If your SEO marketing strategy needs a little TLC, you might be considering the services of an SEO consultant. If you’re looking to work with an SEO expert, here are a series of questions we will be exploring in this blog:
- What is an SEO consultant?
- How Will You Improve My Business’ SEO Strategy?
- Do I Need an SEO Audit?
- Do You Adhere to Search Engine Guidelines?
- Will You Keep Me Updated on Any Progress My Website Makes?
- Which Tools Do SEO Consultants Use to Measure Success?
- How Long Will It Take to Start to See Improved Results?
First of all, What Is An SEO Consultant?
You might want to consider hiring an SEO consultant if your business’ SEO strategy is struggling to get off the ground, or not producing the results you wanted to see. Maybe you’ve been hit by a Google Penalty or your brand new site has plummeted, or you might be about to take a new market by storm.
The advantages of working with an SEO specialist are numerous, but to the untrained eye, the world of search engine optimisation can be tricky to navigate. An SEO consultant can supplement your internal SEO team, provide essential SEO training, and support your existing SEO services.
Hiring an SEO consultant can help you build a search engine optimisation services strategy that will aim to build a better insight into your customer base, improve your website traffic, improve your ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs), and create link building opportunities, as well as conduct keyword research to determine the focus of your efforts.
Although hiring an SEO consultant is an investment, the long term effects of improving your SEO strategy will ensure that your business will receive increased search traffic on major search engines, and greater visibility for your website as a result.
If you want to work with an SEO consultant, here are 6 important questions to ask.
1) How Will You Improve My Business’ SEO Strategy?
When seeking out SEO consulting services, it would be wise to find an SEO consultant who will offer you a service that is bespoke to your business, as there is no “one size fits all” approach to approaching SEO consulting services. Google weights different ranking factors for different searches, industries, browsers, devices and locations, so SEO shouldn’t be formulaic.
Your consultant must understand and test your search space:
What keywords are you found on? Which of these are bubbling under, which have fallen, which have the most opportunity (long and short term)?
What are the most successful competitors doing? Google has put them above you for a reason, Your SEO Consultant is there to diagnose not only why, but what you do about it.
Your SEO consultant should concentrate on both the technical aspects of both on page and off page SEO strategies to try to boost your search engine marketing and organic traffic.
Some examples of these strategies may include content marketing by link building through blogger outreach and SEO copywriting, scoring and benchmarking against the best in class, and offering keyword research to snare those target keywords your customers are searching for.
Additionally, they may also speak to you about using digital marketing services to boost your website traffic and presence on search engine algorithms. Other marketing initiatives may include PPC, web design and fixing technical SEO issues.
2) Do I Need an SEO Audit?
If your car needs an MOT every year, your website certainly does, especially if your team are less experienced in SEO and are uploading content. Meanwhile, Google is changing its ranking factors weekly. As every Search Space is different and every company’s goals different, every strategy will be different depending on the needs of the business, the competitors, the strategic goals and ultimately your budget.
Each SEO expert should glean unique forensic insights by conducting a technical SEO audit to determine an appropriate marketing strategy, based on fact not fiction, with a definitive SEO solution strategy and action plan prioritised to your business and phased to meet your budget. No smoke and mirrors, no secret tricks, just diagnosis, solution, priority.
This audit should focus on thoroughly investigating the structure and content of your website and identifying opportunities to improve. Maratopia’s free 60 point technical SEO audit will take you on a guided tour of opportunities for relevant keywords, competitor traffic comparison, site speed, content analysis and much more.
The results of your audit should include diagnosis for fixing any existing technical issues like broken links or error pages that may be preventing your pages from ranking. The audit takes the guess work out of SEO, so that you can start to move forwards with SEO experts to create a comprehensive SEO strategy that will benefit your customer relationship management for a long time to come.
You can get your free technical SEO audit here to discover where your strategy can be improved!
3) Do you Adhere to Search Engine (Google’s) Guidelines?
This is an important discussion to be had when you’re considering either a freelance SEO consultant, or an SEO agency to take the reins with your SEO campaigns.
Adhering to Google’s public guidelines when developing SEO strategies is essential to preventing your website from being banned from search engines, or being given a tanked ranking. Some examples of questionable tactics include creating spammy content, keyword stuffing, and hidden links.
You should make sure that when hiring SEO consultants, that they follow the guidelines of Google Search Essentials to create honest and high quality search engine optimisation and marketing strategies that play to your company’s strengths rather than pandering to cheap SEO efforts and potentially attracting penalties from Google.
4) Will You Keep Me Updated on Any Progress My Website Makes?
The best SEO consultant will endeavour to keep you updated about any progress made with their suggested SEO strategies.
It is entirely possible that some suggestions made may not immediately work, or may take time to implement, so open and honest discussions around each step taken should be had. This will allow you to continue to evaluate progress and create solutions that will benefit your business in the long run.
SEO is not a one size fits all approach, so it may take some time to nail a solution to every road block to a successful SEO strategy, so keeping that communication open is very important.
5) Which Tools Do SEO Consultants Use to Measure Success?
Every SEO consultant and SEO specialist in the industry will use an arsenal of tools to assist them with their SEO consultancy services.
One of the most prominent SEO tools used for measuring success are Google search tools like Google Analytics.
With the move to GA4 increasingly on the horizon, you may also want to check that your SEO consultant is up to date on their GA4 knowledge and how this may affect your search engine rankings once Universal Analytics ceases to function.
6) How Long Will it Take to Start to See Improved Results?
This is a hugely important question, as a trusted SEO consultant working with SEO knowledge will likely be able to give you an approximate timeline of success, however, it’s important to note that an experienced SEO consultant won’t make you false promises about obtaining fast results.
SEO services are not a quick fix to your website’s problems, and so it’s important to have realistic expectations around your digital marketing strategy. Depending on how many factors need the expertise of an SEO agency, there may be a varied estimate from your SEO consultant. Similarly, you should be seeing red flags if your SEO consultant attempts to make guarantees about any SEO results. You will often wait for many months to achieve results.
Everyone wants to see quick results from their SEO efforts, but the key to success is to fight your winnable battles. There are no prizes for increasing your ranked place from 99 to 19, but tweaking your keywords to take you into the top ten, and you’ll start to see improved results in terms of traffic, sales and enquiries.
Many will likely give up once they’re into the top ten, but you can double your traffic on a keyword for every two places you climb, so continuous maintenance is key to making a successful SEO campaign work.
If you want to start your journey into SEO consultancy services, contact Maratopia today for a friendly chat and a free technical SEO audit to assess your website’s needs.