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What Is An SEO Consultant?

An SEO consultant is an expert advisor who helps businesses optimize their search engine optimization efforts and achieve higher rankings, targeted traffic and conversions on their websites.

The role of SEO consulting can be vital in ensuring companies:

  • Stay up-to-date with the ever-evolving SEO industry
  • Are found by their potential clients online
  • Stay relevant and competitive in the online marketplace

These professionals can improve a company’s organic discovery, enhance credibility and reputation and ultimately boost revenue.

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What Are The Different Types Of Search Engine Consultants?

We can classify search engine consultants into several categories based on factors like the type of clients they serve and the results they generate:

Organic SEO Consultant

An organic SEO consultant executes strategies focused on driving traffic to websites organically.

These experts help businesses achieve higher search engine rankings by focusing on key tactics like keyword research, content creation and link building.

While many traditional marketing tactics like PPC advertising can be costly, organic SEO provides measurable ROI that companies can reliably plan and budget for.

Therefore, depending on your unique business needs and goals, a professional organic SEO consultant may offer a range of packages to help you achieve long-term success.

Technical SEO Consultant

A technical SEO consultant, as the name itself suggests, executes various strategies aimed at optimizing the technical elements of your website, including:

  • Running crawl error reports
  • Eliminating duplicate content
  • Creating an XML sitemap
  • Utilizing robots.txt
  • Auditing preferred domain
  • Improving metadata
  • Checking HTTPS status codes
  • Fixing broken links
  • Auditing redirects
  • Implementing Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)
  • Increasing site speed
  • Optimizing website for mobile
  • Performing a Google site search

Their job is to make sure your website is compatible with search engine guidelines and best practices. This will allow engines like Google and Bing to crawl and index it without spotting any issues.

Local SEO Consultant

A local SEO consultant is an expert who finds the most effective ways to market a business’ products and services to its local customers.

In other words, their role is to help organizations, particularly those that have brick-and-mortar locations reach their customers within a specific geographical area.

A local SEO consultant can assist you with:

  • Building citations
  • Directory submissions
  • Google My Business listings
  • Local newspaper and community interests
  • Organic SEO strategies
  • Local-focused content
  • Local social media
  • And more

International SEO Consultant

An international SEO consultant offers specialized advisory services to businesses that sell to international markets.

Their tasks typically include determining new countries to target and developing proper plans to optimize websites in order to be relevant for different languages and clients.

They understand the distinctions between the various markets and can craft multinational and multilingual campaigns to make sure your website accommodates visitors from different international locations.

Small Business SEO Consultant

Unlike standard search engine optimization consultants, a small business SEO consultant specializes in helping smaller enterprises achieve online success:

  • Generate brand awareness
  • Bring more customers
  • Drive more sales
  • Outperform competition

The businesses they help typically face budget limitations and they promote their products and/or services to local markets, relatively smaller in size.

eCommerce SEO Consultant

An eCommerce SEO consultant is a third-party advisor who provides professional services exclusively to eCommerce businesses to help them:

  • Increase visibility
  • Generate higher traffic
  • Drive more conversions and revenue

They specialize in various eCommerce platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce and WooCommerce.

So, unlike all other search engine consultants, they are familiar with these platforms’ built-in SEO tools and know-how to leverage them to boost your website performance.

An SEO consultant talking with a client
SEO consultants are always on top of Google algorithm updates

What Does An SEO Consulting Company Do?

An SEO consulting company’s tasks typically include:

  • Market research: They conduct in-depth market research to collect valuable info on their clients’ businesses, target audience and key competitors.
  • SEO audit: They perform a detailed SEO audit to analyze and review the overall search engine performance of their clients’ websites. This step allows them to gain a better understanding of possible opportunities and gaps. The audit process includes:
    • On-page optimizations
    • Off-site optimization
    • Content
    • HTML markup
    • Backlink profile
    • Site structure
  • SEO KPIs: They help businesses identify relevant SEO key performance indicators (KPIs) to make sure their efforts drive tangible results.
  • SEO strategy: They develop plans of action based on the unique insights they collect. This involves various tactics that assist clients in optimizing their websites and making them relevant for both users and search engines.
  • Team training: They train and mentor in-house teams so that they can deliver better results and improve the websites’ performance in the long term.

Additionally, an SEO consulting company can give you guidance on:

  • How to stay on top of search engine best practices and updates
  • Which SEO tools to use and how to use them
  • How to generate meaningful reports and how to interpret them the right way
  • Identify problems in a timely manner
  • And more
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How Much Do SEO Consulting Services Cost?

In general, the hourly rates for SEO consulting services in the USA fall in the range of $25 and $300. Several factors determine this pricing, including:

  • Consultant’s experience
  • Consultant’s reputation
  • Consultant’s location
  • Business/website size
  • Status of existing SEO strategy
  • SEO goals
  • And more

Project costs or the price businesses typically pay for a one-time project, ranges between $5,000 and $30,000.

This pricing structure depends on the type of business, the scope of work as well as the value they can bring to the company.

Why Should You Hire A Search Engine Optimization Consultant?

These are the key reasons why you should partner with an SEO consulting company:

Reason #1: Get Access To Cutting-Edge Tools

SEO consultants use a variety of premium SEO tools to develop effective strategies for their clients.

We are talking about expensive tools like SEMrush for keyword research, Ahrefs for competitor analysis and Moz Pro for tracking website rankings that can reach up to a thousand dollars per month.

Considering that most businesses cannot afford to invest in this type of software, partnering with a professional SEO consulting company will give them access to these tools and all their premium features and functionalities that are vital for achieving the desired results.

SEMrush keyword research tool
[Source: SEMRush]

Reason #2: Enjoy A Results-Oriented Approach

When it comes to SEO, the “one-size-fits-all” solutions do not work.

