questions you can ask prior clients include:

  • What did they love about the SEO consultant?
  • What is one thing the company could improve on?
  • Did the person or business ever work with a different SEO consultant?

Asking these questions is going to help you narrow down the options you are considering further.

3. Know the Signs of Bad SEO Consultants

Getting to know the signs of bad SEO consultant services is especially important if you are trying to find the right service provider. Unfortunately, some consultants will attempt to convince you they are qualified for the job when they really aren’t.

One of the biggest red flags to watch for is black hat SEO tactics. Some examples of black hat tactics include:

  • Buying links
  • Posting irrelevant content
  • Poorly written content
  • Keyword stuffing

Using these tactics may cause Google to penalize the site. Regardless of whether you were aware of the issue, you will be the one who pays for these nefarious actions, not the consultant.

Another red flag to be aware of is a consultant that makes grand promises but uses vague descriptions. If someone says they can triple the traffic to your website in two weeks with a strategy they only know, it’s a sign that it is too good to be true.

Science and SEO have proven that there are essential steps that you have to take to improve your website’s ranking. If someone tries to convince you this isn’t the case, it’s best to search for services elsewhere.

4. Find Out What Techniques the SEO Consultant Plans to Use

If you want proof of how effective an SEO consultant is, you need to request to see the numbers of some of the types of SEO performance indicators.

While it may not be possible for the company to divulge all the details because of customer confidentiality issues, they should be able to provide you with some proof of how good they are at what they do.

Keep in mind that most professional SEO consultants will track and measure the results of their efforts. This helps them refine and adjust strategies to achieve superior results.

Some of the top SEO metrics a company should track include:

  • Page rank
  • Backlinks
  • Leads and sales
  • Keyword rankings
  • Organic traffic
  • Organic click-through rate (CTR)
  • Average page loading time
  • Pages per session
  • Bounce rate

Be sure that these are being tracked before signing on with an SEO consultant.

5. Research the Consultant’s Ethics

This is a crucial factor to consider when it comes to hiring an SEO consultant.

One of the best places to being your search for this type of information is LinkedIn. It is smart to look at the leadership team and company members to learn about what skills they have.

There’s a good chance you are connected to a person who works for the consultant and talks to them before reaching out to the service provider.

Integrity and ethics are essential when you choose an SEO consultant. If the employees who will provide you services don’t believe in the company or are disconnected from the vision, it is unlikely they will deliver superior services.

It’s worth noting that each SEO consultant service will be unique. Because of this, finding out how each one works before hiring them is a must.

6. Consider Communication

Effective communication is a must when trying to choose an SEO consultant. Remember, effective SEO strategies take months – or longer – to establish.

When you are entering a longer commitment with a consultant, effective communication is a must.

Taking time to communicate with the consultant ahead of time will give you a good idea of how the consultant will communicate with you once they are hired.

If you have to wait a long time to hear back from them, or if you aren’t on the same page, it may be a good idea to move on.

7. Ask the Right Questions

There is no such thing as asking too many questions when you decide on an SEO consultant. Before you hire one, make sure the company can meet your needs and that they clearly explain how this will be done.

Some questions you can ask before hiring someone include:

  • When can you expect to start seeing results?
  • What type of fees does the consultant charge?
  • What happens if you want to cancel the services?
  • Will you have total ownership of the website if you leave the contract?
  • What do you need to provide to achieve success?
  • Are there multiple budgets or contract options? If yes, what are they?

Be sure to ask these questions and any others you have to find a consultant who can provide the services and solutions you want and need.

While it will take some time, it is necessary to find the right consultant.

8. Determine Your Budget

Before you invest in the services of an SEO consultant, you should consider your budget carefully. How much can you realistically afford to spend?

Choosing a non-competitive, local service campaign may cost several hundred dollars each month. More aggressive natural services can cost thousands or more.

You need to make sure the solutions that you want are backed up by the funds you have. Determining your budget before looking for an SEO consultant is highly recommended.

9. Read the Company’s Blog and Follow Them on Social Media

Be sure that you follow the SEO consultant on LinkedIn and Facebook. It’s also a good idea to read some of the consultant’s blog posts and subscribe to their newsletter. This is going to help you get a feel for their tone.

That’s because social media and blogs usually bring out the more informal side of the company or consultant.

It is also possible to learn their priorities and knowledge by looking at the produced and published content.

Something worth noting is that most consultants’ audiences or followers are usually other people in the marketing or advertising industry. Because of this, don’t be put off if the content doesn’t feel like it was written for you (it wasn’t).

10. Think Beyond Just SEO

It is great that you are thinking seriously about your business’s SEO. However, you have to consider the bigger picture, too.

What other needs does your website have? What is required to help it get ahead of the competition?

What is even more important is how you can drive revenue with real conversions and sales.

Some SEO agencies offer you more advanced SEO campaigns. Because of this, it is important to choose one that has the necessary knowledge and experience when taking your brand to new heights.

To do this, you will have to ask the consultant about things like AB testing and conversion rate optimization.

What to Consider When Choosing an SEO Consultant

When it comes to choosing an SEO consultant, there are more than a few factors to consider. You have to take time to consider all the information above to find the consultant that best suits your brands and business’s needs.

While this does require some time and effort, it will pay off in the long run. Be sure you find a consultant that will help you achieve your SEO goals for the best results. Remember, not all service providers are the same, so it is up to you to find the right one for your needs.

Do you need more digital marketing tips and advice? Or are you searching for information on other topics, such as technology, windows, games, and software? If so, be sure to check out some of the other blogs we have posted.


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