How to hire and SEO Consultant
You can get an SEO consultant from anywhere. Throw a stone out your window or post the words “SEO” on LinkedIn and you’ll probably find your inbox flooded with SEO consultants desperate to give you advice.
Anyone looking to hire an SEO consultant needs to know how to separate the good SEOs from the bad – and it’s not just price. In fact, you should never hire based on price.
There is prep work you should do before hiring an SEO consultant.
Before Hiring an SEO Consultant
1. Decide if you need a consultant, a freelancer or an agency.
Each of these are different in their services, pricing and more.
An agency is a done-for-you service, they are generally the most expensive. Agencies are best for businesses that need not just advice but a high level of execution. Agencies are best hired by businesses that have the money to support the cost but may not have a big enough team to execute consistently over time.
Freelance SEO prices vary widely depending on expertise, hours needed and what types of SEO you are asking your freelancer to complete. Commonly, freelancers specialise in one part of SEO over another type such as Technical SEO or link building.
Freelancers are great when you know what you want to achieve and need someone to just execute and take the pressure off you and your team.
SEO Consultants by definition predominantly provide advice and direction. An SEO consultant is generally an expert with many years of experience in SEO. They’re used to direct your internal team, external agency or freelancer towards achieving a particular goal or challenge.
Often an SEO consultant is hired for their deep experience in a niche or industry.
2. Define Your Goals
Before diving in, know what you want to achieve with SEO. Ask yourself:
- What’s the big picture for my business?
- What specific results am I hoping for with a new SEO approach?
- Are there particular SEO tactics I’m interested in?
Getting clear on these points will help you pinpoint the right consultant for your needs.
3. Set Your Budget
Money matters. Before reaching out to potential consultants, figure out how much you can spend. Consider:
- Your current financial resources for SEO efforts.
- Your business’s monthly or quarterly revenue.
- Potential areas where you might cut costs to allocate funds for SEO.
Hiring an SEO Consultant
4. Do Your Homework
Next, it’s time to see who’s out there. Look up SEO consultants and companies online, check out freelance platforms, and ask around in your network.
- Who has the skills and experience I need?
- Who offers services that match my requirements?
- What do reviews and testimonials say about them?
- Can their portfolios or case studies show their expertise?
- How do their fees stack up against each other?
5. Craft a Job Description
Armed with information on your goals, budget, and available services, write a job description that’ll attract the right candidates. It should include:
- The job title, tailored to the services you’re looking for.
- A brief about your business and its SEO needs.
- A rundown of tasks you expect the consultant to handle.
- The skills and experience ideal candidates should have.
- Any additional details like job duration and work scope.
6. Start Connecting
Now, reach out to potential hires. Try:
- Directly contacting consultants via their websites or social media, with the job description in your message.
- Posting the job description in online forums or social media groups.
- Listing the job on employment and freelance websites, then watching for applications.
Make a shortlist of candidates you’re interested in interviewing.
7. Conduct Interviews with Key Questions
Interviews help you delve deeper. Consider asking:
- What SEO strategies do you excel at that would benefit my website?
- How often do you update clients on progress?
- What’s your track record for improving client rankings?
- Are you currently working with any of my competitors?
- How do you steer clear of SEO tactics that Google frowns upon?
This process will lead you to the consultant who best fits your needs, ensuring your website’s SEO is in capable hands.