How to Choose an SEO Consultant or SEO Agency

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  • \Learnmoreat:https://www.paradoxseo.com

    HowtoChooseanSEOConsultantorSEOAgencyAreyouconsideringanSEOconsultantoragencytohelpwithyourcompany'ssearchenginemarketingstrategy?Ifso,therearehundreds,ifnotthousands,ofoptionstochoosefrom.Inthispost,we'regoingtodiscussthemanywaysyourchoicecanimpactyourcompany,howtodecidebetweenaconsultantoranagency,whattolookforineither,andwhyyoumuststayvigilantnomatterwhoyouchoose.HowtheChoiceImpactsYourCompanyFirstoff,youneedtoconsidertheimpactyourchoiceofSEOwillhaveonyourcompany.Therearecertainareasofmarketingwhere,ifyoupickthewrongpersonorthewrongagency,youjustloseyourinitialinvestmentintheserviceitself.Forexample,let'ssaythatyouhireda

    https://www.paradoxseo.com/how-to-choose-an-seo-consultant-or-seo-agency/https://www.paradoxseo.com/how-to-choose-an-seo-consultant-or-seo-agency/

  • baddesigner,andyouhatethewebsitetheydesignedforyou.Worstcasescenario,youareoutacoupleofthousanddollars,youhiresomeoneelse,andyounowhaveawebsiteyoulove.Endofstory.Whenitcomestoaconsultantoragencythathandlesyoursearchengineoptimization,itisanotherstory.Ifyoupickthewrongpersonoragency,youdon'tjustlosetheinitialinvestmentintheservice.Youalsoriskthefollowing.

    Ifyouchooseaconsultantoragencythatdoesn'tgettoknowyourcompanywellenough,theycouldendupdoingthingsthatembarrassyouinfrontofcustomers,partners,andvendors.Thiscouldharmyourbusinessrelationships.

    Ifyoupreviouslyrankedwellforakeywordphrasethatledtoleadsorsalesforyourbusiness,youcouldloseyourrankingsforthatkeyword.Thiscouldnegativelyimpactyourbusinessrevenue.

    IfyougetpenalizedbyGoogleforimplementationofbadsearchenginepractices,youwouldhavetoinvestinyetanotherconsultantoragencytocleanupthemess.ThiscouldcostevenmorethanyouinvestedintheinitialSEOserviceitself.

    It'snotalldoomandgloom,andwe'renottryingtomakeyouterrifiedofchoosinganSEOconsultantoragency.ButwearetryingtopointouttheimportanceofdoingyourduediligenceandresearchinchoosingtherightSEOconsultantoragency.ConsultantOrAgencyWhenitcomestotheworldofSEO,thereareconsultantsandthereareagenciesthatcomeinallshapesandsizes.Whetheryouchooseaconsultantoranagencywilldependonseveralfactors,thelargestofwhichwilllikelybepriceandtrust.Otherfactorsmightincludethenumberofpeopleyouwanttoworkwith,andhowmuchofapersonalrelationshipyouwanttodevelopwiththepersonyouworkwith.Forexample,ifyouchooseanindividualSEOconsultant,youwilllikelycommunicatewiththepersonwhoisdoingtheactualSEOworkforyourcompany.Ofcourse,justbecauseyouchooseanSEOconsultantdoesn'tmeantheconsultantisalwaysdoingtheactualSEOworkforyourcompany.Theycouldbeoutsourcingsomeoftheworktooandoverseeingitthemselves.IfyouchooseanSEOagency,ontheotherhand,youwilllikelycommunicatewithasalespersonatfirst,andthenbehandedovertoaprojectmanagerwhooverseesthepeoplewhoaredoingtheactualSEOworkforyourcompany.Inthiscase,thosepeoplecouldincludea

  • combinationofprofessionalSEOswithyearsofexperience,outsourcedlabor,orseasonalinterns.WhatToLookForWhetheryouchoosetoworkwithanSEOconsultantoragency,hereareseveralwaystoresearchthemtolearnasmuchaboutthemaspossibleandfindoutiftheyaretherightpersonforthejob.Forexamplesinthispost,we'regoingtousethewinner'sfromthe2015USSearchAwardsforbestconsultant,smallagency,andlargeagencyaswellasotherrandomconsultantsandagenciesthathadgoodexamplesofwhatwesuggestyoulookforinyourresearch.Noonepaidtobeincludedinthispost.1.Googlethem.Thisshouldbestandardresearchtip101forjustaboutanykindofresearchyoudo,butmostespeciallyforSEOconsultantsandagencies.DoaGooglesearchforthemanddigintotheresults,threetofivepagesdeep.Thiswilltypicallyrevealanyproblemsrightoffthebat,especiallyifyouhaveaccidentallylandeduponascammerindividualorcompanythathasacomplaintoutonthem.

