We hear this question asked quite often – just what is it that makes for a good SEO consultant anyway? After all, we all pretty much do the same basic things – we study your website, recommend ways to get higher rankings in the SERPs and generally show you how to be more successful at Internet search marketing techniques.
That said, there are a number of things that you can look for if you truly want to find a good SEO consultant as opposed to one who is full of hot air:
They ‘re Honest With You – Yes, it’s possible to get pretty much any keyword ranked in the top of the SERPs. Even ridiculously popular keywords like say iPhone. However, a good SEO consultant will be honest with you about several things regarding this request:
1. It’s going to cost you a fortune to do it. The more popular a keyword is, the more work has to be done. Article writing, link baiting, creating viral campaigns, it’s all expensive and you’ll be spending mega bucks to do it.
2. It’s probably not worth it. The reality is that just because you do rank at the top of the SERPs for the keyword iPhone doesn’t mean you’ll increase sales of your iPhone apps. A good SEO consultant will tell you to save your money and be more targeted. Focus on more specific keywords and you’ll make more money.
They’re Willing to Share—No, you can’t expect any SEO consultant to spend hours on the phone with you looking over your website and giving you lots of detailed information about what to do with it. Not for free anyway.
However, a good SEO consultant will tell you point blank the kinds of things they can do for you and what you can do for yourself. The reality is that the information is pretty much all out there and available on the web anyway.
You aren’t paying them exclusively for their expertise (though that is a part of it- while the information is out there, it’s not always comprehensible to the average person). You’re also paying them for their time to do the job correctly.
Bottom line, a good SEO consultant won’t be super cagey and refuse to reveal secrets of his or her trade. They’ll tell you, this is what I do and this is how I do it.
They Know Their Business—Look, any good SEO consultant knows this business and knows the names of the top players in the business. It’s not hard for you to figure that information out either. You simply need to go and look for it. A good SEO consultant will know who is good and who isn’t.
Throw out three names of SEO companies, two you know are good and one that isn’t good and ask them who they’d recommend. A good SEO consultant will know enough to give you an answer that makes sense as opposed to guessing.
They’re Willing to Turn You Away—Finally, a good SEO consultant knows when to turn a customer away. Either because the customer has unrealistic expectations or because there isn’t going to be a whole lot of value for the customer in hiring the consultant. It’s only the crappy ones who make promises they can’t keep and take money for unnecessary services.
The SEO consultant who simply tries to give you a hard sell and makes promises no matter what is going to be the SEO consultant you regret hiring. The one who is honest with you and tells you what really can and can’t be done on your budget and doesn’t high pressure you to sign right now or else is the one who is truly a good SEO consultant.