Searching for the Top Durham SEO Consultant?

So you have a business website, and you expected your site to get leads online. Unfortunately, while a responsive and dynamic website is a good start, it is never enough. You need to make it come up easily in search results. In other words, you need search engine optimization (SEO).
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Why An SEO Consultant?

Based on studies,95% of internet users don’t bother checking the 2nd page of the search results. Only those websites on the first page will get the leads and customers, as the graph shows.

If you want to check how many competitors your business is up against, business directories such as Yelp will tell you.

Here in Durham, if you are an accountant for example, there are about 930 accountants in Durham, NC.

Most likely, those 929 other accountants in Durham have their own websites too. How will you rank ahead of them in search engines to get the customers?

Without ranking, you will have to spend thousands of dollars on Ads spend a month. Is there a better way? Is there more cost effective marketing?
For that, you will need the services of a Durham SEO consultant.

So how do you find the best Durham SEO consultant?

An In-depth Guide to Finding the Top SEO Consultant in Durham, NC. What does an SEO consultant do?

A?search engine optimization?or SEO consultant is an expert in making your business come up in search engines for keywords related to your business.

First of all, they audit your website. Are there technical issues that prevent it from being discovered by Google and other search engines? Are the pages being indexed in search engines?

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They also study and plan your content to make sure that your content is relevant to what readers are searching for.

An SEO expert will thus check all of the components of SEO such as technicalon-page, and off-page SEO.

They study your business’s online presence and that of your competitors and make recommendations on how to get ahead of your competitors and get you on search engines’ first page.

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SEO Consultant Cost

A comprehensive survey conducted by Ahrefs revealed that SEO agencies charge 2 to 4X more than professional SEO specialists and consultants. On average, a consultant costs $68 per hour while agencies charge around $134.66 per hour.

This cost pales in comparison to Google and FB Ads, not to mention that an SEO consultant will give you more long-term and steady results.

How do I find a good SEO consultant?

According to MOZ.com, there are two ways involved when looking for a reputable company or a consultant to manage your website’s SEO. There’s the right way and the wrong way. 

3 Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring an SEO Consultant

1. Free website audit
It is not uncommon that a business owner will get an email from a digital marketing agency saying that that they evaluated their website and there are many issues.

 

The marketing company offers to fix the issues and sell their SEO services. Although there is nothing wrong with that, you should do your own homework and check their track record and portfolio.
High-performing and credible SEO companies have an impressive portfolio and get consistent results for their clients. Their own business website may not be on top of search results, but as long as they have a proven track record, then your business will be in good hands.

Because of their excellent service, they always have satisfied clients demanding for consistent work. They are so busy focusing on the results for their clients that sometimes, they don’t have time to optimize their own website.  

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2.   SEO companies using a cookie-cutter approach
If a so-called SEO agency does not even bother to study your business to the detail, and give a general, one-size-fits-all approach, then most likely they will never get results for you.
An SEO consultant studies your business to the finest detail, has detailed information on your competitors, and gives clear strategies on how to get ahead of them.

3.   Believing there’s a “secret sauce”
There is no “secret sauce” in SEO. It doesn’t exist at all. SEO is an open field and nobody has a secret proprietary process on it.

If an SEO Company or consultant tells you they have a secret sauce to improve your website’s rankings in a short period of time, you should be alarmed.

That’s a red flag and you should reject that completely. They will most likely use illegal, or “blackhat” methods to give you fake results – results that will not actually last long.

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3 Steps to Hiring an SEO Specialist the Right Way

1. Figure out the SEO goals for your business
You need to sit down with your team to figure out company goals in terms of SEO. Here, you need to identify your goals from the bad to the good ones.
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Good Goals for SEO

  1. Get steadily increasing traffic and improving SEO metrics.
  2. Increased traffic to lead to conversions/sales.
  3. Boost free downloads, free trials, or sign-ups.
  4. Boost sentiment for your brand.

Bad Goals for SEO

  1. Wanting unrealistic results in a short span of time
  2. Vanity metrics

 

2. Have a list of 3 to 5 SEO agencies or consultants and evaluate each

There are several good sources where you can find SEO experts. They can be your friends, your personal network, or even your professional network. You can ask them about the SEO specialist they have hired for their websites.

Try to ask those business owners about the SEO agencies they’ve been using or who they have employed and whether they had success in terms of SEO.

When you have found your candidates, narrow down to at least 3 to 5 of them and proceed with your evaluation.

Here are good ideas on what to ask:

  • Ask them about what process they are going to use and why do they use that particular process
  • What are their reporting and communication processes? How often would they report to you? Will they communicate with you on a daily basis?
  • What SEO metrics are they going to report to you? Do they need to involve you in collecting some of those metrics?
  • How will the processes align and match up to your goals?
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  • What work and resources do they have to commit internally? 

Keep in mind that SEO requires an intensive allocation of resources. You should plan ahead of time as things can get extremely complicated and costly. 