    http://www.ussearchawards.com/2015-winners

  • Forthelegitconsultantsandagencies,thiswillleadyoutotheirmainwebsite,socialmediaprofiles,toppublications,guestposts,AMAs(askmeanythings),interviews,podcasts,andothercontentthatyoucanusetogettoknowmoreaboutthem.2.DoanSEOcheckupontheirbusinesswebsite. WheredoesyourSEOconsultantoragencygetthemajorityoftheirtrafficfrom?FindoutforfreeusingSimilarWeb.

    Istheirorganicsearchperformancegettingbetterorworse?Dotheyrankforgoodkeywords?Dotheyusepaidads?Dotheybuildlinksfortheirownwebsite?FindoutforfreeusingSEMrush.

    http://www.similarweb.com/https://www.semrush.com/

  • HavetheybeenhitbyaGooglepenalty?FindoutusingthisfreeGooglepenaltychecker.

    Thesequickandfreelittlecheckscansaveyoufromworkingwithsomeonewhocan'tevendoSEOforthemselves,letaloneyourcompany.3.Reviewspecificlistingsandpagesforagencies.

    http://feinternational.com/website-penalty-indicator/

  • Thisappliesmoretoagenciesthanconsultants,butlookforBetterBusinessBureaulistings,Facebookpages,LinkedIncompanypages,Glassdoorlistings,andYelplistings.TheselistingsandpagescanhelpyoufurtherdeterminewhetheranagencyisgoingtobeagoodfitforyourcompanyinthefollowingwaysWiththeBetterBusinessBureau(forUSbasedagencies),yougettolearnaboutthehistoryofabusinessthroughoneofthemostrespectednonprofitbusinessaccreditationorganizations.

    WithFacebookpages,youmaybeabletofindreviewsfromcustomersandemployeesfortheagency.YoumayalsofindthatyouhavefriendsonFacebookthatareeithercustomers,employees,orfansoftheagencythatyoucouldtalktoforfurtherinformation.

    Onanagency'sLinkedIncompanypage,youcouldfindyouhavemoreconnectionsthatarecurrentorformeremployeesoftheagencythatyoucouldtapintoformoreinformation.

  • Glassdoorreviewscanbeveryinsightfulastheycomejustfromcurrentandformeremployeesofanagency.Thesecanrevealissuesinareassuchaslackoftraining,lackofcommunication,andgeneralemployeeunhappinessthatcouldtranslateintosloppyworkforyourcompany.Anagencywithhappyemployees,ontheotherhand,couldleadtogreatworkforyourcompany.

  • And,ofcourse,thereareYelpreviewsforlocalagencies.Besuretoscrolldowntothebottomoftherecommendedreviewssoyoudon'tmisstheonesYelptriestohidefromyou.Whilesomeshouldbehidden,someshouldn'tbe.

    Betweenthesesources,youshouldbeabletodoasubstantialamountofresearchonanSEOagency.Thesesourcesaretypicallybetterthanatestimonialspageonawebsiteasyoucanconfirmthesourcesofthereviews,getintouchwithsomeofthemifnecessary,andseethegoodwiththebad.Andifyoucan'tfindanSEOagencyonanyofthesesites,chancesareyoushouldn'tbeworkingwiththem.4.ReviewLinkedInprofilesforconsultants.ForindividualSEOconsultants,tryLinkedIn.Ideally,theirprofilewillincluderecommendationsfromtheircustomersandcolleaguesabouttheirSEOexpertise.

  • Thesearetypicallybetterthanatestimonialspageonawebsiteasyoucanconfirmtherecommendationislegit.5.Don'ttrusteverycredit.Itseemscountertothelasttwopoints,butyoucan'ttrustallcreditsthatyoufindoutthereforSEOconsultantsandagencies.NottosaythatanyoftheincludedSEOconsultantsoragenciesinthispostusethesetactics,butIhavefoundthatsomeSEOconsultantsandagenciesdothingssuchas

    Placedlogosof"clients"theyhaveworkedwithontheirwebsitewhen,infact,theyhavenotworkedwiththoseclients.

