How to Search, Select, and Hire an SEO Consultant?
Want to rank your website to the top of search results? You can do it—if you understand what it takes to rank in 2020. Your SEO ranking depends on 200 ranking factors that Google uses in its ranking algorithm. The SEO consultant you hire must not only be well-versed with these variables but also understand how they apply to your website.
Finding the right SEO consultant can be an uphill task requiring meticulous planning. Here’s a breakdown of a well-detailed process for finding, selecting, and hiring a good SEO consultant.
Know Exactly What to Expect from a Good SEO Consultant
A good SEO consultant will take time to understand your business and offering a plan on how to achieve your ranking goals.
Here’s an outline of what to expect from a good SEO consultant who’ll do an excellent job:
Understanding your value proposition: Your SEO consultant should understand your value proposition and based on which the SEO consultant will be able to select keywords, metadata, and other aspects of an SEO strategy best suited to your company.
Understanding your traffic and revenue goals: Your SEO expert must be able to help you set realistic traffic and revenue goals, which will also serve as a yardstick for measuring success.
Determining your ranking potentials: Your SEO expert must be able to give you a clear picture of your site’s status quo and predict your chances of reaching your traffic and revenue goals within a specific timeframe. This requires rigorous content and technical audits on your site.
Creating a content marketing strategy: Content marketing is a very important aspect of establishing domain authority and ranking different topics related to your business. The experienced SEO consultant will always focus on creating content marketing strategies to achieve overall marketing goals.
On-site/off-site SEO: On-page optimization is very important. The consultant you hire should be very focused on on-page ( it’s the first step in the ranking journey). The next step is to create a link building strategy. Always make sure that your website has links from high DA and reputed websites. You can use a tool like Moz, Ahrefs, or SEMrush.
Training and coaching: Training is not mandatory, but you should understand the SEO basics. A good SEO consultant or agency will always make sure to coach you by sharing the relevant reasons behind any SEO activity. For ex: If they are focusing on Guest posts they will tell you why your website needs a guest post and similarly, if they are focusing on securing backlinks via outreach, they will share their strategy behind the outreach campaign.
Know the Right Places to Find SEO Consultant
Now you know what to look for in an SEO consultant, so you think you’ve got what it takes to jump headfirst into Google and contact the right SEO expert. Not likely. Appearing on Google’s first page isn’t a requisite for being a good SEO consultant. Most leading SEO experts are too busy trying to rank up wads of client’s sites, they hardly have time to know who are outranking their own pages. Their reputation is built on the latter, not the former. So how do you find real gems that don’t appear on Google’s first page?
You can use any of the following 5 simple ways:
- Ask for referrals from your professional network and your trusted social circles. You can also look for them in local events in your area and have face-to-face discussions.
- Check up published lists of reputable lists of consultants on sites such as Upcity, Thumbtack.com, Credo.com, Clutch.co, etc.
- Read SEO expert blogs to find experts who can address your unique needs and are experts in your niche.
- Found a consultant who you’d love to hire? Check out what third-party sites are saying about them before taking the plunge.
- Quick tip – Make sure your website has been developed as per SEO guidelines and structure. In case you need to evaluate your current website or need an expert to review it. You can hire someone on Fiverr, Upwork or hiremotely
Select the Right Candidate with the Right Interview Question
So you now have a shortlist of candidates. At this stage, you’re already halfway through. The next challenge is choosing the most suitable candidate. The right interview questions will help you achieve this.
While they respond to your questions, note their tone and body language (if it’s a face 2 face meeting), and look out for anecdotes and case studies that you can relate with. Test their integrity with questions you already know the right answers to, including:
- How long it’ll take to begin seeing results (it normally takes no less than 3 months)
- If they can guarantee results (no expert can guarantee results, given the complexity and constantly changing nature of search engine algorithms)
- What’s their area of SEO they specialize in (ideally, an expert should be able to cover all areas).
Work out the Fine Details of Your SEO Campaign
The following are some things to consider at this stage:
Are you in for a long-term relationship?
This determines the degree of work and the types of strategies your consultant will serve you with. It’s usually advisable to settle for a 6-month contract since this is an ideal time to gauge results.
How do you cancel the contract?
You need to agree on cancellation terms in case you want to back out for any reason.
How will you be charged?
You can arrange for a more flexible payment system, or you can clear the bills at once. That depends on whether the consultant charges only one-time or milestone-based payments. This also determines the scope of the project. You should budget at least $70/hr for a good SEO consultant. But on average, most SEO experts charge between $100 – $200 per hour.
What tools do you need to use?
Choose applications and tools that are comfortable for you and your staff.
What type of reporting and performance matrices should you use?
You need to be clear on the yardsticks and matrices you’ll be using to gauge your performances.
A good SEO ranking is a feat that requires extensive planning and patience. Once you’re up there in a good spot, you’ll be reaping the benefits for a long time to come. If you take the plunge now, you can expect to begin seeing your ROI within 3 three months from now. Still, thinking about how to get started? Contact Us Today and We will help you in getting started with your SEO Project.
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