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    How to find a Seo consultant you can trust?


    Hi
    First post here so please go easy on me. I manage a e-commerce website. I am looking to improve my search tracking for some high traffic keywords. I'm trying to find an SEO firm or individual to take care of this. So far I have a quote from a firm who approached me first with a website audit. (Firm1)
    I also have quotes from a few freelancers on upwork as I feel many USA based firms outsource this work. From those who I've shortlisted, the references check out and they successfully achieved top Google ranking on popular keywords. However I feel most everyone telling me that they will do a little on-site Seo but focus on backlinking and directory submissions. If this is the case I feel that it would be money well spent going with the freelancer with proven success rather than the US company that is slightly more expensive.

    Then I recenlty saw some more popular US based firms that charge 100-150 per hour for Seo work which is 3-5x more than my current proposals. My business is design and manufacturing wall stickers and wallpaper and I'm in this for the long run. My paid search marketing is pretty successful but my organic search could use a boost.

    Where should I be looking? Any suggestions? TIA..
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  3. Dinosaur
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    This is a real tricky problem which is why I would assume noone has replied.

    Firstly I would never hire a SEO person who approached me, If they are good at what they do then either they will have a good reputation within the industry or they should not be difficult to find. I know the argument against this is they are too busy to work on their own site but really ? they should be able to demonstrate their abilities to rank for competitive terms as that is their proof that their techniques work.

    The biggest issue though is if your internet based and rely on your site gaining you clients you are putting your business at risk by hiring some unknown entity, what happens if they get your site de-indexed ?
    Its also a major problem within this industry in that there are no guarantees unlike every other business you will deal with. You could end up paying thousands of bucks but your site remains the same or in bad cases perform worse. Its a gamble as none will offer you a pay on results type of system.

    They will all claim they only do ethical SEO and never go anywhere near black hat techniques but if that was the case they would stick to mostly onsite work and making sure you are listing on google my business and have active social accounts.

    The other problem I have really is that for the money a lot of the top agencies charge you could bring the SEO in house, yes you could employ someone who can work on your site on a full time basis. Of course this is out of the reach of a lot of small business's but its my view that either you learn it yourself or get someone in who has a vested interest in your site doing well.

    There are many SEO practitioners here who earn their living from this genre of which I am not one of them so I know many will disagree but I have learnt over the years to trust no one more than yourself and now I seriously would not hand over the future of a website to someone I dont know or have complete trust in, and as for hiring some random person who emailed or phoned I treat them as spammers and if thats the only way they gain clients it does not bode well really does it.

    Comments on this post

    • dzine agrees : (0, soz) Very good points
    Last edited by Chedders; Mar 19th, 2017 at 05:41 AM.
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    Who does your paid search? If it's you then hiring a pro to do that might eliminate the need to do any SEO at all.
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  7. Dinosaur
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    Who does your paid search? If it's you then hiring a pro to do that might eliminate the need to do any SEO at all.
    That could very well be true in some niches, However I must admit I have never seen a positive ROI with google on that.
    I know the one niche I was looking at the click charge was more than the product and dominated by 3 major players. They bank on upselling and customer acquisition to justify the spend but a small company who does not have a huge marketing budget needs to see a return.
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  9. SeoRaptor
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    Then I recently saw some more popular US based firms that charge 100-150 per hour for Seo work which is 3-5x more than my current proposals
    Well, pricing is always a bit tricky when talking about SEO, you could see things in 2 different ways... First, you could consider that an hour work is an hour work and that a specialist should (or generally earns) a certain amount of money per hour. So whatever the project or the client is, the price for the same job would be exactly the same. That way of thinking is not wrong but that's not exactly how I see things.

    As a professional, I work both on a project basis or on an hourly base. My hourly price is composed of a fix rate plus a variation depending on the niche, the company, and the money my job will generate. Therefore a small restaurant will pay less for my services than a big company selling high added value products. This because I consider that everybody should deserve its share of visibility online and not only the big companies but also because I deeply think that if my work makes my client earn a lot of money then I should be paid a lot. A bit like the people that optimised taxes for big companies if that person makes you save 1B € / year then you could easily pay him half of that it would still worth it...

    You also need to take into account the type of company you are hiring. In my case I work from home and I'm the only employee in my company so I have very little business costs, when you hire a company that has a big office in the richest area of a big city with an army of salesman, then all this infrastructure is reflected on the final price you pay.

    There are a couple things that you should consider, the higher the price doesn't mean the better a lot of time this is a marketing strategy because a lot of people think that when they pay more they receive a better service.

    If it's you then hiring a pro to do that might eliminate the need to do any SEO at all
    It's totally true that a good paid search professional then you can achieve ROI online (even a very good ROI in some cases) but you can not scale over a certain point with Paid Search only. At a certain point the cost to get that extra buyer will be too high.

