So, you have established that you need to hire an SEO professional for your business. If this is your first time to hire such a professional, you might be confused or you might feel overwhelmed about how to go about this issue. Here are some 5 easy steps that you should use when you want to hire an SEO expert.
1. Learn some SEO
Learning some SEO will help you know what qualities to look for in a professional. You only need to learn the basics and not the complicated things, unless you want to. This will enable you to discuss your projects with a potential hire before you give them the job.
2. Ask for recommendations
Talk to people you know who have hired these experts before. Ask them to give you some recommendations for people who can do the kind of job that you want.
You can talk to friends or relatives. You can even ask on any social media groups that you are in or in SEO forums. This way, you will get some great leads about where to start your search from.
3. Check industry experience
If possible, hire someone who understands the industry that you are in. They should have worked with clients like you before. This will assure you that they understand the kind of space that you work in and that they can help you to competitively rank in that industry and also locally.
For instance, if you are a dentist, it will be much better if you find a professional who has done SEO for other dentists before. This gives you the assurance that they understand your industry and the challenges that it comes with.
If you want to rank locally, look for someone with lots of experience ranking local businesses instead of hiring a general SEO practitioner.
4. Decide individual vs. company
Decide whether you want to work with an individual or an agency. This will mainly be determined by the size of your own company and how much work you need done. If you have a lot of work, then you are better off hiring an agency to do the job for you. They will have the manpower and the tools to get the job done.
On the other hand, if you don’t have too much that needs to be done, an individual would be a better option as compared to an agency as they will probably be cheaper. If you have an in-house digital team and you only need to hire someone to do a few basic tasks, then hiring a freelancer would still be a good idea. But if you do not have your own team, then hiring a fully fledged company is the best thing to do.
5. Understand the pricing structure
Before you hire any company, you must know how much they expect you to pay for the services. The main pricing methods are flat fee, per project and retainer.
A flat fee project is one where what has to be done has been defined and it won’t keep changing. For instance, you can hire someone to conduct a site audit and fix broken links, improve site architecture and do away with duplicate content.
A retainer is where the person will be expected to work for a specified number of hours on your site every month and he/she is paid an agreed upon amount for every month of service. This is good if you want ongoing SEO services on a regular basis.
Their pricing has to match your budget, so find affordable service providers.
6. Check portfolio
Check the portfolio of the professional. Scrutinize projects they have worked on before and if they were successful. You can also check out previous client testimonials to know the kind of company you are getting involved with.
7. Have a plan
SEO is a long-term project. You should have a plan in place of what you want done and what you aim to achieve in the long run.
8. Sign a contract
Once you reach an agreement with a service provider, sign a contract with them in order to avoid any disagreements on terms of service once the work has started.