How (and When) to Hire an SEO Expert
So you’ve realized how important SEO is to your overall marketing plan. Now it’s time to tackle the great unknown. If you feel lost when it comes to optimizing your website, you’re not alone. Many businesses struggle to understand how SEO works beyond a basic understanding of what SEO actually is.
Before you beat yourself up, you should take solace in the fact that SEO is a constantly evolving, ever-changing practice. It would be a daunting, near impossible task to try to master it in its entirety while holding down a full time job in something else. But before you throw in the towel on your website’s SEO for lack of time or knowledge, consider this:
What is the point of investing in an amazing website if it doesn’t drive traffic to your business?
The answer is, very little.
With few exceptions, most businesses need more than a pretty online brochure in today’s competitive online environment. SEO was once a ‘nice thing to maybe look into someday’ but is now a very necessary element of any solid website.
Whether you’ve had your site built in Squarespace, Wordpress, Wix or another platform, SEO is an independent element that will, if done properly, turn your website investment into a contributing factor in your overall growth and bottom line.
When to hire an SEO Expert
So now that you know that the advanced SEO you want and need is beyond your time, capabilities or general sanity level, it’s time to look for an SEO expert to help. But how do you go about finding and hiring said SEO expert?
Let’s start with my super high tech SEO flowchart graphic.
Where did you end up? If you ended up at the ‘DIY/e-Course’ option you may be in a position to learn most of what you need to know from an e-course and then implement those SEO techniques on your site.
Doing SEO yourself can be empowering but it can also be frustrating. Some SEO techniques require more than a basic knowledge of coding. You may find you understand the concepts but struggle to implement them on your site.
Start with an e-course designed to cover the foundations of SEO and gauge your comfort level from there.
SEO Sources You can Trust
With a cursory Google search you can find a plethora of articles on SEO best practices, SEO checklists, and SEO guides. However, not all “experts” and sources of SEO information are created equal. How do you know which sources are worth your time and will actually yield results?
If you decide to do SEO yourself, you will want to look for an e-course or information written by someone who knows what they are talking about. Not just a blog regurgitating information from larger news aggregators.
Ask questions of the source.
Find out how they come up with their course materials.
How often the e-course is updated?
Are they are available to answer questions afterwards?
Signing up for an e-course or paying for a white paper on SEO basics can be a great way to find out if you are geared up for the ongoing maintenance required of implementing solid SEO on your website.
If you feel like you have the time, knowledge level and wherewithal to carry on after taking an e-course, continue to a more advanced course for more in-depth techniques to edge out your competition in the search engines.
Carry on learning and evolving because SEO is not a once-and-done project. Who knows, maybe you have a future career in SEO implementation!
Keep in mind that even if you have just a few questions or run in to a road block or two in your SEO DIY journey, many SEO experts will offer their services on an hourly rate as well.
Don’t Want to DO SEO Yourself?
Perhaps you don’t need an e-course or pages of research to realize you simply don’t have the time or interest to do SEO yourself. Or if you’re pulling your hair out, feeling hopeless, lost and confused despite your best efforts to follow along on an SEO e-course you’ll want to concede and hire an expert to help.
Whatever you do, do not shrug off your site SEO. It is most definitely worth the investment to have the work done.
Any SEO expert worth their word will be able to provide you with results and guide you on how to track progress from implementation of their SEO recommendations.
What to Look for in an SEO Expert
The best way to find an SEO expert who can actually deliver results for your business is to interview a few options. Below is a list of questions to ask an SEO expert before hiring them. Just because you don’t understand SEO in great detail or depth, doesn’t mean you can’t make a good choice when hiring an expert in the field.
How long have they been doing SEO? Can they describe what has changed in SEO techniques in the past 2, 5, 10 years?
How to 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?*
* I recommend asking this question because in order to stay up-to-date on the most current SEO rules, regulations, and best practices, you have to spend a lot of time in continued learning and research on the subject. It is a practice that evolves rapidly with the advancements in technology.
Ultimately hiring an SEO expert is like hiring most freelancers. You have to feel good about the person you are investing your money with. That being said, there are A LOT of folks out there trying to make a quick buck selling recycled and outdated SEO techniques that can easily be found through a Google search on the topic. When you hire a professional make sure you’re getting the depth of knowledge and modern standards you are paying for.
Remember, SEO is not a once-and-done endeavor.
Understand that regardless of whether or not your do your own SEO through e-course learning or hire a professional to do the research and implementation for you, results are not immediate and they are not static.
The best results are well thought out, customized to your brand/business and require ongoing efforts for the best results. If you can commit to that yourself or through a professional your website will thank you for it, and so will your boss.
Ready to take the next steps and optimize your website for search engines?
Start a self paced e-course or pass go and hire a pro.