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How To Choose A Good SEO Consultant
Tips On How To Choose An SEO Consultant
Hiring an SEO consultant can make a real difference to your company website's search engine rankings and visitor numbers.
But you shouldn't rush into hiring anyone: vet each potential consultant thoroughly to make sure you are getting a genuine expert.
What To Do Before Hiring An SEO Consultant
There are so many people out there today purporting to be SEO experts that it's alarmingly easy to hire the wrong person. When a company decides to hire an SEO consultant the concern becomes trying to find someone who actually knows what they are doing and can boost their search engine rankings. For a small company, it is even more imperative that you don't waste your marketing budget by hiring the first company you come across. Here are some tips on how to go about hiring your consultant:
Work Out Your Goal: Before you take the step of hiring an SEO expert, you need to work out what exactly you want to accomplish. Are you looking to rank better for certain keywords, for example? Once you know what you want, it's easier to talk to consultants and explain your needs.
Learn About SEO: Obviously you don't need to become an expert on the subject - that is what you would be paying an SEO consultant for - but it helps if you try to learn a little about SEO yourself so you can understand what they are saying to you. This will make it easier to identify if the consultant is legitimate or not.
Look Online: Once you have taken these preliminary steps you can begin to look around for consultants for hire. It's a good idea to do an online search to see which companies come out on top. After all, if their own websites have high search engine rankings they are more likely to be able to do the same thing for you. Choose a shortlist of consultants who are based near enough for you to be able to go and visit them in person when you need to.
Do Background Checks: When you have assembled a shortlist, make sure you do at least a brief background check on each company, including credit checks. Also, if you can try to speak to previous clients to find out whether they were happy with the service they received. Did they see an improvement in their business, and did they think it was worth the investment?
Visit In Person: Now you have got the list of possible consultants whittled down even further, it's time to pay each of them a visit. You should never, ever hire an SEO consultant without doing this. After all, if you don't speak to them face-to-face how can you adequately communicate your goals? Always beware at this point of the people who make unrealistic promises, such as saying they can get your website top rankings in a matter of days. This simply isn't true. Also, are they listening to your needs carefully or are they simply trying to dazzle you with technical-sounding terms?
Confirm Prices: Before you sign any final contracts or agreements, make sure you have confirmed exactly what you are going to be paying, and how these costs are determined. The last thing you want is to be hit with any 'hidden' costs further down the line.
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What Makes A Good SEO Consultant?
An SEO consultant works with companies to improve their search engine rankings and online presence, hopefully giving their sales a significant boost. If you are thinking of becoming a consultant, or are looking to hire one, do remember that as with any job there are good and bad consultants.
It is by no means an easy to field to break into and a good SEO expert needs several qualities, for example:
In-Depth Knowledge: The world of SEO is constantly changing, so a good consultant needs to be constantly updating their knowledge to stay abreast of the latest developments and trends. For example, online tools are constantly appearing which purport to help companies boost their search engine ranking and it’s up to you to discover which of these are actually effective. You will also need to know things like which keywords are particularly competitive.
Experience: However talented to you are in this area, to build up a good reputation as an SEO consultant you need to have the backing of experience behind you. It takes time to build up a list of satisfied previous clients, but once you do you can use them as references and this will help you to win more and bigger contracts.
Patience and Perseverance: Every SEO expert knows that results do not appear overnight, so you have to be patient when you are trying to improve a client’s rankings. Taking your time over a particular job can actually benefit you as you can learn new SEO techniques at the same time.
Ability to Listen: One of the most important attributes you need if you are going to be a successful SEO consultant is the ability to listen carefully to each client. Because you will probably be working with many different kinds of companies in a variety of sectors, each and every one of them will need a customised service. Sit down with them and listen to what they want to achieve, and then take the time to develop a personalised strategy for them. There is no ‘one size fits all’ in this business.
Clarity: Customers appreciate honesty more than anything, so take the time to explain all your processes to your clients. Make sure that all your costs are accounted for and easy to understand so they know exactly what they are paying for. Also, don’t be tempted to add any ‘hidden’ costs later on as this will just make you look untrustworthy and clients won’t want to use your services again.