A professional SEO consultant can help ensure your online visibility exceeds that of your competitors. With the support of a consultant or an SEO agency , you can set your sights on your ideal target audience and time-tested strategies based on intent-focused keyword research.
Want someone to look at your current results and pinpoint areas for improvement? Need help structuring specific tactical aspects of your SEO campaign? An SEO consultant can maximize the potential of your internal team and focus your efforts on high-ROI activities.
Read on to learn more about the value of an SEO consultant and how to hire one.
Why Hire an SEO Consultant? 7 Reasons
Hiring an SEO consultant may feel unnecessary if you already have an SEO team. However, the benefits outweigh the costs. Here are seven reasons to work with an outside SEO expert.
1. Leverage Expert Advice to Increase Leads
If your internal team is focused solely on general SEO, an SEO consultant can hone in on a specific objective, such as lead generation. Organic traffic is a significant driver of conversions and revenue. By partnering with a consultant whose sole focus is to move traffic to conversion points, you can maximize the ROI of SEO and support your growth goals.
2. Draw On Diversified Experience
SEO is one of the most complex and challenging digital marketing fields. Because of the constantly-changing algorithms and rules, emerging trends, and evolving best practices, approaches that worked well just a year or two ago might not produce the desired results today.
Working with an SEO consultant will allow your organization to better adjust to the changing SEO landscape. You can draw on their experience across a full spectrum of markets and industries to solve search visibility issues and other SEO pain points.
3. Expand Your In-House Team Without Adding Headcount
Additional support from an SEO consultant can increase your team’s capabilities so you can introduce improvements more quickly.
Additionally, if your SEO consultant is part of an agency, they can leverage their team to tackle larger projects. Sometimes, the most significant limitation to your SEO success is the lack of resources at your disposal. For example, if you need implementation support, help with SEO content creation , or fresh insights on ranking keyword losses , a team of specialists can help cover any internal resource gaps.
4. Adjust Your Strategy
An SEO consultant might make sense if you feel like your current strategy isn’t generating the results you want. Perhaps clicks aren’t resulting in conversions, or your search engine rankings drop off for some of the most promising keywords you’re targeting. An outside SEO consultant can provide a different perspective so you can pivot your strategy.
For example, an SEO consultant can run an independent SEO audit on your website, which may surface unique optimization opportunities or identify technical barriers that may impact whether search engines are crawling or indexing your website.
5. Future-Proof Your SEO
Focusing on quick gains can lead to headaches when Google releases algorithm updates . An SEO consultant will integrate their big-picture POV into planning, which can prompt a more holistic approach that aligns with Google’s mission to build sustainable SEO success.
6. Cut Through the SEO Noise
The internet is full of bad SEO advice. Too often, I’ve seen companies source their SEO knowledge from different websites. They cobble together a strategy with tactics advertised as essential, only to see their efforts wasted.
An SEO consultant can help you sidestep the misinformation minefield and identify the most effective tactics for your company, providing your team with clear guidelines on what you should implement. They can serve as a trusted advisor to process changes in the search landscape and surface best practices for new situations.
7. Support Your Goals
Struggling to move the needle on your KPM?
A quality SEO consultant can help pinpoint problems and craft a laser-focused strategy to move the needle on the metrics that matter to you. Plus, they can identify additional metrics that are impactful for your industry or goals.
How to Hire an SEO Expert
Not sure where to get started with an SEO consultant? You can opt to create a request for proposals (RFP) and then sift through the applicants or use the following steps to find the right SEO consultant.
1. Create a List of Potential Partners
Use a spreadsheet or other organizational tool to keep track of the SEO specialists you want to investigate and those you’ve already looked into. As you progress through additional steps, take notes so you can share your insights with internal stakeholders and save others from having to duplicate your efforts. Here’s how to do this in Asana .
2. Check Reviews & Industry Awards
Online reviews are a critical form of social proof. Before further researching a prospect, check what others have said about them. Don’t just look at stars, though. Dig into the meat of the reviews. What is it that their customers like about them? What don’t they like? What do the reviews tell you about how they do business? You can find reviews on industry sites like Clutch or just via an agency’s Google Business Profile .
Also, check whether industry insiders have recognized their work. Industry awards show that an SEO consultant is esteemed by their peers.
3. Check Case Studies & Educational Materials
When reading their SEO case studies , ask yourself the following questions:
- Are they showing clear wins with actual data or just puffed-up claims?
- How do they speak about their customers? For example, does the language they use imply collaboration and partnership?
- How helpful or informative are the case studies?
- Are there case studies for businesses like yours?
- Are there case studies for your industry? If yes, what types of results do they show?
- Do the case studies discuss how the partnership between the SEO consultant and the organization worked?
- Do the case studies highlight the SEO strategies the consultant or agency implemented?
If the SEO agency has a blog or knowledge base, visit their articles to get a feel for how they share information. Are they open about SEO, or do they cloak their strategies in jargon? What types of information do they share? Do their educational materials establish them as an expert?
During this process, you may notice that specific consultants make SEO feel difficult or otherwise hard to understand. Identify those willing to openly discuss what they do and how they do it. A partner who invests in your education is committed to helping you succeed.
4. Create a List of Questions
Before starting conversations with SEO experts, brainstorm some baseline questions you want to ask each of the consultants you’ve identified.
Additionally, you’ll want to know:
- Whether they’ve worked with your CMS before
- The level of service they offer
- What platforms they need access to (like Google Search Console and Google Analytics)
- Additional SEO services they can provide
- How they measure success
- Who the point of contact would be
If you have an internal team, see if they have any questions they’d like asked.
5. Set Up a Free Consultation
Once you have an idea of the questions that are most important to you, schedule some free SEO consultations with your potential partners to learn the answers.
Keep track of the answers so you can more easily compare the SEO professionals later. Also, note how the consultant speaks with you and whether the rapport is comfortable. Do they care about you and your business, or are they just trying to make a sale?
Your first few conversations may surface additional questions. Add them to your list so you can ask them during other consults.
6. Narrow the Field Based on Your Findings
Before beginning conversations with stakeholders, cull your list to only share the best candidates.
Alternatively, once you’ve narrowed down your list, reconnect with the agencies that impressed you the most and request a proposal. You can then share these proposals with decision-makers.
Are You Ready to Find an SEO Partner?
Download our ebook to get all the tools & templates you need to build a robust RFP process and find the perfect SEO partner.
- SEO RFP Template: How To Find The Best Agency
- How Much to Spend on SEO: Budget Strategies That Fit Your Business
- How to Outsource SEO & Find the Best SEO Partner for You
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