Finding a good SEO consultant for your business can be a complex task because the concept of SEO is itself complex.
On the most likely chance that you’re not an SEO consultant yourself, it can prove difficult for you to know which SEO consultant to hire, what to expect from the SEO expert, and how to judge their reporting results.
Assuming you have basic knowledge about SEO which led you to find a ‘good’ SEO consultant, let me use your beginner skills and educate you about everything you need to get the best SEO consultant fit for your company.
Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
- How Good Of An SEO Consultant Do You Need: An Affordable Beginner Or An Expensive Expert?
- Where To Find A Good SEO Consultant?
- Hiring Guide To Get The Best SEO Consultant
- What parts of SEO will you be responsible for?
- What SEO strategies do you use?
- Are they working for the businesses that pose competition to you?
- How long should you wait to expect results?
- Can you provide a guarantee for SEO rankings?
- Do you have any case studies I can take a look at?
- How available can you be?
- How will you report to the business?
- Have you worked with a similar business before?
- What should I ask you in this interview assuming I have no SEO knowledge?
How Good Of An SEO Consultant Do You Need: An Affordable Beginner Or An Expensive Expert?
Do you really need a great SEO expert?
That’s the first question you need to consider yourself.
SEO consultants can bring wonders to a business’ marketing, sales, and revenue.
However, great SEO experts can be expensive. They need bigger paychecks and better conditions, which they repay with better results.
Fresh SEO consultants are affordable and still reliable because they’ll still be providing your business with a boom in profits with their SEO skills.
The only distinction is their price.
Beginner SEO consultants tend to charge under $75 an hour, while expert SEO consultants go for $250 an hour.
The average rate of an SEO consultant is $150 an hour.
My recommendation: If this is the first time your business is looking for an SEO consultant, go for a beginner one. However, if you’ve had at least a year of employing SEO consultant(s), go for an SEO expert now.
To assist you to compare better, let’s take a look at what to expect from SEO consultants.
Understanding your business objectives
Being an SEO consultant is a subjective job. There aren’t any rules to the job that an SEO expert should follow amazingly to be a good SEO consultant.
Businesses can have different goals; profit maximization, revenue maximization, market share improvement, increased internet traffic, etc.
A beginner SEO consultant can be good at helping your business with SEO 101 goals, by doing everything by the book, however, a good SEO expert can take your business objectives individually and provide results by prioritizing them.
Making the best use of your USP
Every business has a different USP that they use to attract customers from their competition. The USP of that business could be anything from lower prices to the best quality in town.
A beginner SEO consultant can use the USP in addition to all the good things your business provides and attract fresh clients, but only an expert SEO consultant can leverage your USP to the extent of attracting clients away from your competition.
Being a great teacher
Doing SEO isn’t a one-man job. You need an SEO team to see great results in your business.
The sales team, content writers, digital marketers, and many other roles at your business will be dependent on the decision an SEO consultant makes for the business.
A beginner SEO consultant can do their job well individually, but an expert SEO consultant can educate and teach the objectives of the business to the roles that are dependent on them.
This way, your business will not only benefit from the SEO consultant’s role but the productivity of other roles dependent on them will also be increased.
Practicality and honesty when it comes to results
Fresh SEO consultants can’t guarantee their results in advance. Their job is dependent on the behaviour of your target market.
This is where a beginner SEO consultant will play the trial-and-error game, trying different techniques of SEO, some of which may work, while some of which don’t.
However, a good SEO consultant can use their experience to know which strategies can work for your business and guarantee results.
They will be more practical with their SEO strategies and educate you honestly about the results you should expect.
A beginner SEO consultant may offer a mix of false expectations, failures, and coincidental success to your business.
Where To Find A Good SEO Consultant?
Now that you know what you’re looking for, let’s look into the gateways of finding a good SEO consultant.
The most common and effective route is visiting job portals.
Go to sites like LinkedIn and Indeed and post vacancies online.
Additionally, use the social media network of your business and post vacancies there as well.
Ask Around Your Employees
SEO-related people tend to have a network of SEO specialists. Content writers, developers, and digital marketers, these people may have friends that work as SEO specialists.
Hiring a mutually known person can also improve connectivity among the mutual employees benefitting the business.
Browsing The Best SEO Experts
If you’re looking for the best of the best, these sites have lists of top SEO consultants with reviews.
Hiring Guide To Get The Best SEO Consultant
With the above-mentioned methods, you should receive many job applications for the vacancy of an SEO consultant.
Now comes the hard part, filtering out the best of the best SEO consultant from all the options that you just received.
