Are you interested in hiring an SEO consultant but don’t know where to start? In this day and age, consumers are increasingly turning online to find goods and services and having an online presence has quickly become an integral part of any business’ marketing mix. The truth of the matter is though, that even the most aesthetically pleasing and functional websites will do little to attract new customers if your website can’t be found when your potential customers search for it online.
That’s where Search Engine Optimisation or ‘SEO’ can play a pivotal role in propelling your business online presence to the top of the search engine results page (SERP). Unfortunately, contrary to the thousands of self-professed ‘SEO experts’ or consultants out there would have you believe, there are no shortcuts when it comes to good SEO practices. In fact, taking shortcuts or using ‘black hat SEO techniques’ is one of the fastest ways to get your website delisted from search engines – effectively wiping your business from the internet.
For most businesses in a competitive industry, however, gaining those coveted top positions on page 1 in a way that follows search engine guidelines, takes time, technical knowhow and most importantly adaptability to keep up with the constant changes in search engine algorithms.
Whether you’re a local business looking to drive more traffic through the door or a large online store looking to increase sales and conversions, hiring an SEO consultant or digital agency can be one of the best ways for your business to get noticed online.
What is an SEO Consultant?
An SEO consultant is an individual with skills and knowledge in the digital marketing industry, to help a business attract new potential customers and help achieve a business’ online marketing goals. SEO consultants can both be independent or work with a digital agency to assist a business with their digital marketing needs.
While there are thousands of SEO consultants out there, a good SEO consultant should be able to demonstrate a proven track record, technical skillset and most importantly understand your business’ industry and how they can help achieve your business goals not only through SEO but the big picture as well.
When you hire an SEO specialist or SEO expert to help with your business’ digital marketing strategy they will work with your business on three main areas to improve your online presence:
- Onsite SEO – Industry specific keyword research, content optimisation, creation, page/service categorisation and the like.
- Technical SEO – Mobile friendliness, structured data, crawlability, site-speed optimisations, security and more.
- Offsite SEO – Improving the strength of your website through high-quality backlinks and competitor research.
While there are certainly guides and Youtube tutorials that will teach you the fundamentals of SEO to implement your SEO in-house, the reality is, SEO is a constantly evolving space; Search engines are regularly updating their algorithms and ‘best-practice’ SEO continues to change year on year and sometimes even month on month.
SEO techniques that were acceptable only a few years ago may actually be detrimental to your current SEO efforts and could even lead to a manual action against your site from search engines.
While, in-house SEO is possible, it requires a time commitment and continuous learning journey that often makes the benefits of hiring an SEO consultant or digital agency highly worth the costs involved.
5 Benefits of Hiring an SEO Consultant for Your Business
1. It Saves Time
Time is money when it comes to business and more often than not, there just isn’t enough time to do and learn everything that we want to do. This is true for SEO as well, while it’s certainly possible to teach yourself SEO when you hire an SEO specialist you save yourself the time that can better be spent on growing your business.
2. Up-to-Date Knowledge
SEO consultants and experts stay abreast of the latest changes in the industry and are both proactive and reactive to changes in search engine algorithms. By hiring an SEO consultant for your business, if your website suddenly takes a hit to its online rankings, you can be sure that your consultant is on top of the changes and is looking to find and implement the solutions that your business needs.
3. Keeping Your Website Maintained
When you outsource your SEO, your website will often benefit from being well-maintained. SEO consultants and agencies run regular health checks on your website to ensure that there are no technical errors that could be detrimental to your rankings.
4. Better Results
With years of SEO behind them, an SEO consultant has the experience needed to help your business rank better on the web. They know what to look out for, the keywords used by your potential customers and how to best optimise your site both onsite and offsite that will ultimately lead to better rankings and subsequently better conversions.
5. Return on Investment
Having your business ranked well on search engines can do wonders for brand recognition for both a physical store presence and to generate online traffic. The difference between being on page 1 and being on page 2 can be night and day when it comes to lead generation and the investment that your business spends on hiring an SEO consultant or digital agency can quickly be well worth the costs.
SEO Consultant or Digital Agency
Determining whether an SEO consultant or digital marketing agency is right for your business depends on many factors. If you’re a small business or a start-up with a small marketing budget that wants to get noticed online, an independent SEO consultant is a great choice when you are looking for good results on a budget.
On the other hand, if you’re a business in a highly competitive industry, are looking to target a customer base outside of local reach, or are looking for a suite of digital marketing services, a digital agency will be able to provide the comprehensive package you are looking for.