An SEO consultant is an individual that has expertise in search engine optimisation (SEO). They normally offer businesses and website owners consultancy services to help improve a websites search engine and organic performance.
Having an SEO optimised website is no longer optional in today’s business landscape, it is a necessity. There are an estimated 1.5 billion websites currently online, and the best way for your website to be found online is through an effective and well-executed SEO strategy.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is vital for any business that wants or needs to achieve optimum visibility online. It is a daunting task due to the secretive nature of search engines and often an element overlooked by website owners. One of the ways you can increase the chances of success online is by hiring a freelance SEO consultant. An SEO consultant can help you build your business online by researching, building and implementing a solid SEO strategy that is unique for your business.
What is a freelance SEO Consultant?
A freelance SEO Consultant is an individual that works for themselves, not an agency. They normally can be more cost effective as they do not have large overheads like agencies do.
But, should you choose an agency or a freelancer to help with your SEO? Who would do a better job?
This is a very common question in every industry and niche you operate in, especially as maintaining your online visibility is crucial to your business.
Implementing an SEO strategy that will allow your website to feature higher in search rankings always takes time. Technically, it is possible for anyone to implement these changes themselves, but hiring a professional is almost always the better option. SEO is not a one size fits all option, your strategy depends on your niche, keywords, competition and so many other factors, that optimising your site yourself could waste valuable time and money that would be better spent running your business. But, should you hire an SEO agency or a freelancer?
Here are some key points to consider when making your call.
You need to consider what you are willing to spend. Larger agencies tend to be significantly more expensive than smaller providers and freelancers to cover the costs of office space, staff payroll, accounting, marketing and other costs involved with operating an agency. A freelancer will have much lower overheads, allowing the freelancer to pass those savings on to you in their price.
Freelancer and small providers will always offer better value.
Level Of Expertise
You want to know that you are hiring the right people with the skills and expertise to get you the results you need. A large company by nature will employ a team of people with varied expertise and industry knowledge, so the job will be done, but you are unlikely to have one person to communicate with.
When you hire a freelancer, you will have one person that you are always in communication with. Many freelancers have worked in agencies to improve their skills before going out on their own. As business owners themselves, freelancers are normally passionate and driven, meaning they will continue to study and learn about the latest trends and best practices in SEO, translating to better results for you.
Reputation and Reliability
There will be many agencies that do a great job for their clients, but they are not always affordable. There are also plenty of large agencies out there that are affordable but that cannot be relied on to do the work properly. However, many people assume that a big agency can be trusted and will have a proven track record just because they present a professional, corporate image.
A freelancer must work hard to find clients. They tend to rely on word-of-mouth and referrals rather than glossy ads and a catchy tag line. A freelancer is only as good as their last job and their reputation is everything! When hiring a freelance SEO, you can be sure that they will dedicate themselves 100% to getting you real results.
Freelancers often work unsociable hours, which allows them to be more flexible and reactive if something needs to be altered last-minute. This level of flexibility is very difficult for agencies that have more stringent rules and guidelines in place.
Sometimes, you will need an SEO for a short-term campaign or for a one-off project. For true flexibility and an approach that can be tailored to your unique needs or situation, a freelance SEO will be the right decision. They will not try to lock you into a contract and will work with you in a capacity that will work for you, whether that is on an as-needed basis or on a longer-term capacity without a set contract in place.
The definition of an SEO Consultant
An SEO consultant provides professional support for businesses looking to increase their online presence. This includes advising them on building and implementing search engine optimisation strategies that will make them more visible online. Support from an SEO Consultant will include a range of techniques that help make the site more attractive to search engines, helping the pages rank higher in Google searches. This helps to provide more targeted traffic reaching the site. The ultimate goal for an SEO consultant is to increase revenue from online sales or enquiries – a process that requires long-term commitment to SEO best practice.
What does an SEO consultant do?
An SEO consultant will focus on two main areas: on-page and off-page SEO.
