What to Look for When Hiring an SEO Consultant
Search engine optimization, or SEO, has become a necessity for businesses both large and small in recent years. As search engines continue to get more advanced in their ranking algorithms, SEO has to evolve to meet the current demands of the industry. Alone, this can be a daunting task, especially when coupled with other important, business-oriented tasks. This is where an SEO consultant comes in.
SEO consultants are able to help develop a clear-cut strategy to help businesses perform better in search engine rankings. These strategies will often be fluid and able to change as search engines evolve to help businesses improve their rankings to gain more traffic to their website. Consultants are also able to identify a business's true goals and develop strategies to accomplish them accordingly. However, the duties of a consultant vary depending on the business they are working with. Let’s take a closer look.
If you're more interested in managing SEO for your website without the help of a consultant, check out some of the other helpful Insights articles below:
Duties of an SEO Consultant
Search engine optimization can be a complicated field, and since search engines are constantly updating their algorithms, SEO consultants must continuously adapt to new strategies. Because of this, the duties of an SEO consultant are inherently complex and require a firm understanding of what search engines are looking for when ranking websites for keywords.
An SEO consultant must be dedicated to constantly improving in their position and in researching new strategies for their clients. Keyword research, for example, can be a tedious task that involves sifting through massive amounts of information, but this is essential to starting a strong SEO strategy.
Some keywords are searched more frequently than others and, typically, the higher the search volume means the more competitive the keyword is. Using keyword research tools, and their own intuition, an SEO consultant should be able to identify keywords that a particular website will be able to realistically rank for. This means looking at both the keyword volume as well as what the search user would expect to get out of a webpage on that keyword.
Content Creation & On-page Optimization
Once keywords have been identified, content will have to be written for the site in question. Webpages and blog posts built around the keywords identified are some of the most important aspects of SEO and, while many SEO consultants won’t write the content for you, they can help set you up with a content writer or outsource the work for you.
In addition to creating new content for the site, an SEO consultant will need to be able to optimize the current webpages to help improve rankings even further. Title tags, meta descriptions, heading tags, image alt text, and keyword density are all aspects of on-site optimization an SEO consultant can perform, and the keyword research will help further improve these aspects of the existing site.
Of course, off-page optimization must also be taken into consideration, which an SEO consultant performs to improve rankings. In essence, off-page optimization involves identifying backlink opportunities and submitting the business to local online directories, among other tasks. This will not only help drive more traffic to the site, but it will also help to improve the authority of the site. A site with a stronger authority, along with quality content based around keywords, will rank higher in search engines.
Backlinks, also referred to as inbound links, are any links sending users to your site from another, external website. In other words, you acquire a backlink when another site places a link to your site on one of their web pages.
SEO Consulting Tools
SEO consultants require a number of tools to help them perform their jobs effectively. Many SEO tools cost money every month, however, some are free. For the most part, the paid versions of each tool are necessary in performing effective SEO, and an SEO consultant will typically have access to these tools. Some of the common tools used by SEO consultants are:
- SEMRush: SEMRush provides a breadth of information for SEO consultants to use. From keyword research to a backlink analysis, SEMRush has a number of tools built into its service to help develop a clear-cut strategy.
- Siteliner: Siteliner provides consultants with information on duplicate content, broken backlinks, redirects, and more. This can help identify areas that could use improvement that the consultant can focus on.
- Moz: Moz is capable of many of the same services as SEMRush, like keyword research and a backlink analysis, but also gives SEO consultants the ability to track individual SEO campaigns.
- OpenLinkProfiler: OpenLinkProfiler is a free online tool that can help SEO consultants check a site’s backlinks and export them into an easy-to-use .CSV file.
- StatCounter: Of course, SEO consultants also use StatCounter insights to track key performance indicators (KPIs) for a business. This will help consultants note and monitor aspects of the strategy that are performing well and others that have fallen off.
SEO Consulting Tools
With all the tools available to an SEO consultant, as well as a breadth of knowledge on developing strategies, they should be able to provide a number of SEO services. For example, once keyword research is complete, many SEO consultants will create the content for your site or help you do so.
Additionally, an SEO consultant can help you build your backlink portfolio to further improve your website’s domain and page authority. This will help to further improve search result rankings as well show search engines your website is influential in its industry.
One of the most important services provided by an SEO consultant, however, is the ability to audit a website and report on the improvements that have been made. As the business owner, you’ll want to ensure the SEO consultant provides you with monthly reports covering the effects of their strategy on your site. This way, you can be sure the SEO efforts are paying off and improving the visibility of your website. Of course, experienced SEO consultants can provide such information while making it understandable to someone outside digital marketing.
Whether you’re seeking an SEO company to provide services for you, or you’re hiring an SEO consultant to help you through the process, be sure to ask for testimonials from past clients and take a look at the work they’ve done in the past. By looking at examples of past work, you’ll be able to better gauge how the company might improve your website. Regardless, you should ensure the SEO company or consultant you’re considering offers many, if not all, of the services mentioned above.
Track Your Stats with StatCounter!
Whether you are an SEO consultant or a business owner, StatCounter can help you track your business’s performance in search engine rankings. If you are in need of support, you can contact customer support by filling out the form below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
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