Finding a good SEO consultant for your business can significantly increase leads, traffic, and sales revenue.
However, with so many SEO freelancers and digital agencies offering these services nowadays, how do you know which one to hire?
Don’t be mistaken, just because an agency or a freelancer offers these services, doesn’t mean they know what they’re doing regarding search engine optimization.
In this article, you will learn how to find a good SEO consultant that won’t waste your time and money, or damage your valuable online reputation.
Why Hire an SEO Consultant?
Hiring a good SEO consultant can make a huge difference in your business’ success. Here are the top reasons why hiring a good SEO consultant is a great idea:
It Can Result in Business Growth
The number one reason why you should hire an SEO consultant is because of the positive business results it can yield.
According to Internet Live Stats, more than 2.3 million searches are conducted every minute on Google.
The place where most people go to find information about products and services related to a business is Google. Because of this, businesses should definitely aim to optimize their websites in order to appear for these search queries.
The higher you rank, the more impressions and traffic your website will get. This increase in traffic will likely lead to more conversions and eventually sales.
Not only that, but SEO is also one of the most cost-effective ways to gain exposure and improve online awareness.
Unlike paid marketing, SEO continues to yield traffic for years to come. If your website is able to rank for relevant search queries, then it will continue to receive traffic, and generate leads.
By hiring an SEO consultant, you can get a piece of this pie.
An SEO consultant brings with him/her the expertise to help your website obtain higher rankings and to fix any problems that have a negative impact on your rankings.
Additionally, you can hire an SEO consultant to train internal staff members or your marketing team on all things relevant to SEO.
As a business owner, you’ve probably got a lot on your plate.
From running the daily operations of your business to handling customer complaints, how are you going to find the time to create and implement a successful SEO strategy?
After all, SEO isn’t a short-term marketing gimmick that only requires a small amount of time to execute properly. In fact, SEO often requires lots of time and skill to perfect.
This is why hiring an SEO consultant is a good idea for busy business owners.
By hiring a good SEO consultant, you won’t have to make additional time in your schedule to perform vital SEO-related tasks such as keyword research, link-building, or content creation.
The only instance where you’ll have to commit time to SEO is when you’re meeting up with your SEO consultant to discuss monthly results and go through SEO audits of your website.
Doesn’t Require Specialized Skills
By hiring an SEO consultant you’ll remove the necessity of having highly-specialized SEO skills from your shoulders.
Good SEO consultants often have years of experience with ranking websites in Google and other search engines.
Just like outsourcing link-building, you immediately tap into highly trained SEO skills and expertise when you hire an SEO consultant.
Sure, knowing a thing or two about SEO will aid in understanding the terminology your SEO consultant uses when they provide feedback to you. But, it won’t require that you know how to implement tricky SEO concepts such as canonical tags, HTML lang tags, etc.
It Can Save Money
Hiring an in-house SEO marketing expert can cost a lot of money.
Not only do you have to pay them a monthly salary, but you have to consider the fact that they will require specialized software, tools, and computers to perform their job.
Hiring the right in-house SEO expert will also require that you spend time finding and interviewing potential candidates.
And don’t forget the fact that if hire the wrong person, you’ll have to fire them, and find the next candidate, until you find the right person that knows what they’re doing and fits into your business culture.
Whereas when you hire an outside SEO consultant, you won’t have to pay them a monthly salary, and you won’t have to consider the legal and tax implications.
Additionally, all SEO consultants will already have a computer of their own and existing subscriptions to the top SEO tools and software.
Sure, you’ll have to pay a monthly consultancy fee, but you won’t have to finance all the consultant’s expenses and equipment.
And if the SEO consultant doesn’t meet your expectations, you can simply cancel your agreement with them without having to consider the legal implications of firing an employee.
These are the three main reasons why you should find a good SEO consultant for your business.
Obviously, there are more reasons why you should hire an SEO consultant, but these three are the ones that carry the most weight.
How to Find a Good SEO Consultant
There are several ways to find a good SEO consultant, including freelance marketplaces, referrals from your professional network, SEO vendor directories, or just a simple Google search.
If you’re looking to hire an SEO consultant, you can start looking at the talent that’s available on freelance marketplaces like Fiverr and UpWork.
These marketplaces are oftentimes home to a wide range of SEOs, ranging from consultants just starting out to highly experienced ones.
The advantage of using a freelance marketplace to find an SEO consultant is that you can very easily make an evaluation of whether a freelancer is skilled enough based on reviews from previous clients.
Most freelance marketplaces also give you an indication of how much each respective SEO consultant charges by the hour or per month.
This can save you a lot of time since you don’t have to have a meeting with an SEO consultant and go through their sales funnel before knowing their fees.
Common freelance marketplaces where you can find SEO consultants include
Referrals from Your Professional Network
Most business owners are connected with several other business owners and entrepreneurs in their city and country.
One way to find a good SEO consultant is to tap into your professional network of business owners and managers.
If these individuals have worked with an SEO consultant in the past, they’d be able to quickly recommend the good ones to you.
This can be a trustworthy pool of SEO consultants since no business owner would recommend a bad consultant to hir/her professional network.
Marketing Vendor Directories
Another way to find a good SEO consultant is to use SEO-specific vendor directories. These sites are only focused on connecting businesses to SEO and marketing professionals.
