Getting the most out of your SEO consultant

Having outsourced large scale SEO for the lsat five years and becoming an SEO consultant for small businesses in the last 12 months I have seen both sides of the client / agency relationship.

Getting the most out of your SEO consultant can be a challenge. From day 1 you need honesty between both parties but if you are confused as to what you are getting (or not getting) then there are 2 rules you can apply to simplify things:

(1) Detailed analysis of onpage and offpage SEO development. You will need this monthly – you could even require this more frequently if you are working with a large website that is new. It could be as simple as:

visits from SEO (and month on month / year on year change)
Number of keywords creating SEO visits
Biggest ranking improvement
External links
Pages indexed
Key actions

I think the biggest point is that you want your SEO consultant to be accountable for tangible output on a regular basis. You may have superb rankings across the board that this consultant has generated – but as the old Janet Jackson hit asks “What have you done for me lately?” Dealing with this issue of a plateau in traffic can be awkward but beware of salesmanship in this area. Yes, having someone there to be accountable in the unfortunate event of having a nose dive in traffic is good – but unless they would pull out a heap of links that you’ve already paid for then there is every chance that you would maintain your existing traffic level in the short term if you decided to devise a new plan or select a different SEO agency resource.

(2) Break down of your monthly payment. Within the SEO service that you have in place there are 2 main cost areas: people’s time and media cost of links. Request a receipt for both – this works because you are not looking for millions of paid for links and little time spent on organising this, you are looking for the opposite…either way you will be able to see what you are paying for.

Remember, you are the customer and that SEO is not a black art. It is however an area where you can get more value by applying these rules.

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