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Do I Need an SEO Consultant?

If you want your website to be found, search engine optimization must be part of your strategy. But with changing algorithms, it can be harder and harder to obtain and maintain high rankings in the SERP. SEO is dynamic, but it has a huge impact on your website’s visibility and online presence. If you don’t have a dedicated person to help you target leads and boost conversion rates through an SEO lens, it might be worth getting an SEO consultant.

What does an SEO Consultant Do?

An SEO consultant is an expert (outside of your marketing team) in various services that can improve your website’s rankings. They typically conduct keyword research, build up backlinks, and optimize your on-page and off-page SEO.

As an SEO consultant, their job is to be the expert in search engine algorithms and ranking factors, no matter how quickly the formula changes. They’ll advise your team on which steps to take in order to improve your rankings based on the ever-changing news and recommendations from the big search engines like Google. Ultimately, the goal of the SEO consultant is to make your business more visible to the right audience and help increase long-term organic traffic (rather than having to depend on PPC or other advertising).

Key Responsibilities of an SEO Consultant

An SEO consultant is concerned with KPIs such as: 

  • Organic traffic (boost your site visitor count)
  • Ranking (for top keywords)
  • Engagement rate (optimizing content to improve user engagement)
  • Website performance scores (page speed and more)
  • Conversions (an indicator quality traffic)

To achieve the above, they’ll focus on the following to get your SEO in a better place:

Technical SEO

Technical SEO goes beyond keywords. Concerns revolve around things like improving page speed, disavowing toxic backlinks, updating or removing outdated plugins, and adjusting image sizes. Google Search Console is a free tool that can help you audit each of those key pieces. Alternatively, you can hire an SEO consultant to report on and remediate each of those issues. However, keep in mind, this is a monthly task, not a one-and-done. If your marketing team has the time and the knowhow (technical SEO is more about the backend and coding), set them on it. If not, outsourcing technical SEO audits and remediation help keep your website healthy and optimized for search engines.

On-page SEO

Where technical SEO is about the backend, on-page SEO is about the front-end: the content. It’s keyword focused, and the website pages are optimized to meet typical best practices. The content that is under scrutiny includes the headings (H1s, H2s, etc.) meta tags, and contextual links, or links within the content. Using a keyword strategy will help your team understand what words and phrases you could rank for, and where and how to use them within your website copy.


Some SEO consultants and experts can help with backlinking (thought there are separate experts who do this alone). It can be a tricky practice and there’s disagreement over whether the effort is worth the impact, but can lead to better rankings if you get the right sites. Essentially, the idea is that you get high-authority sites to link back to your site. Google views this as additional authority, and it may improve your rankings. Request these backlinks carefully—if the sites you choose end up being spammy sites, this could demote your ranking instead of boosting it.

Keyword Research

Without knowing what you could possibly rank for, your SEO attempts can be a wasted effort, full of guesses. An SEO consultant can help determine your priority keywords using research and data. After finding keywords your company can reasonably compete for, they’ll help create a keyword strategy, including a content calendar that puts on a fair amount of content pieces each month (we recommend 10). There may still be some trial and error, but you’ll have a target and be able to measure success and take steps to continue to improve.

SEO Audits

To see where you’re headed, you have to know where you’ve been—you’ll need to fully analyze what’s behind your website rankings. Do an audit to identify where you could grow, where you need to adjust, and take advantage of the opportunities you and your team can take on. Like all SEO, this isn’t a one-and-done task but should be done quarterly to keep up with optimizations.

Tracking and Reporting

Along with the audits, you’ll want to track your efforts to see where you’re succeeding. Using month-over-month rankings, you can see progress—which pages are ranking the highest, and which resource blogs are reaching the most people. There are two reporting columns that impact your rankings in SEO: on-page and off-page. So if you’re doing well with keywords, but your page speed is slow, your rankings could take a hit. A consultant will be able to identify what to do where to keep your rankings up (like audit the back end of your site). Finally, an SEO consultant can create regular reports for the marketing team, with each effort explained. This is a small way to identify ROI for your SEO marketing budget.

How can an SEO Consultant Help Your Marketing Team?

If you looked at the list above and felt your eyes glaze over or your heart rate pick up with worry, it might be time to call in the experts. An SEO consultant can help your marketing team with:

  • Expert advice – Their experience and guidance can help you strategize around the latest SEO trends
  • Enhanced visibility and traffic – You can rely less on paid channels and more on organic traffic, with better SEO
  • Specialized knowledge – The SEO consultant’s focus is just that: SEO. So they’ll come to the table with new insights that your current team may not have

Overall, SEO is highly valuable to your digital presence, and if your marketing team is interested in successfully expanding your reach (and meeting KPIs) an expertly executed SEO strategy will be a big part of that effort. 

Looking at traffic, it’s not just about the current sources—it’s where you want the traffic to ideally come from. If it’s mostly coming from PPC, social, and display ads, using SEO to build up your organic search could be the ticket to bringing your ad budget down after 6-12 months. 

Note: If your industry is less competitive, you may not need to spend the same amount of money, time, or effort on SEO as the next company. You may even be able to dial it back to find the sweet spot of effort vs. results. You only need to compete with the websites vying to rank for the same keywords that you are – not with every website out there (phew!).

Do I Need an SEO Consultant?

Use these follow-up questions to help determine whether your marketing team needs extra help with SEO. Instead of asking “Do I need an SEO consultant?” you can ask questions more specifically around:

Team Composition.
Who’s on my team?
Do they have up-to-date SEO knowledge??
Are they staying up to date on trends?

Organic Traffic Analysis.
How is our current organic traffic performing?
Where can we improve?

Content Strategy.
Do we have a content strategy?Do we have a content calendar?
Does the current content strategy align with SEO best practices?

Technical Expertise.
Is there anyone on our team that understands technical SEO?
Is our technical SEO person capable of completing necessary remediation?

Bottom Line

You can learn a lot from Google, including SEO best practices. And online research is fine, but it’s not necessarily practical to have your team simply “pick it up” as a task. For example, did anyone on your team hear about the Google algorithm leak? Or understand it? When SEO updates happen is your team prepared and ready to shift? Organic results still exist, and your brand should be among them to capture users.

An SEO consultant could make a huge difference in your company’s visibility and digital marketing presence. Assess your SEO needs carefully. Take stock of your SEO capabilities within your team (in time and expertise). And consider consulting with an SEO expert to boost your digital marketing strategy to make your brand and your company visible.

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