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Checklist for Hiring an SEO Consultant

Do you only get minimal traffic to your websites from search engines? Do your sites not rank in the top ten search results for any of your targeted keyword phrases? Do you not even know how to choose and target keyword phrases? Then it may be time to bring in search engine optimization or SEO marketing specialists to help improve your rankings in the SERPS (search engine results pages) and increase traffic to your sites.

Before jumping into hiring an SEO professional, it’s important to determine whether or not you really need to. Here are several things to take into consideration when making that decision:

  1. Do you have enough basic knowledge of search engine optimization and search engine marketing to do it yourself?
  2. Do you have the time to handle your SEO tasks on your own, or would your time be better spent elsewhere?
  3. Would you want to, or even be able to, keep up on all of the latest search engine industry news and trends in order to maintain high rankings for your keywords?
  4. Can you afford to bring in an outside SEO consultant?
  5. Do you need a comprehensive SEO specialist, or just someone to handle bits and pieces of your SEO work (such as improving your meta tags, on-page keyword optimization, or linkbuilding)?

Once you’ve determined that you do want to bring an SEO marketing professional on board to help promote your website(s), there are a few things you should consider when making your ultimate choice in who to hire. Use this checklist as a guide to help you find the best SEO consultant for your needs:

__ Ask for their qualifications. How long have they been in business, and do they have case studies of their past work available?

__ Find out whether the person you speak to personally will handle your case, or if your work may be handled by someone else within the company. If it’s someone else, get their qualifications.

__ Ask to see a full listing of SEO and SEM services offered, so you can be sure they can satisfy all of your site’s SEO needs (don’t forget to ask for rates as well, and if reasonable, ask about a discounted rate for ordering multiple services if they don’t have a special rate already for a comprehensive package).

__ Ask for specifics. Where will they submit your link? What kind of access will they need to the backend of your site? Do they guarantee links they build will be permanent? etc.

Compare the responses you’ve received from each SEO consultant you’ve contacted, and use them as a guide in choosing which SEO marketing professional to hire.

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