You can easily tell a good SEO consultant from a bad one based on their SEO reports. If they provide an example report, here’s what you should look out for. A good report is concise and easy to go through; you should also understand the gist of it in a few minutes. Here’s an example of a good slide taken from my SEO report template:
Powerpoint slide containing key highlights of the SEO progress
But most consultants won’t send you other clients’ reports due to non-disclosure agreements and sensitive data. Inquiring about their SEO reporting process is the second-best choice here.
What to look for here specifically? Well, see if they talk about SEO KPIs and how they approach them. That’s a dead giveaway. You want to hear about metrics tied to your business growth. These are, most universally, organic conversions and share of voice (search visibility).
Beware that organic traffic growth alone shouldn’t be a KPI unless you monetize all your website traffic using display advertising networks.
SIDENOTE. What I’m talking about here only applies to hiring someone for overall SEO consultation. If you’re hiring a link builder or a technical SEO, then they probably can’t tie any of their metrics to your business growth directly.
Another crucial thing is the combination of data sources. Every good SEO consultant should create reports by combining metrics from Google Search Console, Google Analytics (or alternatives), and independent SEO toolsets like Ahrefs. That’s because every tool has its unique data. Also, some metrics are just more accurate in one tool than another.
Steal Our SEO Report Template (Inspired by SEO Experts)
Track These 3 SEO KPIs to Make Better Marketing Decisions
10 SEO Metrics That Actually Matter (And 4 That Don’t)
How much do you cost?
It’s best to have some pricing estimates as soon as possible so that neither side wastes time. Some consultants disclose their rates publicly, but you always need a quote for your specific needs.
You’ll mostly encounter three types of pricing:
Affiliate marketing whatsapp number list has a simple premise. Just like Batman and Robin, vendors team up with affiliate marketers for mutual gain, making it a win-win for many business owners.
Hourly rate – This is the most straightforward pricing model. It’s the most common one in the Czech Republic (where I live). But it’s not so popular in the West, according to my observations.
Project-based pricing – This is most likely to be used if you need SEO help in a certain area for a shorter period of time.
Monthly retainer – This is popular for long-term cooperations. You agree on a block of time the consultant will provide each month to your business and how much it will cost you.
Some consultants use all three pricing models, while others stick to just one. You should also talk about the minimum contract length and payment terms.
SEO can be a lucrative profession, so expect the best consultants to be quite expensive. On top of that, it’s likely the demand is higher than what they can meet, so some consultants are picky about new clients.
Of course, the pricing will drastically vary depending on the country. In the U.S. (and other countries with a high purchasing power parity), you should expect to pay at least $100 per hour to get a solid SEO consultant. To hire the best English-speaking consultants, you can expect to be charged $200+ hourly rates.
Recommended reading: SEO Pricing: ~350 Agencies, Consultants, and Freelancers Reveal How Much SEO Costs