What is an SEO Consultant and Why Do You Need One
An SEO consultant is a professional (either working as a freelancer or with an agency) who specializes in SEO and gives professional advice on how businesses can achieve their SEO goals.
Ideally, they take away the guesses and help you identify effective SEO strategies to generate more quality sales for your business.
Benefits of Hiring an SEO Consultant
Hiring the right SEO consultant for your business has ripple effects way beyond getting ranked for your primary keyword:
- A sustainable strategy to generate high-qualified leads or sales:
As a business owner in any industry (b2b, b2c, eCommerce, SaaS, D2C, etc.), getting millions of visitors to your site is no longer enough. Though that is important, it doesn’t always translate to bottom-line revenue.
SEO consultants play a vital role in this case, as they have the right skills and expertise to ensure that clicks translate to tangible bottom-line revenue.
SEO isn’t a once-and-done process. It is a long-term, sustainable strategy that, when properly executed, remains a channel for driving highly qualified, customers to your website.
- Impressive ROI
SEO is an investment.
As with any other investment, it should yield a reasonable ROI at the end of each campaign.
Working with an expert sets you up for success because they have ‘insider’ knowledge that can make a significant difference at the end of your SEO campaigns. By leveraging this knowledge, you can navigate the complexities of doing it yourself, mitigate the errors, and increase the possibilities of success.
That’s what we did for Orange Theory. They experienced a 146% YoY increase in organic leads:
For example, if you’re an eCommerce business owner looking to increase sales, SEO consultants can help you identify low-volume and less-competitive keywords with high commercial intent. This positions you strategically to attract visitors who are genuinely interested in your products or services, increasing the chances of conversions.
- It saves you time and money in the long run.
The best part about these agencies is that you have access to a whole team of SEO specialists, saving you the costs of hiring them individually.
Other benefits are:
- Increase in website visibility
- Compete successfully with top brands in your industry
- Stay on par or ahead of Google’s ever-changing algorithms
Read more on why you need an SEO specialist for your website.
How Do You Know If You Need An SEO consultant?
Any company looking to grow online needs an SEO consultant. But here are some specific situations that mandate the presence of an SEO expert:
- Your organic traffic isn’t converting:
As highlighted above, organic traffic is a great metric to track for your SEO campaign, but it means nothing if it’s not converting to paying customers. If you’re getting traffic to your site, but they aren’t converting, it’s a telltale sign that you need an expert’s eye.
An SEO consultant can analyze your website’s performance to identify the conversion bottlenecks and make data-driven suggestions to improve your conversion funnel.
- You’re not ranking for important keywords.
Keywords are the lifeblood of SEO.
They don’t just help you appear on the search results for relevant queries. They also ensure you get the right traffic to your site.
If your competitors are ranking for the primary keyword in your industry, it’s a clear sign that you need the help of an expert to figure out what you’re doing wrong. They can help strategize how to leverage competitor keywords to grow your website traffic and bottom-line revenue.
- Your organic traffic is dropping, and you can’t figure out why.
Also, if your website traffic is slowly or drastically dropping and you don’t know why, you need to hire the services of an SEO consultant.
Declining traffic could stem from various factors, including technical issues or changes in the search engine algorithm.
With the right tools and experience, SEO consultants can get a bird’s eye view of your website to identify the root causes of the traffic decline and craft an effective strategy to improve your traffic.
- Before and after launching/revamping your website.
Whether you’ve just launched a new product/service or are looking to revamp your website, you must hire the services of an SEO expert.
The right consultant can help you identify relevant keywords for higher visibility, create a robust inbound marketing strategy to attract leads, and optimize your site for success.
- You need to scale.
Lastly, you need an SEO consultant if you’re seeking to expand your business to other locations, add more products to your store, or increase your service offerings. Expansion requires a strategic approach, and doing it wrongly may tank your previous SEO efforts.
An experienced consultant can help you identify unique opportunities to help you scale your business seamlessly without losing any traffic. They can also help to develop a customized SEO strategy that targets the exact markets you intend to reach.
SEO consultants vs. In-house: which is better?
SEO consultants are usually search engine specialists. They have the right combination of skills, expertise, industry-vetted tricks, and techniques to improve your website visibility and conversions on search engines. They’re mostly freelancers (to supplement your in-house team) or part of an agency offering SEO consulting services.
The best thing about SEO consultants is that they have a broader range of experience in tackling different issues/handling various SEO projects. Hiring an SEO consultancy firm means you have a team of experts. It gives you unrestricted access to the combined knowledge of technical experts (which is impossible with a single-man SEO).
On the other hand, in-house SEO experts are solely focused on your company’s website. They may or may not have vast experience compared to SEO specialists. The most exciting fact about building an in-house team is that they’re fully immersed in your brand compared to specialists who may have other clients to manage.
These teams are also fully trained to understand your business models and goals. Thus, you have complete control over what strategies are implemented on your site and how.
