Written by James Martin
Contrary to popular belief, search engine optimization is not as straightforward. This is a dynamic field and it is up to you to know what works, what other people are doing and which strategies are based on myths and so on. More often that, because of the many SEO requirements, some marketers only use one strategy that they are sure works. Although this may bring forth some results, it is not the best way to go.
If you lack the time, the confidence or the experience in search engine optimization, it is always wise to work with SEO experts. They have the experience, the tools and the knowhow to help you succeed. The problem, however, is on how to pick the right expert to work with. This post looks at some of the key things you have to consider when looking for the right SEO professional to work with.
The first consideration you need to make is that of the number of years the expert has been in the business. Anyone can create an SEO agency overnight and make empty promises to attract unsuspecting clients. Again, just because the expert has completed training does not mean he knows everything there is to know about search engine optimization. There are several small things that go into the big picture of search engine optimization and it takes years of hands-on experience to know what works and what doesn’t.
Every website is unique in its own way. Different tactics are needed for it to succeed. Needless to say, there is only so much that a professional can learn from school. An expert with several years of experience will be able to understand the needs of a website and pick the best strategy that results in great search engine traffic. Inexperienced professionals will rely on trial-and-error. Their efforts will have a limited effect or even end up tarnishing the online reputation of your website.
Profound understanding of SEO levels
There are three tiers that are involved in search engine optimization:
- Technical. This is the structure of a website. It has an impact on how search engines crawl and index the content.
- On-page optimization. This calls for the use of elements like HTML tags and keywords in a manner that helps increase traffic from search engines.
- Off-page optimization. This mostly involves link building.
The person you end up hiring for your SEO needs should have a profound understanding of the three tiers and should also be able to explain to you how he handles each level. The last thing you want is to work with a one-dimensional search engine optimization strategy. You want an expert who will take care of your website on all three fronts.
All three tiers of search engine optimization work hand in hand. The expert you end up hiring should understand the technical limitations as well as all other SEO problems you may have. Failure to address any of the three levels of SEO will result in limited results.
Proven track record
Don’t take his word for it. Before hiring a Houston SEO expert, it is imperative that you take some time to dig deeper into his past. It is easy for an expert to tell you exactly what you need to hear so that you pay him. To avoid mediocre services, take some time to listen to what his recent clients have to say about the quality of services they received. This means that the professional you are considering should be willing to give you contact information of his recent clients.
Anyone looking to hire an SEO company or consultant must take time to contact at least 3 references to discuss the quality of services rendered. Although it is not possible to make everyone happy, if there are too many negative reviews about the company from different clients, there is a good chance that the quality of services offered are not very good. Too many negative reviews are usually a red-flag.
Fit in your company
The professional you end up hiring should be able to fit in your company’s culture. This is important because for the best services to be rendered, the expert should be able to interact with the different areas of your business. There will come a time when he has to liaise with the marketing team, IT department, customer service, sales and analytics. This happens because the expert needs to understand the core values and objectives of your business fully in order to come up with a strategy that brings the results you need.
With that in mind, you have to make sure that the integrity, communication style and personality of the expert matches your organization. Failure to do this will make progress harder.
Excellent in communication
The role of the professional is to make your dreams a reality. This will only be achievable if the two of you are able to communicate freely and clearly. The expert should be able to communicate to you clearly whey you need to change anything on your website. He should not make the change without consulting you. He should be able to communicate the technical parts in a manner that you can understand.
When it comes to working with an SEO expert, it is important to make sure that you can comfortably afford his services. This is because you want to have him around for as long as possible without feeling as if he is a burden. More often than not, if his services are too expensive, his charges will bite into your profits. That is not a good thing considering your goal is to boost your profits. Take some time to compare the charges of different SEO agencies and don’t hesitate to negotiate the terms before committing.
A lot goes into search engine optimization. It is your duty to hire someone with the training, the experience and tools you need to achieve your goals. Don’t just hire the first person that comes your way. Look around and ensure that you hire the most competent person in your reach.
James Martin is a Houston SEO expert, a technology journalist and a blogger. He loves educating young marketers on how to achieve their marketing goals. Follow him on Twitter for more information about SEO.