So, you’re ready to begin the hunt for a superstar SEO consultant? Great, you’ve come to the right place. No matter what kind of online business you run, the implementation of a quality, targeted SEO strategy can drastically boost your overall success.
In this article, not only are we going to cover the best techniques for weeding out baddies and finding the golden ticket, but we’re also going to teach you what to avoid and how to properly prepare for your SEO consultant quest.
Time & Money Costing Mistakes You Should Avoid
Steer Clear of the “Gurus”
We’ve all seen it time and time again, the people that like to boast about their self-proclaimed “guru” status. In an attempt to differentiate themselves from the vast market of competition, some SEO consultants will market themselves as wizards of some sort with a secret power that no other consultant or firm uses.
This should be an immediate red flag. SEO is a very well known industry devoid of secrets and mythical unicorns. The only difference between the good and the bad is their skill level and understanding of the knowledge available to anyone and everyone looking to become an SEO consultant.
The Best are Often Times Hiding
Finding a high-quality SEO consultant is a lot like trying to find the restaurant where the locals eat when you’re visiting a new city. The best consultants are going to have more clients than they can handle, and very little time to care about ranking in Google searches (I know, blasphemy, right?)
Err on the side of caution when using Google to try and find an SEO consultant. Just because they’re at the top doesn’t mean they’re the best. In fact, it could very well mean the opposite. They have no clients and so all of their time is devoted to convincing you of otherwise.
Advice For The Journey Ahead
Set Your Goals First
SEO consulting is a diverse landscape with many different niches and expertise. Some are going to be better with B2B businesses and others are going to be better for eCommerce businesses.
By setting clearly defined, specific goals that you want to achieve, it’s going to help you narrow the field during your search. Rather than simply wanting to drive more traffic (a bad goal), you should want to drive targeted traffic from your target market to have the highest chances of converting into sales (good goal).
Know Your Budget
The cost of a quality SEO consultant can rack up fairly quickly. Make sure that as a business you’re ready for this step and have planned for it financially. Don’t let someone strongarm you into their services if they’re out of your price range no matter how perfect they seem.
Stick to your budget, and, if need be, try to negotiate with them to see if there’s wiggle room. You’re going to save yourself a lot of stress this way.
Don’t Go With Your First Choice
As with many other things in life, take the time to shop around. Get a feel for what’s out there and line up a few choices for you to compare and contrast when it’s decision time. Talk to each of the consultants you’re considering and decide whether or not their strategies and style align with what you’re looking to accomplish.
4 Tips for Finding a Superstar SEO Consultant
Honest, Quality Answers to Your Questions
When you start the vetting process, you should have a list of prepared questions to ask each SEO consultant you’re considering. This is going to give you unique insight into the way they do things and what their level of expertise is like.
Don’t be afraid to ask things like: What specific strategies are you going to use to help my business reach its goals? How do you handle problems? What metrics do you measure?
If they flounder or can’t give you a straight answer, kick em’ to the curb. The seasoned professional is going to clearly and confidently answer all of your questions.
Understanding the Technical Side of Things
Technical SEO is a whole different ballgame, and the SEO consultant you’re considering should know a lot about website structure, coding, and programming languages. These skill sets aren’t something that can be learned overnight, rather, they take years to master.
Because technical SEO plays such a large role, your consultant should be able to ensure that your website structure is optimized and free of any coding issues that can slow search engine spiders or create negative user experiences.
Best SEO Practices Now and Going Forward
Knowing the SEO best practices that work today are much different (and more effective) than the ones that worked a year ago. You want to make sure that the consultant you choose knows how to specifically implement the best strategies that fit your exact needs. They need to be able to cater to you.
Also, they need to prove that they stay up to date with things as they change. The online world is fast paced, and if they’re not constantly honing their craft and growing as professionals, your online business is going to suffer.
Results, Results, Results
As they say, it’s easy to talk the talk, but SEO consultants must be able to walk the walk as well. Numbers walk and talk, so if you run into the company that doesn’t have any statistical or data driven results to show you, that should be a red flag.
A quality consultant is going to have results to present so they can better reinforce why they’re the best choice and so you can get an idea of what to expect. If they don’t have any results to share, there’s probably a good reason and you should steer clear.
Some Closing Words
Navigating the waters along the way to finding a superstar SEO consultant can be tricky, but it’s a whole lot easier when you know what to look for, and, more importantly, what to avoid. We hope you’ve learned a lot of valuable information in this article that you can utilize in your search.