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Hiring an SEO Consultant? Ask These 5 Important Questions

Hire SEO Consulting The world of SEO is both amazing and often times perplexing to most marketers. That fact is if you don’t rank on the first page of Google, Yahoo, or Bing, your target customers won’t even know that you exist. Better search engine visibility is vital to boosting your sites traffic and lead potential.

And let’s face it, as a small or medium sized business owner, you don’t have the time to figure out SEO all on your won. Therefore, the next logical step for you is to hire a trustworthy SEO consultant to lend hand. Solid SEO consultants are professionals that offers years of hands on experience and can help with a variety of SEO needs, spanning from keyword research and strategy development to generating links and building authority in your site.

Before you hire just any self-proclaimed SEO expert, it’s best to educate yourself on basics of SEO. A little bit of knowledge can be of great help when prospecting for potential SEO consultants, as you will be in a much better position to understand the industry jargon and the nature of SEO best practices.

Here are five essential questions to ask when considering investing in SEO consulting services and programs.

1. How Long Have You Been Doing SEO?

It’s important to ask your prospective SEO consultant about his/her industry experience. It’s better to hire a consultant who’s years of hands on experience in SEO as they have access to necessary techniques and tools that can get you desired results within a short time.

2. How Do You Approach Link Generation?

Just as SEO consultants in US can vary in expertise and quality, even individual SEO strategies can also vary. Link generation is an important part of SEO as it directly affects ranking of a website. Some link generation strategies might strictly fit with Google or Bing guidelines while others may not. This can even harm your website in the long run.

Therefore, make sure you fully understand the plans of your consultant about your website. There can be many long term ramifications of poor SEO work. Transparency is important, and if your potential SEO consultant cannot describe their strategies in terms which you can easily understand or can’t explain you rewards and risk that come along with each of these techniques, you might want to continue your search.

3. How Do You Price Your SEO Services?

You should be clear right from the beginning on how much you’ll be charged and in what way. Some consultants like to be paid hourly, by project or by retainer. Most contract projects range between $1000-$10,000 according to Moz’s 2012 pricing survey of more than 600 SEO firms. Project based payments are popular in the SEO consulting industry, and they can vary widely. The exact amount depends on project’s complexity and size.

In SEO consultant industry, the most common retainers range between $200-$800 a month on the lower end and $2,000-$6,000 a month on the higher end, while the hourly rates range between $60-$240.You should clarify everything beforehand.

4. Do You Outsource Any Of Your SEO Work?

Sometimes even reputable organic SEO consultants outsource some of their work (usually link building) to other SEO companies, or in the worst cases, to cheap labor overseas. In such a scenario, you will have less control on the quality of work that is being done on your website. Make sure consultant you’re talking to will be the one that’ll actually be doing the work.

5. How Do You Stay On Top Of Changes in the SEO Profession?

Search engines constantly make adjustments to the way they determine keyword rankings. Sometimes large amount of changes can happen without much notice. For instance, Google kicked up its war against spam into high gear and released various updates to their algorithm- in particular, several versions of Panda and Penguin.

These major updates would continue for years and you need to know that your Traverse City SEO consultant knows all this and can build a strategy that won’t get you penalized by any of these updates down the road.

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5 Characteristics That Define Proficient SEO Companies for 2015

SEO best practices are continuously changing as search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing introduce new algorithm changes to improve the quality of search results. Parallel to these ongoing changes, SEO companies are also working adapt to new changes and trends in search marketing and tailor their strategies accordingly.

Proficient SEO

To help weed-out the weak SEO providers from the legit, here are the top five characteristics that define top-notch SEO companies for 2015.

1. Creative Content Marketing

Google has upped the game in content marketing, gone are the days when you could boost your site rankings by simply creating hidden links and keyword stuffing the content. Modern SEO methods require website owners to develop unique content that not only describe your area of specialization but also help in educating the online masses.

A top-rate SEO company should help you achieve this in a simple and engaging way. The content generated by the SEO experts should be original and well optimized in terms of keyword density. Focus should also be put in ensuring that the content adds informational value to the readers.

2. Social Media Savvy

Have you ever thought of integrating your social media pages by creating content that reflects your audience’s social interests? Simply linking your social media sites to your web pages is not enough. Google and other search engine programs like and would definitely rank your website high if you do professional integration of social media by creating content that augur well with your followers’ interests.