On-page SEO involves optimising each page of your website to rank higher and secure more relevant traffic from search engines. On-page refers not only to the content (text / images / video) found on each page, but to the HTML source code of the page.
A skilled and experienced SEO consultant should be able to advise you on all aspects of on-page SEO, including things like:
- Title tags
- Meta tags
- Description tags
- Keyword density
- Off-page SEO
Off-page SEO helps to improve your website’s position in the search engine results page. This is likely to involve long-term strategies like link building, social media, and content marketing, which involves the creation and sharing of online material such as videos, blogs, and social media posts to stimulate interest in your brand’s products or services, and drive highly motivated traffic to your site.
An SEO consultant should be able to help create quality content for your site, as well as structuring your site to ensure your pages are mobile friendly with a high page loading time. These too are important aspects of SEO.
Who much will an SEO Consultant cost?
The cost will vary depending on many factors. These include the size of your business, the services you need, whether you choose an agency or a freelancer and your keywords and competition in your sector.
As a general rule, prices for quality SEO consultancy start from £600 per month, depending on your company’s individual needs.
How long will I need to work with an SEO for?
Successful search engine optimisation isn’t a quick process, it’s a long-term commitment that requires consistent and thoughtful action to achieve results.
Any consultant or agency that promises you a page one Google ranking quickly is not to be trusted. Skilled SEO is a process that requires patience, so expect to commit to working with your chosen consultant for a minimum of 12 months.
A typical SEO project runs for 12-24 months, with results typically being seen within the first 12 months. How long you work with your chosen SEO is dependant on the available budget and the SEO’s experience.
Do I really need to hire an SEO Consultant?
Many website owners have a very basic understanding of SEO practices, but naturally their time is taken up running their business. A good SEO strategy delves deep into the SEO process to be successful, from backlinks and link building to content strategy and resources as well as your normal on-page SEO best practices. These all need to be considered to achieve long lasting results.
It may be as a business owner you have managed your SEO in house, but haven’t yet achieved the results you need. A freelance SEO consultant often becomes an addition to your team to help climb the search engine results page. Experienced SEO experts have tried and tested SEO techniques to help your business, reducing the time and money wasted on trial and error. From the moment they start working with you, they should have an understanding of what is working well, what needs to be improved and how to implement a strategy with targeted results that are measurable over a set timescale.
How do I find a trustworthy SEO Consultant
If you are looking for someone to help you reach high ranking positions, you will need to find a consultant who can provide data driven results, that keeps up with the latest SEO techniques and who can promise clear and transparent communication.
SEO is based on actionable results that come through exhaustive and accurate interpretation of accurate data. You should ask about a consultant’s working processes, including how they will measure that something has been ‘successful’. Finding alternative solutions.
SEO is a process that is constantly changing, with techniques that worked yesterday not working today! The process to rank highly is not an easy one, and a good SEO consultant will use a flexible approach to SEO, offering a range of alternative solutions that should be tailored to your unique industry and niche.
Any consultant that you would with needs to provide a clear line of communication. You should be able to discuss and challenge any ideas that they bring to the table and they should be able to provide regular updates and data too.
Agencies Vs Freelancers: Make the right choice for your SEO
With the business landscape becoming increasingly more competitive, having an effective SEO strategy in place is key to success. In order to implement a strategy that is tailored to the unique requirements of your business, you need to hire the right person or people for the job.
While some business owners may be drawn to a large firm that they assume will get them the results they want, it’s important to take a step back and assess what you really need. Do you want to work with someone who is passionate, results-driven and who stands by their reputation? Do you need an SEO who will dedicate themselves to your project, be there for you when you need them and offer a personalised solution? If the answer to any of these questions is ‘yes’, then for you, a freelance SEO is absolutely the right choice. With their drive, determination, skills and dedication to their craft, you can be sure that a freelance SEO will always go above and beyond to not only meet but surpass your expectations.