How to Hire the Right SEO Consultant: A Business Owner’s Guide
You may have seen this before: 90.63% of websites receive no traffic from Google. Planning, executing, and pivoting an SEO strategy is a very time-consuming task, and it’s not easy. Also, how long does it take to see results in SEO?
According to new research, SEMRush estimates 6-12 months for SEO to kick in. So, if you have noticed no change in your SEO in the past three months, it’s probably time to hire an SEO consultant.
Below are the eleven steps you need to follow to hire the right SEO consultant
1. Don’t hire employees, but engage your SEO consultant
Your goal is to free up your time regarding SEO tasks. Time you can use to grow your business and make the big decisions. SEO freelancers are the best option for you. They’ll help you draw and automate your processes, execute tasks, and report on results.
There are financial advantages. Their costs are more realistic and reasonable than employees, and keeping costs down for a new company is one of the keys to survival and growth. Also, hiring freelancers now is straightforward; there are more than 30 freelance websites where you can select and hire for all the specialties you need.
2. Write a compelling job description
If you want the right SEO consultant to come to you, you need to write a perfect job description. So here are my top three recommendations for writing a great job description:
- Clarify the goals: be clear on what SEO goals you need for your business. More traffic is the usual answer, but how much more? Set up the bar and make it happen!
- Vision and mission of your brand: a great SEO expert needs to feel part of your brand and fall in love with it. Explain why you created your brand, the most significant problems you face, what are the ideal customers, why customers are using your service/ product, and what are your long-term goals.
- Compensation: if you want to hire a top expert SEO consultant, you can offer a pay-per-performance compensation plan. If your business needs long-term SEO commitment, invest in a partnership with your SEO consultant.
3. Create an authoritative SEO plan
Instead of checking each page and keyword, Google now checks the topical authority of a website. This means Google spends less time understanding your website keywords and more time nailing down the whole topic you write about. And then it gives an authority score. In other words, great SEOs recommend you to niche down and publish more articles related to your niche and industry. This involves extensive research on your market, competitors, keywords, and topics your SEO needs to write about. You must develop a fully rounded digital marketing strategy, think outside Google and search engines, understand your audience and customers, and include other digital marketing channels.
4. Look for these 5 SEO skills and personality traits
- Google research skills.
Look for their ability to search Google like a boss and not leave any stone unturned.
- Audience & customer research skills.
SEO audiences are potential buyers who will link to your content, share your content, buy from you, and become advocates. An excellent SEO pro knows this and will search all types of audiences for you.
- Content creation strategies.
Once you have a clear idea of the audience to target with your content, it’s time to write the right pieces and make the connections. Look for people who can produce content for different audiences.
- SEO tools mastering.
Please be sure to look for people who know how to use SEO tools and check what they use them for and for how long. Bonus points if you can find someone who built his SEO tool.
5. First impressions count: hire people you like
As a business owner, if you have to spend lots of time mentoring, guiding, and working with these SEO consultants, you might enjoy spending time with them.
6. Consider hiring a Web Developer and Web Designer
The SEO game is a complex beast requiring a diverse skill set. So, when it comes to talented web designers and developers, that’s when you can scale your traffic. They can work with your SEO consultant to go through the SEO technical audit.
7) Decide Between In-House or Outsourced SEO
Based on your aim, financial estimate, and demands, you’ll need to choose between these three options:
In-house experts: In-house SEOs intimately know your business. However, they might take some time to get up that speed as a full-time employee.
SEO freelancers: Freelancers work as third-party contractors. They’re cheaper than employees, but they often work solo. However, the major drawback in this case is their diminished resources and lack of everyday availability.
SEO agency: An SEO agency is a company that performs search engine augmentation, using on-page and off-page optimization strategies and ways to increase a web page's search rankings. They can handle high work volumes and typically bill clients on a predictable monthly retainer.
8) Ask for a Site Audit
Please don't opt for the first SEO specialist; instead, consider at least 3-4 choices of service providers and then choose the best among them.
Consult with them and get informed about their references, case histories, appraisals, and pricing. You can also ask them for a site audit before hiring them.
Look over each provider’s site audit. The right SEO agency will generate the most exclusive in-depth plan for success. The point isn’t to get a free roadmap; it’s to evaluate the SEO experts' programs for your business.
9. Asking your network for recommendations
Your inner circle of trust is your network. Look for a few SEO experts who have worked with other marketing professionals (or business owners) in your network and achieved good results.
You can start with your social media accounts, particularly LinkedIn and Twitter. I suggest a mix of social media postings asking for recommendations and private conversations with people in your network who have worked with an SEO professional.
10. Attending SEO Conferences
This is an excellent opportunity to meet face-to-face with your potential SEO consultant. It’s easier to understand if you can work with this person if there is a good fit for you, your team, and your organization. SEO experts teaching other SEO experts are often the best choice, although they are most probably the most expensive ones to hire.
11. Searching for SEOs on Google
You probably have an excellent first impression of an SEO consultant if you search your local area and pick the top 3-5 results. There is no better way to vet and assess an SEO expert than by checking if the consultant shows up on page 1.
Now that you are ready to make a wise decision when hiring the right SEO consultant, please don't hesitate to let me know if you are considering the option of working with an expert today.
Written by Aaron Rains Sep 22 2023