If you’re wondering if hiring an SEO consultant is the right investment for your business, there’s five questions you should ask yourself. Before you even contact an SEO consultant to develop a plan or get pricing for SEO services, it’s important to be clear on what you want to get from SEO and how it can benefit your business.
My goal is that my clients are clear on what working with me for SEO consulting will help them achieve and how it will positively impact their business goals. Hiring an SEO consultant isn’t right for everyone!
SEO seems like the magic bullet for so many businesses to succeed, not all businesses can actually benefit from SEO. Making sure that your business can benefit from SEO should be the first step before you decide to hire an SEO consultant.
Will hiring an SEO consultant work for your business?
Do people search for your niche on search engines? The first step to understanding if SEO is right for you is making sure that people are searching for your business niche on search engines in the first place. While this doesn’t happen all that often, there are times when your business just won’t get enough business from search engines because people aren’t Googling for things related to your business.
I’ve run across this only a handful of times when talking with a business owner about whether SEO is the right choice for them—but it does happen. SEO experts call the number of searches performed every month on average for a particular keyword “search volume”. You can look up search volume estimates in an SEO tool like SEMRush to see if there’s a decent amount of search volume for your business’ niche.
If there’s enough search volume to support your SEO efforts, hiring an SEO consultant may be right for you!
Is your niche too SEO competitive?
Some niches are dominated by a handful of authority websites that make it very hard for newcomers to use SEO to gain traffic and new business. If your business is a highly competitive niche from an SEO perspective, SEO may not be the best marketing strategy for you.
It’s important to understand what SEO competition is, as it’s not the same as business competition. You can easily determine if SEO is a good fit for you by searching some of your key terms related to your business and using a tool like SEOQuake to get a quick assessment of keyword difficulty. You can also search and look at the top 10 results and judge if they’re big brands and authority sites.
During an initial consultation, I always take a look at search competitiveness to give a good idea of how hard it will be to start rankings for the most important keywords for a business and how long that may take. It’s important to have a clear understanding of what will be required for SEO to work for your business.
If your niche is too competitive, SEO may be an uphill battle for your brand and investing in other marketing strategies may be a better bet to start out. But if difficulty isn’t too high, an SEO consultant may be the right choice to help you gain more traffic and more business!
Do you have a budget for an SEO campaign?
While we like to think of SEO as “free” traffic, there are costs associated with doing SEO. While the costs of an SEO consultant vary widely, most of my clients spend a minimum of $1,500 and as much as $20,000 - $30,000 on SEO alone every year.
How much you’ll spend on SEO depends on how much SEO work needs to be done to achieve your goals. And quite a lot of that has to do with how hard it will be to rank for the most important terms for your business.
Understanding how much you can and should budget towards SEO is a bit more complicated because you have to understand what the results of SEO may gain for you. Your business may decide that investing in SEO is the best way to see a return on your investment, even if you’re not investing in other marketing. Or you may find that SEO is the last on your list, after more effective marketing strategies.
Either way, making sure that you understand how much SEO costs and what return on investment you may be able to see with additional traffic increases can help you better understand if SEO is right for you.
How long can you wait for SEO results?
But all in all, SEO is a long-term strategy and investment in SEO consulting usually doesn’t begin to see a return on investment for a few months. With this in mind, determining if you should hire an SEO consultant should also take into account how long it’ll take to see results and what that means for your business.
If you need a quick fix to your marketing and are looking to SEO to solve problems on a short timeline, Google Ads is probably a better route to try as it provides instant traffic to your website.
But if you already have other parts of your marketing strategy in place or want to invest in a long-term goal, SEO is right for you!
As an SEO consultant, I recommend SEO for businesses that don’t need instant results and can afford to build up SEO value over time as part of their marketing strategy.
Do you have a clear plan for how SEO will grow your business?
You decide to pay an SEO consultant to help you get more traffic and it’s working to bring more people to your website. But now what?
If you don’t have a clear plan for transforming website traffic into new sales, you might not see a return on your investment in hiring an SEO consultant. If your website has low traffic to begin with, it can be hard to see how SEO can benefit your business and how hiring an SEO consultant can help you grow.
