While compiling a list of potential SEO consultants for you or your client’s business is easy, narrowing the list down to the consultant that’s right for you is not. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: not all SEO professionals are the same and specialties can vary considerably.
SEO is more than keyword research and optimizing content. SEO can also touch on Amazon / eCommerce, local SEO, conversion rate optimization, link building, internal site search, and the list goes on. That’s because SEO has evolved over time and mastering every single part of it has become a challenge, even for those of us that have been in the industry for many years.
So, how do you find a good SEO consultant for your business? Here are a few considerations.
1. Where to find a good SEO consultant
There are a number of places to help kick start your search for an SEO consultant. Consider these:
- Ask your tribe
One of the best ways to find an SEO consultant for your consideration is to ask the people you know and trust. Word of mouth still plays an important role in being found and people are usually not going to recommend a person or business they don’t like. There’s a good chance that someone you know is using SEO and would be happy to recommend their SEO partner.
- Look on Google
In addition to referrals, another way to find a reputable SEO company is to look on Google. It can be reassuring to see an SEO consultant rank in Google for the keywords you typed in since it could indicate they practice what they preach. That helps to build trust and one could assume that if their own website is doing well in Google, they might be able to help you too.
- Review online directories
During your Google search, click on a few directories, such as Clutch and UpCity, for recommendations. These sites provide a list of SEO consultants to consider, along with their specialties, average price, and reviews from their customers.
- Ask on social media groups
I’m part of several Facebook groups and many people create posts asking for referrals for people such as social media experts, photographers, graphic designers, branding experts, and of course SEO. If you’re part of a Facebook group, ask if anyone could recommend an awesome SEO consultant.
- Ask for our opinion
We’re always happy to chat and provide recommendations for SEO consultants based on your budget, resources, goals, and expectations, whether that means working with us or not. Our goal is to help match the right business with the right SEO consultant.
2. Questions to ask an SEO consultant
Now that you have a few good SEO consultants to consider, the next step is to ask them qualifying questions to see if they’re the right fit for you. Consider these:
- What is your experience with SEO?
- Have you worked with a business like mine before?
- What parts of SEO are you an expert in?
- What is your process and approach?
- How can you help improve our online visibility?
- How do you communicate with clients?
- Can you send me case studies or client testimonials?
- What SEO tools do you use?
- How often and what reports do you send?
- What are your rates?
3. Traits of a good SEO consultant
During your conversation, try to get a handle if they have the following traits:
- They should ask questions about you and your business, what your level of SEO experience is, what you hope to achieve with SEO, your expectations, and the types of problems you are facing.
- They should know how to explain SEO in a clear and concise way and help you to understand the value they bring to the table.
- They should make you feel like you can trust them. Always trust your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, maybe they’re not right for you.
- They should provide an action plan and explain why they’re recommending what they’re recommending and why it’s important.
- They should have experience with what works and what doesn’t, which goes beyond just regurgitating best practices that anyone can find online.
- They should be honest with what you can expect working with them and how long it will take SEO to work based on your business type, the competition, resources available, and of course budget.
As you can see, finding and selecting the right SEO consultant takes thoughtful consideration. Not all SEO consultants are the same. It then becomes an exercise of matching the right businesses with the right type of SEO consultant.
Regardless of who you go with, a good SEO consultant should be an excellent communicator, treat your business like it’s their own, and keep up to date on the evolving SEO industry. SEO is a long-term investment strategy, so work with an SEO consultant that wants to help grow your business and grow with your business.