Hiring an SEO expert to take ownership, support or consult on your project can be dynamic, risky and costly. In this blog post, I want to show the key steps required to ensure you hire the right SEO Expert.
Misconceptions of hiring an SEO expert
Many customers who get in touch often have misconceptions, it’s far more prominent now I’m a full time SEO/PPC freelancer. However, I’ve seen these questions reveal themselves when I worked for top-tier agencies and also as an in-house marketing expert.
Why don’t you rank #1 for SEO?
I network with a lot of other freelancers and everyone has the same message, they are often too busy to work on their own site. Many successful SEOs ironically thrive from referrals of getting results and not the rankings on their own site. I’ve also seen both sides to this, the companies that had prominent SEO rankings say 5-6 years ago aren’t there now, their portfolio of results weren’t great either. You need to ask the question, if they have enough time to really drive their own website, what customer work are they doing?
Do you provide pay on results SEO?
I know SEOs are confident in their services but customer misconception around the results can be tricky to circumnavigate. It would be like telling your doctor you will only pay him once you are cured, SEO is similar in many ways. A good SEO will utilise the best tools, methods and strategies available to them which has an incredibly high possibility of improving rankings, nothing can be guaranteed. I’ve never worked on a campaign which hasn’t yielded results but if I had to estimate the results before the campaign, I would find it impossible.
How long does it take?
A very dynamic question here, your site could have been down-trending in rankings for several years, the ability for me to fix it within a week is very unlikely. It all depends on the state of website and current performance. Seem as we’re using analogies, let’s say you dropped your car off at the local garage as it wasn’t functioning correctly, asking how long it takes is very difficult indeed. The car may not have had any oil in for months, needed repair or could be in good condition and just requires tweaks. Improvement will come but the timeline isn’t always definitive, but I’ve yet to work on a campaign that hasn’t yielded some results within 2-4 weeks!
Key considerations when hiring an SEO expert
Look at their portfolio
Although past performance doesn’t always mean future performance, it’s a great place to start. Look at their portfolio websites in-depth and browse around the websites. Does it look natural or has the SEO ‘expert’ completely morphed the site into jargon? Also speak to people if you can, ideally long-standing customers. Most unethical SEO experts will often get found out over time, see if their results lasted the test of time.
What are they proposing?
Does their proposal make sense, are they clearly defining what work will be going on and why it is important? Occasionally, some freelancers, and agencies for that matter, often blind consumers with science, trying to push them into submission of signing onto the dotted line. It’s often to perceive experts when you are presented with complicated information, it doesn’t have to be that way, seek clarity (or a second opinion).
What are the costs for the project?
I’d also challenge the framework of the costs, if it’s a monthly retainer for X amount of months, why? Do they not feel secure enough to allow you to walk away at any time? This is a real bugbear of mine and one of the key reasons why I operate as a hourly Freelancer.
Let LinkedIn give you some insight.
Occasionally I see agency owners and other freelancers hold a very strong account management background. If they have no service-driven experience then it is likely your requirement will be ushered over to a freelance expert like myself. This is problematic for you because the freelancer will be making money from you but also the account manager, that’s two profits to pay. This model is rife within the industry and I often see my hourly rate being doubled, sometimes tripled for a customer – and they are happy to pay it from the level of service. Get on their LinkedIn and see what their experience is, service or account management? Are they providing you a service they have no experience in delivering? Red flag.
Why I’m a unique SEO/PPC Freelancer.
OK here it is, no such thing as a free lunch right? Let me quickly run through why you may want to involve me within any projects you have pending. I work by the hour with no retainers or contracts, which gives me only one retention tool, getting results. I only provide services I have delivered at enterprise level for over 12 years, which are SEO services and PPC management services– or if you are an agency, white label SEO/PPC.
If you want me to take a free look over your project, to see if I can help and to run through my approach, please see my contact details.
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