You need your business website to deliver more new customers.  For that, you need effective search engine optimization (SEO).  When does it make sense to hire an SEO consultant to do this for you?

SEO Consultant

Done right, your website can be your best salesman.  It can generate new business 24/7, will rarely complain about the long hours, and will never consider leaving you for another company.

But your website’s sales success depends entirely upon what you put into it.

An 80’s Flashback

Do you remember Radio Shack’s TRS-80 micro-computer, affectionately referred to as the “Trash-80”?  That was my family’s first computer.  If memory serves, we had the Model II.  As a middle-schooler, this ancient beast was my introduction to the marvels of computer programming.  Its “Typing Tutor” plugin cartridge taught me how to type.  I published my first “blog” on this little machine (if you count “Hello World!”). The rest is history.

I bring up this trip down memory lane because of a hand-written note that my oft-frustrated mom taped to the computer.  It read:

I really hate this damn machine.
I wish that they would sell it.
It never does quite what I want,
But only what I tell it.

Truer words were never spoken.  And, tragically, they apply equally well to your 2013 business website.  If your website is like most, it’s not doing what you want.  It’s only doing what you tell it to do.  And, you probably have no idea what you should tell it to do, or even how to tell it.

Enter the SEO Consultant

This is where a good SEO consultant can turn a floundering website into a top-notch salesman.  Such a specialist can do all the things that you’ve never learned (or wanted to learn) how to do:

1. Narrow your offering to a niche you can dominate and narrow your target customers to those you can best engage and convert.  You cannot win online as a generalist (unless you’re Amazon or Yahoo, in which case, thank you for reading my blog, but you’re in the wrong place :-)).

2. Perform effective keyword research (learn more here) to find the search terms that will bring in your ideal customers through Google.  These SEO keywords need to drive sufficient traffic, apply to “buyers” rather than “browsers”, be highly relevant to your site and to your ideal customers, and have levels of Google competition that you can beat.

3. Plan the SEO keyword mapping strategy (learn more here) for your web site, determining how best to target specific keywords to your home page, landing pages, category pages, product pages, etc.

4. Create landing pages (learn more here) that focus on your top customer segments, speaking their language, addressing their pain points and desires, and converting them into customers.

5. SEO-optimize your website (learn more here), especially your home page and your landing pages, to organically attract the ideal customer to each page.

6. Help you plan a successful long-term content creation strategy (blogs, podcasts, videos, e-books, curated content…) that naturally increases your website authority and traffic by attracting readers and links.

7. Plan and manage an effective Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaign based on your strategic keywords, to augment your organic SEO campaign.

Consulting Fees

Sounds great, doesn’t it?  There’s only one catch.  Good SEO consultants aren’t cheap. And cheap SEO services should be avoided at all costs.

(Most cheap SEO services use inane, outdated “black hat” shortcut tactics that no longer work with Google and can even get you penalized.  You should only consider cheap SEO services if you’re also considering buying a TRS-80 for your website development.)

So, when is it worth investing in a good SEO consultant?  Ask yourself:

  • Are you interested to learn the latest SEO techniques and tools and to gain experience through essential trial and error?
  • Do you have enough technical savvy to learn this field proficiently?
  • Do you have enough marketing savvy to create content that effectively engages and converts your target customer segments?
  • Do you have the time to spend 100+ hours learning and implementing the above at a sufficient level for your website?

If you answered “No” to any of the above questions, then it makes sense to consider hiring an SEO consultant.  Then the only remaining question is, “Can you afford to hire an SEO consultant?”

Well, Can You Afford It?

Business growth requires investment.  Gaining new customers requires effective marketing and sales.  So if you’re serious about growing your business through new customer acquisition online, the question really becomes, “Can you afford NOT to hire an SEO consultant?”

Lest you think I’m making a hard sell (I am, after all, an expensive SEO consultant), I am happy to admit that there are effective Do-It-Yourself business owners out there.  I blog primarily to help such DIYers save time and get effective SEO results on their own.  And I truly believe that those with the interest, ability and time can achieve 80%+ of the results that I would achieve for them.  I don’t use magic — just experience.  And if you’re one of these DIYers I salute you and will continue to support you!

