Tips when Picking an SEO Consultant or Firm

If you haven’t built a site yet, then make sure you talk to SEO experts before building your site! SEO should not be an afterthought!

Lately, I’ve been asked to assist companies more and more with their Search Engine Optimisation. The first thing I ask is why they are not consulting with the firm that built their website? In most cases it comes down to price but also they want to independently verify the work that was done by their web development firm.

The first thing I tell clients is that they shouldn’t expect their website firm to have done much SEO work if they didn’t explicity ask/pay for it. Invariably it is the case that the minimum will be done and sometimes they just don’t have expertise in the area. Most firms put some basic effort into SEO but beyond that, nothing is done. However, if companies charge for it, I’d expect a little bit more and a report of what has been done.

If you are not happy with your site’s SEO and you are seeking an SEO consultancy firm then I suggest you follow these tips:

  1. Understand the basics of SEO yourself, read books, go online, do some research before meeting a consultant
  2. Ask your business networks do they know SEO consultants that have made a difference for them
  3. Ask SEO consultancy firms for the best examples of their work
  4. Be careful that the SEO firm doesn’t have other clients in your niche area, would there be a conflict of interest?
  5. Make sure the service they are providing is clear and what they will need from you
  6. Make sure and get clear reports based on your analytics data
  7. Make sure the price is not ridiculous. In Ireland I’ve heard of some companies charging 1500 per day! That kind of spend would get you a lot of clicks through PPC advertising

In my professional opinion an SEO consultant should be able to assist you with the following:

  • Keyword Analysis
  • Competitor Analysis
  • Website Audit
  • Suggest or make changes to your site (sometimes they might not be willing to update the site)
  • Link Building or Link Suggestions (sometimes best to do link building in house)
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Advertising Advice
  • Deciphering Analytics and Monitor Improvements

Most of these tasks can be done in house at a fraction of the rates an SEO consultant will charge you, so in my opinion, do what you can yourself based on your SEO consultants advice, however if you do require expertise to fulfil a specific task outsource that aspect of it (e.g. link building, site re-build etc.)

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