The Top 50 Things to Look for in an SEO Consultant

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There are many factors when it comes to deciding on picking the right agency or consultant for you. There are things a consultant should bring to the table in terms of personality and what they have to offer in SEO. These are the top 50 things to look for in an SEO agency or consultant. 

 

1. Have years of SEO Experience

Any person can set up their SEO agency and call themselves an expert but that doesn’t mean they know what they’re doing. Those with many years of SEO experience will be able to see what exactly you need to gain traffic. New SEO “experts” will try the same methods everywhere thinking it will work the same for everyone.

2. Understand the Three Levels to SEO

SEO has three tiers to it. The first being the technical side, next is the on-page optimization and off-page optimization.

The technical side of SEO involves how your website is structured. It also includes how difficult it is for crawlers to index your content. On-page optimization is using ways to increase search engine traffic to your website. This includes but is not limited to: HTML tags or keywords. Off-page optimization refers to methods like link-building. Any SEO expert will know that using just one of these methods isn’t enough and will incorporate all three.

3. Have a List of References

Anyone can claim they know what they’re doing or that they have happy clients. This doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true. One way to find out just how good an SEO consultant is by reaching out to previous companies that have used them. Reputable agencies should be able to list at least three references for you to contact about their work.

4. Marketing

Once the technical aspect is settled for SEO, marketing comes into play. Many SEO agencies only focus on the SEO side of things and ignore the most important part which is marketing. Using an SEO consultant that’s marketing savvy can boost your traffic and profits.

5. Knowledge and Understanding of SEO

SEO requires a deeper knowledge and understanding than just rankings. It involves the psychology of consumers, web analytics, the structure of the website, content, the culture of the audience they’re trying to reach, social media, and more.

6. Focus on the Big Picture

Your consultant should focus on accomplishing a set goal for you and focus heavily on just one area like rankings.

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7. Have a Passion for Executing

Great SEO experts love to get things done efficiently. They have no issue tackling challenges or roadblocks that may be in front of them. The important thing to remember is to keep your company on track and make sure they are willing to progress.

8. Good Communication is Key

Communication is key when it comes to SEO. SEO experts need to be able to explain clearly and discuss why changes are necessary with your team. SEO experts can only take it so far and the rest of your company needs to be able to commit to the goals laid out for them.

9. Is the SEO Agency a Good Fit for Your Company’s Culture?

SEO experts must be able to interact with all areas of your business. This includes your customer service team, IT, marketing, sales, and analytics. If someone doesn’t have the skills to match your company and communicate with them then progress will be difficult.

10. Curious Mind

An SEO consultant that knows a lot of SEO is important but having the curiosity for how it works is better. Sometimes a more experienced consultant goes with what they know and never investigates out how or why it works. That doesn’t mean they won’t be successful, but it does mean they lack knowledge that their counterparts can bring to the table.

11. Build a Solid Foundation

Building a solid foundation is important for a few reasons. The first being that the fundamental strategies are proven to work. Another reason is the best practices are being used. Finding a consultant to build a solid foundation is key.

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12. Know Your Audience

While you must optimize your website for search engines, your audience needs to think of too. For example, you wouldn’t want to attract people who are looking for the complete opposite of what you have to offer.

13. Use of Legal Methods

It’s not often talked about but there are illegal or “black hat” methods to SEO. This includes paying to have your site appear higher in results. Each search engine has its own set of guidelines for what they consider legal and not. You’ll want to find an agency that uses legal methods, so you don’t get into trouble.

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14. Comprehensive Analysis

An agency should be employing SEO analysts that are detail-oriented, thorough, and have demonstrated documented deliveries.

15. Custom-Tailored Solutions

An agency should know that one size doesn’t fit all for a company. Each company should be treated differently from another as they have different needs, goals, and budgets. The right consultant will figure out what these are and base solutions off your business’ needs.

16. Unmatched Personal Service

Consultants should have an outstanding reputation when it comes to dealing with their clients one on one. Those that treat you just as another number aren’t going to care as much.

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17. Honesty and Integrity

An agency should always be completely transparent with you. If they don’t feel they can give you what you’re looking for, they should be able to communicate that to you and refer you to someone who can help. A lot of seedy agencies will take your money and try to deliver on a promise but may never be able to deliver costing you time and money.

18. Strive for a High ROI

A consultant should be giving you 100% of themselves. Ideally, they want to strive for the highest measurable ROI. While the client’s willingness comes into play too, if the consultant isn’t driven, it will go nowhere.

19. High Client Satisfaction

As it was previously mentioned, a consultant should come highly referenced. This goes even deeper and relies on the consultant. A consultant should strive to want the very best for their clients and their client’s business.

20. Must-Have Proper Insurance

This many vary where you live but it’s important to note. For example, all the top SEO consultant Toronto has insurance. Insurance is vital to both the client and the agency because they take on the damages should they fail to deliver what they promised.

21. What Tools Will They Use?

Many SEO services have a set of tools to help them achieve your goals for your website. Ideally, you’ll want them to use well-known tools that have reputable backing.

22. They Won’t Guarantee Results

Now you might be scratching your head at this but a real SEO expert will never guarantee they can make your page rank number one or anything of the sort. This is because of the many factors involved in SEO.

