Finding a Good SEO Consultant

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? You may have to hire a reputable SEO consultant.

When screening prospects, look into the following:

Client References

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. They may not give you exact analytics, but they should at least tell you whether their search ranking actually improved and if they are contented with the SEO consultant’s work.

Methods to Be Applied

If an SEO consultant isn’t open to discussing their methods with you, look elsewhere. Also ask them whether they provide “off page” SEO, which is a way of letting people know about your content through other channels, such as social media, blogs, and press releases.

Strict Adherence to Webmaster Guidelines

Pick a consultant who abides by Google’s public posted webmaster best practices, which particularly prohibit 12 specific SEO tricks, such as spamming and using hidden links and text. Otherwise, your website could end up way, way low down the SERPs, if not banned altogether.

Guarantees

If you are promised the number 1 spot on Google by any SEO consultant, or they claim they have close insider ties with Google, Yahoo or Bing, flee! You just talked to a scammer.

Being Informed

Search engine optimization usually entails making a few adjustments on your current coding. You have to know exactly what those changes will be, and which particular web pages they will be applied to. If you want to be informed before any changes are made, tell the consultant.

Tracking Progress

Consultants should use Google Analytics in tracking various important data, such as your site’s rankings, the keywords people use to locate your site, volume of traffic coming from other sites to yours, etc. They should show you the stats and explain them, as well as make recommendations as to how your search ranking can be improved on an ongoing basis.

Fees

In most cases, SEO consultants are paid $1,000 to $7,500 per project, depending on how complicated the task will be. 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

Finally, be sure that the contract includes the picture after it expires or if you want to end it early. Specifically, ownership of all optimized web content should remain yours completely, and they should not change or remove anything up to the last content addition or modification. Whether or not there is a fee for early termination,it should be specified in the contract as well.

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