A good example is integrating your social media followers who are mainly young men in their late teens and early twenties by linking them to your web pages that talk of new fashion trends for teens or partying events around them. It will be absurd to link such an audience to a web page talking of aging symptoms. Top-rated SEO companies can create content that reflects the life and deeds of your social media followers.

3. Powerful, Quality-focused Link Building

Search Engine Result Page (SERP) rankings hugely depend on how well you utilize link building. Emerging trends require strong relationship building with your clients for your website rankings to rank even higher.

As the technology and methods change, your company needs to be flexible and adaptable enough to roll with Google’s initiatives that require your relationship building links to be powerful, of high quality and most importantly fast to load. Your links should be always faster to load and the alluring to the online masses.

4. Technical SEO & Mobile-friendliness

Just recently Google introduced new algorithms for mobile-friendly sites that use responsive design techniques. Google recommends Responsive Design and actually gives a well deserved boost in the rankings to Responsive sites. Such new chip in practices is what your website(s) need as you look for better rankings in 2015 and beyond.

Proficient SEO companies are working tirelessly to cope with these new changes that will ensure top rankings for your web pages. Technical SEO is also changing with time as more smart ideas are integrated to bring in much better results in web marketing.

5. Consultants & Advocates

SEO companies should do more than providing services to increase rankings. The best SEO providers are consultants and advocates in internet marketing methods. They should know the most recent SEO strategies and guide website owners on how to make effective use of the methods. Top SEO companies have updated systems that pick on the latest changes on the Google search landscape and advice their clients accordingly.

Hopefully, these 5 tips on the characteristics that define proficient SEO practices for 2015 will help you become a better SEO company. Always check on the latest Google updates on the ever-changing SEO strategies.

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5 SEO Business Models to Diversify Your Company's Revenue Streams

SEO Business ModelsThere is no doubt that search sends more traffic to your website. In fact, it is about 300 percent more than the social media site. Due to this reason most companies are accepting the importance of SEO.

SEO gives your website and business the opportunity to reach out to the potential customers. Here are some of the top five models for you.

1. In House SEO

In house SEO is mainly for those people who are looking for a full time position in one company. Your work will involve both maintaining and managing the company’s SEO. You will work for one company and handle all the work related to SEO.

Apart from this, you will also look after the strategies and implementation. In fact, this is your one and only responsibility within the company. You will also work such a company that understands the importance of keyword optimization. It is a good start off job for any SEO professional to learn and acquire the knowledge.

2. Agency SEO

The agency SEO business model is suitable for those who don’t want to take this as a full time profession, but want variety of clients as well as work. It is quite similar to in house SEO, the only difference is that work will be through an agency. This means you don’t need to deal with everything on your own.

Agency SEO involves a huge variety in client type as well as work. Since the agency involves a lot of people, you will work only as a team and lean more about SEO practices and trends. If you are looking to get more knowledge about SEO or specialze in a specific area, such as ecommerce agency SEO, this model is just for you.

3. SEO Consultant

People who love variety in their work, but still look for independence should consider following the SEO consultant business model. Like the agency, a consultant also works with a different client and deals with a wide range of SEO services.

As a SEO consultant, you will be in your own charge that means you can take up any projects that suits you best. It will also give you a huge investment return since it involves low investment. As an individual, you also get the chance of building your brand and starting your own company.

4. Rental SEO

Professionals who like flipping websites just as flipping houses needs to consider rental SEO. It works like buying a house for a low price and selling it a higher price. Even though you work as an individual you don’t actually provide services to businesses.

Your work involves offering products that other businesses need to buy. Those who are good at writing and designing their own website, the concept of renting website is a good idea. Interestingly, these websites are not created for any particular business, but for a profitable niche. If one client bids goodbye, you surely get another to pay the revenue.

5. SEO to SEO

Professionals who have good depth of knowledge regarding SEO and have time to give this knowledge back to the SEO community need to try out this business model. If you are into this business for a long time and have sufficient knowledge about it, you can give it back to those who are new.

Apart from this, you can also give back information that you feel the newbies in this field needs. Since it is about SEO to SEO you can skip working with companies and try to become an SEO expert or professional.

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