SEO is unarguably both a hot and confusing topic. Marred with misconceptions and preconceived notions, it is no wonder that most marketers would prefer to hire the service of SEO specialists over undertaking the optimization of a site on their own. Still, a number of people are unaware of the benefits that they stand to gain from hiring the services of SEO specialists or how they can even find a good specialist in the first place; reason why the following read seeks to enlighten you on the topic of SEO specialists and how to find good SEO specialists.
Who is an SEO Specialist?
An SEO specialists is a professional charged with the role of optimizing website pages such that they become as visible as possible to search engines. Working closely with web developers and editors, these specialists analyze a site’s business objectives, intended audience and content in order to draft strategies for obtaining prominent or rather impressive listings in the SERP’s (Search engine result pages). The SEO specialist will make use of online tools to conduct keyword analysis and can further consult web editors to ensure the keywords are incorporated in to the content.
Still, as the online landscape becomes more and more competitive, report of quacks who pose as ‘professionals’ are becoming quite common, reason why you should have a few tips in hand in order to avoid making a costly mistake.
How to find Good SEO specialists
- Agency Vs. Freelancer
The first thing you need to ask yourself is whether you need a freelance SEO specialist or an agency. Both have their fair share of advantages and disadvantages as listed below;
- a) Pros of choosing freelance SEO specialists
- They have a hands on approach thus providing personalized services
- Offer lower hourly rates
- Have a wide network of connectivity and can thus be trusted with inside info compared to agents
- Can start of the project quickly
- b) Cons of choosing freelancer SEO specialists
- They only provide a small portfolio of clients to learn and exchange insights with
- They work alone and do not have a team to brainstorm with
- The project scope is often harder to scale with the growth of the client’s company
- a) Pros of choosing an SEO agency
- A larger collective pool of experience
- Agencies have previous experience across multiple industries
- There is a diverse range of skills provided within a single agency
- Multiple points of contacts are always available if needed
- There is the possibility of full service integration
- b) Cons of choosing an SEO agency
- Costly hourly rates and minimum term contracts
- Having a backlog of work could mean the agency will take longer to get started on your project
- Chances of working on a short notice are high
Although the above may not be true of all SEO specialists, the information presents a rough picture of what it is like to and not to deal with SEO specialists. In weighing the pros and cons, you can decide what type of SEO specialist is best for your business.
- Online search
A lot of people are under the assumption that any SEO specialist with a good Google ranking automatically vendors top quality services, this is not true. Although it is perfectly possible for a specialist to rank well in Google and provide top notch services, the opposite is also true. On the same line, just because a specialist ranks well on Google doesn’t mean that they can also do the same for your site, thus you need to apply much caution when picking your SEO specialist of choice. One recommendable way to go about is by attending online marketing events and meet-ups that provide you with opportunity to chat with potential agencies in person. On the same line, you can also look for business associates that understand the realities of competing online for advice. Last but not least, consider checking out companies that share insight via webinars and blogs. You can use this to evaluate the company’s dedication to fulfilling its clients’ wishes.
- The proposal
Once you have a few SEO specialists in mind and have already contacted them about your interest, they will start putting together a proposal for you. The proposal will tell you volumes about the agency in question. For example, if you get a proposal almost immediately after contacting the company and haven’t been asked any questions about you company than you are better of binning the proposal right away. This is a clear indication that the company either has a used template or just doesn’t care about your goals as a business. A good SEO specialist however will inquire about your objectives, how you make money and where opportunities may lie. Another sign to check for in the proposal is the customization of the SEO plan. Every website is different so the approach an SEO specialist takes and the technique used should be different. If the SEO plan is also a template you already know what to do.However, the best SEO specialist will even include the weaknesses and strength of your business and how the plan will work on them.
Conclusively, watch out for companies that do not offer real life examples or past project under the guise that they are protecting ‘trade secrets’. The best company will include a list of previous clients and the sites that they worked on. Better yet, some will even go a step further to show examples of work the directly relates to your field.
You’ve probably heard this over and over again, but always ask for references and make a point of contacting those references. Although some companies may be under NDA’s for particular projects , they can always give a few references, so do not fall for any excuses. Any company that isn’t prepared to give you any recent and relevant references should also be dismissed.
While you might not know much about SEO, it does make sense to hire competent and professional SEO specialists. Using the information provided in this read, it shouldn’t be hard to find one either. However, do not make the assumption that tech-speak equates efficacy, get your back in to it and find the best SEO specialist for your business.