Unlike most businesses that lack the expertise and base their SEO efforts on cookie-cutter strategies, SEO consultants take the time to perform market research and learn about their clients’ specific challenges, needs and goals.

These experts set specific KPIs and adapt their strategies based on the unique needs of each client to generate tangible results.

Reason #3: Stay Relevant And Keep Up With The Changes

According to Backlinko, Google uses over 200 ranking factors, including:

  • Domain factors
  • Page-level factors
  • Site-level factors
  • Backlink factors
  • User interaction
  • Special Google algorithm rules
  • Brand signals
  • On-site webspam factors
  • Off-site webspam factors

For your website to rank higher in the SERPs, you need to properly optimize your pages for these vital factors.

However, considering that Google regularly updates its algorithm, it is particularly difficult for business owners to keep up with these changes.

Not to mention that many of them are so small that they go completely unnoticed which, if not applied fast, may affect website performance.

On June 15th, Google launched its most recent update - about page experience.

As the search engine states:

“At Google Search our mission is to help users find the most relevant and quality sites on the web. The goal with these updates is to highlight the best experiences and ensure that users can find the information they're looking for. Our work is ongoing, which is why we plan to incorporate more page experience signals going forward and update them on a yearly basis.”

Professional SEO consultants can make all the difference. They are always on top of Google updates and ranking factors and know exactly how and when to implement them to ensure your website is relevant and of high quality.

How To Find The Best SEO Consultant For Your Business

There are several steps you should consider when selecting the best SEO consulting company for your business needs:

Step #1: Search For A Proven Track Record

Go through the portfolios and case studies of each potential professional SEO consultant to learn about their past performance and achievements.

These will provide you with key information on:

  • The type of projects consultants have worked with
  • The type of clients they serve
  • If they are able to generate business results

The best search engine optimization consultants in the United States will proudly showcase their work as well as highlight their strengths and weaknesses.

This will help you find out if their expertise fits your business and the goals you want to achieve.

Proven track record of an SEO consultant
[Source: Digital Silk]

Step #2: Check Third Party Reviews And References

Most search engine optimization consultants in the U.S. will have client reviews included in their own websites. However, a best practice to follow is to check their reviews on other third-party websites.

You can take advantage of DesignRush rankings to visit these specialists’ profiles in the table above and see their clients’ feedback.

Additionally, you can also check for reviews on social media and Google.

Testimonials can be another great source of client feedback that will give you an idea of their skills, credibility and professionalism.

These will help you understand which of these consultants can be the best fit for your company.

SmartSities’ client reviews on DesignRush

Step #3: Look For Transparent and Open Communication

Good communication is important when selecting the best provider of SEO consulting services because these projects sometimes take a longer time to complete.

This suggests that you may engage in a long-term partnership, so you want to have a partner that is easy to reach and able to provide clarity and direction.

So, be sure to hire an SEO consulting firm that:

  • Has established communication processes, a dedicated contact person and determines a communication channel from the beginning of the project.
  • Provides feedback and addresses your questions and concerns in a timely manner.
  • Conveys suggestions and ideas clearly and concisely, without using unambiguous terms.

Step #4: Ask About Their Strategic Approach

Find out what processes your SEO marketing consultant will follow to help you achieve your business objectives.

The partner you hire should be able to offer solutions tailored to your company’s needs and goals.

Therefore, they should have experience in your niche and understand the challenges you face. They should also show knowledge of your audience and competition.

To gather this meaningful information, your partner should conduct in-depth market research to develop a plan of action that works for your specific business.

Step #5: Consider Pricing

Although the cost of an expert SEO consultant is not an indicator of the quality of service you will get, you should consider pricing so that you find professional guidance within your price range.

So, be sure to set a realistic budget. Then, you can use our handy tool to filter listings by their average hourly rates or by the minimum or maximum budget you can allocate.

Step #6: Take Location Into Account

When considering consultant SEO services, the location of your agency partner can play a vital role.

A key point to bear in mind is that, if you want to increase your online presence locally, hiring a local SEO marketing consultant can be your best asset.

Most of these experts have served local clients, so they’ve acquired valuable insights into the local audience, the terms they use, the competitors and more. This is how they manage to deliver successful strategies for local businesses.

Step #7: Go Through The Contract

A contract is a legal agreement that should include various clauses like the kind of work your SEO consulting firm will perform, how long the project is expected to take, what the pricing terms are and more.

Be sure to read it in advance and consult your legal advisor before signing it to avoid any problems later on.

10 Questions To Ask Search Engine Consultants Before Hiring One

Ask each prospective SEO consulting company the following questions before hiring them:

  1. Will you perform an audit to our website? What elements will you focus on?
  2. Have you worked with a company in the same or similar industry before? What results did you help them achieve?
  3. What SEO tools do you have access to?
  4. How do you stay on top of search engine best practices and updates?
  5. What is your strategic approach?
  6. How will we measure the success of your strategies and what type of reporting can we expect to receive?
  7. How will we communicate and how often?
  8. What is the project cost?
  9. Can I see the contract before signing it?
  10. When can I expect to see results?

Takeaways On Professional SEO Consultants

SEO consultants give professional guidance, helping businesses achieve better results online like:

  • Higher rankings
  • Increased traffic
  • More conversions

An hour of their time would cost you around $25 and $300.

You should partner with an SEO consulting firm to enjoy various benefits like:

  • Get access to cutting-edge tools
  • Enjoy a results-oriented approach
  • Stay relevant and keep up with the changes

To choose the best SEO consultant for your business needs, take these seven steps:

  • Search for a proven track record
  • Check third party reviews and references
  • Look for transparent and open communication
  • Ask about their strategic approach
  • Consider pricing
  • Take location into account
  • Go through the contract

Best of luck!

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