So you are in the market for a local SEO expert. You simply do not have the time, or perhaps the will, to do it on your own. Completely understandable, you are a busy entrepreneur. You cannot be spending all your time doing marketing when you got to be focusing on your growing clientele.
The question then comes down to… how the heck do you find a good local SEO expert? What about a great one?
Well, there is some things you can look out for when searching to outsource this leg of your marketing. In this article I am going to talk about 3 crucial traits actually. Anyone you are considering as possible candidates, should be have these traits going for them.
Trait #1: What is Their Track Record?
Okay, okay, so this sucks for the guy just starting out in offering his SEO skills, right? But this isn’t about helping the new guy, it is about you not wasting your time and money on someone who has yet to prove themselves.
Find out what they did for their previous clientele. It will be rare indeed for anyone to reveal who their actual clients are, but many times the expert will be forthcoming about what kind of industries they have served. Usually they will have statistics they can send you as well showing what kind of figures they were able to improve in a company’s traffic to their websites.
Track record is super important. Knowing the track record going in will save you a lot of potential grief down the road.
Trait #2: How Did You Find Them?
One of the best ways to find a great local SEO expert is by first looking at how you came across them anyhow. If you found them doing a search for search engine optimization firms, then you can bet they know what they are doing.
After all, the main way these firms market themselves is by using their own strategies! Well, that is if they are good at what they are trying to sell you. This is so easily overlooked, yet so very, very important.
Now this is not to say that every SEO company you find listed in a search engine is going to be great for you. You also want to know their credibility, their ethics. As there is a lot of black hat tactics that go down in this industry that can hurt you as the client if you happen to get a shady firm working for you.
A good way to tell if people are good people is do a little research about them. Look them up on Facebook, give them a call and actually build a relationship with them first. That way you can feel comfortable before actually doing a transaction that could be a few thousand dollars upfront.
Trait #3: Provide Ongoing Maintenance
Though your ranks will not change dramatically quickly on the search engines once you are ranked, it is still important to do maintenance. Maintenance is just that. The local SEO expert will keep adding backlinks every so often to keep you ahead of your competition.
They will run statistics and diagnostics on your website from time and time, to see where the trends are. This is super useful if something new pops up in your industry that is suddenly getting a lot of attention.
Also if Google or other search engines suddenly change their algorithm, the ongoing maintenance will help you stay clear of getting slapped. Slapped is the term used by many experts in this field as being de-indexed, or in other words being taken off the searches entirely.
One of the reasons why you do not want to hire a shady firm that uses black hat tactics is for exactly this reason. Black hat tactics are a dime a dozen, and usually they are a fad. The reason why they are a fad is because the search engines are not stupid. They learn about these strategies and then change their algorithms to hurt websites using these unethical methods.
It is extremely important to use white hat strategies if you are looking to remain in this game for the long-term.
So remember these 3 crucial traits when it comes to finding an awesome local SEO expert. Make sure they have a proven track record of other websites they have ranked successfully. Also pay attention how you discovered them in the first place. It is always a good sign if you found them while doing an actual search! Finally, give them a call and build a relationship before actually doing the transaction. That way you make sure they are on the up and up if you will, and that they are good people who are not just out for a quick buck from you.
In the game of SEO, all of these are really important. Make sure to do your due diligence on anyone who is saying they are a local SEO expert before buying.