About 46% of all searches on Google are by consumers looking for local information. Meanwhile, about 97% of these consumers are trying to find a local business.
Almost 80% of these local mobile searches lead to purchases in your store.
If you’re trying to attract more people to your business or boost your brand, you need search engine optimization (SEO). SEO allows you to rank higher on Google and other search engines. A higher ranking can benefit your brand awareness, lead generation, and more.
You don’t have to navigate the complexities of developing an SEO strategy alone. Instead, consider hiring an SEO consultant who can lead the way!
Not sure how to hire an SEO consultant? Keep reading for everything you need to find an expert in your area.
1. Your Goals
First, take the time to consider your long-term business and marketing goals. You’ll want to find an SEO consultant who can help you accomplish those goals. Otherwise, they might fail to benefit your business.
Do you want to improve sales for a specific product or service? Maybe you want to generate more leads or become a thought leader.
Each goal can change your SEO approach.
For example, if you want to become a thought leader, you can focus on providing your readers with industry-specific news. You can draw from your years of experience and expertise to demonstrate thought leadership.
Other goals include:
- Generating brand awareness, recognition, trust, and loyalty
- Attracting more customers to your website
- Boosting your Google ranking for specific keywords
- Generating high-quality leads
- Increasing conversions or online purchases
Before hiring an SEO consultant, talk to them about your business and your goals. They’ll need to learn more about your business to design an SEO strategy based on your needs. Do they ask questions about your business, brand, and customers?
If they don’t take the time to learn about your business, keep looking.
Do they ask you about your long-term goals? Do they have a strategy that can help you accomplish those goals?
The first step in learning how to hire an SEO consultant is to make sure they’re the right fit. Otherwise, keep using these tips.
2. The Budget
Small businesses might not have a lot in their budget for SEO consulting. Take the time to determine what you can afford.
It’s important to note that you’ll likely get what you pay for. Try not to choose the cheapest consultant in the area. Instead, prioritize someone who can offer the services and expertise you need.
Talk to the consultant about your expected ROI as you develop your SEO strategy. You might find the cost is worth it.
3. An Experienced Expert
One of the most important qualities to look for before you hire an SEO consultant is their experience.
How long have they worked as an SEO expert? How many clients have they helped?
How many of those clients were in your industry?
Don’t forget to ask about their training. Did they go to school for marketing? Do they have any formal training or certifications?
Take the time to consider your long-term needs. Do you need an SEO consultant who can provide content creation and social media management, too? Do you need someone with web design and development experience?
Content creation is a critical part of your SEO strategy. Without fresh, unique content, you might struggle to rank on search engines.
Web design and development is important if you want to keep readers on your website. A difficult to use and navigate website could scare customers away. A high bounce rate could hurt your ranking.
Understanding what you need can help you find the right consultant for the job.
4. Their Process
Before hiring an SEO consultant, ask them to walk you through their process.
An SEO expert should know to develop a customized SEO strategy based on your needs. However, there are some steps that are essential to the process.
For example, they should start with researching your:
This information can help them further develop your SEO strategy.
Which SEO services do they provide? Do they cover on-page and off-page SEO? Will they help you develop your local SEO strategy?
Understanding the consultant’s process can help you determine if they’ll help accomplish your long-term goals.
5. Proof They’re Successful
You don’t have to believe a consultant who claims they’re successful at helping other companies. Instead, ask them for proof.
Reviews and references can help you see the consultant from the client’s point of view. The consultant might cherry-pick their best reviews. You can find more on Google My Business or the Better Business Bureau websites.
Does the consultant have any case studies you can review? Which metrics did they track to ensure the SEO strategy was successful?
For example, they might track website traffic, clicks, conversions, or sales.
Gathering evidence of a consultant’s success will help you ensure they’re capable of helping your business.
6. Trend Knowledge
Google changes its search algorithm constantly throughout the year. If you want to improve your SEO ranking and keep that ranking, you need to keep up with the trends.
Look for an SEO consulting company that keeps up with the trends, too.
Almost 90% of smartphone users consult a search engine every day. Over 80% of consumers complete “near me” searches.
Make sure your consultant understands the importance of local SEO. Otherwise, you might fail to attract local customers to your store.
What about voice search, featured snippets, and video content? Are they keeping track of the latest trends? If not, you might want to look for someone else.
7. The Contract
Once you’ve found these six qualities in an SEO expert, take the time to get quotes from a few people in the area. Comparing their pricing will help you find the local average.
How will you communicate? Will they keep up updated as your campaigns progress? Which services are included?
Make sure to review what’s included in each contract. If you have any questions, make sure to ask before you sign on the dotted line.
Select the Best: 7 Factors to Consider Before Hiring an SEO Consultant
Don’t feel obligated to hire the first SEO consultant you speak with. Instead, keep these seven factors in mind as you conduct your search.
With these tips, you can find the right consultant for the job! They’ll help you boost your ranking and attract more customers to your business. Eager to get started?
Discover our SEO consulting services today!