Businesses that hire an SEO consultant do the best when they know how traffic will become clients. Even if you’re not sure on the conversion rates of your website or how well your website gets people to become customers, knowing that increased traffic will lead to increased business is an important factor to hiring an SEO consultant.
One of my first questions during a free initial consultation is to determine how increased traffic will benefit your business and help you achieve your goals, including financially as well as for bigger strategies and goals.
Can you (really) do SEO yourself?
The final question a lot of people ask before hiring an SEO consultant is whether they can do SEO on their own themselves. The truth is anyone can do SEO. It’s a skill that can be learned over time and with experience—but it can take years to become a great SEO consultant.
If you’ve discovered that you have all of the above answers sorted out and that hiring an SEO consultant is a good idea, doing it yourself is probably a waste of time and resources for your business. Instead, you can fast track your results by hiring an SEO consultant with experience who knows the best process to help your website gain rankings.
I’ve taught many entrepreneurs how to do SEO on their own over the years, as well as training my own staff at my agency in depth on advanced SEO strategies. Being successful at SEO requires a high attention to detail, consistent accountability, and focus on improvement. If you think you’ll do SEO for a little while, hiring an SEO consultant is usually a better option.
Benefits of Hiring an SEO Consultant
Now that you know the reasons why you should or shouldn’t hire an SEO consultant based on your business needs, understanding what an SEO consultant can do for your business is the final step to determining if hiring an SEO expert to help is right for you.
SEO Consultants Bring Expert Experience
There’s no doubt about it—hiring an SEO consultant will bring a lot of value to your business through expert experience and insight. I’ve been professionally serving businesses since 2013 with SEO services and have helped lots of different business models succeed with SEO.
I’ve also tested out countless SEO methods, learned the intricacies of advanced SEO strategies, and seen first hand how specific strategies can gain results. My clients benefit from my experience in a wide variety of SEO situations to know what are the best recommendations for their SEO and how to implement SEO work quickly.
One of the biggest benefits of hiring an SEO consultant is she can help you get better results faster than if you did it on your own.
SEO Consultants Improve User Experience
SEO isn’t just about keyword optimization anymore. It involves a lot of other marketing disciplines, including user experience optimization. How your website visitors experience your website has a huge impact on your website’s ability to rank in search results.
As part of my SEO work, I do a complete audit of a website’s experience from a visitor’s perspective to determine ways that the website isn’t serving visitors well. I also check mobile usability, speed, and other technical factors that have a direct influence on SEO. As a website developer in addition to being an SEO expert, I provide some in-depth insight into website design that can have further reaching effects than just SEO.
SEO Consultants Improve Overall Marketing
Just like user experience improvements, SEO also focuses on factors that can improve overall marketing efforts.
As part of my SEO consultations, I help business owners like you figure out how to better target their audience, what marketing messaging best appeals to them, what pain points their business can best serve customers for, and how to address overall marketing strategies that affect SEO.
SEO is much more inclusive than other marketing strategies and incorporates a lot of information that impacts everything from website design to social media to advertising. Your business can benefit from having better results overall thanks to insights and improvements from SEO consulting.
SEO Consultants Help You Understand Your Data For High Level Business Insights
Any good SEO consultant should provide you with reporting that helps you understand how your SEO is improving and how it’s affecting your business goals. But great SEO consultants help you understand how SEO information can help you make better decisions about your business with high level information that gives you additional information.
When I work with new clients, I help predict search trends, where markets are headed, and other information that helps them make decisions about their business’ future. A great SEO consultant can also weigh in on questions you have about your business, decisions on overall marketing, and other important tactics to use in your business.
Ready to hire an SEO consultant?
Are you ready for the next step to find out if hiring an SEO consultant is right for you? The final step is to talk to an SEO consultant to get a free initial consultation to find out more.
During my free consultations, I’ll go through all of the above steps with you to provide expert insight into your business and how SEO can work for you.
I help identify how SEO can benefit your business, what it’ll take to achieve your SEO goals, and how much to spend on SEO to meet your goals. Contact me today for your free SEO consultation and get advice on how SEO can best work for you.