What Is An SEO Marketing Consultant?
When people in marketing hear “SEO” they usually freeze and look like a deer in the headlights. Their eyes glaze over and they look like they’re about to be total marketing roadkill. I blame it on all the snake-oil salesmen out there selling digital marketing buzzwords instead of an SEO strategy. Search engine optimization can be confusing when you get into the technical aspects, but what most people don’t realize is that a typical SEO consultant doesn’t know that much about coding websites or are that technical anyway.
Most well-known SEO experts are good at overall strategy including keyword research combined with a full-funnel content strategy. The great SEO marketers that I know are great writers and content creators. So, keep that in mind when talking to an SEO specialist.
A legit SEO expert will divide SEO into different quadrants like technical SEO, on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and UX (architecture and design). They will show you where you are succeeding and where you can up your game to win more keyword rankings and drive targeted traffic to your website.
Let’s get into more of what to look for in an SEO consulting company.
What Are the Qualities of a Reliable SEO Company?
- A good SEO consultant will not promise position one rankings.
- Look for a defined SEO strategy and process that makes sense.
- Make sure the SEO consultant understands all aspects of SEO and isn’t too focused on one specific area.
- Look for ways the SEO consultant is focusing on low-lift recommendations that have a high impact on site performance.
- Have the SEO agency you’re talking to show some SEO success stories from previous campaigns.
What Do SEO Consulting Companies Do Exactly?
There are many tools and data points that an SEO consultant uses to analyze your website’s keyword rankings, domain authority and technical health. From there they can assess the ability of your website to perform in Google’s search engine. A good SEO consultation will show you areas that you can improve to win keyword rankings, and therefore get more organic traffic that hopefully will lead to more revenue or leads. First, they will clean up any technical issues that might be holding the site back from ranking. Then, they will work on optimizing all the main webpages to improve page one rankings, and finally, they will look for new keywords to target through new content creation.
Why Is SEO a Must for Your Business?
First of all, SEO is often the number one driver of traffic and sales. Search engine traffic through Google is critical for the success of many businesses. You know what they say, “If I don’t see pictures, it didn’t happen.” The same thing goes with a business being found on Google — if your website isn’t discoverable by people who need your services, then you might as well not exist.
How Can SEO Services Increase My Sales?
There are millions of people searching for products and services every day. If you can get in front of people who are actively searching for your products, then there is a good chance they will eventually buy from you. Driving new people to your site through informational content will introduce them to your brand. People often research something before they buy — so if you can find out how people are researching your product or service, then you should create content to answer their questions. Being present on Google builds trust with potential customers, and trust drives sales.
What Is Lead Generation in SEO?
Much like driving revenue, SEO also drives leads. When you create informational content that potential customers like, they are often likely to give their email in exchange for more great content or for a free guide, template, or eBook. Once you get an email, you can then send the potential customer offers or more information to help guide them to making the final purchase decision. This is called lead nurturing. Understanding your buyer persona and their path to purchase is important when strategizing target keywords and content marketing materials.
What Is a Strategy for Improving Ranking?
There are many ranking factors to consider when trying to improve keyword rankings. Understanding all of Google’s algorithm updates over the years will help you better understand what to do and what not to do for improving keyword rankings. There are technical, on-page and off-page ranking factors to take into account. For example, on-page optimizations include having optimized title tags and meta descriptions, as well as contextual keyword phrases to add relevance to the target keyword in the body copy. From a technical SEO standpoint, the webpages should be able to pass Google’s Core Web Vitals performance tests.
The first step in the SEO process is to run a full SEO audit from a technical perspective and then a competitive ranking analysis for a frame of reference. You’ll want to identify where you are and where you want to go, sort of a roadmap for SEO success. From there, you’ll want to prioritize all your top pages to optimize and move through all the top navigational pages and then move through all the blog pages that have page two (positions 11-20) rankings.
The next step in the SEO process is to create new content targeting unique keywords that you’ve found through either conducting keyword research or those gained from your competitive keyword gap analysis. Next, link all of those pages together using keyword-rich anchor text. Finally, getting quality backlinks to your newly optimized pages through an outreach link-building program will boost the page authority to each of those pages which will help them rank higher in Google’s search engine.
The SEO process sounds long and difficult, but a good SEO team will help guide you through all the steps. The sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll get results!
What’s Your Philosophy for Keyword Research?
The main thing is targeting keywords that are relevant to your product or service offering. One good way to tell if you’re targeting the right keywords is to look at your competitor’s keyword rankings. From there, you’ll see what pages are ranking or close to ranking for priority optimization.
Another key to SEO success is to find keywords that aren’t too competitive. Google ranks websites based on many different factors, but one of the main data points to consider is Domain Authority and Page Rank. Some keyword terms have a more competitive search result page than others. For example, the keyword “SEO services” will have more competitive websites ranking versus the keyword “SEO consulting services.” Even though we want to rank for both, we will target the less competitive keyword in order to gain authority on the topic and ultimately rank for our target page for “SEO services.”
So really, look for the following when finding keywords to rank for:
- Keyword difficulty
- Unique keywords
- Competitor keywords
- Relevant keywords
- Keyword intent
- Longer tail keywords with lower competition
- Monthly search volume
How Long Will It Take To See Results?
Every site is different and will respond differently to page refreshes and optimizations. If you have a website that already has a well-known brand name and presence but haven’t implemented an SEO strategy, your site will most likely respond faster and start gaining rankings even faster. Lesser-known brands will have to do a combination of SEO and PR to really get the needle moving. This is because Google counts brand mentions as a ranking signal similar to acquiring a backlink. It can get expensive but once you’re on a roll you should see leads and sales start to increase.
In general, it takes anywhere between three months to a year to build SEO momentum. It’s a long game, so the sooner you get started with your SEO campaign, the sooner you’ll see results. SEO pays for itself because if you get ten valuable keywords to rank, that saves you the money you would have to spend on paying for clicks through Google AdWords. Keywords are really expensive. For example, if we were to pay for the keyword “SEO Services” that would cost us $15 dollars a click. With over 14k average monthly searches, this keyword’s organic ranking is worth $63,000 dollars a month for rank position #1 in Google. That’s how valuable SEO can be for your company.
How Do You Find the Right SEO Service for Your Business?
With over thousands of SEO companies to choose from, how does anyone possibly know who to go with? It’s good to get referrals from current customers when vetting an SEO agency or consultant. Past performance can be a key indicator of how they’re going to work out for you and your company. Try to figure out your budget and how much your marketing department is willing to dedicate to your SEO strategy. Another thing to think about is who’s going to manage the SEO team. Do you have enough resources internally to be able to implement all the optimizations once they’re made? Can you create all the SEO content that’s going to need to be published in order to gain new keyword rankings? These are all questions you will need to ask yourself and the SEO team you’re talking to. Make sure the SEO team you select is able to assist with the implementation or if they have a team of writers that can supplement the extra blog content that will need to be created.
Finally, make sure to talk to a variety of agencies and consultants and have them pitch you and give you pricing options. After vetting a couple of SEO teams, you should get a good idea of who will be the right fit.