In the SEO industry it’s difficult to know who to trust. Strictly speaking, anyone can be an SEO consultant. There are no official qualifications required to call yourself an SEO expert. It’s therefore important to find an SEO consultant you can trust. But what does “trust” look like in the SEO industry? This post will cover everything you need to know about finding a trusted SEO expert.
An SEO consultant should always rank highly on Google.
This is fairly obvious, but Google should be your first port of call when searching for SEO services. If your chosen SEO consultant can’t rank their own website then there’s not a chance in hell they can do it for yours. The proof is in the pudding.
An SEO consultant should be well reviewed.
Google reviews are a good place to start, and any good SEO consultant knows that they’re crucial for local SEO. However, it’s also important to take a look at reviews from across the web to get the bigger picture.
A good place to find reliable reviews is Clutch. Users can only leave reviews if they connect their LinkedIn account. This makes it exclusively tied to an individual, rather than a faceless avatar, which is often the case with Google reviews. This connection makes it more likely that reviews will be genuine and trusted.
An SEO consultant should always be able to provide case studies.
Numbers speak volumes and data is at the heart of SEO. Make sure your chosen SEO consultant can demonstrate results and are able to talk you through their strategy. Likewise, they should be able to provide instant insights into how they’d approach SEO strategy on your own website. Some issues require a bit of digging, but more often than not, an SEO consultant can identify issues by spending a few minutes browsing your site.
An SEO consultant should never promise results.
If you’re promised results then you should run a mile. You can’t control Google Search, and therefore you can’t promise performance. Equally, if you’re promised quick wins then this could also be a warning sign. If performance related promises are made, ask the SEO consultant to explain their process and provide evidence of how this has worked for them before.
Some SEOs get short term results and quick wins from black hat SEO techniques, such as private blog networks and link schemes. These are great in the short term, but it’s only a matter of time before Google catches up with you and you get slapped with a manual action penalty, which can be very difficult to recover from.
Long story short. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Do you really need an SEO consultant?
If you just want advice, or are planning to do SEO in-house, then an SEO consultant could be just what you need. On the other hand, if you want someone external to manage your SEO then you may be better off enlisting an SEO agency. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you choose someone you can trust. Don’t just take my word for it though, take a look at Google’s own advice on how to choose an SEO expert.
Questions to ask an SEO consultant
SEO is only valuable if people are searching for what you offer. That said, by generating awareness through digital PR and external backlinks you can indirectly impact your SEO performance.
Google make changes to their algorithm on a daily basis and it’s important that your SEO consultant is on top of the latest trends. An SEO consultant should know what Google’s latest updates are if they’ve been published publicly.
There are a lot of SEO tools on the market. Whilst you don’t need the most expensive tools to get the job done, an SEO consultant should be able to list the SEO tools they’d use to track your performance.