One of the best ways to increase your visibility on search engines like Google and rank higher than others is to hire an SEO consultant to optimize your website. Years ago, you could create a website in days, create content with a few keywords sprinkled here and there, and still get featured on the first page of the search engine result page.
Today, search engines, especially Google, have gotten smarter. You need to put in the work and effort to rank high on search engines and get your website to your target audience. You need to do more than create content, customize its headlines, and stuff your website with keywords.
Many businesses understand this fact, but they do not know the way around it. Eventually, they resort to hiring an SEO consultant to optimize their website. Hiring an SEO consultant is a good idea, especially if you have other things to work on in your business. It is challenging, however, to choose the right SEO consultant among many professionals.
If you want to find the best SEO consultant on the internet or anywhere else, below are six factors to look for in a professional SEO consultant.
Six Things to Look for in an SEO Consultant
1. The Consultant’s Goals
If you wish to hire an SEO consultant, there is a chance that your business is having a hard time. As such, you need to employ a professional consultant with clear-cut goals and objectives to improve your website. Most consultants will tell you their goal is to increase your website’s traffic. This response is a vague objective that will get your business nowhere.
First, driving traffic to your website does not literally translate to high revenue. There are different types of traffic out there, and you need to be courageous enough to ask the consultant for clarifications.
Ranking for the sales of vegan shoes when your goal is to rank for informative content will not help you achieve your goal. And you can’t blame the consultant. You want to rank higher; now you have it.
To put everyone on the same page, make a list of your business goals without skipping any part. Try to be specific as much as possible. For instance, the following questions may help you determine your goals.
● Do you want to rank higher in a particular region?
● Are you looking to attract more customers?
● Do you want your website to rank higher for specific keywords?
● Do you want to create converting ad campaigns?
● Do you want to increase your sales?
● Do you want to convert your visitors to clients?
Ensure you state your goals clearly and the services you want from the SEO company. If it looks like you are on a different page, it is best to let them go.
2. SEO Strategy
Another factor to consider when choosing an SEO consultant is their SEO strategy. This part is where you ask how they plan to achieve the goals you have outlined.
If they tell you it is a secret, stay away from them. The truth is SEO strategies and techniques are not secret. A professional SEO consultant should discuss their methods and work with you to sketch out a well-detailed and feasible plan to increase your online presence.
They should offer you a step-by-step process, the tools they will use, and a timeline before you will start seeing results.
3. Success Track Record
It does not matter how competent they are; ensure you ask for their previous work, success rate, and testimonials, if possible.
Yes! The optimization of your website is a crucial situation, and as such, you need to know why you are paying the consultant.
You don’t need to bother about being too ‘hard’ with your questions (does not mean you should be harsh); a professional SEO consultant will understand this and would have prepared. Also, check their website to see its organization, and while you do so, pay attention to the following:
- Quality and valuable content
- Good user interface
- The website speed
The above are some of the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) of a standard website.
4. Get References from Your Peers
Using Google to get an SEO consultant may not be a good idea sometimes. Of course, the result will always be on “The Best SEO Consultants,” making it easy to choose them.
However, you may end up being stuck with the wrong SEO firm if you rush to make a decision. Even if you choose one, do some research on them.
Sometimes, you have to go with the traditional method of word of mouth. Connect with your colleagues in your industry who have improved their marketing strategies in the past.
Ask them about the consultant and their competitive edge over others. Ensure you don’t ask your competitors to ascertain the credibility of the information they give you.
A good consultant will not keep you in the dark on the progress of your website as they implement each of the SEO strategies.
A standard SEO plan usually takes months to achieve (Do not mind anyone who says otherwise). SEO optimization is a science that demands careful plans and strategies. If you skip a step, it may undermine your effort.
You need a consultant to give you a regular update on the progress of your website. There should be a smooth flow of effective communication between you and the SEO firm.
If you find yourself waiting many times before they respond, it is a red flag.
6. Attitudes in Different Situations
Again, contact previous clients of the SEO firm.
- How do they react in difficult situations?
- If, along the line, it becomes evident that there is no result, what will be their reaction?
- Will they show genuine concern and work with you to develop a new plan?
- Is it all about money for them?
If you think the questions are many or bothering, think about why you started your business in the first place. Do you still want to be in the same place where you started? If not, you should ask those questions.
Besides, the questions will help you gauge your consultant’s attitude. A good consultant shows concern for your website and will not let the love of money come in the way of quality work.
An excellent SEO Consultant means more income for your business and more engagement with your brand. They will get your web page to the target audience and turn them into clients. The above six things to look for in an SEO consultant will help you sift out unserious consultants with no plan of moving your business forward. If you want a shot at getting visible on search engines and generating quality leads, take your time to get to know the SEO consultant you are employing.