Improving your search engine visibility can be crucial to increasing your website traffic, leading to increased brand awareness and more sales and profits. But what if you have no time nor technical ability to meet your own site’s search engine optimization (SEO) needs? It might be time to hire a reputable SEO consultant.
Here are steps and considerations to make as you screen your prospects:
A good SEO consultant should have no qualms providing a list of past and present client references. Be sure to give these references a call, asking about their experience with the consultant you’re considering. If they won’t give you analytics, at least they should tell you whether their search ranking actually increased and if they are satisfied with the overall performance of the SEO consultant.
Methods to Be Used
If an SEO consultant isn’t open to discussing their methods with you, look elsewhere. Also inquire whether they do “off page” SEO, which is a way of drawing attention to your content using other venues, like blogs and social media.
Strict Adherence to Webmaster Guidelines
Hire a consultant who will stick to Google’s publicly posted webmaster best practices, which prohibit 12 specific SEO tricks, including spamming and adding hidden text and links. Otherwise, your website could end up way, way low down the SERPs, if not banned altogether.
If an SEO consultant promises you the top spot on Google, or claims they have an insider relationship with Google or any search engine, run! You just met a scammer.
Search engine optimization usually entails making a few adjustments on your current coding. You should know what specific changes they will make and on which particular 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.
Most SEO consultancy projects are paid per project, with rates ranging from $1,000 to $7,500, depending on the complexity of the task. 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. In particular, all optimized web content should remain yours, and they must not remove or change anything up to the last content they added or modified. The contract should also indicate whether or not there will be a fee for early termination.