Hiring an SEO Consultant and What to Look For
Many large businesses have staff to handle their website, search engine optimization (SEO) and social media marketing. However smaller local companies who need these services will probably not be able to afford nor will they need a staff of full time web designers, SEO experts and social media managers. Hiring a local consultant for the specific work need is much more cost effective. Here are a few tips on what to look for in a local SEO consultant.A reference from other business owners is one of the best indicators that the consultant is able to deliver on their promises. Whether it be a video testimonial on the consultant’s website or speaking directly with a reference, this is one of the best ways to find out what type of business person you are considering working with. If the consultant is just beginning and has no references, you could consider giving them an opportunity and negotiate a greatly reduced price and offer to be their first reference.
The old saying “If it’s too good to be true then it probably isn’t” applies to SEO consulting. If your prospective consultant claims “I will get you to the number one slot on Google” you will probably want to steer clear. It is possible that such results can be achieved but no one can guarantee such a thing. Search engines can be worked with but not manipulated or controlled. A reputable SEO consultant will provide some research data and explain what s/he believes can be accomplished and why. Guarantees will be for satisfaction, not specific results.
While I mention guarantees, it is not common with SEO consulting to have a guarantee. This is due to SEO work being similar to a doctor. The client comes to the consultant because the results from their website are lacking what they desire (or their website is sick). The consultant then examines the site and makes a recommendation on how to make it perform better (a treatment plan). The client agrees and both client and consultant work together to make it better. Most of the time this works but sometimes it takes longer than planned and requires a change of strategy. So if an SEO consultant is offering guarantees, be very certain you understand what the guarantee is for, that you understand your rights and that it is in writing.
An SEO Consultant is a great way for a small business owner to increase their exposure on the Internet. They can be cost effective and save many months of trying the d-i-y method. Keep these three tips in mind when searching for your local SEO consultant and you will be on your way to getting more customers.