Search engine optimization plays an important role in ensuring that your online marketing activities will be successful. SEO is basically the driving traffic to your website so that the page can appear in the first page of a search engine, hence, get more exposure. There is a joke among internet users that the best place to hide a body is on the second or third page of Google because it will never be found. This demonstrates how important it is for a site to rank highly on a search engine results page.

If your company has a website and you have done everything right but it is not getting substantial traffic, it is time you considered seeking the services of an SEO consultant. A competent SEO consultant will train your marketing team on what they should do to improve the performance of your website in the search engines and help you improve processes within your company. This entails training your website developers on the intricacies of SEO, analyzing the analytics to see where changes are needed as well as educating journalists and editors on content optimization.

There are many SEO companies out there that will claim to solve your problem but how will you know if they will deliver on their promises? Well, there are a few factors that you should consider before deciding on which SEO consultant to hire. First, ask them to give you a list of your current and past clients. The references will help you have an idea on how skillful the candidate is and also confirm that the person actually worked for those companies. Interview the company and find out whether their websites performance improved in terms of search ranking and conversions as a result of the consultant’s input.

Secondly, you should ask the company what they will do to improve the search engine ranking of your website and also give you a rough estimate of the period it will take for the website to start showing positive results. The consultant should also be in a position to rectify the shortcomings of your site such as error pages and broken links. They should also have the know-how to offer on-page optimization services which will make your website more user-friendly and entails developing web page titles, tags and headings as well as improving the internet linking structure and URL of your website. All these adjustments are known as redesigning the website. The initial design might be esthetically appealing but impractical which calls for a partial or complete redesigning of the website. You should also enquire if the SEO expert off page SEO strategies to promote your online content on other sites especially through social media platforms, press releases and blogs.

Thirdly, you should find out whether the consultant follows the search engine webmaster guidelines. These are the Google approved webmaster best practices that prohibits consultants from doing twelve common SEO tricks. These include tactics such as adding bogus hidden links and texts and automatically generating spams. If a consultant violates these guidelines, they might put your website at risk because it could end up having extremely low ranking on search engines or even get completely banned from appearing on search engine results like Google.

Another way to gauge whether you are dealing with a quack consultant or not is by asking them whether they can guarantee that your website will be number one on a search engine. If they do, you should dismiss them immediately because only phony consultants are known to make such unrealistic claims. You should also be alarmed if they claim to have connections with Google or Bing that they can use to get you priority search ranking. Also ask if the consultant has any experience in increasing local search results. Local SEO techniques include adding the city and state of your business to your websites meta description and title tags. It also involved getting your site listed on Google, Yahoo and Bing’s local listings. Local SEO helps your website to be found easily when someone who is nearby makes a search.

Other factors to consider when hiring a consultant are how you will communicate with each other over the period when they will working for you, what they will charge for their services, whether they will tell you the changes they will make and what will happen after they finish working for you. The later encompasses whether they will tamper with the website in future.

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