Any improvement in your search engine visibility can be helpful in increasing visits to your website, building stronger brand awareness and greater sales and profits. But what if you have your hands full with your business alone, and you don’t have the technical expertise required to meet your site’s search engine optimization (SEO) needs? Hiring a reputable SEO consultant could be key.
Consider the following as you vet prospects:
A good SEO consultant should be willing to provide names and contact details of some of their past and current clients. 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 Applied
If an SEO consultant isn’t willing to discuss their methods, find another prospect. 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
Choose a consultant who will never violate any of Google’s publicly posted webmaster best practices, which prohibit 12 particular SEO tricks, such as as spamming and the use of hidden text and links. Otherwise, your site could end up with a very low search ranking, if not banned outright.
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 talked to 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.
In most cases, SEO consultants are paid $1,000 to $7,500 per project, depending on how complicated the task will be. They may also be paid a retainer from $250 to $5000, or an hourly rate of $75 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 contained should remain your property, and they must not change or remove anything down to the content last added or modified. Whether or not there is a fee for early termination,it should be specified in the contract as well.