Did you know that the first page of Google gets around 71% of all search traffic?
That number has even reached 92% over the past couple of years, and it doesn’t show any signs of slowing. The introduction of PPC and zero-click searches makes that first page an even more valuable source of information. So, it makes sense that you’d want to be on it.
But SEO isn’t easy and claiming those coveted top spots can seem like an impossible challenge. This is where SEO consulting services come in and, with the right team, you can watch your site jump up the ranks without lifting a finger.
If you’re on the hunt for SEO consultant services, make sure you get the best of the best with our tips.
Why Use SEO Consulting Services
Before jumping into how to find expert SEO consulting services, let’s take a look at what they can do for you.
There’s no doubt that SEO is incredibly time-consuming. From constantly finding keywords to writing blogs and optimizing images, there are plenty of techniques you have to carry out in order to see results. It’s not a one-time fix either; SEO work is continuous, and most business managers just don’t have that kind of time.
SEO consultants also have plenty of experience, so they know what to do to get you results. Their work is often cheaper than software and they can use the latest SEO techniques to help you outrank the competition.
There are also ways that you can do SEO badly and become blacklisted. The result of this is a 95% loss of organic traffic, which could permanently harm your business. SEO consultants will make sure this doesn’t happen, conducting your SEO in a way that Google approves of.
Of course, you’ll only get these benefits if you choose the right team. Here are some tips to help you find the best SEO consulting services.
Know What You’re Looking For
Before starting the hunt for your team, it’s a good idea to outline what you’re looking for. What do you hope to achieve by hiring an SEO consultant?
Some important things to consider include location and whether you’d rather use local SEO consultant services or you don’t mind an international team. If you prefer talking on the phone, make sure you find a team who’s available.
You should also know the kind of services you’re looking for. Different SEO teams will offer different packages. Some might offer more specific services, like keyword research and optimization, whereas others may also offer web design, content writing, and social media management.
Knowing what you’re looking for can help give you benchmarks to rate potential teams again and find the services you’re looking for.
Ask Your Peers
The people you know can be a valuable source when it comes to finding SEO consultants. Contact others you know in the industry to see if anyone can help with giving recommendations. You can trust your network more than strangers to give trustworthy reviews, so make sure to reach out.
You can easily ask your network over social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter. Send out a post or ask in private messages. If you have specific needs, make sure to note these when searching for recommendations!
Search Through Google
As SEO specialists, you would hope that search consultants will have a big online presence! Of course, those that manage to reach the top spots are showing off their work the best, but that doesn’t always make them the right fit.
Use the search results to gather a range of different agencies. Look at those who are ranking in your local area, nationally, and internationally. Then use other criteria to filter through them.
You may be able to rule some out immediately based on budget, services, or the general feel of their website. For the rest, make a note of all the potential candidates before moving on to further research.
Ask in Social Media Groups
Another way to source great SEO teams who might fly under the radar of Google is through social media groups. Some of the best companies don’t appear on the first few pages, but they can be found through referrals.
There are plenty of social media groups out there that welcome these sorts of posts. From local community pages to SEO-specific or niche industry groups, have a search to see what’s available. Once you’ve picked some groups, add a public post asking if anyone has any SEO consultancy recommendations.
Again, it’s a good idea to write any specific needs here. If you need someone local or on a budget, let people know. It’ll help filter out unsuitable candidates much quicker!
Be wary of self-promoters on social media groups and always do your own research after suggestions.
Look for Previous Work Samples
When filtering through your selected companies, take a look around their website to see if they have examples of past work. Not all do, but it can be a great way to determine whether or not they’re a good fit. Take a look at what kind of clients they’re working with, how they’re helping them, and what the final results are.
If they have case studies explaining their work, you can find out a lot about their services and whether they can help you. Examples of websites they’ve built are also great sources of information. Take a look at the design, how they’re written, and where they’re ranking for related search terms.
If you can’t find work on their site, feel free to ask. Their team should be happy to send samples.
You can learn a lot about a company when you communicate with them. Be sure to open up a line of communication, whether over email, online messaging, or over the phone.
