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How to Choose the Right SEO Consultant

Improving your search engine visibility can be crucial to increasing your website traffic, leading to increased brand awareness and more sales and profits. But what if you have neither the time nor the technical expertise to work on your site’s search engine optimization (SEO) needs? It might be time to hire a reputable SEO consultant.

Here are steps and considerations to make as you screen your prospects:

Client References

A good SEO consultant should be willing to provide names and contact details of some of their past and current clients. Be sure to give these references a call, asking about their experience with the consultant you’re considering. They may not give you exact analytics, but they should at least tell you whether their search ranking actually improved and if they are contented with the SEO consultant’s work.

Methods to Be Applied

If an SEO consultant isn’t willing to discuss their methods, find another prospect. Also inquire whether they do “off page” SEO, which is a way of drawing attention to your content using other venues, like blogs and social media.

Webmaster Guidelines Adherence

Choose a consultant who will never violate any of Google’s publicly posted webmaster best practices, which prohibit 12 particular SEO tricks, such as as spamming and the use of hidden text and links. Otherwise, your site could be buried deep down the SERPs or banned altogether.

Guarantees

If you are promised the number 1 spot on Google by any SEO consultant, or they claim they have close insider ties with Google, Yahoo or Bing, flee! You just talked to a scammer.

Being Informed

Search engine optimization usually entails making a few adjustments on your current coding. You should know what specific changes they will make and on which particular web pages. If you want to be informed before any changes are made, tell the consultant.

Measuring Progress

Consultants have to use Google Analytics to obtain and monitor various data, such as your website’s searching rankings, keywords people use when looking for your site, amount of traffic brought to your site from other sites, etc. They have to show you the actual stats and provide an explanation, as well as recommend measures to improve your search ranking on a continuing basis.

Fees

In most cases, SEO consultants are paid $1,000 to $7,500 per project, depending on how complicated the task will be. Some consultants are also paid retainers of around $250 to $5000 or hourly rates that could be anywhere from $76 to $200.

End of Contract

Finally, be sure that the contract includes the picture after it expires or if you want to end it early. Specifically, ownership of all optimized web content should remain yours completely, and they should not change or remove anything up to the last content addition or modification. Whether or not there is a fee for early termination,it should be specified in the contract as well.

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