Finding help for your SEO project
If you're looking for SEO help, you've, undoubtedly, encountered outrageous, too good to be true claims from genius SEO gurus. But just about anyone can brand themselves an expert, and that poses a real challenge. Success in SEO requires someone you trust leading.
Now, I've been doing SEO for more than 10 years. So, I'd like to think I have a pretty good sense by now of what it takes to find the right SEO company or consultant for your project.
I'll let you in on a secret. The best SEO company is the one that fits your specific needs. You can hire a resource to provide you with a list of recommendations or an entire team capable of executing on the strategy that they develop.
Let's explore how to identify and evaluate the right SEO company or consultant for your project.
Now, as you know, search engine marketing has the potential to bring incredible amounts of traffic to your website.
Because of this, it's quite possible that you'll see a return on investment if you hire the right professional, and provide them with enough time to demonstrate success. There are hundreds of factors, which determine how websites rank, and there isn't one flip a switch type answer. Because of this, SEO requires a lot of effort and a lot of experience to drive meaningful results. This can come at a significant cost. So, before you move towards hiring a professional, consider your budget. The implementation costs will be dependent on how much work is needed to achieve your desired result.
Consider your budget
This is all about how well the technical aspects of your site are built, how large your site is, the competitive landscape, what your traffic goals are, and more. Anticipate small projects costing at least €1,000 per month and scaling from there. If you can't afford a high quality SEO, you'll find more success in self-studying SEO than paying for cut-rate work. Take a look at the SEO training courses provided on lynda.com for a good starting place. A typical search engine optimizer will charge to audit your site, to build the strategy, and a monthly retainer to track your performance, and if necessary, implement your changes.
Start your SEO project now!
The earlier you introduce your SEO to the project, the better. If you're about to redesign a website, implement a new technical feature, or add a product to your website, bring them on board so they can provide you with a strategy early on.
It's never too late, but undoing bad SEO can add to the cost. Now, I'm going to give you some questions to ask as you evaluate a consultant, but before that, let's talk about some major red flags that should always be avoided.
5 SEO red flags to consider
First, true SEO professionals will not provide you with any guarantees.
There is more to SEO than earning a number one slot and firms that promote themselves by guaranteeing a number one slot for a certain amount of keywords are highly suspect. Your SEO should provide you with an honest overview of the type of improvements you're likely to see. These improvements can take several months to really kick into gear.
Second, your SEO should not encourage you to participate in a link exchange or use pages of your site to include links to other sites, under the premise that it'll increase your rank. All this does is build a link farm and further dilutes the authority of your site.
Third, there is no such thing as instant results. It's alluring to see a €700 SEO special with an instant result guaranteed, but real SEO takes a lot of work, and that expertise will come at a premium. If you can't afford a high quality SEO, you might find more success in self-studying SEO than paying for a quick fix SEO agency.
Fourth, avoid anyone who claims to have a special relationship with Google or premium directory services.
Google doesn't accept payment or provide anyone with a fast lane to SEO success. Now, some SEOs might have relationships or resources in Google, or be affiliated in one-way or another, and that isn't a bad thing. Just know that there aren’t any special treatment options.
Fifth, there is no one size fits all approach. A package deal that provides you with 10 keywords, three guaranteed top ten results and 15 backlinks is nothing more than a scam. Real SEO involves a unique strategy for your specific scenario.
So, those are the major red flags. Fortunately, there are a lot of very qualified and talented SEOs out there ready to take your business to a new level.
So, how do you find a good SEO?
Well, you can start your search on LinkedIn or Twitter by asking your network for any recommendations or seeing if you're connected to anyone in the industry. Talk with colleagues in a similar industry to see if they've had success with an SEO, because some of the best referrals come from people who have had positive experiences with their consultant. On LinkedIn, you can get involved in the Inbound Marketers group or the Digital Marketing group, for example.
Take a look at conferences and see who's presenting. If the conference is notable, the speakers are likely vetted and a good starting point. Even if those speakers are out of your price range, they might recommend you to someone else. You can always reach out via email or Twitter to engage in initial conversation. As you build your short list, take the following into consideration. Does the SEO have any relevant examples related to your industry? Has the SEO been in business for a while? How many years of experience do they have? Ask what tools and resources they use.
They shouldn't have any problems being transparent with you. Ask to talk to a customer that they have worked with for at least six months, but preferably a year. You want to make sure the client's success hasn't faded. From there, dig deeper into the qualities of the person or the agency, get a sense of any reviews on the web, if they're contributing to SEO education, and take a look at their LinkedIn profile. You're looking for people who have been in the related industry for a while. Finally, evaluate a person or team on their entire offering.
Don't focus only on price or exclusive experience. There are a lot of expensive agencies that do terrible work, and there are plenty of well-studied beginners who can bring a lot of value to your process. Hiring an SEO is a big decision. The wrong SEO might make things worse, so do your due diligence and be thorough in your research. Thanks for checking in this week. As always, I'd love to hear from you, so follow me on Twitter @WMXpert, and let me know how you're approaching your next SEO project?