Hiring an SEO consultant can be a disaster without the right amount of due diligence. The right consultant can blast your page to a higher rank on Google, while inexperienced helpers could solve one problem and create two. Listed below are a few things to look for in an SEO consultant for your webpage.
Do They Have Client References?
Ideally, your SEO consultant should have completed past projects for clients. They should also not hesitate in referring you to those clients so you can ask them key questions. Consultants will generally paint themselves in the most positive light possible, but a client can give a more objective review.
Does Their Expertise Match Your Business Needs?
You want to get a good feel for what your SEO consultant specializes in. The term “SEO Consultant” can mean a lot of things to different people, but as a generality, the literal definition is a consultant that optimizes search engine results for a website entity.
That being said, a SEO consultant who specializes in getting people to page 1 on Google would not do much for you if you were already on the first page. If you needed better keywords to match your target demographic to your website, Google rank won’t do much. Have your business needs solid when you start looking for help.
Does Their Billing Rate Match Your Budget?
Many websites trying to SEO optimize their websites are competing with the big dogs such as Amazon. Many times there are very strict budget guidelines for smaller websites to adhere to. You want to make sure your SEO consultant’s billing rates are realistically payable in regards to your budget. A few ways to do this are:
- Ask them their rates
- Ask their references how much was paid
- Get an estimate on how many hours the project will take (if paying hourly)
- Negotiate a fixed rate for project completion
Does Their Time to Completion Meet Your Deadlines?
Let’s say you have an arbitrary deadline. You own a shoe shop online, and there’s a major marathon happening in your area in two weeks. Ideally, you would want your website SEO optimized before that time. Therefore, it is important to look for an SEO consultant who can meet your deadlines.
Try to keep realistic deadlines, but understand that on your consultant’s side, they could have other projects they’re juggling, they might have to learn your business and site, and they could have personal things going on. A good SEO consultant will give you an estimated time to complete the project.
Do They Have Consistent, Ongoing Work?
The days of overloading a site with a keyword 100,000 times to get on the front page of Google is over. Every year, Google tweaks its algorithms to get users the best organic search results they can find. Therefore, finding an SEO consultant who has worked consistently throughout the years is the safest risk-adjusted decision you can make.
A high performing SEO consultant who took a break for 4-5 years could come back to a much different search engine environment than they remember, as old strategies could cease to work.