Examples of marketing-specific vendor directories include
- Growth Collective
These websites, or vendor directories, typically vet each marketer that wishes to perform services via their platform. And as a result, you’ll only get the best of the best with regard to talent and knowledge.
What Services do SEO Consultants Offer?
SEO can be divided into various fields, namely, on-page SEO, technical SEO, content creation, local SEO, and link-building.
On-page SEO is the process of modifying the content in the various elements of a page to obtain higher search engine rankings.
This includes the title tag, meta description, image alt tags, PageSpeed optimization, and more.
SEO consultants will typically use an SEO auditing tool like SEOptimer to check various on-page SEO elements. These tools can be used to monitor and check SEO performance on a regular basis.
Technical SEO aims to improve the technical aspects of a website for the purpose of helping spiders crawl and index a website more effectively.
Local SEO is the process of optimizing your Google Business listing and other online web properties in order to rank for relevant local search queries. Most local SEO consultants focus primarily on improving your Google Business listing's rankings.
SEO consultants that specialize in local SEO typically make use of a local SEO tool to help them audit your GMB profile, manage reviews and Google Posts, and track local rankings.
Backlinks are the one thing that almost all websites need in order to rank in Google. Business owners and webmasters need to follow a link-building strategy in order to build high-quality, relevant backlinks to their website content.
This is where an SEO consultant, especially one that is focused on link-building, will be of enormous value to your business.
The last area of expertise that most SEO consultants will be able to provide value is content creation.
Performing SEO and improving rankings is simply not possible without content. A good SEO consultant will be able to create content that satisfies search intent and that ranks organically.
The content will act as the magnet that draws new visitors to your website.
How Much Does an SEO Consultant Cost?
Knowing how to find a good SEO consultant is one thing, but how much will it cost to hire one?
Costs will differ from one SEO consultant to another, so there’s no definite answer to this question.
On Upwork, a popular freelance marketplace, the hourly rate for SEO services costs between $15 to $35 per hour.
However, you’ll also find vendors that charge lower or higher than these amounts.
Another source cites that the average hourly rate for SEO services costs between $50 and $150 per hour.
SEO pricing will depend on a variety of factors including the location of the SEO consultant, the competitiveness of your industry, project scope, etc.
What to Look Out for When Hiring an SEO Consultant
Now that you know how to find a good SEO consultant, we’re going to share some important factors you need to look at when hiring an SEO consultant.
These are mainly:
- Previous track record
- Understanding of SEO concepts
- Communication skills
When looking to hire an SEO consultant, the first thing you need to look at is their experience with delivering SEO services.
If you’ve got a shortlist of SEO consultants that you potentially want to hire, the first thing you should ask them is for some samples of their previous work and projects.
Sometimes these case studies can be found on the SEO consultant’s own website if they have one.
These case studies or samples will give you a good idea of the consultant’s ability to rank websites in Google and other search engines.
If you’re hiring an SEO consultant through a freelance marketplace, you’ll likely be able to view reviews from previous clients.
These reviews serve as a good gauge of the consultant’s overall experience in dealing with clients and delivering SEO services.
You can also take a look at their website to determine their writing ability, web design skills, and overall ability to create well-performing websites. This serves as a good indication of their abilities.
The last thing you want to do is hire an SEO consultant that doesn’t have any relevant experience.
This leads us to the next point.
Previous Clients Track Record
Another way to determine if an SEO consultant is worth hiring is by looking at his/her list of previous clients.
More specifically, you want to partner up with SEO consultants that have a track record of working with websites and businesses in your industry.
Hiring an SEO consultant with experience in your industry will yield better results than hiring one that doesn’t have the relevant track record.
For example, if you’re looking for an SEO consultant to help improve your local SEO rankings, then it’s no use hiring a SaaS SEO consultant.
Ideally, you should be looking for consultants with a track record of working with other local businesses.
Level of Understanding of SEO Concepts
Any SEO consultant worth their weight in gold will be able to explain SEO concepts to you.
This is why it’s important that you understand the basics of SEO so that you know when an SEO professional is taking you for a ride.
You should prepare a shortlist of questions that you can ask any SEO consultant before hiring them.
When hiring an SEO consultant, you definitely want someone that knows how to communicate effectively with you.
Since you’ll be paying them on a monthly basis, I’m sure you want the consultant to share any successes and struggling points with you on a regular basis.
Before even hiring any SEO consultant, you should have a clear indication of how regularly he/she will communicate with you and through what mediums.
A major red flag that should immediately serve as a warning sign is when you’re waiting for long periods of time to hear back from them.
Questions to Ask an SEO Consultant Before Hiring Them
Here are a few questions that you should ask an SEO consultant before you think of hiring them:
- How long will it take to see any results from your services?
- What is your experience with dealing with businesses in my industry? Have you worked with businesses in my industry?
- How will you communicate with me, and how regularly?
- What SEO tools do you use?
- What fees do you charge?
- What will happen to my website, including backlinks, if I decide to stop your services?
- Which area of SEO is your main focus? Why?
- Explain your process and approach to ranking websites in Google.
- Can you explain what canonical tags are?
- How would you go about doing a site migration?
Knowing how to find a good SEO consultant is important if you are considering hiring one for your SEO marketing.
Follow the above suggestions and tips to find an SEO consultant that will benefit your business and generate long-term results for your brand.