    Placedtestimonialsof"clients"theyhaveworkedwithontheirwebsitethatarenotfromrealpeople(hencewhyyoushouldcheckthirdpartysources).

    Paidpeopletowritetestimonials,reviews,orrecommendationsoftheirconsultancyserviceoragency.

    Paidpeopletobeapartnerintheiragencyforcommissionorreferralfees.6.Checkforindustryspecificcertifications.TherearelotsofgreatcertificationsouttherethatSEOconsultantsandagencyemployeescanascertainthatwillprovidethemwiththeknowledgetheyneedtodoagreatjobforyourcompany'sSEO.Moresothanoutdatedcollegedegrees.ThisiswhenitpaystolookatSEOconsultant'sLinkedInprofilesandtheLinkedInprofilesofasmanyagencyemployeesaspossible.Mostpeoplewilllisttheircertificationsthere.Forexample,ifyouareparticularlyinterestedinpaidsearchthroughGoogleAdWords,youwillwanttofindanSEOconsultantoragencythathasGoogleAdWordscertificationundertheirbelt.WhyYouMustStayVigilant

  • Let'ssaythat,atthispoint,you'vedoneyourresearch,andyou'vechosenanSEOconsultantoragencytohelpyourcompanyimproveitssearchengineoptimizationandkeywordrankings.Congratulations!Butyou'renotdone.Youshouldn'tjustsitbackandrelax.Always,always,alwaysstayvigilant.Sure,yourSEOconsultantoragencymaydeliveryoureportsonaregularbasis.Butthatshouldn'tbeenoughforyou.Youwouldn'tjusthandoveryourfinancestoanaccountantandnevercheckyourbankbalanceeveragain,sowhywouldyouhandoveryourSEOtoaconsultantoragencyandnevercheckyourSEOagain?Youalwayshaveaccesstotwothingswhenmonitoringyourwebsite'shealthinsearchengines:GoogleAnalyticsandGoogleSearchConsole(formerlyGoogleWebmasterTools).GoogleAnalyticsisafreewebsiteanalyticstoolthatyoucanusetomonitoryourwebsite'straffic.Intermsofyourwebsite'shealthinsearchengines,youwillwanttomonitorthatyourorganicsearchtrafficisalwaysimprovingor,attheveryleast,notdecreasing.Evenifyouarenotactivelyworkingonsearchengineoptimizationorsearchenginemarketing,it'simportanttosetupyourwebsiteonGoogleAnalyticssoyoucanbeawareofyourwebsitetrafficchanges,whichcanalertyoutoissueswithyourwebsiteoryourtoptrafficsources.

    GoogleSearchConsoleisafreetoolthatwillprovideyouwithyourlatestbacklinks,keywordsthatdriveimpressionsforyourwebsites,websiteerrors,andotherdetailsaboutyourwebsiteinGooglesearch.

    https://www.google.com/analytics/https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/

  • Inaddition,thiswillbetheplacewhereyouwillreceivenotificationsifyourwebsitehasbeenaffectedbyhackers,malware,orGooglepenalties.Soevenifyouarenotactivelyworkingonsearchengineoptimizationorsearchenginemarketing,it'scrucialtosetupyourwebsiteonGoogleSearchConsolesothatyouknowyourwebsiteisalwayssafe.

    Inaddition,thistoolwillletyoudownloadthelatestbacklinkstoyourwebsite.IfyourSEOconsultantoragencyisbuildinglinksforyourcompany,youwillwanttobesurethatyouarecheckingthoselinkstoensuretheirquality.Notbymetrics,butbywhethertheyarerelevanttoyourcompanyandplacedonqualitywebsites,onqualitypages,andwithinqualitycontent.

    Thesetwofreetools,inconjunctionwithqualityreportingfromyourSEOconsultantoragency,shouldhelpyoudeterminewhetheryouaregettingresultsfromyourinvestment.

  • InConclusionAsyoucansee,choosinganSEOconsultantoragencyforyourcompanyisamajordecisionthatcanhaveamajorimpact.Besuretodothoroughresearchonwhomeveryouconsidergoingwith,andonceyou'vemadeyourdecision,besuretostayontopofthesituationtoensurethatyouaremakingthebestinvestmentpossibleforyourwebsiteandforyourcompany.