What Is an SEO Consultant and Why Are They Important?

March 6, 2023


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A Simple Guide to Hiring an SEO Consultant 

Article by Colette Nichol, Story Strategist, SEO Expert, and Solo Filmmaker

An SEO consultant is an expert at driving targeted organic website traffic. 

In some cases, an SEO consultant may have a full understanding of digital marketing, including how to optimize website conversions. In other cases, an SEO consultant might be solely focused on traffic growth and not on how to convert that traffic into sales. 

The goal of an SEO consultant is to make it easier for potential clients to find you and to increase the revenue-generating potential of your business.

Often, SEO consultants specialize in one particular area of SEO.

For example, a consultant may be focused on helping niche experts grow a global audience for their work with a pillar page strategy. While another consultant may be more focused on local SEO or backlink building. There are even technical SEO consultants who may just be focused on how to speed up your website, so you’re not penalized for speed. 

It’s important to know what your business goals are before you reach out to an SEO consultant, because then you can identify whether this particular consultant can help you achieve those goals.

SEO consultants are usually trying to help you achieve your revenue goals.

Table of Contents

  1. What Does SEO Mean?
  2. What Is the Role of an SEO Consultant?
  3. Goals of an SEO Consultant
  4. What Does an SEO Specialist Do Daily?
  5. Should You Hire an SEO Consultant or Specialist?
  6. Steps for Hiring an SEO Consultant
  7. What to Ask an SEO Consultant
  8. Questions to Ask Yourself Before Hiring an SEO Consultant
  9. Questions to Ask an SEO Consultant
  10. Skills an SEO Consultant Should Have
  11. How Long Does It Take to Become an SEO Expert?
  12. Cost of Working with an SEO Expert or Consultant
  13. What Is An SEO Content Writer?
  14. What Are Some SEO Services?

What Does SEO Mean?

SEO refers to search engine optimization.

If you’re thinking about doing SEO or hiring an SEO consultant, rest assured it’s usually a great idea. In most cases (but not all), doing SEO is like throwing a pail of gasoline onto a fire. If your business is already working and you’ve got a good product or service and sales process, then SEO can boost your success dramatically.


But what about email marketing and ads?

Aren’t they great ways to grow a business? Sure, but they aren’t as great (in most cases) as SEO! Though, yes, I’ll admit. I’m biased.

I’ve used email marketing and Facebook ads to drive website traffic. But I’ve found SEO to be the most reliable and have the highest ROI. Ads are great if you have the time to get hyper-specific about your audience, follow the data, and refine your message until it’s perfect. But even with a so-called “warm” audience, you’re still advertising.

Getting found online is very different from advertising.

Google and YouTube are the two main places where your people actively search for content and products. So if you’re not using either of these options, you’re leaving many potential customers behind.

SEO Consultant

You might be wondering if it’s worth it to work with an SEO consultant and if so, what they will do for you.

I’ve been doing SEO for my business and for my clients’ businesses since 2017.

And I’ve seen small businesses get incredible results with SEO marketing. I first started doing SEO as an experiment. I wanted to crack the whole “traffic” game, and was sick of spending money on Facebook ads. So, I rolled up my sleeves and became obsessed with SEO.

What did I learn?

Most niches are underusing SEO, which is why there’s still massive growth opportunities for those who go all in and get serious about SEO.

If you get obsessed with creating helpful, unique, targetted website pages and posts, you can increase your organic traffic from a few hundred visitors per month to thousands. You can 10x your traffic in a year, and then do it again the next year.

If your organic website traffic is targeted, imagine what it can do for your business.

One of my clients went from getting 100 organic visitors per month and no leads from Google to 8000 organic visitors monthly. They reached a point where they had so many leads they needed to add filters to decrease the number of leads they were getting.

Their marketing machine was growing so fast their sales team couldn’t keep up!

Now they come up on the first page of Google for nearly everything relevant to their niche.

Typically, they’re in the top three results for all of their most important keywords. They’ve increased their business revenue significantly, and they have a consistent flow of leads and prospects. They also have sales and marketing systems that work together and allow them to scale their business without growing a massive sales team. We created these systems together based on the traffic we were targeting with SEO.

When you work with an SEO consultant who looks at your whole business and not just a tiny corner of your business, you can see massive, transformational results.

Most Businesses Won’t Do SEO

One of the most delightful things about SEO is that almost NOBODY is doing it!

Relatively speaking, SEO is a well kept secret that most niche businesses and experts are not exploiting. I think there are two reasons for that. First, many people are suspicious of SEO because in the past a lot of SEO consultants have gotten a bad rap for using sleazy tactics. So, please don’t hire someone who is shady.

But also, when you do SEO, you have to be patient.

You will get a big win, but it won’t be overnight. If you can be patient and work with a good consultant or expert team, you’re going to be able to outperform the other businesses in your niche that aren’t doing SEO. By a lot.

🌟Related Post: Quick Guide to SEO Marketing for Small Businesses

What Is the Role of an SEO Consultant?

