It might seem like SEO experts are practically growing on trees, however, there’s a big difference between hiring some guy that says he can do SEO and partnering with an SEO expert.
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Consider Your SEO Options
When it comes to SEO, there’s a lot of information freely available on the web. Many individuals have taken the time to learn some of this content and others have been studying it for years and implementing best practices. Who you need for your business will depend on what you need done.
If you have an aptitude for computers and marketing, you may consider doing your own SEO. As previously mentioned, there are a lot of great sites out there sharing valuable information regarding SEO best practices. It’s important to note, however—and many of the sites do—that SEO is not a science. Google, Bing, Yahoo!, and other search engines hold their algorithm cards close to their chests. While Google is happy to share some pointers and tell people what not to do, they won’t be spilling all their secrets any time soon. If you aren’t up to the task of the trial and error that is teaching oneself SEO, then you may want to consider hiring a freelancer, a consultant, or a digital marketing agency.
Outsourcing has been a great way to reduce costs for businesses. Hiring freelancers can make it easier to manage overhead. The gig economy has exploded over the past decade thanks to how easy the Internet has made hiring a freelancer. Freelancers, however, run the gamut from highly skilled to trying to pass. Differentiating between the two can be difficult. You’ll need to ascertain the freelancer’s skill level, ask for examples of previous work, and question their methods. If you can find a freelancer that has the skill set you need, that’s great! If, however, you need more assistance than someone working remotely can provide you, you may consider a solo consultant or an agency.
Solo Consultant or Agency?
An SEO consultant can help audit your site and let you know about how you can improve your SEO. They may or may not implement those solutions. An SEO agency, on the other hand, is able to not only run an audit on your site but also able to help implement any solutions and even run PPC campaigns to help point more traffic to your site. Consultants can help you understand what’s going on with the current iteration of your site and some may be willing to fix any issues they find. Often, however, the expectation is that a consultant will come in and point at your problems and that you will then have your own team fix them. An SEO agency removes this burden and can be especially beneficial for smaller businesses that don’t have anyone on staff to take care of their website and online marketing. In addition, some SEO agencies offer consulting and training services to help you bolster your team’s knowledge and keep them up to date on the latest SEO practices and analytics.
Ask the Right Questions
Once you understand what type of help you are looking for, it’s important to meet with potential candidates to get a grasp on how they work and what they can do for you.
You’ll want to inquire about what type of businesses and websites they’ve worked with, how they’ve helped past clients, and how they measure success. Some agencies require a minimum engagement time and will need additional information from you in terms of an initial interview or survey. Understanding what will be expected of you can help you plan accordingly once you make a hiring decision.
For an agency, you’ll want to know who your main point of contact will be and how often you can expect communication.
Communicate Your Goals
It’s important that any SEO you choose understands your goals. Whether you are seeking to reach a larger audience, improve your page rank, or update your site infrastructure, sharing your goals helps set you up for success. Once your SEO partner understands what you are looking for, they can share their experience and give you better estimates regarding how long it may take to see an ROI. An honest SEO will help you understand how their methods can help you reach your goals and provide a clear picture of what they’ll be doing to get you there. While most of us want everything to have been completed yesterday, a skilled SEO expert will provide you with a more accurate timeline so you can manage your expectations. SEO is part of a long game. If someone tells you they can increase your organic page rank immediately, they are no expert.
Speak With Your Neighbor
You’re the expert on your business. When you need an SEO, make sure you seek an expert. Partnering with the right SEO can help you propel your business forward. At Digital Neighbor, we believe that every business deserves a digital marketing strategy that is crafted to meet their goals. That’s why we offer both agency and digital consulting services to businesses in the Tampa area. Whether you need a little help or want to outsource your digital marketing, we’re here to lend a hand. If you’re ready to learn more about what Digital Neighbor can do for your business, contact us today.