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5 Tips to Consider When Choosing an SEO Consultant

Proper search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial to the success of your website. Unfortunately, taking the time to learn about SEO while at the same time running a business can be a bit difficult and time-consuming. Many busy business owners find it necessary to hire an outside SEO consultant to aid them in their online marketing efforts. With so many consultants to choose from, it may be difficult to determine who is most qualified for the job. Here are some things to consider.

Ask for Samples and References

One of the most important things to consider when choosing an SEO consultant is the track record of the individual in question. Has he or she ever marketed and earned top rankings for a website in the past? Most SEO consultants can give you examples of their work and should be able to give you the contact information for a past or current client so that you can confirm the validity of the working relationship, even if it is no longer current.

Disregard Guarantees

While your dream may be to earn the #1 spot in Google for your chosen keyword, it is important for you to recognize that this is not always possible. Google’s algorithms change on a regular basis and there is no way anyone can actually guarantee a specific placement within the search engines. It’s not unreasonable to ask for first or second page rankings, but anything more specific is questionable.

Ask About Strategy

While not every SEO consultant is going to outline the step-by-step methods he uses for increasing your rankings, he should be able to tell you about the techniques he uses. Will he edit the tags on your website? Will he utilize social media? Will he start a link building campaign? You have the right to know what techniques will be incorporated into your site’s SEO plan. You also have the right to ask about the techniques your consultant believes are damaging to an SEO campaign.

Review the SEO Consultant’s Website

Ask your SEO consultant for the list of keywords he has chosen for optimizing his own website. Do a Google search for those keywords and see how well his own site ranks. If he hasn’t taken the time to make sure his own website is in good standing, he may not give your website the attention it deserves either.

Consider the Rates

Search engine optimization does take both time and effort. Someone who is charging very little is likely doing very little work or is placing quantity over quality. You need to find someone who can offer you a competitive service package at a reasonable rate. Most times, you’ll get what you pay for and, in this case, less does not equal more.

Take your time and don’t jump to sign a contract with the first SEO consultant you speak with. Make an effort to interview at least 2-3 companies or independent consultants before making your final choice. You’ll be glad you spent the extra time to make a quality choice.

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