If they reply quickly to your messages and are polite, professional, and friendly, that’s definitely a good sign! If they always take a day or two to get back to you, they’re probably going to be less reliable to work with. You need an SEO team who are going to be there when you need them, so watch out for this.
You can also gauge their expertise through early communication. If they can explain their services clearly and understandably, they’re likely to be more knowledgeable. Ask them to explain how one of their services work and see how they respond.
Ask Plenty of Questions
It’s never a bad thing to ask questions. In fact, it’s the opposite; the more the better! Remember, they want your custom, so they won’t shy away from answering anything you need to know.
Here are some good questions you could consider asking to determine whether they’re the right team.
How Much SEO Experience Do You Have?
This is a pretty broad question that should get you a long, detailed answer. They should tell you the kind of work they’ve done, who they’ve been working with, and how long they’ve been in the industry. They might also tell you more about individual team members so you can get a better feel of their knowledge.
You can also use their answer to ask follow up questions. If you’re interested in anything they’ve said and want to learn more, ask away!
Have You Ever Worked With a Business Similar to Mine?
This can be a great question if you work in a very niche industry. You might need a team who really understands how to market your business, especially if you have to follow rules, regulations, and state laws. If you’re a regular business, like a cafe or online clothes store, this question probably isn’t as relevant.
Do You Have an Area of Expertise?
SEO companies can offer a very broad range of services! Make sure you know where your company has the most experience and what they enjoy doing the most. For example, some agencies are mainly creative and prefer design work, whilst others are more analytical and prefer keyword optimization.
What Is Your SEO Process?
Now it’s time to find out what they’re really going to do for you. Start with asking how they get to know your needs and your current online presence and take it from there. They should give you a step-by-step of how they carry out their work so you know what to expect.
You can also ask how they measure their results. Any SEO team should have a reliable way of analyzing your site’s data and making sure that their work is giving you a good ROI. They should also send you reports, so ask them how they plan to do this.
There’s plenty to ask about this process, so follow your gut and ask further questions that are important to you.
How Are You Different From Your Competitors?
Why would you choose their company over any other? They should have at least a couple of points that help them stand apart from others, whether that’s a small team for more personal service or the software they use. Make a note of their unique selling point and whether it matters to you.
What Are Your Rates?
If you don’t know how much the company charges for their services, you definitely need to ask! You don’t want to get invested in a company only to find out they’re completely out of your price range. Make sure you can afford their services but that they’re not suspiciously cheap.
You should also ask how long the work will take based on the price. Sometimes the companies with lower fees work slower and so it’ll take you longer to see results.
Is There Anything You’d Like to Tell Me?
This is a great question to turn the control over to the team. Instead of just answering your queries, they now have a chance to tell you about anything you might have missed. They can provide additional information and, hopefully, you can get to know them even better.
Red Flags to Look For
Whilst most SEO companies will be trustworthy and reliable, there are plenty of red flags you need to watch out for. These are signs that the team might not be the experts they say they are or may simply not be as professional as they should be. You don’t want to buy SEO consulting services that don’t do anything, so be careful who you choose to hire.
Bad reviews on Google should be an instant red flag. If you’re seeing negative comments on their social media pages, this is another warning sign to back away.
If a team is advertising ‘blackhat’ SEO techniques, this is a major sign to move on. These include buying links, writing poor content, and stuffing keywords, and they can get your site penalized by Google.
You should also avoid any sites with grand, sweeping promises. For example, if they offer you the number 1 Google spot for your industry in just 2 weeks, that’s probably too good to be true. Use your common sense to spot these false claims and stay away.
If you do your research, you should be able to spot dodgy companies a mile away. Even if their website is convincing, they should show their true colors as you start communicating with them. Just stay focused and remember what to look out for.
Improve Your SEO With an Expert Team
The right SEO consulting services team can transform the online presence of your business. They can drive targeted traffic to your site and convert them into customers, making sure you get a great ROI on their work.
If you’re looking for a team you can trust to get results, get in touch with us at Riserr. When it comes to SEO, we know what we’re doing.