7 Things You Need to Consider Before Hiring a Local SEO Consultant

By Ashutosh Jha → Last Updated on Friday, January 18, 2019
More than 80% of smartphone shoppers use “near me” searches. It makes sense. When you’re out and about, you want to know which shops and businesses are nearby.

The rise of local search has changed how people shop and how businesses do marketing. You no longer need to aim for the most competitive keywords to reach the right audience.

Local SEO is still pretty new, but it’s gaining popularity. You already know the power of SEO for your marketing, but you may have questions about how local SEO differs.

One thing you might be considering is hiring an SEO expert. Before you bring anyone on board, be sure to think about these seven things.

1. Decide on Your SEO Goals

Before you hire SEO consultants for your business, take stock of what you want to achieve. Are you planning to increase revenue? Maybe you’re building your brand identity.

Knowing what you want to achieve with SEO makes it easier to hire the right consultant. They can help you devise the right plan to achieve your goals.

While consultants will have different approaches, certain tools and techniques support particular goals. Look for consultants who have experience and expertise in those areas.

2. Ask About Experience Before Hiring an SEO Expert

Almost anyone can bill themselves as a local SEO consultant these days. That’s why you have to ask about their experience.

What kind of work has this expert done in the past? What clients have they worked with? What were the results like?

You’ll want to be sure the SEO consultant you choose to work with has experience in local SEO. You should think about the experience they have with businesses in your industry. How familiar are they with your type of business?

The more experienced they are, the more likely it is they’ll be able to help you improve your site and rank higher.

3. Talk About Communication

If some search engine consultants take weeks to get back to you, it doesn’t set a very high bar for communications.

You should establish communication guidelines with your consultants from the very start. How often will they send you reports? What will those reports contain?

You’ll also want to set standards for communicating changes to your site. You may not want to get updated every time something changes. It’s still important for you to track what the consultant is doing.

4. Determine How They Measure Success

How will you know if your SEO efforts are working? During an SEO consult, your experts should help you define success.

Then they should help you measure it. Before you hire SEO expert help, ask them about the metrics they track.

There are many metrics you can use to measure the performance of SEO. They're not all created equal.

If your SEO expert suggests they’re going to measure conversions and ROI, you’ve found a great partner. Traffic increases are nice, but conversions are where the money is.

5. Ask About How They Stay up to Date

Google is the standard bearer when it comes to SEO best practices. They issue the list of best practices for webmasters.

Any SEO consultant worth their salt should stick to this list. If they don’t, Google could penalize your site.

SEO consultants should also stay current with changes. Google updates its algorithms to reflect changing search practices. As a result, SEO techniques change too.

Local search itself is a great example. Google is making it easier for people to find your business. They've introduced features like the local three-pack, which lists three top local businesses.

Your SEO expert should know how to get you in that exclusive spot. They should also understand the importance of reviews and Google My Business.

There are many different aspects of local search which can improve your SEO. You can learn more about them. With this understanding, you can ask questions about these factors in your strategy.

6. What Happens at the End of the Contract?

Right now, you’re thinking about hiring an SEO expert. You may not be thinking about what happens at the end of the contract.

It’s something you should ask right from the start.

Many consultants will want you to sign on for a minimum period. After all, SEO takes time to work — it’s not a quick fix.

There may be times when unforeseen circumstances mean you need to end the contract early. If this is the case, you need to know if there will be any extra fees.

You also need to know what happens to your web-optimized content. It should be your property, but you need to check the details of any agreement.

7. Ask a Trick Question

Before hiring an SEO expert, ask them if they’ll guarantee you the #1 ranked spot on Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

Many people do ask this question of their SEO consultants. You should actually be looking for a consultant who says “no”.

Why? It’s simple. Nobody actually knows any search engine’s full algorithm.

Anyone who says they can guarantee your rankings likely isn’t going to be able to follow through on that. A good SEO consultant will be upfront and honest. They won’t guarantee particular rankings.

Get Started on Improving Your SEO Today

The search engine landscape is always changing, but one thing has remained the same. Good SEO is now the difference between a business that makes it and one that doesn’t. Hiring an SEO expert could be the best thing you do for your business.

You may not be ready to hire a consultant just yet. One of the things you can do instead is look around our blog. We have articles showing you how to improve your SEO with simple steps.

One thing is for sure. Whether you hire or take some DIY steps, you can start improving your SEO right now.

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Ashutosh Jha

Ashutosh Jha is a professional blogger, Blog and IT Consultant. He writes about Blogging, SEO, Making Money, Internet Marketing and Web Design.
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