So you’ve heard all about search engine optimization (SEO) and you want to beef up your website’s ranking in the search engine results. If you don’t have the time or technical expertise to redesign your website, you might consider hiring a consultant to help. However, if you go this route, how do you know what you are buying?
Working with any consultant requires you to do your due diligence. Be sure to review a consultant’s past experience. If they are reputable, they will have no problem providing references and examples of the type of results they can provide. As you review their work, and listen to their approach, be inquisitive. Ask them how they will improve your search engine ranking.
Do your research so you know what to talk about. Make sure your potential consultant adheres to Google’s best practices. A failure to follow those guidelines relegates your site to the bottom of the search rankings. Your potential strategy should consider both on-page and off-page approaches; your consultant’s proposal should consider both of these approaches. Your consultant should also provide a time frame for improvement, with measurable results. Your analytics are a critical component of your overall strategy and need to be incorporated in your SEO approach.
If you have a physical storefront, you may want to increase both website and store traffic. A good SEO consultant can address the issue of localized search results as well. As with any hiring, it is best if you know what you need before you start paying someone. This gets us to the financial framework; determine ahead of time how much your consultant charges and all the particulars about cost, payment deadlines, and ultimately how you gracefully end the relationship.
Your business can grow with proper SEO expertise. However, the onus is on you to know what you need and to be diligent in your evaluation of consultants. You want to spend your money wisely and the work you put in up front pays off when you get the right person for the job.