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Are You Getting Value From Your SEO Consultant?

The SEO industry is experiencing growth at break-neck speed as more SEO companies mushroom all over the place. It seems that businesses are becoming more aware of the power that they can wield in their respective markets from a first page position in Google, yet the overall noise from the exponentially multiplying SEO companies and their dizzyingly varied approaches to getting you on the first page means it’s easy to get lead down the garden path.

Determine Your Business Goals

Before coming up with any kind of marketing plan, whether SEO or other form of Internet marketing, a good consultant will want to understand your business goals. Good SEO consultants have skills in business analysis. In other words he should have some understanding of how your business works and more importantly, how real people will want to interact with your website. Understanding what you want as a business owner goes a long way to accomplishing those goals.

Keyword Analysis

A good SEO consultant will discuss the specific search terms that he/she intends to optimise your website for. The search terms need to be as closely related to your businesses products and services as possible. Keyword analysis involves using a keyword analysis tool to determine the volume of searches performed for those keywords on popular search engines like Google, as well as the amount of competition for those search terms for those keywords. This information ensures you have some idea of how much traffic you’ll get from being on the first page for those search terms, as well as how difficult some search terms will be to optimise for as opposed to others.

Website Analysis

A quick look at your website by a serious SEO consultant will determine whether your website is “search engine friendly.” That consultant should then be able to tell you how much work will need to be done both on the site and with link building to ensure that you have the very best chance to get first page positions on the search engines for your proposed search terms.

Feasibility Study

Your SEO consultant should be able to analyse your business objectives and then tell you how feasible those goals are to achieve. He/she should also be able to give you an idea of how long it will take to achieve your goals. If your business goals are unrealistic from the SEO consultant’s point of view, he/she should be able to present a strategy that is manageable and achievable within the constraints of time or monetary investment.

Proven Results?

SEO is obviously a results driven business. Therefore, you should be able to get examples of proven results from your SEO company. Without some form of proof that your SEO company can actually deliver the results that they promise, how can you believe that they are not just selling snake oil? As with any business you deal with, it’s always prudent to get a reference or some proven record that the company has satisfied customers.

When is an SEO Offer too Good to be True?

Your SEO company should offer you a written proposal that clearly outlines what they intend to achieve for your business and what is involved. The cost should reflect the results that you expect to achieve. An SEO offer is too good to be true when the amount that is asked of you to pay is incredibly small. This depends on your goals as well, if your business is a very unique niche that lacks substantial competition or your business services a very small geographic area, then the job may be easy. However, if an SEO company charges very little for its services, you should rightfully question whether they simply want to take your money and run.

SEO involves real work. If the proposed cost of SEO does not reasonably pay for the cost of the real work involved, then you should consider that maybe your SEO company is taking shortcuts. Taking shortcuts is not conducive to achieving your goals.

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