SEO is not only a useful, but important marketing tool for creating effective brand awareness, improved search engine page rankings and generating increased traffic flow. Why should an SEO consultant be used and how can they help with achieving more effective business growth?
Why Use an SEO Consultant?
Although there is no harm in doing your own research, as there is more than enough available that is useful, SEO consultants specialising in using this marketing tool know and understand the inner workings of SEO, as well as how it can achieve improved website traffic and business growth. The basic principles of SEO are not all that difficult to grasp. In practice, SEO is regarded by many in the business as a far more complex and technical process.
Before consulting with a professional SEO consultant and signing on the dotted line, the following should first be determined:
- What are your online business goals? – Goals can include such factors as building brand awareness and revenue growth etc.
- What challenges does your online business currently have? – Are there functions which will need to be outsourced? Challenges can include whether or not your business has staff that are able to write their own website copy (content), build links or even make technical changes internally.
- Does the SEO consultant have a good level of experience? Is the SEO consultant reputable? Can the SEO consultant verify that previous clients were satisfied with their work and services?
- Is the SEO consultant clear and professional in explaining their services? – How a consultant explains their services and communicates with you is usually a good indication as to the quality of the end result.
Benefits of Using an SEO Consultant
One of the most important things to keep in mind when considering hiring an SEO consultant is how their services will be applied. Any package can promise you the world. It won’t matter what the package promised at the end of the day if SEO is poorly implemented. Results will ultimately reveal the quality of the SEO services.
Some advantages of using an SEO consultant can include:
- Consultants can provide a comprehensive approach to integrating the most effective and current SEO techniques and methods. SEO consultants should be able to advise exactly what methods are needed to best optimise a website, how much time is necessary, what the costs are likely to be and even which agency will best suit your company’s SEO needs.
- Consultants can provide clear goals and objectives with optimising a website. These will be based on tried and tested methods and not the many SEO methodologies or speculative theories that circulate the World Wide Web continuously.
- Consultants can provide increased traffic to a website by making it more visible on major search engines. Keyword services play a vital role in luring traffic to a website. Adequate rankings are not enough. Keywords used must compel an online user or target audience to visit the website.
- Consultants can provide sound advice should an online business’s budget not be high enough to hire a larger agency or company specialising in SEO services.
What Services should an SEO Consultant Offer?
An SEO consultant should offer the following services as part of their package:
- Keyword research
- Optimising existing web pages of a website
- Create or design new web pages where necessary
- Assist with the building up of keyword rich content
- Website submission to major search engines and directories
- Link building
- Revise web pages (existing and new)
- Track website traffic
- Monthly reports
What an SEO Consultant Shouldn’t Do
- Promise that a website will appear on the first position of a major search engine if their services are used.
- Promise that your website’s ranking (i.e.: page rank) will improve to 10 on a major search engine.
Effective SEO techniques make no “quick fix” promises, but provide rather a stable foundation along with the necessary tools from which an online business can steadily climb. This way long term results are far more attainable.
Questions to Ask an SEO Consultant
Some questions to ask include:
- What kinds of changes will be made to my website? – A lot of graphics, flash and complex navigation changes are not suitable for search engine spiders to read.
- What kinds of linking programmes will be used? – FFA (free for all) link exchanges are not ideal.
- What does the pricing model include?
- Are any other internet marketing services on offer? – These can include PPC (pay per click), web analytics, testing, social media (blogs, podcasts and videos), e-mail marketing etc.
There is a way of thinking which suggests that as a business owner “you are only valuable to your customer if they perceive you know more than they do”. Many SEO specialists hold this opinion and many others do not. Some proclaim professionals have turned SEO practices and techniques into a black art, keeping their “secrets to the winning methods” their own.
Regardless, SEO has become an essential marketing tool for any online business owner. The more businesses that make use of this marketing tool, the more the market begins to learn how to better develop its techniques. In so doing, SEO consultants and specialists are virtually cropping up everywhere you look. However which way you view things, good SEO consultants have the experience and a continually growing wealth of knowledge and practice.