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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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Tips On How Much You Should Spend On SEO Services

SEO Services CostFor a business to survive in the digital marketing world, it is important to invest in SEO to increase search engine exposure. The challenge when budgeting for SEO services is getting an accurate forecast of how much it will cost.

To get this figure accurately approximated, it is important to understand and appreciate how SEO agencies work so that you can align your needs and requirements to their offers. Below we discuss a few different SEO business models and what you can expect to pay for services from each type of model.

Agency SEO Services

SEO firms employ a variety of business models. The most common model is the monthly retainer arrangement. In this setup, clients pay a set fee each month in exchange for an agreed upon line of SEO services. This usually includes on-site content improvements, regular analytical reports, keyword research, link building, keyword optimization, press releases etc.

Investing in agency SEO services is a popular option because it often offers a better ROI compared to consulting and other models. It is therefore quite ideal for businesses new in the SEO arena, especially online retailers looking for e-Commerce SEO services. Depending on the extent of services provided and size of the business, the monthly retainer ranges between $750 to $5,000 with most businesses paying between $2,500 and $5,000 per month for agency SEO services.

Contact-based SEO Services

Another model is the contract services at fixed prices. In most instances, new businesses which are still not so conversant with this sector tend to pick or select services that they require from an SEO agency and then agree on the price and sign a contract for that particular service.

Most agencies advertise these services such as SEO web audit, social media set-up, SEO copywriting, and content development on their websites. For a task such as SEO web audit, an agency may charge anything between $500 and $7,500 depending on the scope of the project.

Social media set up usually costs $500 to $,3000 while a link profile audit can cost $500 to $7,500. For content creation, SEO copywriting costs between $0.15 and $0.50 per word.

Project-based SEO Services

Another popular model is the project based pricing. This is quite similar to the contract services offered at fixed prices. The main difference between the two is that in project based pricing, the project is normally customized and quite unique to the client whereas in the former the services are quite general.

The pricing therefore varies depending on the project at hand. The price points are usually between $1,000 and $30,000 or even more. Business size and scope of project are key price determinants in this model. Mature businesses that know exactly what they want are the prime candidates for this approach.

Consulting SEO Services

The last SEO business model is the familiar SEO consulting model. In this model, consultants charge an hourly fee in exchange for a wide variety of SEO services or information. These consultants can either be individuals or agencies. They charge between $100 to $300 per hour, depending on their qualifications, experience levels and the task at hand.

Finally, it is important to note that when it comes to SEO services, you should try and desist from going for the lowest price; even though you are at liberty to look for a bargain. This is especially so if the price difference is quite significant from what you are getting from other agencies or consultants. For SEO, you should be keen on getting the best level of service and not be bogged down so much with figures if it is still within your budget.

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