5 Good Reasons Why You Should Hire an SEO Consultant
Whether you have identified SEO as a growth channel for your business or you are just trying to figure out if SEO is something you should be investing in, you need to have the right resources to handle this part of your marketing strategy.
Startups and established companies alike are increasingly hiring outside experts to help them launch, scale or amplify their SEO efforts. Here is when it makes sense to hire an SEO consultant for your business.
1. You want to test the channel
The expense of hiring an in-house SEO professional is justified only if you have proven that this acquisition channel generates a solid ROI and it can scale.
Hiring a consultant helps you maintain flexibility and avoid costly mistakes in a situation where you are trying to figure out if SEO is going to be a growth channel for your business. If you are not seeing results, you can part ways with the consultant quickly, and if you are seeing success, you can scale up your efforts and eventually transition to a full-time hire.
If you don’t have extensive prior experience with SEO, working with a consultant can also help you better understand the role itself and define the skillset required from a full-time hire, making your search much more effective.
2. You need additional expertise
Hiring a consultant lets you gain access to specialized SEO skills and expertise that you may lack in-house.
SEO is much less of a black box than it used to be, and there is more SEO-related information out there than even the most curious mind can handle. But, if anything, SEO is more difficult to master today than it was 10 years ago because there are more things to consider and they are changing more quickly.
Technical SEO, on-page SEO, and off-page SEO have all gotten more sophisticated to keep up with Google’s ever-evolving algorithm that has over 200 ranking factors. At the same time, video, mobile, and voice search are changing the future of SEO.
You don’t have the time and, more importantly, you cannot afford to make your business an SEO learning ground. Whether you have a full-time SEO specialist on your team or someone who handles SEO as part of their responsibilities, you should strongly consider tapping into expert knowledge across relevant SEO areas to help you attain better results.
3. You need extra horsepower
Sometimes, your existing SEO resources don’t have enough bandwidth to deal with everything that’s on their plate.
As it is, comprehensive SEO takes way more time than most teams can afford. If you ask your in-house person responsible for SEO to re-work the existing digital assets for a new keyword strategy or to support new product launch or new market entry, he or she may struggle to deal with these workload surges.
What are your options in this case? On one hand, you don’t want your team reprioritizing time away from their core day-to-day responsibilities. On the other, many of these projects have transient peak needs, so hiring a permanent resource to fill these gaps doesn’t make sense.
In situations like this, an SEO consultant can effectively serve as a temporary employee and shoulder the additional work. Leveraging the extra resource that is laser-focused on your needs helps you accomplish your SEO objectives without your team losing focus.
4. You don’t need a full-time SEO
While most businesses can reap benefits from a high-quality SEO program, they often don’t need to have a full-time specialist in-house.
Unless you have a high-volume, high-revenue site and there is a strong level of search activity around the topics relevant to your product or service, hiring a full-time SEO probably doesn’t make sense. There simply won’t be enough work to keep a highly-priced resource effectively occupied and motivated.
An optimal approach for sites that don’t need a full-time SEO would be to hire a consultant to do the heavy lifting upfront and create an SEO playbook and then rely on existing staff for ongoing SEO. A consultant can still be brought in periodically for review and support.
Think about it from a cost perspective. According to Glassdoor, an experienced SEO commands an average salary of $75,000, and this number doesn’t factor in benefits and other costs associated with a full-time position.
While a good SEO consultant can charge $5,000 per month or more for their work, you don’t need them heavily involved on an ongoing basis, so longer term you end up saving tens of thousands of dollars vs. a full-time hire.
5. You want an outsider’s perspective
Just like other marketing disciplines, SEO requires a certain level of creativity and problem solving. Sometimes, all it takes is looking at things from a different perspective.
An in-house SEO may be so engrossed in their day-to-day efforts that they lack the ability to take a step back and consider a different approach. In this case, a fresh, unbiased perspective from an outside expert can be instrumental.
The consultant can draw on his experiences of working with many different companies to identify problems, uncover opportunities, and bring innovative ideas that the client probably wouldn’t have been able to see on their own.
You may also need an SEO expert to act as a catalyst for change. Sometimes, decisions on challenging or controversial issues are not being made because they might not be well-received within an organization. A consultant, who is removed from internal emotions and politics, doesn’t have to worry about these things and can deliver results without any risk to their job.
Smart business leaders understand that attracting, developing, and retaining all talent in house is not always the best approach. It is often slow and expensive and leads to over-hiring.
For early stage startups and established companies faced with the constraints of time, money, or expertise at some point along their growth journey, hiring a consultant is a highly effective and flexible strategy for maximizing the return on their SEO investment.
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