Finding the Best SEO Consultant for Your Brand
A cursory search of the phrase ‘SEO Consultants’ will bring up a wide range of companies. But how do you determine which is the best SEO Consultant for your brand?
Finding the best SEO Consultant should be as unique as your brand. Every brand/business has different goals, different levels of SEO knowledge, and different budgets. When you’re searching for the right fit you’ll want to keep a number of things in mind to help narrow down the search and make finding the right SEO Consultant a much easier process.
Things to Consider When Choosing the Best SEO Consultant for Your Brand
determine seo Budget
SEO budget is a big consideration. A small business will likely have a much more restrictive budget than a medium or large business.
One thing to keep in mind as you determine your budget is that SEO should be viewed as a worthwhile investment, just like a website or any other part of your marketing strategy.
In fact, some may argue that investing in SEO is far more worthwhile than many of the preferred forms of marketing from years past because of the predominance of consumers using search to find what they need.
3.5 Billion searches are performed on Google each day! Source
So how do you determine your SEO budget?
Take this SEO Budget Quiz.
Keep in mind the results you get from the quiz are an estimate to help you come up with an SEO budget that is reasonable for your business. Some companies choose to look at their SEO budget from an annual perspective instead of monthly.
Also, note that many SEO experts will encourage you to sign a contract for a monthly rate. This is not always necessary depending on your goals and willingness to maintain your own SEO.
Often, a one-time, comprehensive SEO Consult customized to your business is enough to get your brand on the right track with routine maintenance periodically.
2. set seo GOALS
Take some time to consider what your SEO goals are. Finding the best SEO Consultant for your specific brand often runs parallel to your ultimate goals.
For example, some companies may want to incorporate a pay per click (PPC) or Google AdWords campaign in their SEO plan.
It’s worth noting that PPC and AdWords campaigns DO NOT affect your SEO.
You read that right. How much you spend or how high you place with a paid campaign does not affect your overall SEO. Why? Because paid campaigns are exactly that, paid. True SEO comes from organic, unpaid efforts that are sustainable.
With paid campaigns once you stop paying you immediately lose your placement to someone else who is paying for the spot. So you can begin to see how a factor like PPC can affect how you choose an SEO Consultant for your business. If you want to include PPC as part of your overall online marketing strategy you can either hire an SEO Consultant AND a PPC Consultant, or look for an SEO Consultant who has a strong background in PPC campaigns.
Things to consider when setting your SEO goals.
What is your budget? (see #1 above)
Do you want to include PPC in your overall online strategy?
What are your top three main objectives for hiring an SEO Consultant?
At the end of 6 months, 12 months, 18 months, what are you hoping to have achieved?
Make a note of the answers to these questions and have them at hand when you’re ready to start vetting your SEO Consultants. Which brings us to the final section…
3. How to find the best SEO Consultant
The best SEO Consultant for your business is not going to be a one-size-fits-all approach. This is why it’s important to do your research and narrow down a list of 3-5 SEO experts that you can start vetting.
I cannot tell you how many times I have new Clients tell me that they feel like they’ve been scammed by ‘SEO Companies’ who have the Client sign a contract for a monthly fee and after 6 months or so, the Client is left wondering what they are getting for their money every month.
This is obviously not a good scenario. So let’s try to avoid it by starting with some SEO Consultant finding tips.
Tips for finding the best seo Consultants
Conduct a local search as well as a broad search.
If keeping costs low is important to you then it would be wise to include the name of your city or town in your initial searches online. Why? Because quite often local businesses (SEO Consultants included) will have lower rates than the larger national or international companies.
This can be helpful for a number of reasons. 1) you may find someone who has a great recommendation who you can add to your list of SEO Consultants to vet, or 2) you may find someone who has a company who they would NOT recommend. Helping you avoid potential disappointment.
Read published reviews.
Don’t forget to have a look at the SEO Consultant’s Google Business Listing. Do they have reviews from happy customers? Do they have a completed Google Business Listing at all?
(🚩Hint : if they don’t, it may be a red flag as Google listings are an integral part of good SEO) Keep in mind that even if there is the odd <5-star review they are not necessarily unworthy of your time. Not all reviews are 100% fair and unbiased so look at the reviews with a critical eye.
Note : LinkedIn is an excellent place to read Client reviews as well.
Use multiple tools for searching.
Just as you would look at reviews on multiple sites, use multiple search tools for finding the best SEO Consultant. Linkedin, for example is a very powerful search tool for professionals.
Be extra cautious with any SEO Consultant who says:
- They can get you on to page one of Google, guaranteed.
- You have to pay for Adwords in order to appear on page one.
- SEO requires a monthly contract...but they won't give you specific details of their monthly activities.
Once you’ve done your research try to narrow down your list to 3-5 SEO Consultants you want to call or email. Then it’s time to vet them!
4. Vetting SEO Consultants
Having your budget and goals in mind will go a LONG way in helping you know what to ask when you reach out to your list of finalists. Knowing what to ask and what to look for in an SEO Consultant will help you determine which SEO Consultant is best for your business.
questions to ask an SEO Consultant
How long have they been doing SEO? Can they describe what has changed in SEO techniques in the past 2, 5, 10 years?
How do they measure results?
Are they familiar with the platform (CMS) your website is built on?
What sets them apart from others in their field?
Do they have references and/or testimonials?
Can they go beyond the basics? What levels of SEO do they offer?
Do they cover more than what can be found in a Google search on DIY SEO?
Do they have a passion for what they do?
Is SEO their core focus?*
To help you with the vetting process, here are a few additional tools :
Best of luck on your search for the best SEO Consultant for your business!