SEO is unarguably both a hot and confusing trend in the marketing world today. Marred with misconceptions and preconceived notions, it is no wonder that most marketers would prefer to hire the service of SEO specialists over undertaking the optimization of a site on their own. Still, a number of people are unaware of the benefits that they stand to gain from hiring the services of SEO specialists, or how they can even find a good specialist in the first place. With that, the following information should hopefully enlighten you on the topic of SEO specialists and how to find them.
What Is An SEO Specialist?
An SEO specialists is a professional charged with the role of optimizing website pages such that they become as visible as possible on search engines. Working closely with web developers and editors, these specialists analyze a site’s business objectives, intended audience and content in order to draft strategies for obtaining prominent or rather impressive listings in the SERP’s (Search engine result pages). Specialist will make use of specialized tools to conduct a keyword analysis and can further consult web editors to ensure the keywords are incorporated in to the content effectively.
Still, as the online landscape becomes more and more competitive, reports of individuals who pose as ‘professionals’ are becoming quite common. It’s best to have some insider tips in hand in order to avoid making a costly mistake.
1. Agency Vs. Freelancer
The first thing you need to ask yourself is whether you need a freelance SEO specialist or an agency. Both have their fair share of advantages and disadvantages, some of which include:
a) Pros of choosing freelance SEO specialists
b) Cons of choosing freelancer SEO specialists
a) Pros of choosing an SEO agency
b) Cons of choosing an SEO agency
Although the above may not necessarily apply to all SEO specialists, the information presents a rough picture of what it is like to deal and not to deal with SEO specialists. In weighing the pros and cons, you can decide what type of SEO specialist is best for your business and your goals.
2. Online Search
A lot of people are under the assumption that any SEO specialist with a good Google ranking automatically vendors top quality services. This is not always the case however. Although it is perfectly possible for a specialist to rank well in Google and provide top-notch services, the opposite can also be just as true. Alternatively, just because a specialist ranks well on Google doesn’t mean that they can also do the same for your site, thus you will still need to apply some caution when picking your SEO specialist. One recommendable way to go about is by attending online marketing events and meet-ups that provide you with the opportunity to chat with potential agencies in person. You can also look for business associates that understand the realities of competing online for advice. Last but not least, consider checking out companies that share insight via webinars and blogs. You can use this to evaluate the company’s dedication to fulfilling its clients’ wishes and help you to make a more informative decision.
3. The Proposal
Once you have a few SEO specialists in mind and have already contacted them about your interest, they should start putting together a proposal for you. The proposal will tell you volumes about the agency in question. For example, if you get a proposal almost immediately after contacting the company and haven’t been asked any questions about you company than you are better of binning the proposal right away. This is a clear indication that the company either has a used template or just doesn’t care about your goals as a business. A good SEO specialist however will inquire about your objectives, how you make money and wh ere opportunities may lie. Another sign to check for in the proposal is the customization of the SEO plan. Every website is different so the approach an SEO specialist takes and the technique used should be different. If the SEO plan is also a template you already know what to do. However, the best SEO specialist will even include the weaknesses and strength of your business and how the plan will work on them.
Finally, watch out for companies that do not offer real life examples or those that try to pass projects under the guise that they are protecting ‘trade secrets’. The best companies will include a list of previous clients and the sites that they worked on. Better yet, some will even go a step further to show examples of work that directly relates to your field.
You’ve probably heard this everywhere, but always ask for references and make a point of contacting those references. Although some companies may be under NDA’s for particular projects, they are usually some references available that are comfortable. Any company that isn’t prepared to give you any recent and relevant references should also be dismissed.
While you might not know much about SEO and its inner workings, it only makes more sense to hire competent and professional SEO specialist to provide you with results. Using the information provided in this article, it shouldn’t be hard to find a good one either. However, do not make the assumption that tech-speak equates efficiency. While the choices are many, very few will stand out and actually make a difference in your business both effectively, and efficiently.
If you are looking for an experienced SEO consultant to take your website to the next level, look no further. I’ve been creating and implementing digital marketing campaigns for small and medium sized businesses since 2008.
I specialize in web design, digital strategy, SEO, keyword research, paid search, lead generation, conversion optimization and content marketing.
Mikhail Khorev ©2008-2015 I Know SEO, Toronto SEO Consultant. All Rights Reserved