But do you feel that your business will be more successful if you instead focus your time and efforts on the rest of it?  Then go find a good SEO consultant you can trust and let him turn your website into your best salesman.

 

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Andrew Percey

Andrew founded Prometheus PPC in 2012 and has helped grow over 100 businesses through Google Ads advertising. He holds two engineering degrees from M.I.T. and has 8 U.S. patents from his years in Silicon Valley. Andrew hosts marketing seminars at M.I.T. for current and future startup founders.

11 Comments

  1. Hi Andrew, great post. I am relatively new in my role as an SEO but do agree with what you have said- the right consultant can make the world of difference. You mention that when targeting keywords we should target a level that we can beat- I have found that many businesses often target keywords that are too easy i.e. have minimal traffic at best, do you think this is bad business or the right way to start off?

    • Great question. I think you need to estimate the level of site authority you’re likely to produce within your target timeline (whatever that may be) through quality content marketing and relationship building. Then target the highest traffic keywords that would be appropriate for that future level of site strength. You want to give yourself room to grow.

      On the other hand, a new site with no plans for building SEO authority over time will have to take what it can get, which usually means low traffic – either through great rankings with low-traffic keywords or poor rankings with high-traffic keywords.

  2. Avatar Angi says:

    I’m Angi, I found your blog post very interesting and related from my research about seo learnings which is much helpful for my website Gulf SEO Agency , I hope we could share some knowledge about our own field. Thank you.

  3. Avatar Nate Wheeler says:

    Great article. I definitely agree with everything here. Something that stood out to me quite a bit was the mention of Keyword Mapping which is extremely important but rarely practiced. Far too often I see companies wildly throwing keywords about like a farmer seeding a plot and end up having pages that are competing for the same terms while the rest of their pages lack any specific focus or theme. So that was a really good point to bring up.

  4. Hello Andrew! Your post is very interesting and helps to many business owners who want to hire seo experts for their website visibility. Sometimes many business uses simple keywords which are ranked on top but can’t get leads or conversation from those keywords. At this point a business needs seo expert. Your post is very informative. I agree with you. Keep Sharing!

    • Hi Gusani – Thank you for your comment. You bring up a common problem that business owners have — tunnel vision on a single keyword or a handful of keywords that they happen to think are very important, when in fact a range of different keywords would bring better traffic for their business. It’s very helpful to consult an SEO expert to better understand how this works.

  5. Avatar Vince says:

    Hello! This is Vince, I just want to say thank you for giving us the tips on when to hire SEO consultant. I’ve been doing SEO actually for my business and keyword research, SEO keyword mapping, SEO optimization and content creation did not worked well. I don’t see any problems doing these strategies.Anyway thanks for helping me realize by quoting this “Business growth requires investment”, really need to hire SEO consultant for my business.

  6. Avatar Abrar P. says:

    Businesses that have not invested in SEO before (or any other kind of internet marketing) have a really hard time grasping the value of SEO. As a consultant, I suppose it is my job to convince them and make them see the value by showing them the traffic they are missing out on. But at the same time, I also find that they do not make for very good clients even if they DO sign up with you.

    More than likely, it is because if their lack of prior experience with online marketing. You need patience in SEO now more than ever, so now when I sense that a business owner is going to be impatient and rushing me later on, I just let them go!

  7. Avatar Craig Tuttle says:

    Great article!

    I think that hiring an SEO consultant is the best investment in advertising any business can make. Especially in today’s day and age. Anytime anyone is subjected to a business, they will always go online and research the company before making a buying decision. Reputation management is extremely important and having a real SEO expert do that for you is invaluable to your business in my opinion. Thanks again for a great read!

  8. It is pretty hard for someone who has really limited knowledge about SEO like me to find/judge whether a SEO service is good or bad. Thanks for the great advice. It makes things much more clear.

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