    I seriously would not hand over the future of a website to someone I don't know or have complete trust in
    No one should... unfortunately, that is not always the case... I would add not only trust but be sure he is capable and has know how. You can question him on strategy and double check his answers on this forum before hiring him for example. There are so very basic things that some SEO do not understand, last week I received an email from a self-proclaimed SEO who told me that I could not rank because my Keyword was not in my page description (meta).....

    but my organic search could use a boost.
    Well if you have time to spend on that you should try and read some thread in here on the best on page and off page SEO practices on this forum, take a deep look at the latest Google search quality guidelines > https://static.googleusercontent.com...guidelines.pdf and ask specific questions, a lot of great users will answer you here.
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  11. Digital Marketing
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    Originally Posted by Chedders
    That could very well be true in some niches, However I must admit I have never seen a positive ROI with google on that.
    I know the one niche I was looking at the click charge was more than the product and dominated by 3 major players. They bank on upselling and customer acquisition to justify the spend but a small company who does not have a huge marketing budget needs to see a return.
    You've never seen a positive ROI with paid search? Really? You're doing it wrong dude.
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    I try a balanced approach with marketing strategist. SEO and Social Media works but most clients aren't patient. Paid traffic gives an immediate ROI and I advice clients to take some of those profits and invest in great content development because content fuels both social media and SEO
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  15. Dinosaur
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    You've never seen a positive ROI with paid search? Really? You're doing it wrong dude.
    Undoubtedly
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    Thank you Chedders, you brought up some excellent points and I've decided to err on the side of caution and do some more studying up to see if one of my employees can handle this type of work. With everyone promising top google results within 4-6 months, it just looks so promising and keeps making me question if that is what my competitors use. And if they do it, then why can't I. But I see your point of putting my business at risk by hiring an unknown entity. I guess you will be seeing me more often around here asking questions! Thanks again for your help!
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    Originally Posted by Chedders
    Undoubtedly
    Chedders, we manage over $4,000,000 annual spend on Adwords with 1 of our clients spending over $100,000 per month, 2 spending over $40,000 per month and many others spending many thousands per month.
    At the end of every month we show them:
    • How much they spent
    • The names of every one of the potential clients that called them or filled out a form
    • The EXACT key phrases that each of those people used before converting
    • The results of our A/B testing
    • The recordings of all the calls


    Every month, on all of our landing pages we test:
    • Calls to action
    • Unique Value Propositions
    • Images used (Happy family vs disaster pic)
    • Button text
    • Trust Statements
    • Incentives


    Can you say your SEO work provides value to your clients that comes anywhere near that?

    Do you honestly think that companies would spend that kind of money and receive those metrics if they weren’t receiving a return on their investment?
    We have no contract beyond month to month. We rarely lose clients and at present we are not accepting new clients (except in special circumstances).
    Yes, undoubtedly.

    Comments on this post

    • Pierre Benneton agrees : I don't think Chedders was been sarcastic :)
    Last edited by KernelPanic; Mar 20th, 2017 at 03:51 PM.
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  21. Dinosaur
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    Can you say your SEO work provides value to your clients that comes anywhere near that?
    I have no clients so does not apply unless you count my sites so I am the client.

    As I have said on many occasions I am not a SEO professional nor do I have any desire to make it my profession.
    Over the years I have dabbled with PPC and each time had my fingers burnt, so I personally leave it alone and leave it to the experts like yourself. I absolutely have no doubt you offer value for money but when ever I have dipped my toe it proved I dont have a clue in this area. But more to the point neither do a lot of small business's who attempt to do this on their own. I have lost count of the business's I have seen goto the wall after spending small fortunes on adwords thinking that was the route to their riches.

    Maybe I could have worded my above statement better to something like dont attempt to do a PPC campaign yourself as your wont see a positive ROI.
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  23. Not An Expert
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    Great posts and discussion in here - I'm gonna move it to our Search Engine Optimization section for better visibility.
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    Originally Posted by Chedders
    I have no clients so does not apply unless you count my sites so I am the client.
    Doesn't matter, my post was for anyone who defends SEO as the only way to go. My point is that virtually all serious online marketing efforts need to have Paid Search, SEO, email marketing and Social Media Marketing included in the work.
    Originally Posted by Chedders
    I must admit I have never seen a positive ROI with google on that.
    Do you know of a good web dev forum I can join? I don't actually do web development but I would love to give my opinion on it anyway.
    Last edited by KernelPanic; Mar 21st, 2017 at 02:02 PM.
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  27. Dinosaur
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    Do you know of a good web dev forum I can join? I don't actually do web development but I would love to give my opinion on it anyway.
    LOL, fair comment I guess, However just because it is not my profession and I have never stated it was I can draw on well over 30 years experience of developing search engine technologies. Yeap I get it wrong from time to time, I am the first to admit, I am only human afterall but I might just have a clue on one or two of the challenges facing a lot of people who post here. Normally that's why I hang around the new users section as they have a lot of basic questions the more senior members cant be bothered with else I would have nothing to answer on a daily basis.

    However seeing as I am not a professional I therefore am not attempting to sell these new users anything or take them on as clients so any advice I offer is unbiased and honest to the best of my abilities and knowledge.
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    Originally Posted by Chedders
    LOL, fair comment I guess, However just because it is not my profession and I have never stated it was I can draw on well over 30 years experience of developing search engine technologies.
    Give yourself more credit than that, your advice is always on target and more advanced than you let on. When it's not someone will let you know

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