Freelance SEO consultants are often in hot demand because their unique insight into Google’s algorithms helps to garner coveted online traffic. Often offering a much more accessible and flexible service than a traditional agency, it’s no wonder businesses tend to opt for a consultant. If you’ve already decided to enlist the services of an SEO consultant, the next move is to find the right one.
Follow these five steps and the task of choosing a freelance SEO consultant will become that much easier.
- Decide what specialties you’re after
- Visit their LinkedIn or Twitter
- Check their techniques are above board
- Ask for references
- Find the right price
Decide What Specialties You’re After
Different SEO consultants will specialize in different things, so it’s always worth making sure their skillset suits your needs. For example, if you’re looking for more off-page optimization, then you’ll want a consultant who has worked closely with developers and website teams in the past. For more on-page or front-end, work look for a consultant with more keyword and content experience. Of course, most consultants will have experience with both, it’s just a case of choosing one with the most experience in your target area.
You can get to know a lot about a consultant’s experience by checking out their website. Most freelancers have their own site where you can find a list of past clients, their training, and any awards or qualifications they have. This is a great way to find out more about them without even getting in touch.
Visit Their Linkedin Or Twitter
Something else you can do before getting in touch is to check them out on LinkedIn or Twitter. Most SEO professionals are very active on social media. It’s where they maintain their network and share important updates and opinions. Social media can be very telling as to their insights and experience, plus you can see if you have any mutual connections who might be able to advise for or against them. So, this is an important step to include when choosing your consultant.
Check Their Techniques Are Above Board
Once you’ve got in touch with a shortlist of consultants and know they’re interested, it’s time to check their techniques and methods are above board. One crucial thing to know about SEO is that there are no quick wins; it can take up to six months for any optimizations to be rewarded with increased traffic. SEO expert Amine Dahimene says, “Whilst there’s no real way to ‘trick’ Google, there are ways to accelerate the process.
However, these are known as ‘black hat tactics’ and are to be avoided at all costs. That’s because Google will eventually notice them and is likely to rank you lower because of it.” For that reason, consultants offering quick wins are to be avoided.
Ask For References
Now, this may seem like an obvious step, but it’s a crucial one. Many people don’t bother asking for references and it can backfire in the long run. You’ll be investing a lot of money in this consultant, so you want to make sure they offer a quality service.
Once you’ve narrowed down your selection, ask your shortlisted candidates to provide references. Then, when getting in touch with the referees, ask about their work ethic, effectiveness, and professionalism. These are all crucial to making sure they are the right choice for your team.
Find The Right Price
This final step is perhaps one of the most crucial. Early on in the selection process, you’ll have spoken about fees and requirements, but once you’ve decided on a consultant now’s the time to negotiate. Make sure you’re getting the right price for your business’ needs and not paying over the odds. However, don’t forget that these are skilled professionals and their experience and know-how are normally worth the expenditure.
Furthermore, the amount of experience they’re bringing to the table will impact their rates. So, the better the consultant, the higher the salary tends to be.
Overall, these steps should help guide you on the key things to consider when choosing your SEO consultant. But remember to listen to your gut too. You’ll be working alongside them on a regular basis and one of the most important things is that they will be a good fit for your team.
If you are interested in even more technology-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.