Improved search engine visibility can be crucial to driving traffic to your website, which can bring stronger brand awareness and better sales and profits. But what if you have neither the time nor the technical expertise to work on your site’s search engine optimization (SEO) needs? It might be time to hire a reputable SEO consultant.
Consider the following as you vet 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 not give you exact analytics, but they should at least tell you whether their search ranking actually improved and if they are contented with the SEO consultant’s work.
Methods to Be Used
If an SEO consultant isn’t willing to discuss their methods, find another prospect. 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 website could end up way, way low down the SERPs, if not banned altogether.
If you are promised the number 1 spot on Google by any SEO consultant, or they claim they have close insider ties with Google, Yahoo or Bing, flee! Only bogus experts do that.
Search engine optimization usually entails making a few adjustments on your current coding. You need to know what exactly those will be and on which specific web pages. 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
Lastly, make sure the contract includes what will happen when it expires, or if you terminate it early. Specifically, ownership of all optimized web content should remain yours completely, and they should not change or remove anything up to the last content addition or modification. This document should as well indicate whether or not they will charge a fee for early termination.