The Importance Of Organic Traffic For Your Business
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is becoming more critical than ever before, and if you own a business or work in the Marketing department of a company, then you know that driving qualified traffic to your site can be difficult. However, organic traffic is starting to see growth among traffic sources because paid media like PPC management and Paid Social Marketing is becoming more expensive. Many business owners are looking to SEO marketing to help counter rising costs, and hiring an SEO consultant can help achieve these goals.
Organic search accounts for over 50% of all traffic most companies see on their site, and some experts predict that SEO services will be a $79 billion a year industry by 2020. Many companies turn to professional SEO marketers to help capture marketing opportunities to make full use of their available market.
While you may know the importance that SEO has in your overall business, there can be a gap between knowledge, action, and results. Some business owners don’t have the time to learn SEO marketing on their own, and these people could risk leaving a lot of money on the table by not implementing the correct strategies.
On the other hand, some Marketing departments need additional help for short-term projects, and while they are not looking for long-term contracts, they could fail to hire the right freelance SEO marketer if they do not know what to ask for.
This is why it is essential for you to know what to look for when hiring an SEO marketing agency. Whether you are looking for a long-term partnership to help your business or a short-term SEO consultant for a specific project, then you will need to know how to hire an SEO expert.
1. Understand Basic SEO
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when hiring an SEO consultant is not knowing basic SEO principles. Even though you don’t need to be knowledgeable about everything, it is essential to understand necessary information about link building, keyword research, freelance copywriting, and other matters covered in your contract.
Just like everything else in your business you should have a good hold on operations like SEO and marketing. You can get a good sense of SEO topics by reading a Beginners Guide to SEO, and this should provide general insight for you to ask questions and monitor performance over time. Here are a few of our favorite SEO Beginner Guides:
- The Beginners Guide To SEO (Moz)
- SEO Made Simple: A Step-By-Step Guide (Neil Patel)
- SEO Basics: Complete Beginner’s Guide To Search Engine Optimization (WordStream)
- Search Engine Land’s Guide To SEO (Search Engine Land)
After you understand the basics of SEO, you should be ready to hire an SEO consultant to help your business grow. Your business is unique so you will need different solutions and goals, so you should understand how SEO plays into your business, and you can talk with an SEO consultant about the specific details before hiring anyone.
2. Search For Someone With Experience That You Need
SEO marketing is not a one-size-fits-all service, and your business needs will depend on your industry, product/service, and target audience. You should look for ways to drive meaningful results in your niche, and your SEO consultant will need to have experience in your market before you hire them.
Many SEO consultants know how to drive more qualified traffic through Google, Bing, and other content marketing strategies. You should ask if the consultant has basic knowledge in your industry and if they care able to help you boost performance through SEO strategies.
For example, if you own an app and you are looking to drive more downloads, you should not only look for SEO marketers who have only worked with dentists or car mechanics. Sure, there is a lot of knowledge that overlaps between verticals, but in general, you should look for someone with experience in your field and industry.
If you have trouble finding an SEO consultant in your space, then you can look for higher-level knowledge that is still applicable to your business. For example, if you are looking to boost online visibility and downloads for your app, then you can search for someone who has experience with signup and lead generation.
3. Ask The Right Questions Before Hiring An SEO Consultant
While there is no bullet-proof way to guarantee you will not hire a marketing dud, you can ask some simple questions to increase the chances of a great hire. If your website is not ranking for the right keywords, or you just don’t have time to produce content, then hiring an SEO consultant or freelance copywriter could be an excellent fit for your business.
Now that you have a basic understanding of SEO (point 1 from above), you should be ready to ask and understand basic questions to talk with your SEO consultant about before hiring them.
Asking the right questions before hiring an SEO consultant gives you the opportunity to assess their knowledge, approach, and success rate of other campaigns. These questions can help you weed out the dishonorable and crooked SEO marketers, and these are the top questions to ask a consultant:
- Can I see a list of current and past clients?
- How will you improve my rankings in SERPs?
- What does your approach look like to create and rank content?
- Can you guarantee I will be ranked #1 in Google? (If they say yes, you should run away)
- Are you knowledgeable about Local SEO?
- Do you help your clients create content calendars to boost their SEO performance?
- What do your reports look like and what is the frequency of communication?
- How do you measure the success of your SEO campaigns?
- What are your fees and payment terms?
- What happens if we terminate our contract early?
If an SEO consultant passes this test and answers the question correctly you should start learning about the consultant beyond their technical abilities. The next step to hire an SEO consultant is to understand the consultant’s communication trends and personality.
4. Get To Know The Consultant You Will Be Working With
Since SEO marketing is a dynamic marketing strategy, many SEO consultants use different approaches to help you rank for specific keywords. Consultants should be experienced in many areas of Search Engine Marketing and digital marketing because some variables depend on success. You should get to know the experience, knowledge, and passion of your choices before hiring an SEO consultant.
While knowledge and experience are essential, you will also want to understand how a potential SEO consultant works. If you like to work quickly and make a decision on the fly, then you could experience friction if you choose to work with a consultant who wants to research and move slowly.
Communication is a big part of working with an SEO consultant because you will need to make sure that your leadership and the consultant are on the same page about desired results and processes to keep your campaigns perform.
The best way to learn this information is, to be honest, while talking with a consultant in the early stages of the hiring process. You should ask how the SEO consultant likes to communicate, how often they want to interact with their clients, and what their average response time is.
These answers can give you an early indication about how the consultant will talk with you as you work together and could be a great way to avoid unnecessary complications if your communication styles do not line up. If an SEO consultant works at the same speed as you then you are one step closer to hiring an SEO consultant! Now it is time to verify their claims by checking their references and referrals before making a final decision.
5. Ask For References/Referrals
After you ask all the right questions and feel comfortable with an SEO consultant hire you should make sure to request references and referrals. It’s always a good idea to talk with current and past clients to get their perspective on the SEO consultant you are looking to hire.
If an SEO consultant doesn’t have any current or past clients, then you should be alarmed about their knowledge and experience.
When you reach out to the consultant’s references, it is always a good idea to communicate through email first. If the referral agrees, then you should ask to hop on a 15-minute call with them. It is incredible how much more you can learn through a phone call compared to a phone call because feedback and questions can be exchanges must faster.
Here are a few questions that you can ask references as you are in the process of hiring an SEO consultant:
- What did you enjoy most about working with the SEO consultant?
- What did you hire the SEO consultant for, and did they complete the desired goals?
- Where do you think the SEO consultant struggles most?
- Do you have any advice for me since I am looking to hire the SEO consultant?
Hiring An SEO Consultant Is Not Easy
It can take a long time to find the right SEO consultant so you should take every opportunity you can to see the right consultant before finalizing a hiring decision. SEO marketing can bring significant benefits to your company, but if you hire the wrong SEO consultant, then you could see a lot of long-term harm.
StrategyBeam has over 10 years of experience helping business owners and marketing teams of all sizes reach their goals with SEO marketing, PPC management, and Freelance Copywriting. Be sure to go through the proper steps to ensure you hire the right SEO consultant.
Feel free to contact us today if you are looking to hire a great SEO consultant, or if you would like more tips to find the best consultant for your needs today!