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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 Tips for Hiring a Proficient SEO Company That Delivers

SEO is the beginning of your business’s overall web marketing strategy. But when it comes to finding a legit SEO company, many business owners and marketing teams are overwhelmed by the options.

The truth of the matter is, there's a ton of SEO companies out there. And only small fraction of all SEO providers are actually competent and proficient to deliver effective results.

To help you weed-out the weaklings, below are five tips, or questions to ask, that will enable your team to recruit a top-notch SEO company to help your business thrive on the web.

Does the SEO Company have a Previous Client List?

Companies pride themselves on their body of work and the client lists that they are able to compile. The company will have no hesitation in providing a listing of clients. This information will allow you to properly gage their effectiveness while verifying their references.

Can The SEO Company Share Any Google Webmaster Guidelines?

The Webmaster guideline is guide of search engine how they control search quality. Google webmaster prohibits many of the most of the common SEO tricks (auto generating spammy content and hidden links and text). A violation of the guidelines can result in either a ban or a low ranking for the website for a lifetime.

How Many Projects Have Been Made Successful?

Having a previous client list, begins the story. Ask the company how many projects they have handled and how many of them have been successful. Ask for details. Ask what they did to ensure/create success.

How Will The SEO Company Increase My Search Engine Ranking?

Find out how they are going to review your website and remove the issue(s) that is responsible for your current low ranking. Ask how they will implement on-page optimization process to make your site more search engine friendly.

Does the SEO Company Have Any Specialties (i.e. Ecommerce SEO, Local SEO, etc.)

You need to know that the company has a [basic] working knowledge of the industry that you are in. Without that, they will not be able to properly market for you. Those without expertise in your sector of the industry will only spend approximately a month learning your business once a contract is signed. As you well know, it will take more time than that to learn your business and how to properly make it marketable to the public.

The Takeaway

Some SEO companies are even apt to provide their prospective (businesses like you) with free site audits. Although rare, if you can get any sort of preliminary SEO site audit report, this will be a good indicator of the direction the company will take you. This is particularly advantageous in cases of niche SEO, like ecommerce and local SEO.

By using the above as a guide, you will be able to avoid consultants and companies whose objective is to scam businesses out of money. In additional, you will be able to properly decipher who is the best fit for your company and its SEO marketing needs.

SEO can be intimidating, but choosing the proper company does not have to be. Begin with setting a budget and be steadfast in remaining as close to it as possible. Use the tips listed above with the addition of data that can be collected from your IT support companies and current marketing division. Know your demographic and your product and service thoroughly. Do not allow the company to distract you with technical terms. As with anything else in the business world, have them explain it in laymen’s terms. Those that are successful in their careers can explain it with ease to a toddler if need be. Keep that in mind as you drudge through the candidates that are presented to you.

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