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What SEO Services Can SEO Consultants Offer?

When it comes to putting SEO practices into play, there are many methods. These below are what they should at the very least offer to do for you.

23. Find the Right Keywords for Your Business

Now you might be scratching your head at this but a real SEO expert will never guarantee they can make your page rank number one or anything of the sort. This is because of the many factors involved in SEO.

24. Create an SEO Friendly Website

Once keywords are established, you’ll want your website to be user-friendly. This includes having it mobile-ready, HTML and CSS validated.

25. Create Relevant Content Using Blogs

Your website should have relevant content on it in the form of blogging. Creating content drives more traffic to your page and increases your chances of appearing in a SERP.

26. Meta Keywords

Meta tags are important because they contain your keywords and a description of your website. This allows for search engines to pull this information and display it to those who are looking for your services.

27. Sitemaps

Sitemaps are essential to your website. It makes your site more user-friendly. Creating an XML Sitemap is also useful for search engines.

28. Structure Your URL

To make your website more visible to the search engine, you’ll want to improve the structure of your URL. Using a flat-file system, the right keywords, and lowercase letters for the URL are ways to improve.

29. Navigation Made Simple

This is similar to making it user-friendly and adding sitemaps. You want your website to appeal to visitors. Sites that are difficult to navigate make it harder for the search engines to understand the contents of a website.

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30. Offer Quality Content

Content that pertains to what you are offering and writing frequently increases traffic and gets your website out there.

31. Create a Custom 404 Page

There are times where a visitor will run into a non-existing page or a broken link. This can be due to a wrong URL. When this error happens (error 404) it displays a message. Setting a custom one up can redirect visitors to the proper page on your site.

32. Use Optimized Images

Optimizing images on your page is necessary for it to appear in search engine results. Images should be small and have a proper format like .jpeg. Using alt attributes and title tags are also necessary.

33. Heading Tags

Search engines give value to head tags in a post. Using headings make your website more valuable.

34. Create Deep Links

Your website’s reputation can be improved by creating deep links on other websites that are highly ranked. Doing this will improve your own website’s rank.

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35. Internal Linking

Internal links help with better ranking. They also make your website more navigable. This helps spread the visitors from one page to another.

36. Leverage Google Search Console

Doing this will allow your website to be indexed by search engines.

37. Create Social Media Content

You can create social media posts, guides, lists, e-books and share them to drive traffic to your website.

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38. Link to Your Homepage

Linking to your homepage helps visitors find the homepage easily. It always allows for search engines to find it with ease. Aim for a crawl depth of 1.

Inserting keywords in the title and the body of the article will make your website rank higher on the SERP. Overusing keywords can harm the ranking so it’s important to limit your use to no more than 5% of your article or blog post.

39. Inset Keywords in the Body, Title and Header Tags

Inserting keywords in the title, headers such as H1/H2 and body of the article will make your website rank higher on the SERP. Overusing keywords can harm the ranking so it’s important to limit your use to no more than 5% of your article or blog post.

40. Register Your Domain

A webpage’s visibility is determined but the expiration and how old it is. Search engines give priority to websites that have longer expiration dates than shorter ones. Be sure to choose a longer registration.

41. Utilize Press Release for Branding

One way to build links for your website is by using press releases. This accelerates your company’s voice and will place links in the body so you can create deep links on your page. Please note, PR links are marked as nofollow which means search engines will not credit the link.

42. Use Current SEO Techniques

Search engines are constantly changing their algorithms, so what might have worked a year ago won’t necessarily work now. An agency should be using the most up-to-date techniques possible.

43. Create or Share Videos

Currently, video creation is becoming more popular. Some people are too busy to sit and read all the information given and would rather listen or watch while they are doing something else. Creating or sharing relevant content helps with the user-friendliness.

Creating and sharing informative videos is a very effective way of attracting more visitors to your website.

44. Use Competitor’s Backlinks

Using your competitor’s backlinks is incredibly useful. High-quality backlinks help to grow the rankings of your page.

45. Write Guest Posts

One way to promote your website is by writing for another. Many blog owners are more than happy to include sponsored posts. This adds to your website’s reputation but also creates backlinks.

46. Optimize for Local Search Results

Optimizing your website for local search results is crucial. You wouldn’t want your business to advertise your SEO services in America if you are based in Canada. You’ll want your content to mention a specific area or city. For example, using an SEO consultant Toronto can help better determine what places to use and keywords to cite.

47. Adheres to the Guidelines

While knowledge of SEO is essential, it means nothing if they aren’t using Google’s guidelines. Those that promise to just you quick and easy traffic usually are scammers and can end up causing you legal trouble.

48. Use “White Hat” SEO Strategies

There are two types of SEO strategies: Black Hat and White Hat. A reputable SEO consultant or expert won’t use any Black Hat techniques like duplicating content, cloaking, or stuffing keywords.

49. Must Be Reliable

Good SEO consultants will have worked for the same company for some time instead of bouncing around. They will also be able to show you (not just tell you) their list of completed projects. Many shady consultants can’t produce all their fully finished projects.

50. Able to Produce Certifications

While there isn’t any certified way to become an SEO company or consultant, many do hold certifications for analytics and PPC. Each search engine has its own certifications for PPC and companies that can produce this prove their knowledge.