To ensure that, let’s break the hiring process into 3 steps: Shortlisting, Interviewing, and Hiring.
With the vacancies that you received, prioritize the applications that:
- Include a good cover letter
- Include a featured case study or website
- Include experience with businesses relating to your niche
Keeping the above things in mind, shortlist the employees that may fit great for the role and call them in for interviews.
Interviewing SEO consultants involves asking great questions that can help you understand which SEO consultant is truly the best that you can trust.
Here’s what you need to ask them:
What parts of SEO will you be responsible for?
An SEO expert should be an all-rounder. If the interviewee focuses on just one aspect of SEO, e.g. content optimization, this could be a red flag.
What you need is an SEO expert who can be responsible for all your business’ SEO needs.
- Link building
- Content optimization
- On-page SEO
- Content marketing
- Technical SEO
- Keyword strategy
- Website analytics
- SEO Audits
What SEO strategies do you use?
SEO consultants have strategies that they’re profound at. Your role is to check if they align with your business and helps you achieve your goals.
Bearing in mind their SEO strategy, you need to communicate with your own business processes and applications that you use.
Your business can only succeed when both your processes can be merged with each other to bring out the best results.
Are they working for the businesses that pose competition to you?
It is extremely important to only consider SEO consultants that are not hired by any other businesses that are actively or can potentially give competition to your business.
SEO consultants tend to work for multiple clients at the same time so this situation could be likely.
You should not consider any SEO consultant that has any conflicts of interest with you.
If they try to prove themselves to be more beneficial, in a way that they’re already working for your competition which can put you at an advantage by knowing what your competition is doing, do remember the tables can always be turned and the SEO consultant might provide more advantage to the competing business as well.
How long should you wait to expect results?
The best SEO consultants can only provide great improvement in organic SEO growth after at least 3 months.
If the interviewee promises it under that margin, you should understand that you’re probably being lied to.
The first few months can only provide minimal analytics for trends. If it doesn’t go worse than before, you have no reason to doubt your SEO consultant.
The actual results will only come after 3 months.
Can you provide a guarantee for SEO rankings?
This is a trick question. The answer you should expect should be around a no.
SEO ranking isn’t an aspect that you can do by the book and can expect guaranteed results.
SEO is variable and technical. A good SEO expert can minimize risks but can still never guarantee results.
SERP algorithms are extremely technical and ever-changing.
To minimize risks, you should find the qualities of being experienced, knowledgable, and adaptable in an SEO consultant.
Do you have any case studies I can take a look at?
You shouldn’t consider an SEO consultant without a case study unless you’re going for a beginner.
Case studies help you with proof of success that the interviewee has had with other businesses, boosting your confidence and bringing practicality to expectations.
How available can you be?
SEO consultants rarely work in-house, which means you may be getting divided attention.
And if that attention is from someone foreign, time zones may clash and you may get a barrier on urgent availability.
Since SEO rarely requires urgent availability, this shouldn’t be a deal breaker for you, but you should communicate your availability expectations beforehand.
How will you report to the business?
SEO consultants NEED to report the business with analytics and insights regularly.
Reporting should be done on a routine basis and the SEO consultant should be expected to explain every aspect of the report to their supervisor. Even the bad parts.
Have you worked with a similar business before?
Since SEO consultants work with many businesses, there could be a good chance of finding an SEO consultant that has worked in your niche.
Always prioritize an SEO consultant that has a good case study working in your niche.
What should I ask you in this interview assuming I have no SEO knowledge?
This is a brilliant interviewing question that can outline the strengths and weaknesses of the interviewee.
Interviewees will tend to provide you with questions you should ask them that they can answer confidently and are really good at.
These are their strengths.
If they miss an important question, you can outline that as a weakness they’d rather not be asked for.
Using the above-mentioned techniques, shortlist the best individuals for the hiring process.
Now comes the time you need to select the employee that works most practically for you.
Here are the two aspects that can help you find the best hire.
SEO consultants need time to be judged. Since the initial months are a process, your contract should at least involve 6 months of engagement.
If you’re considering a long-term approach, prioritize employees offering contractual consulting instead of month-to-month.
Cancellations are likely when dealing with SEO consultants for many reasons. What you need to make sure of is that you never feel forced into this relationship because the cancellation seems risky.
The key aspect you should focus on is that you have all the control if you are to cancel this relationship. All the digital assets, progress, and benefit should be owned by you.
That’s all you need to know as a beginner at SEO to hire the best SEO consultant fit for your brand.
Good luck with the upcoming process!
Interested in more? Check out How Much To Charge For Local SEO?