The role of a good SEO consultant is to help you grow your business by increasing high-quality traffic to your website.

If you don’t have a good conversion strategy in place, then your SEO consultant may also help you improve your website conversion rate to turn that traffic into leads, prospects, and customers. At the end of the day, most SEO consultants are trying to help you achieve your business goals, typically related to increasing revenue.


Goals of an SEO Consultant

The goals of an SEO consultant should be the same as your goals. The only difference is that your SEO consultant will usually have more complex ways to measure performance.

They will be looking at the data more deeply than you and will have KPIs that they follow to see how things are moving and what direction the strategy should move.

But ultimately, an SEO consultant’s number one goal is usually to help you increase business revenue by generating relevant, high-quality traffic to your website based on the products and services you want to sell.

The first thing I do when speaking to a potential SEO client is I ask what their business and revenue goals are and what they want to sell.

I need to know their goals to assess whether SEO is the right tool to get them there, either partially or fully. With that information and some keyword research, I can make recommendations about whether to move forward or not. But traffic is never the main goal. If your website traffic isn’t targeted then it won’t grow your business and is entirely pointless!

What Does an SEO Specialist Do Daily?

What an SEO specialist does daily depends on which area of SEO they focus on.

Someone who specializes in getting backlinks will not do the same things as someone who specializes in creating high-quality content or comprehensive keyword strategies. An SEO consultant who can help you have a strategy that includes video SEO will be doing different activities than someone who does local SEO. 

That said, most SEO specialists spend a lot of time doing keyword research, analyzing websites, analyzing website data, reviewing actions taken on websites and what has moved the needle vs. what has failed, analyzing KPIs, and creating and refining growth strategies. 

Should You Hire an SEO Consultant or Specialist?

If you know your niche gets a lot of online traffic and your product or service is better than the competition, you should hire an SEO consultant or specialist.

SEO should pay for itself over time, but you aren’t going to see magical overnight results. So you have to have a successful business with a great product or service that sells. If you have that in place and you’re not taking advantage of online search, then it would be smart to speak with an SEO consultant to get a better understanding of what the opportunities for your business are.

Steps for Hiring an SEO Consultant:

1. Do what you’re already doing.

Google it. Read some articles and learn more about what you’re looking for in an SEO consultant.

2. Make a short list of your SEO-driven business goals.

What are you trying to achieve? 

3. Contact an SEO consultant.

Fill out their intake form or schedule a first call.

4. Ask the SEO consultant questions.

Tell them what outcomes you’d like to achieve in the medium and long term.

5. Ask the SEO consultant if they can assess those outcomes based on the existing keyword data and tell you if they’re realistic.

Fun fact: we can do that! And most SEO consultants who don’t like to fail will only work on projects with the right success markers. 

6. Is it a good fit?

If it feels like a good fit and they answered all your questions suitably, ask for a proposal or to see their packages.

7. Not a good fit?

If it doesn’t feel like a good fit, move on to the next person. 

8. Rinse and repeat until you find someone you feel comfortable working with long-term.

Your SEO consultant will probably be with you for years, so you should like them, trust them, and feel comfortable talking to them about your business. You should also have confidence that they can help you get the results you want in your business.

9. Finally, make sure that your SEO consultant will provide you with some level of exclusivity for your precise niche.

In other words, you don’t want an SEO consultant who is working with three people who all have the exact same global niche.

What you ask an SEO consultant will depend on your goals and your website’s niche.

What to Ask an SEO Consultant

What you ask an SEO consultant will depend on your goals and your website’s niche.

First, I’ve got some questions that you should ask yourself. Then you’ll find the correlating questions to ask the SEO consultant you’re speaking with.

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Hiring an SEO Consultant:

1. What business goals do I want to achieve with SEO?

2. What is my dream SEO outcome?

3. Am I thinking of short-term success or long-term domination?

4. What kind of person do I want to work with?

5. Do I want someone to take care of everything for me, or do I have time to dedicate to this project?

6. Do I have any in-house experts (or am I the expert) who can dedicate 20 to 60 minutes per week to this SEO project on an ongoing basis?

7. Am I willing to invest now for amazing long-term gains that allow me to outperform the competition?

8. Do I want to grow local traffic, i.e. people from my city? Or do I want to grow a global or national audience for my work?

9. Do I need an E-commerce SEO consultant, or am I selling services?

10. Does my website do a good job of converting visitors into leads, prospects or buyers?

11. Do I know my current website conversion rate?

The goals of an SEO consultant should be the same as your goals.

Questions to Ask an SEO Consultant:

1. Who do you typically work with?

2. What kind of results have you been able to help your clients get?

3. These are my goals. Do you think they are reasonable based on the keyword potential of my niche? 

4. Do you typically help local businesses or those growing a national or international audience?

5. How do you measure SEO success?

6. What do we do if the strategy isn’t working?

7. Do you have options where you take care of most of the SEO strategy and deliverables? 

8. How do you ensure the content you create for me will be unique and valuable?

9. What’s your process? How does this work? 

10. Will I be working with you or one of your team members?

SEO consultants do various activities, such as creating big-picture strategies, doing nitty-gritty keyword research, planning strategic content, and optimizing your entire website.

