Hire an SEO Consultant (for B2B, SaaS & Startups) in 2023
If you want to hire an SEO consultant but have concerns about choosing one, this article is for you.
I’ve worked in the SEO field for B2B and SaaS companies for over 5 years. I’ve hired SEO specialists for companies and been through many interviews too.
If you need help with SEO, get in touch with me and share your current SEO challenges. I’ll review your website to see if I am the right SEO consultant for you. I am based in Toronto and primarily work with clients who want to hire SEO consultants in Canada, but I also offer online consulting.
If you are just looking for more information to hire a professional SEO consultant, keep reading. I’ve shared many insights that will help you choose the most suitable SEO specialist for hire.
What does an SEO consultant for hire do?
As an SEO expert, let me share the typical daily tasks SEO consultants and freelance SEO experts deal with.
A content audit refers to a holistic analysis of your website’s content, which includes blog articles, services pages, case study pages (if you have any), and supporting pages.
When you hire SEO consultants, they aim to assess your website’s content to analyze the following:
- Web pages that rank in the top 10 for the target keywords and generate organic search traffic.
- Web pages that rank on the second search engine result page and have the potential to rank higher.
- Performance of web pages with business potential.
- Performance of your blog pages (if you have a blog).
As an SEO expert, I recommend conducting a content audit once a year to understand the current state of your website and how to alter your content creation strategy.
A technical audit helps you discover issues related to your website performance. For example, an SEO specialist for hire analyses your website to pinpoint technical issues that prevent your website from performing well in search results.
As a result of a technical audit, an SEO consultant for hire will help you grasp the following information about your website:
- What web pages are not in the index, and why
- How to deal with “crawled – not indexed” and “discovered – not indexed” issues
- Whether your website has duplicate pages
- Whether canonicals are set correctly (if your website has canonicals)
- Whether 301 redirects are set correctly (if your website has 301 redirects)
- Whether your website has 404 pages (non-existing web pages)
- The loading speed of your website pages
- Overall usability and readability of your website
- Internal linking structure
- Whether website architecture is set correctly to help achieve your business goals
These are just a few examples of what you’ll get from the technical audit when you hire an SEO consultant.
Link building is essential to any SEO strategy because backlinks are still among Google’s ranking factors.
Google becomes smarter every day. Therefore, it treats links differently. Buying links or getting backlinks from low-quality domains no longer works. It might help you boost your website’s domain rating temporarily. However, it’s a losing strategy in the long term.
When you hire an SEO expert, they evaluate your website’s link profile, recommend links for disavow and create a link-building strategy to support your business goals.
Content creation is an essential part of SEO. That’s why someone has to create and optimize content to rank in Google search results.
Based on my experience, the best results are achieved when you hire SEO consultants skilled in SEO writing.
SEO writers, like me, know how to create engaging content, follow the brand tone of voice, sell through content, follow Google’s E-E-A-T content quality guidelines, and know proven-to-work on-page optimization strategies.
On-page SEO is about optimizing individual web pages to improve search engine rankings and drive more targeted traffic to a website.
SEO specialists analyze your website pages to understand whether they are optimized and follow Google recommendations. If they discover issues with the on-page optimization, such as some web pages don’t rank for any keywords, they have to inform you about it, make a list of keyword recommendations and explain how you can target the recommended keywords on your website.
An expert SEO consultant for hire should always conduct niche keyword research while working on an SEO strategy and recommending new content ideas.
SEO consultants can help you discover keywords with business potential and low/medium competition that you can target on your website to realistically rank in search results.
If you’ve tried creating content for your website but could not achieve desired results, I recommend hiring SEO consultants and delegating keyword research. Based on my experience, it’s usually faster and more cost-effective.
SEO consulting is usually a one- or two-hour call where an SEO expert answers all your questions related to your website and its performance in organic search results.
Please, note that an SEO consulting session is not a ‘done-for-you’ service. When you hire an SEO consultant, don’t expect them to conduct a website audit or analyze your business before the call. It’s on you to prepare for the session and ask the right questions about your website and SEO.
SEO strategy creation
SEO strategy is a comprehensive roadmap tailored to help your website improve its visibility in search results and rank for the target keywords.
A good SEO strategy should include all the above-mentioned activities SEO experts can help you with, including keyword research, content creation and optimization, technical SEO, and off-page optimization.
It’s comprehensive and time-consuming work. If you hire an SEO consultant, they will have to review the current state of your website first before developing a new SEO strategy.
When it’s worth hiring an SEO consultant
As an SEO specialist, I know what is feasible to promise clients when they reach out to me and what we can realistically achieve, depending on the industry and complexity of the project.
