If you’ve ever Googled a query or service and clicked one of the first results, despite not recognizing the website’s URL, you’ve been ‘caught’ by good SEO. You’ve witnessed the importance of great Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It hardly ends there though. The number of seconds it takes a page to load has a huge impact on whether you click away, and how informative the content is will determine whether you exit halfway through the article and click another result on the search page instead. An SEO consultant knows how to utilize this back-end tool to help grow your website visibility.
Getting to Page One is the Goal
As a consumer, you’ve likely done this process countless times without even realizing it. But as a business, you’re competing with an ever-increasing abundance of free information vying for your buyer’s attention. Only a quarter of Google searchers will ever make it to the second page of search results!
Whether they are aware of it or not, the viewing public puts an enormous amount of trust into SEO to present them with the most relevant, reputable information first.
As a company, you need to tap into this credibility. In this article, we’ll take a look at why an SEO consultant may be the best thing for your business.
Guide: SEO Marketing for B2B Tech Companies
What an SEO Consultant Does
As SEO is a complex, multi-faceted process, it can be a smart move to bring in an expert to ensure your deploying it effectively. But what exactly are you paying for? how much help will you need? And what makes one SEO consultant better than the next? Let’s break it down.
An SEO consultant is an SEO expert who helps clients create websites that attract more organic traffic, generate more leads, offer a better user experience to visitors, nurture customer loyalty and rank highly for relevant keywords.
If your website was a rock star, the SEO consultant would be their publicist.
SEO, in short, is the process of getting traffic to your website via organic search results (as opposed to paid advertising). A big part of content marketing – drawing potential customers to your website by usefully answering their pressing questions – hinges on SEO, and vice versa. But SEO also refers to technical SEO, aka on-page SEO. This is where the experts come in.
They Know Google
Google and other search engines use a complex multilayered algorithm to index pages across the web, based on factors such as relevance, quality of information, and more. To do this, they deploy bots, otherwise known as ‘spiders’, to crawl across websites, clicking links and scanning content.
Technical SEO is optimizing a selection of features on a website to make it more crawlable and indexable. Examples of technical SEO include meta descriptions, H1 tags, HTTPS SSL Certifications, and load speed.
An SEO consultant will typically do keyword research to build you a content plan based on relevant topics, and then generate specific ideas that center on high-ranking keywords. They will also audit your website’s SEO (Nituno offers a free website audit if you’d like an example of this) and implement best practices with on-site SEO.
The Best SEO Consultants aren’t One and Done
Most SEO consultants can be hired for a one-off service to execute a content strategy and optimize your website. But the factors SEO is based around are ever-evolving, it often makes more sense to keep an ongoing partnership with an SEO consultant that aligns with your goals and vision for your brand. You need a long term SEO strategy and that means a long term position internally, or long term relationship with an external team.
When to Hire an SEO consultant
It can feel tempting to save yourself some money and do your own SEO work – and in some cases, that can be effective. There’s no reason why you couldn’t write compelling content for your blog, for example.
The major challenge here is sustainability. Great SEO is a full-time job, and it’s not practical to implement and maintain in your spare time. You don’t want to sabotage your efforts by stealing time from other crucial elements of running your business. Around 70% of online marketers find SEO better for generating sales than PPC, and leads from SEO have a 14.6% close rate, compared to outbound marketing’s 1.7%. The point is – investment in an external consultant will likely quickly pay for itself.
What to Look For When Hiring an SEO Consultant
As mentioned above, in-depth technical knowledge is a must. An SEO consultant must understand what makes a website crawlable and indexable. Look for someone with accreditations from Hubspot, SEMrush, and Google Analytics – these are all good signs.
They should also have happy customers they can show you. Look for testimonials, reviews, and relevant businesses in their portfolio that you can potentially contact.
The Best Practice What They Preach
You can also tell a lot from their own marketing. Mixing different marketing techniques is great, but if your SEO expert is relying entirely on PPC advertising to drive traffic, this is worrying. Look for signs of a consistent, compelling marketing strategy on their own website – do they have a blog? Is their site full and engaging?
What kind of offers do they have for their services? If everything is sold in vague bundles, beware. You need an SEO consultant that will take the time to understand your business and what your current goals are, and then prescribe a strategy accordingly.
The Best Don’t Guarantee
Take note of an SEO consultant who makes too many guarantees – claiming they can get you first-page rankings on a certain set of keywords, or results within a short time. This is referred to as ‘Guaranteed SEO’ and it’s typically a sham. Why? Because SEO can’t be ‘guaranteed’.
The algorithm behind how web pages rank is not fully visible to anyone, save a few programmers at Google. All that an SEO consultant can do is work hard, follow best practices, be consistent and diligent in maintaining good SEO, and supplement with other techniques when necessary.
Look for an SEO consultant with those principles – open, resourceful, and realistic – and you’ll have found yourself a winner.
Hopefully, this helps illuminate when and why to hire an SEO consultant for your business. In today’s business landscape, a poised and persuasive digital presence is essential.
At Nituno, we know from experience that every business needs a unique vision, and we apply best practices that turbocharge our clients’ growth with that vision in mind. Our fully certified SEO experts provide you with a toolbox of great technical SEO, optimized informative content, outbound marketing, strategic SEM, and engaging video content. We offer both one-off consultations and ongoing partnerships depending on your needs. If you’re looking for excellent SEO to get the most out of your marketing efforts, get in touch today.