In this article I’ll guide you through the process of finding and hiring a Freelance SEO Consultant.
What Does A Freelance SEO Consultant Do?
Simply put, a Freelance SEO Consultant will attempt to get your website to the top result on page 1 of a Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
For example, if your business sells Monkey Butlers, your SEO Consultant will take appropriate steps to ensure that when someone types “monkey butlers” into a search engine, your website is the first to be listed in the search results. That’s basically it. Of course, the process of achieving this result can be complex, time consuming, and will depend on many different variables.
By the way, I strongly advise against the buying and selling of primates for the purpose of serving as butlers*. They tend to be excitable, wayward, and extremely messy.
Do You Need To Hire A Freelance SEO Consultant?
Not necessarily. Do you need someone working on your website’s SEO campaign? Absolutely! But that someone doesn’t need to be a Freelance Consultant. It could be an SEO services agency (for larger budgets), an employee, or even you yourself, if you’re sufficiently skilled and have the time. The advantage of hiring a Freelance Consultant is that their fees tend be much more affordable for small businesses with modest budgets, which probably describes you if you’re reading this article.
Regarding SEO pricing, it’s worth pointing out that the lower fees that Freelance Consultants tend to charge doesn’t necessarily equate to a lower standard of service. It stands to reason that a Freelance Consultant would not have the overheads of an SEO agency, which would allow them to pass those savings onto you, the client.
Choosing The Right Freelance SEO Consultant
Step 1: Search The Web
Start your search in the most obvious place, a search engine. Simply type “freelance SEO consultant” and append your local area to the search query. The reason why I advise you to append your local area to your query will become clear later.
Step 2: Make a Shortlist
Go through the results page of your query and make a shortlist of between five and ten freelance consultants in your area.
Step 3: Do Some Research
Research each consultant on your list. Go to their own websites and look for examples of their work, client reviews/testimonials, articles, blog posts, etc. Try to get a good feel for the work they do and how they do it. If the consultant has a client list on their website, contact a few of their clients and ask them for a reference.
Also, check out their social media profiles, both what they post and what is posted about them. And ensure that you also look for reviews and testimonials on third-party review sites.
The aim of this step is to identify and remove the consultants on your shortlist who may not be a good fit for you to work with.
Step 4: Meet Them In Person
This is why I suggested in Step 1 to add your local area to your search query. I strongly advise you to meet with any prospective SEO consultant in person before engaging their services. This is for three reasons.
Firstly, it’s an unfortunate truth that there are a high percentage of unscrupulous freelancers in the web marketing (web design, digital marketing, SEO) [link] industry. Everyone knows someone who has hired a web design freelancer who suddenly disappeared part way through a project, never to be seen or heard from again. The chances of this happening to you increase exponentially if you hire someone who’s based in another city, state, or country.
Secondly, the success of two small businesses working together depend largely on rapport. There’s no better way to establish a good rapport than a face-to-face meeting.
And lastly, because there’s a relatively new (and somewhat untapped) field of SEO called “Local SEO”. This is comprised of traditional SEO but also involves optimising a website for high search rankings in a specific geographical area. Hiring a local SEO consultant lends itself to this process, especially if you operate a business with a fixed public-facing location.
When you meet with the remaining consultants on your list, you’ll need to ascertain how good they are at what they do, like a job interview. So, ask lots of questions. Here are a few questions you may want to ask:
“What is your overall marketing strategy?”
If the freelancer doesn’t ask you this question (or something similar), steer clear. Why?
Because SEO is not a marketing strategy in and of itself, it’s a tactic. A strategy is a general plan that you put in place to achieve a certain goal. Tactics are the individual steps you take within the plan to achieve the goal. If the freelancer doesn’t show an understanding of this, move on.
The Benefits of Hiring a Freelance SEO Consultant
So, let’s say you’ve now hired an SEO consultant using the advice in this guide. What should you hope to gain?
Ultimately, the answer is more business. Higher search engine visibility should lead to more traffic to website. More traffic should lead to more calls and enquires. More calls and enquiries should lead to more sales. And who doesn’t want that?
*DISCLAIMER: No primates were harmed or exploited during the writing of this article.
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