Because SEO is a key component of business and website promotion, many people have begun to bill themselves as SEO consultants and SEO experts for hire. Much like the titles “social media expert” and “business coach,” the “SEO consultant” title itself doesn’t tell you much about someone’s integrity, experience level or level of knowledge about search engine optimization. In order for the money your business spends on consulting fees to be worthwhile, you need to find a consultant with several years of experience, who relies primarily on white hat techniques and is knowledgeable about how to get your site ranked highly over time.
When It Comes to SEO, Longevity Matters
Someone who has only recently entered the field of search engine optimization doesn’t have the experience necessary to ensure that your site stays highly ranked in the long run. Search engines update their algorithms regularly, and any SEO consultant your business hires should have enough experience to know how to weather those algorithm changes. Ask any consultants you’re thinking of hiring to provide references from past clients and information about their education and work experience in the field of search engine optimization.
The Internet Is Just Like the Wild West
When referring to SEO tactics, two terms have come into popular use: there’s black hat SEO and white hat SEO. Just as in old western films, the “good guys” wear white hats and the “bad guys” wear black hats. In Internet terms, this means that white hat tactics are considered ethical and on the up-and-up while black hat tactics are considered to be unethical and dishonest. White hat tactics include putting out high-quality and engaging content and building an interactive site with guest posts and viewer feedback. Black hat tactics include buying Facebook likes and using negative SEO to sabotage your competition. Because search engines are attempting to reward white hat tactics and penalize black hat tactics, your SEO expert should use primarily white hat tactics to avoid losing high rankings gained through unethical means. Ask any potential consultants what kinds of tactics and strategies they use when optimizing websites.
Focus on Value, Not Money
It can be tempting to make your decision based on money, especially if you don’t have a lot of knowledge about how search engine optimization works. If your business needs to keep costs down, your first inclination may be to hire the lowest-price consultant you find. Alternately, if your business has a lot of capital available, you may be tempted to spend a lot of money under the assumption that the more money you spend, the more skilled your SEO consultant will be. Be warned, though, that there are plenty of people out there charging far more than their skills are worth, and there are also plenty of inexpensive consultants available with little to no experience. Instead of focusing on the price, consider instead the value of what you’re paying with relation to what you get. Hire a consultant who charges reasonable fees but who also has enough knowledge and experience to make you feel confident in his or her abilities. If you aren’t familiar with SEO consulting rates, do an Internet search or ask other business owners and entrepreneurs about average fees for SEO consulting.
Finding a consultant to help your business gain an edge on the Internet can truly help your business to become more visible and increase the amount of volume it does. Ask the right questions of anyone you want to hire, though, and make sure you know that person’s history, ethics and level of knowledge in the field before you make a hiring decision. Be willing to spend what you can afford, but look for a good value.
Charles Dearing has extensive experience working in SEO. His articles are mainly found on marketing blogs. If you are looking for the services of an SEO Company, visit the link for more information.
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