Not every SEO specialist, even an SEO agency, can help you achieve your business goals. The SEO industry changes day by day. That’s why many strategies that used to work no longer bring desired results.
However, there are still instances when SEO experts can support your business.
If you wonder when hiring an SEO consultant is worthwhile, let me share a few cases when SEO experts can indeed help you achieve your business goals.
1. Your in-house expertise is limited
SEO is a dynamic field where many things change frequently. An SEO expert must stay up-to-date with the latest industry updates to be able to recommend actionable improvement tips and implement new strategies.
If your SEO specialist still recommends you purchase links and place keywords “here and there,” they missed a lot of Google updates. Following old strategies might have an adverse impact on your website, like losing ranking positions, impressions, keywords, and traffic.
If you want a second expert opinion on your SEO strategy, I recommend hiring an SEO consultant. A few sessions with an expert and a holistic website overview will help you understand your website’s strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities.
2. You plan a brand new website
If you are working on a new website and want to promote it in organic search results, I strongly recommend getting expert advice from an SEO consultant for hire on the website structure, URL structure, and keywords to target.
Having the right foundation will ensure a smooth start and save you money and time in the future.
I’ve worked with several clients who relied on their intuition instead of an SEO strategy while growing their websites. To tell you the truth, it was challenging to fix all the technical issues and help a website recover. Moreover, it costs more money and takes much longer.
Therefore, if you want to build a new website and grow it in organic search results, hire an SEO consultant at the beginning. They will ensure your website’s SEO foundation is ready to support your business goals.
3. Your website does not perform well in organic search results
“Can you help me grow my website in organic search results since it does not perform well?” – that’s one of the most popular questions I often hear from prospective clients.
It does not matter if it is a startup or an established company, many businesses struggle with SEO since they don’t know how to approach it and do it right.
If you believe your website does not perform well and your in-house team cannot grasp what should be improved, I recommend to hire an SEO specialist to investigate the current state of your website and give actionable improvement tips.
4. You don’t want to waste resources
SEO is expensive.
Whoever says it’s free does not know how much time and resources SEO requires. Therefore, I always recommend considering where you allocate your resources, why, and what you expect to get in the end.
Creating content without keyword research and analyzing search intent won’t yield any results. Nevertheless, I’ve seen and worked with many companies that did it.
If you don’t want to waste your resources but don’t know how to allocate them effectively, hire SEO consultant and ask for advice.
An experienced SEO specialist will always recommend creating a go-to SEO strategy (if you don’t have one already) that will take into account your budget, timeframe, and business needs.
Contact me if you need help with SEO. I have over 5 years of experience in SEO for B2B and SaaS. I am ready to help you improve your website’s performance.
How to hire an SEO consultant
The most challenging part when hiring an SEO consultant is to choose one.
There are many experts on the market. However, how do you know who’s the most suitable one to help you achieve your goals?
When I worked full-time in marketing teams, I saw SEO specialists implementing outdated strategies, such as purchasing backlinks or using only keyword-rich anchors, even though these strategies no longer work.
How to know if your SEO consultant for hire is skilled?
Let me give you a few tips on how to hire professional SEO expert.
1. Look for the impact of work
A skilled SEO expert has a proven track record of successful projects where they managed to grow websites in organic search results.
If your preferred SEO consultant has worked on similar projects and knows your industry, there is a high chance they’ll be able to help achieve the desired results.
Whenever you want to hire an SEO consultant, ask them to share what projects they worked on, what goals they wanted to achieve, and what was achieved. Ideally, they should be able to share graphs and analytics showing how websites’ traffic, impressions, and positions changed over time.
Experts who can back up their work with actual data are the ones who can help you grow your website.
2. Check references if there are any
Have you found and checked any information about your preferred SEO consultant before formalizing a partnership?
If your chosen SEO expert works at an SEO agency, there is a high chance you can find client testimonials on Clutch, a marketplace for finding business services. If you work with a freelancer, they might have an established profile on Upwork, Fiverr, or LinkedIn.
You can also google their name and review their online reputation, websites they are mentioned and active on, their publications, and client testimonials.
This will help you understand whether your SEO consultant for hire is trustworthy.
3. Ask if your preferred SEO consultant works on their websites
Based on my experience, SEO experts who grow their own websites are more skilled and knowledgeable than those working solely on client projects.
Because they can conduct SEO experiments with own websites to discover proven-to-work strategies.
As I’ve already said, SEO is a fast-changing industry. What used to work months ago might not help you achieve your business goals nowadays. Therefore, the only way to stay on track and know up-to-date strategies is to experiment.
For example, I consistently run experiments on my website to understand what strategies still work and how AI-generated content will perform in organic search results.
