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Hiring Expert SEO Consultation
By Jared McClure



Getting to the first page on Google can be like trying to navigate a huge maze without the proper tools. However, the good news is that with the proper guide it can be navigated successfully.

Drawing from the imagery, getting a first page ranking on Google is essentially the same. If you enter the SEO maze alone you can easily get lost in all the information. SEO changes frequently, so you need someone that changes with it, and knows which path to take. In other words, you need someone who had been there time and time again and knows what the journey through that maze looks like. So how do you do that, and focus on you business and still have time to arrive at page one? You hire SEO expert consultation. But what does that consultant look like? How do you know if they can really deliver what you need?

If it’s helpful, do what I do. Work in Phases. I’ve shared the process to help you find the right guide.

Hire SEO Expert Consultation Phase I

Before you can get anywhere, you have to know where you are going or at least where you think you want to go. Think about your goals for the project. First, write them down and prioritize them, Then, establish a realistic time line for achieving each one. Use time lines of 30, 60 and 90 days to give you enough time to complete everything, but still allow you to stay focused and not forget about them. You have to be realistic in your time tables! Why? Because getting a first page ranking on Google takes time. You are literally competing against tens of thousands of people, so take that into consideration in establishing your time line.

Upon completion, submit your goals and time lines to potential contractors. Ask them to address each item on your list in detail and to supply a strategy on how they will help you reach your goals. Then establish a deadline. This does two things. First it weeds out the pretenders who don’t know what they are doing, because they won’t be able to competently address your goals, and secondly, it lets you see that they are serious about your project and dedicating time to you. 24 hours is usually a good rule of thumb.

Hire SEO Expert Consultation Phase II

Review the replies from each contractor. Then ask them for something very simple. Ask them to share a client case study with you.

The study should include:

1. Keyword Analysis. Why did they choose the specific keywords for that client?

2. Exact monthly searches per keyword. (Warning: You must see the Exact searches in the report. This is a big SEO trick that I see companies play on unsuspecting customers. Instead of doing the research and finding what people are searching for, they ask the client what keywords they want to rank for. Example: A Widget company from Smalltown USA thinks they want to rank for the keyword “Widget Smalltown,” so the sly SEO company ranks them on Google in the top spot every time someone types “Widget Smalltown.” They show the results to the customer and say “Look at the great job we did for you! You are first place in Google!” The only problem is that NO ONE searches for “Widget Smalltown.” In fact, when the exact monthly search report is generated for “Widget Smalltown” it shows that less than 2 people a month use that term in Google, so the company doesn’t get any additional traffic or sales to their site. In short, they’ve been bamboozled by a crafty SEO company. You must know what keywords are going to bring you the most business!! Find the keywords with high exact monthly searches.)

3. Keyword analysis of the competition. In Web SEO, the biggest competitor sits in the first spot in Google. What terms did they rank for?

4. What were competitors doing on their site to optimize their on page SEO?

5. Where did the client end up in the rankings? (Just do a quick Google search to verify)

Hire SEO Expert Consultation Phase III

You must plan for the future. Companies that don’t stay ahead of the curve will die. (Think MySpace when Facebook came to town…) You must protect your rankings long-term. What benefit do you have in only obtaining increased rankings today? This month? Unless your goals state otherwise, find out how your rankings will be sustained by the contractor.

Another point to consider is experience and overall knowledge. If I was going to hire SEO expert consultation today, I would expect to be provided with a detailed plan for addressing the most recent Google Penguin and Panda algorithms that dictate compliance for search engine optimization. Google updates cannot be ignored! Google will throw your site out and possibly “sandbox” ( or penalize) you if you are not in compliance. In other words, they can keep your site from ever ranking again… regardless of what you do and this will obviously kill any and all remaining goals for long term growth. In short, if you are going to hire SEO expert consultation, make sure they really are an expert!

Negotiating SEO Expert Consultation Fees

It can be hard to determine how much you should pay for SEO Consultation. Some charge hundreds of thousands, others a few hundred a month. I’ve even seen as low as $50 for someone “just breaking in.” (NEVER take that offer!) I know it is extremely cliché, but in web SEO it does hold true; You usually get what you pay for. Of course there are exceptions, but generally speaking, getting a first page ranking will usually take daily effort along with time and resources. So, when someone comes in solely on a low price you should be very suspicious. There is no way they intend to do multiple daily updates for your site for a low ball price! They simply can’t afford to do it correctly. Odds are you’ll wind up spending an “affordable” $150-400 a month with absolutely nothing to show for it. Make your money count. Remember: You can spend a million dollars on marketing your site and if it brings in 10 Million dollars the investment was super cheap. On the other hand, you can spend $100 and if it doesn’t bring in anything your investment was very costly. (Don’t worry! It doesn’t cost millions! I exaggerate to make a point!)

In our firm, we tailor each project to accommodate your budget. Keep in mind, you can’t always expect to compete against a first place ranking on Google with a few hundred dollars. Can you spend less than the recommended dollar figure each month and make headway? Yes. However, you must understand that this will often significantly lengthen the time for achieving your goals and also give your competition more time to see you coming up in the rankings and react to fortify their positions.

Finding a reliable company to provide the service is tough, but using this guide will help you qualify the SEO agencies that are soliciting your business. Remember, SEO is not scary or costly with the right guide!



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About the Author

Jared McClure, TFL Marketing
116 N. Lindsay Rd #16
Mesa, AZ 85213
480-964-1103

If you would like to re-print this article, please contact the author.
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