How To Hire An SEO Expert In A Few Easy Steps
Is your website ranking well on search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo? Or does it feel like your customers don’t even know that you exist? When you have great search engine visibility, it boosts visits to your website and eventually leads to increased brand awareness and higher sales. We know that business owners lack the time and technical expertise to work on search engine optimization (SEO) themselves. That is why we’ve compiled a guide on how to hire an SEO expert so that you can stop worrying about how well your business is doing online. If you’re not sure where to start or what questions to ask, you’ve come to the right place.
Read on as we discuss a few easy steps.
Easy Guide On How To Hire An SEO Expert
Here are a few ways to help you get started, starting with why you should understand SEO yourself.
Learn The Basics of SEO
The first thing you should do is have a basic understanding of SEO yourself. That way you’ll know how well your expert is working so that if something goes wrong you understand why. Look up some of the beginner’s guides when it comes to SEO and learns about why links matter, why content is important, and maybe even invest in some auditing software to see how well your site is doing.
SEO is not a one size fits all endeavor, so make sure you have the basics down so that you and your prospective expert can create a plan that meets your needs.
Choose A Consultant or Agency
Should you hire SEO experts or an agency? Let’s discuss the difference between the two. A solo SEO consultant is typically someone who works on their own and helps companies increase their organic traffic using strategy and specific recommendations.
An agency, on the other hand, is a team of several different people including strategists, account managers, writers, and more. They also have specific SEO and pay-per-click experts to help execute some of their strategies.
Whether you choose a solo expert or an agency depends on the capabilities and resources you currently have. You might need some specific recommendations and want a single point of contact to help make things happen, or you might be looking for a full-service team to help manage all of the things you’re ready to implement.
Hire Someone Who Knows Your Industry
We’ve said it before, but SEO is not a one-size-fits-all service. Different strategies will need to be implemented for different businesses and industries. Your target market and the competition you’re facing will determine what needs to happen for your business. When it comes to how to hire an SEO expert, you’ll want to choose someone who understands your business and the best ways to make sure you’re ranking competitively.
Make sure you’re hiring someone who knows how to implement SEO strategies for local businesses and larger companies alike. SEO for an international marketplace with millions of pages in Google’s index is different from doing SEO for a small local shop. The tactics are different and so are the results, so you’ll want to make sure they have experience in both. They’ll have fresh ideas on how to help you no matter what size your business is.
Ask The Right Questions
Once you’ve got the basics down and know what kind of expert you’re looking for, you’re ready to start speaking with potential providers. It’s important that you ask the right questions so that you can find the right person who might be the best fit. Even if the business you want to work for is the best in the world, their work style might not suit yours, and the experience will be uncomfortable from the start.
You’ll want to be on the same page with frequency and type of communication about work that is getting done as well as when reports and analytics are getting submitted. Ask your SEO expert about whether they require a minimum contract. Typically a 3 to 6-month contract is common as it can often take at least this long to see results.
Ask them about whether they implement the work or services themselves or do you need to hire someone yourself. You’ll also want to ask them about their rates, how they bill, and when they expect payment. Knowing all of this and getting on the same page with your potential expert will help you create a more successful long term relationship.
Get To Know Who You Will Be Working With
Just like with any company providing services, they all work differently and have different structures. No two agencies work the same. Align yourself with a company that has a similar working style as you. If you work quickly and need one on one support often, you might be frustrated with a large agency who takes days to respond.
When you’re considering hiring a potential SEO expert, ask them directly what their strategy is. Ask them how they communicate, how often they will communicate with you, how quickly they will respond to you, and who will be your primary point of contact.
It might also be a good idea to see how many other clients they have at one time. If they have a lot of clients, you might not get their undivided attention as often as you’d like. However, the more clients they have, the more experience they have, which means you can trust their strategy. A lot of people choose to work with a seasoned solo consultant because you know who is doing the work, you know that you can call them directly, and they can give you a little more attention than a larger agency might.
Set Reasonable Expectations
The next tip we have when it comes to how to hire an SEO expert is to set reasonable expectations. If you’re not a marketer yourself, and you’re new to how SEO works, then you might not be aware of how long it takes to see results. Ask them their processes and their methodology so that you know how long things will take. From setting up systems, what needs to do before campaigns can go live, and more.
The best SEO consultants and agencies will always try to under promise and over deliver with your website results. They will help you set realistic expectations so that you know what to expect to see and when. SEO is a constantly changing industry, so sometimes strategies need to be reworked. Great client and agency relationships can get cut short before your success really takes off because realistic expectations weren’t set on both sides.
Do Your Research and Look For Positive Reviews
Lastly, we always recommend that you do a little bit of research and look for reviews or talk to current and past clients to get a fresh perspective. If they don’t have any former clients or the only things that you find are negative reviews, that might be a red flag.
Hiring an SEO expert or agency can seem like a hard task, and it might take a little while to find the right fit. But with a little bit of research, you can have a great relationship that brings success to you and your business.
Hopefully, we’ve helped you with how to hire an SEO expert so that you can elevate your business presence online. If you’re feeling ready to hire, contact me today. I’d love to help answer your questions about SEO and why you need it. Even if I’m not the right fit, I can still give you some great recommendations.