Deciding you need the services of a search engine optimisation (SEO) consultant to help you rank higher in search pages is a big decision as a small business. You know this is going to cost you money. And this cost can be quite a substantial outgoing relative to other marketing costs. Therefore you really want to choose the right one for the job.
SEO is quite a specialised area and contributes to your overall digital marketing strategy. Having your website working for you in terms of where it is placed within the search results will bring reap rewards in traffic and customers.
But then those of you considering a SEO consultant know this anyway. With that being said, here are some tips for you to consider when you are trying to choose a SEO consultant.
1. Ask them for a quick review of your website. This is what they should do anyway when an enquiry arrives via email in order to assess the work involved. It is important for you that you see what they are saying about your website technically. This would provide an indication of their knowledge. BUT if they are using SEO language throughout this quick audit without explaining what it all means in plain English then I would avoid. Barely anyone outside the field of SEO knows what keyword optimisation, tags, targeted link building, or anchor text is for example. These should be explained to you in plain English. Faced with this terminology you will not know whether your website is a disaster needing loads of work or actually it is not too bad.
2. When you get your quote for the service, find out how many hours work this quote will get you. A rough ball park figure will enable you to compare prices between companies.
3. Find out if there are any guarantees – and if so avoid. No one can guarantee you to be on the first page of Google because no one knows exactly what Google uses to rank each website. We can only use best practises that work at the moment. These may not work in the future if Google changes the way it ranks websites. It is easy to be on the first page of Google for search terms which nobody uses because there is no competition for those terms. That means that very few people will search using those terms and consequently very few people will land on your website.
4. Ask for examples of websites they are working on. Do your own search for terms that you would use to find that service or product. For example, if the website was for a plumber in Edinburgh, search terms that you might use to find this service would be “plumber Edinburgh” or “reliable plumber Edinburgh”. Where the website ranks for these searches will let you see how successful the work has been.
Hope this has been helpful. Get in touch if you need any help:firstname.lastname@example.org
Caroline Phillips is the owner of Alba SEO Services which offers quality SEO services to SME's. Established since 2013, Alba SEO has a track record of success.
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