How to Select an SEO Specialist: The Complete Guide for Businesses

There are many places to get traffic for your website, but SEO stands above the rest as one of the best available. When 53% of internet traffic comes from search engines, you’re missing out on a ton of value if you don’t put any effort into ranking on Google.

The question is, can you handle SEO work yourself, or do you need to hire an SEO expert for the job?

If you plan to select an SEO specialist in the future, you need to understand what makes a good SEO professional. Check out the information below to learn how to filter your options for SEO specialists.

Check for Experience

There are several different areas to focus on with SEO. On the technical side, you have on-page, off-page, and technical SEO. You also have different types of SEO depending on your audience.

Take an online store, for instance. It pays to work with a company with experience working on eCommerce SEO. Different factors go into ranking product pages, and a company focusing on informational content may not understand those.

The same is true for local websites. There are a few extra local SEO tactics — such as Google Maps and local citations — that a general SEO expert may not know much about.

Be Wary of Guarantees

Although there are known best practices in SEO, doing everything right doesn’t mean you’ll be able to rank a website. Competition is fierce in most industries. This means that doing everything right doesn’t guarantee success and Google traffic.

This is why it’s essential to be wary of ranking claims from SEO providers. If a company guarantees first-page rankings quickly, think carefully about hiring that company.

Try to stick with companies that are realistic about the SEO world. Yes, it’s possible to rank in a short amount of time. But you can’t guarantee this will happen because you don’t have control over how Google works.

Look for Case Studies

One of the best things about SEO is that you can track results. You put the keywords you target into a rank tracker and monitor the ranking over time. Good SEO companies will record this information and compile it into reports.

These companies will publish these reports as case studies. This allows potential customers to see what an SEO specialist can do and how quickly they get results.

Most companies publish these case studies on their websites — so make sure you check the case study sections to see what an SEO pro can do.

Learn About SEO Tactics

Although there are standard practices in SEO that work in most situations, there are also more underhanded tactics that produce temporary results. The problem is that those results don’t usually last and may damage your domain name’s reputation on Google.

These are called black hat tactics. Ensure you’re familiar with what they are and what tactics an SEO company should use.

The company you hire should be able to explain clearly how SEO works and the tactics they use to rank websites.

Get Pricing Information

Since SEO takes some time, you may work with an SEO specialist for some time. This process can take months, and if you hire an expensive firm for that time, you may end up paying a lot of money.

This makes learning how a company prices SEO services important. Some companies work on retainers and will charge a monthly fee. Doing this will give you a custom plan and a fixed amount of monthly work.

But other providers offer a productized service. You’ll have a fixed price for website content, backlinks, and other SEO tasks.

Look into each of these when comparing SEO service costs to see which pricing strategy best suits your needs and offers the best value.

Get Reporting Information

Understanding what your SEO provider is doing is critical. Even though SEO takes a while to work, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hear anything from your SEO company. They will need to constantly work during that time to see results.

Make sure you get reports on these activities. You should get regular updates about the work completed since the last report.

Once you start ranking, you can start getting ranking reports too. It will help you understand the impact of the SEO work and the results you’re seeing.

Check for Extra Services

One of the most challenging things about doing SEO is everything involved. Many factors go into ranking websites:

  • Site speed
  • User experience
  • Great content
  • Backlinks
  • Graphic design

And there are many little things in each of those categories. Some SEO providers only focus on a few of those sections, so you may not get a complete SEO package if you hire the wrong company.

Understand what an SEO company offers and if it will have everything you need to rank.

Get Previous Customer Feedback

One of the most important parts of finding an SEO specialist is learning from people who have used a provider before. It’s hard to learn what it’s really like working with a company without being in that position.

Reading online reviews is a great way to accomplish this goal. Check Google and other review websites to see what other website owners say.

Look for the good and bad about a company during this process. You’ll likely find a few red flags that remove some of your options from your search.

Select an SEO Specialist With Care

SEO can make a huge impact on your business. You get a free source of traffic and the ability to increase your brand presence on search engines. But with how long it takes to work, you can’t afford to hire an SEO specialist who doesn’t do the job right.

That’s why you must take care when you select an SEO specialist. Make sure the person or company you hire has the right skills and can prove they have gotten results.

Are you interested in more ideas that will help you grow a brand online? Check out the blog for more SEO and social media tactics.


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