The bottom line is an SEO consultant can help you analyze your current website performance and identify underlying problems that may be affecting your website’s performance. They also provide an actionable and sustainable roadmap to improving your website SEO, performance, and lead acquisition.
What does an SEO Consultant do?
An SEO consultant wears many hats and plays a multifaceted role in boosting your search rankings.
From conducting in-depth research to identify best-performing keywords to competitive analysis to identify gaps in your SEO strategy, there’s almost no end to what they can do to optimize your site for success online.
These tasks cover the significant facets of SEO:
- Website auditing
- Off-page optimization
- Technical SEO
- Local SEO
- Enterprise SEO
- Conversion rate optimization
- On-page optimization
Steps for Hiring an SEO Consultant
Finding an SEO consultant for your business isn’t hard. The real hassle is whether the person or firm is worth your investment and will yield high ROI for your business. But if you follow the steps outlined below, you’re less likely to fall into scams:
- Clearly outline your goals.
Start by accessing what your company or business wants to achieve with SEO. Do you want to increase website traffic? Or boost online sales? Setting goals and targets helps you know what skills to prioritize when looking for the right SEO for your business.
Tip: When you have a list of prospects, schedule a meeting with each to discuss your business objectives. While technical expertise and skills are undoubtedly necessary, find someone that matches your business values and culture.
- Have a budget.
Hiring a professional consultant for SEO costs between $50 – $150 per hour, according to Brian Dean of Backlinko. Some other SEOs charge by the project. But while setting a budget, remember that SEO isn’t cheap. It’s preferable not to do SEO at all than hiring a subpar specialist to handle your website.
- Do your research.
There are several ways to find SEOs online: freelance platforms like Upwork, online directories, professional social media platforms like LinkedIn, etc. However, these methods only cast your nets wide and don’t guarantee you’ll find a credible SEO consultant.
But you can streamline your search by asking your network for references. Reach out to large business-focused communities (for instance, Superpath on Slack) for recommendations tailored to your use case.
Tip: After compiling your search into a list, review their websites, blogs, and social media channels to see how they showcase their skills and expertise.
Also, check out online directories and other third-party sites to read testimonials and customer reviews. More importantly, ask to see case studies in a similar industry to your business to grasp how they intend to handle your project.
- Access their skills and expertise.
When it comes to SEO, there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy.
Every website is unique, creating a tailor-made strategy that caters to the specific use case.
In this case, ensure that your hire has the right combination of skills. An SEO consultant should be able to understand your business priorities and know how to craft a winning strategy that’ll drive measurable, tangible business success.
Generally, a freelance SEO consultant wears many hats. While this person may not be an expert in all the major types of SEO, you should hire someone with broad skill sets with mid-level expertise in keyword research, off-page, on-page, and technical SEO. This versatility works perfectly if you’re a small business owner with a limited budget, as they can provide strategies to help you achieve your business goals.
Enterprise SEO, on the other hand, requires more detail. You may not necessarily be looking for a jack-of-all-trade, but specialists in certain areas. For example, if your site has technical issues, you may want to hire an SEO consultant specializing in technical SEO.
Tip: When choosing your SEO person based on skill sets, it’s equally important to follow your gut. If you’re not feeling right with the person, maybe it’s a sign to say your goodbyes. Remember, first impressions count. Don’t hire someone you don’t like.
- Ask the right questions.
Lastly, keep your prospects on their toes by asking the right questions.
Do not sign agreements until you dot your Is and cross your Ts. Some SEOs are really good at masquerading under the ‘page one’ guarantee and may lack the expertise and skills to move the needle.
So, before making any investments, ensure you’re 100% certain that the firm/person is the right choice.
Here are some top questions you should be asking your SEO consultant:
- What methods do you use to increase rankings?
- How often do you send reports?
- Do you have any case studies or references that I can contact?
- What challenges do you encounter with a similar project, and how did you surmount them?
- Do you follow Google (or your preferred search engine) Webmaster guidelines?
- Can you guarantee my website’s no. 1 ranking on the results pages?
- How and when do we communicate?
- What happens if we stop working together?
- What type of SEO services do you offer?
Google’s Maile Ohye summarizes it perfectly:
Tip: SEO is a long-term game. It takes patience and consistency to apply the right tactics to get tangible results. Be wary of any firm or consultant making specific guarantees in a short time.
Read more about the top 20 questions to ask before hiring an SEO consultant.
When it comes to SEO, we remove all your guesses and doubts.
At HigherVisibility, we focus on growing your revenue and not just your rankings. We use hyper-targeting strategies to find your audience and know what makes them loyal customers.
We understand that no two businesses are the same, so we schedule a free consultation to understand your business, goals, and objectives. This enables us to create a custom strategy that addresses your specific use case and solves your business needs. See exactly for yourself why hundreds of businesses, both small and large, have trusted us with their websites. If you’re still unsure, get a free custom-made strategy for your website now.