Many companies and organizations struggle with whether to hire an SEO consultant or an agency. There are pros and cons to each. When you hire a SEO agency there are many benefits: you get the many resources of like-minded people in the SEO field as well as their abilities to link build, do research, and create content. The only drawback to this is that it usually comes at a hefty price. Often agencies charge upwards of $10k per month for link building and SEO campaigns. Some are good and some aren’t. There are several ways to gauge if they are working well.
- Monitor Rankings
- Pay attention to SEOMoz domain authority instead of Google Page Rank.
- Make sure the links are on trustworthy websites (the company you keep).
- Ask for specific reports on all link-building activities.
- Get direct access to Google Analytics.
If an SEO company guarantees rankings they are probably lying to you or blowing smoke up your ass. It’s nearly impossible to fully understand how search algorithms work and putting all of your eggs into one basket can be dangerous if you completely rely on one company to do it for you.
The Benefits of Hiring an SEO Consultant
If you decide to hire a SEO consultant there are several things to consider. For starters, you need to check their references. Many will claim a long and seemingly impressive client list but it’s important to check with the people on that list to make sure they’re not exaggerating or worse, completely lying. Saying that you’ve “done business” with so and so could mean many things. Technically if you’ve done the smallest of tasks for a company you can say that “you’ve worked with them”. Be careful for people who over-emphasize their client list. Ask them to show you what they’ve done for people’s search rankings. The proof is in the pudding.