You should be prepared before getting into any arrangement with an SEO specialist. For instance, he or she might give a list of recommendations and you suddenly realize your business doesn’t have enough budget for an SEO campaign.   

  • What will they do if things suddenly aren’t working right? Have they had any similar experiences in the past and what have they done to fix or get around it?

3. Things to consider when looking for a professional SEO specialist

  • Trusted SEO Company or consultant. You can find an SEO agency or consultant you can trust through references or conversations with people from your network.
  • Through Referrals. It’s always a good sign when you hear great referrals from the sources you trust.
  • Through communication style matches. To avoid frustrations in the future, try to select an SEO expert or agency that can communicate smoothly with you. Find another service provider if there’s a cultural or a communication style mismatch.
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4. Contract and price structure. Although it is not necessarily a bad thing, be careful when dealing with SEO professionals and agencies who prefer the non-standard contract and price structure.

Is it worth hiring an SEO expert?

The answer is a resounding yes. Hiring an SEO expert is worth it for several reasons.

  1. SEO is the lowest marketing spend, compare it with Google Ads or Fb Ads which will cost you thousands of dollars per month.
  2. Ads are only as good as while your ads are running, while with SEO, results are steady and long-term. SEO / Content marketing has the highest ROI.

What is an SEO company?

An SEO company is a company or agency that provides Search Engine Optimization (SEO) services to businesses. They help improve the online visibility of a business’ website.

Online visibility means showing up on the search engine results when an internet user types in a search phrase or term that is related to a specific business.

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SEO companies offer a wide range of services, which include but are not limited to the following:

  • technical website SEO audits
  • keyword (a.k.a search phrase or search term) research
  • robots.txt and sitemaps creation
  • optimization of specific pages 

Is GoDaddy SEO worth it? 

While GoDaddy may be one of the most popular web hosting service providers out there, their SEO service is not worth it.

The SEO services they offer are actually just a bunch of “tools” to help you with SEO. 

The tools are free and simple to use but are not relevant by today’s SEO standards. Furthermore, using their tools could negatively affect your site’s online visibility. 

How long does SEO take to see results?

Many SEO companies and experts agree that it will take 4 to 6 months for SEO to see results. 

However, this is only the phase when you start seeing SEO results. Keep in mind that results grow overtime. The results you get after 12 months might be better than the first 6 months. 

Along the way, the results could narrow down. And so it will be just a matter of maintaining those results instead of trying to grow them. 

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    Do I need an SEO agency?

    Different businesses have different goals in terms of SEO. If you own a big business with extremely high competition, showing up on the first page on Google will require a lot of work. Thus, you will need the services of an SEO agency.

    On the other hand, if you’re a small local business with very few competitors and on a tight budget, then doing SEO on your own is the best option.

    Who is the best SEO service provider?

    Generally, the best SEO service provider is an agency, firm, or company that can generate a considerable amount of leads and calls for their clients. Here are 9 qualities or traits of the best SEO service provider. 
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    1. Professionalism and experience. Experience matters especially in dealing with a business in your specific category. They should have the professionalism that understands your expectations and aims to deliver your desired results.

    2. Good reputation. Previous clients of a certain SEO service provider will always leave testimonials. You can easily get reviews and testimonials on SEO companies online.

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    3. Employs a professional team. Distinguished SEO firms employ highly-skilled professionals from copywriters, link builders, to web developers.

    4. Employs the latest techniques. They are always updated with the latest search algorithm changes, new SEO tools, and new digital marketing strategies.

    5. Ethical methodology. The best professional SEO company will not let your business get banned from search engines. That’s why they will never use black hat SEO techniques to drive a considerable amount of traffic to your site overnight. 

    6. Realistic and honest commitment. Instead of overpromising and then failing at the end, a good SEO agency offers realistic and honest commitment.

    7. Customized billing packages. Analysis of the needs and goals of your business should be done first before talking about the charges. A good company will tailor the services they offer according to your specific needs and budget.

    8. Regular communication. As a client, you should get regular updates on your SEO campaign’s progress. You also have to be informed regularly about your industry’s new developments that could affect an SEO agency or consultant’s efforts.

    9. Flexibility. The best SEO service provider should be flexible enough and make the changes in their strategies as businesses evolve or grow along the way.

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    Can I pay Google to rank higher?

    No. You can’t pay Google to rank higher in the search results. Still, if you really want your business to appear on the first page on Google’s search results, you can opt for Google’s Pay-Per-Click advertising.

    Let a top SEO specialist manage your SEO so you can focus more on your business

    Managing your business is already a demanding job. Likewise, SEO is not as easy as 123. You need the expertise of a Durham SEO consultant to keep up with any Google updates, new SEO tools, and new digital marketing techniques. Keep your business updated to the SEO trends so you can remain visible online. Let Local Presence SEO help you achieve your marketing goals. Call 919-302-8849 today.
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