Skills an SEO Consultant Should Have

An SEO consultant focused on creating organic traffic based on a helpful content strategy needs to be good at strategic planning.

They must also be good at analysis, data analysis, digital marketing, and content creation.

If someone doesn’t have all those skill sets, they can’t help you to create an SEO strategy that helps to generate revenue for your business. 

How Long Does It Take to Become an SEO Expert?

It takes a couple of years of being obsessed with SEO to become an SEO expert.

Doing SEO well isn’t like doing brain surgery well. You don’t have to spend eight years in school to be an excellent SEO consultant. But you do need to be in the trenches, experimenting, learning, and getting obsessed with how to move the website from zero to hero. 

Cost of Working with an SEO Expert or Consultant

Working with a competent SEO consultant is not cheap.

Why not? Because a good SEO consultant will add massive value to your business, i.e., they’ll help you make quite a bit more money by driving high-value traffic to your website. You want to work with someone who charges well because they know that they are going to be making you money. If someone is ultra cheap, that might indicate that they aren’t adding much value to your business.

SEO should be an investment that pays off. So ultimately, the question should be whether you think you will make more than you spend.
But if you just want a range of what it might cost you to work with an SEO consultant, it could be anywhere from $5000 to $100,000 or more for a single project. Or if you do an ongoing contract, you may pay from $1000 to $10,000 monthly.

If your SEO consultant works with a team that provides all your SEO deliverables, that will cost more than if you just get someone to tell you and your team what to do.

If your SEO consultant also provides you with agency services like video production, this will cost more than simply getting a list of keywords that you should use in your business.

SEO is more than just one thing. When you’re working with an SEO consultant, they’ll be taking care of many different aspects of your content and optimization strategy.

What Is an SEO Content Writer?

An SEO content writer knows how to write blog posts and website pages that get to the first page of Google.

Someone who has written a lot of SEO content knows it’s important to make the user happy and optimize for Google’s algorithm. If the person reading your posts and pages isn’t engaged, then your traffic will suffer. 

What Are Some Examples of SEO Services?

SEO services can range from simply doing a website analysis and basic keyword research to helping you completely overhaul your website and digital strategy.

With our affordable SEO services for small businesses, you can optimize your online presence and drive organic traffic by leveraging our expertise in website analysis, keyword research, and strategic website revamping, all within a budget-friendly framework.

Here’s a list of potential actions your SEO consultant can do for you:

  • Website analysis
  • Competitor analysis
  • Basic keyword research
  • Advanced keyword research for a comprehensive strategy
  • Pillar page strategy 
  • Supporting blog post creation
  • Site title updates
  • Home page planning
  • Home page design
  • Video SEO strategy
  • Video production for SEO and YouTube
  • Blog post optimization
  • Conversion optimization
  • Image creation 
  • Backlink building
  • Local SEO
  • Ongoing website optimization for SEO
  • Blog post interlinking and website page interlinking
  • Content planning  

Summary of Key Points:

  • You should know your business or website goals before you speak with an SEO consultant.
  • There are many different types of SEO consultants. 
  • Someone specializing in backlink building is usually not equally focused on creating high-value content strategies. 
  • Video SEO can be an essential part of your traffic strategy but requires a specialized consultant. 
  • A good SEO consultant is concerned with helping you achieve your business or website goals.
  • Always find out what kind of websites an SEO consultant typically works with and the strategies they employ.

Next Steps

Would you like to find out if SEO is right for your business?

If you have a growing business and would like to increase the national or international audience for your work, please CLICK HERE to schedule a 15-minute call. 

I work with experts and expertise-based businesses in the US and Canada who want to make more of an impact with their work by reaching a larger audience through organic search. If you want to grow your business organically and dominate your niche on Google, please reach out, I’d love to hear about your business goals. 

More SEO Articles & Guides

💡 Work with an SEO Consultant to Grow Your Business

💡 19 Video SEO Tips for Beginners

💡 How to Increase Traffic to Your Website with SEO

Schedule a Call with an SEO Expert 

Schedule a 15-minute introductory call with me if you’d like to determine whether your business is a good fit for a large-scale SEO strategy.

I love to help experts dominate Google and reach a wider national or global audience. 

About the Author

Hi! I’m Colette Nichol. I’m a solo filmmaker, SEO, story strategist, and digital marketer based out of rainy Vancouver, Canada. I’ve been helping small local businesses and global brands since 2014.

In 2017, I started applying SEO to my work with clients and in my own business. The results were extraordinary, and I got obsessed!

If you’re interested in working together, please reach out. I’d love to hear about your business goals to see how we can help.

We currently take on a maximum of one new client per month, so please schedule a call early to ensure we can help with your project.


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