Here is how my website grew in one year with (almost) zero link building and roughly 20 published content pieces:
- Daily impressions: 2,2800 → 21,600
- Daily clicks: 20 → 142
Experiments provide me with unique insights I can later implement while working with my clients.
4. Ask concrete questions to get helpful answers
How do you imagine an SEO consultation? It’s usually an hour discussion between you and an SEO expert. The goal of the consultation is to help you with a particular SEO challenge.
In most cases, an SEO consultant won’t conduct in-depth preliminary research or audit your website. They will share their expertise and answer your questions. So, it’s up to you to decide what questions to ask.
As an SEO specialist who has consulted many website owners, I recommend being specific. It’s even better to narrow your questions to a particular SEO issue and dedicate the entire consultation to coping with one challenge.
For example, the following are great topic examples for consulting:
- My service pages don’t rank for the target keywords. What should I look at to determine the root cause of the problem?
- My website’s main page ranks for many different keywords. Should I leave it as it is, or is it better to create dedicated pages for some keywords?
These are narrow topics with very specific questions. You’ll manage to discuss each of them during the consultation and get actionable recommendations from an SEO expert.
It’s worth mentioning I did not come up with these questions. I’ve got these questions from my clients, where the entire consultation was dedicated to solving one specific challenge.
So, here’s my friendly advice if you want to hire an SEO consultant:
One consultation = one specific topic
Asking broad questions like “How to grow my website?” or “How to fix technical issues” won’t result in any actionable tips you could implement on your website.
Google has also shared a helpful, quick video with tips on how to hire an SEO specialist.
Now, you are equipped with the best practices to find the most suitable expert for your website.
6 questions to ask when hiring an SEO consultant
Imagine you’ve scheduled an interview with an SEO consultant for hire.
What questions will you ask to learn about their expertise and whether they fit your project?
I’ve interviewed many SEO experts and been interviewed by different companies. I’ve written down the following questions you can use when hiring an SEO expert.
1. Can you provide examples of websites you have successfully optimized and improved their search rankings?
Remember I talked about the impact of work in the previous paragraph? That’s the way to verify your SEO experts’ former experience.
2. What SEO metrics define “success” for you?
An experienced SEO consultant understands what areas your company should focus on to get the most significant impact from SEO.
You’ll waste your time if you focus on too many SEO metrics at a time. On the other hand, choosing the wrong metrics won’t help you achieve your business goals.
That’s why I recommend hiring an SEO consultant to help you align your SEO and business goals.
3. How do you approach SEO for (SaaS or B2B, or ecommerce) websites?
This question will help you learn whether your preferred SEO specialist has worked with businesses similar to yours.
Based on my experience, I know that SEO for lead generation differs for B2B and SaaS. It’s better to partner with an expert who knows the peculiarities of your industry.
4. Do you have experience with website migrations or redesigns without losing search rankings?
This is an essential question to ask if you want to hire an SEO consultant before redesigning your website or performing a migration. Both processes are complex, so it’s worth getting expert help from someone who’s already done it.
5. If I hire you today, what’s the first thing you’ll do?
It’s a thought-provoking question, but I recommend asking it to see how your SEO consultant would react.
6. What will I get as a result of the consultation?
Even though this information is usually available on the website, I recommend asking this question to clarify the deliverables.
Please, note you won’t receive anything tangible at the end of the consultation. The whole point of doing it is to get an expert opinion on a particular SEO challenge. So, don’t expect a consultant to review your website or conduct an audit before the call.
These questions should help you gauge the consultant’s knowledge, experience, and approach to SEO, allowing you to make an informed decision when hiring.
SEO experts FAQ
Can I hire someone to do my SEO?
Yes. It’s recommended to hire SEO consultant or a contractor to get help with SEO. Depending on your current challenges, you might need an expert focusing on technical SEO, link building, or on-page SEO.
Where to hire SEO consultant?
There are many websites where you can find and hire SEO consultants.
The following three are the most reliable websites where you can hire an SEO expert:
How much does it cost to hire an SEO consultant?
Ahrefs SEO industry research indicates that most businesses paying a monthly retainer for SEO will pay between $500 to $1,500 per month.
The most popular hourly rate is between $75 and $100.
For one-off SEO projects, $2,501 to $5,000 per project is the most common.
Is hiring an SEO consultant worth it?
If you want to grow a website but don’t know how to do it, it’s definitely worth it! An SEO consultant will help you assess the current state of your product and prepare a custom SEO strategy tailored to help your website grow in organic search results.
Do SEO experts guarantee the results?
Many SEO consultants and SEO agencies don’t guarantee results because it’s almost impossible to accurately predict how the website will perform, even if you have an SEO strategy.
Instead of asking for guaranteed results, I recommend developing an SEO strategy to help your website grow despite changing business goals and search engine algorithm updates.
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