In the ever-changing landscape of the internet creating a website has gotten progressively easier. As the marketplace has become more crowded, having your voice heard amongst the throng is increasingly more difficult. So how do you ensure that you stand out in a highly competitive digital marketplace? For many business owners the answer is SEO. What is SEO? SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation is the practice in which someone increases the visibility of online content through modifying the information presented with various tactics. While there is a wealth of information available about SEO, finding an SEO consultant is the best way to ensure that search engine optimisation is done correctly. A great SEO consultant can be the difference between a dismal fiscal year and a profitable one. An SEO consultant will explore with a client their options and advise them on how to implement key SEO strategies. How do you separate a great SEO consultant from those that are not top notch? The answer is more straightforward than you may think.
What Do You Want?
Before looking into what a consultant can provide you should make sure that you are able to express your aims with a great deal of clarity. Are you looking for someone with expertise in the local market? Are you looking to bounce ideas off of someone? In order to find the perfect SEO consultant, it is important to know what perfect looks like for you. Once you have determined that and can clearly articulate it, you can move forward with the process of seeing if you and the candidate are a good match.
There are a few elements that need to be considered when you are searching for a SEO consultant.Of course as with any hiring process, you want to make sure that this business relationship is financially sound and that the type of work that the consultant does is compatible with your operating system, but there are a few things that you want to make sure of outside of those fundamentals. First and foremost you want to take a look at their professional track record. Who have they worked for previously and what specific measurable progress have they made for their previous clients? How do they determine what a successful project is? If they mention using certain tools to measure success make sure that you are aware of what those tools are.
Communication is the key
They say that communication is key and this situation is no exception. While searching for a consultant make sure that you are clear on their communication style and measure that against what is ideal for your needs more moving forward. Be sure that you are absolutely clear on how often the potential consultant speaks with their clients and what tools they use to communicate. Also pay special attention to how the consultant likes to communicate. Do they like to have an even exchange of ideas? Do they prefer a more hands-off approach? Making sure that you are on the same page in terms of communication is integral to the success of this business relationship.
Who Owns the Work?
Furthermore, make sure that you have a conversation with your potential consultant about their policy regarding ownership after the contract has ended to ensure that you maintain the rights to any changes that are made to your website. Having a conversation about ownership will save you the hassle and heartache of losing valuable progress in marketing your business due to a lack of clarity. Now that the pertinent questions are clear another question may be arising: where do I begin my search?
There are a multitude of individuals that refer to themselves as SEO consultants, specialists and companies and they can be found in a variety of ways. Job board websites are an option but they often you are unable to take a look at a portfolio or past client feedback with this option so although job board websites maybe helpful in beginning your search you may want to move beyond them to find a candidate that meets all of your needs.
Freelance websites also showcase SEO consultants and many of them also show client feedback, so you can have a clearer understanding of what the candidate has done in the past and how well they have met the expectations of clients long before you even speak to the candidate. A good example of a freelance website is Upwork. The added layer of vetting that freelance websites provide saves you time and energy in the interview process, which allows you to find the ideal candidate quickly and began moving toward increasing your business’ visibility online instead of wading through applicants.
Your personal and professional networks are also a wonderful place to find clients. More than likely you know a few other business owners personally and more than likely they are familiar with not only search engine optimisation but also SEO consultants. Reach out to those people in your personal and professional networks and see who they have worked with and if they have any recommendations. When you are able to find potential candidates through people in your personal and professional networks it affords you the opportunity of hearing straight from a previous, or current, client of the candidate. You can learn more intimate details about the consultant’s style and level of effectiveness and factor that into your decision before even meeting with the candidate.
Building a business is no easy feat. Online and off, the competition is steep and it can be easy to get lost in the noise and never reach your true potential. There are many obstacles and challenges from the birth of your company throughout its life and having the proper amount of visibility in an age with SEO consultants does not have to be one of those challenges. If you are able to clarify your goals for the visibility of your business, ask the right questions of potential candidates and use the right tools to access those candidates you will be well on your way to success with search engine optimisation and finding the perfect SEO consultant.