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Can You Trust an SEO Consultant?

Updated: Jun 20, 2023

Let’s get one thing out of the way right off the bat. We provide SEO consultation, strategy and other related services. Of course I’ll say you can trust Highway One Marketing. But the truth is, there are plenty of others you can trust, too. There are also a lot that you shouldn’t.


What exactly does an SEO Consultant do?


The word “consultant” sure is ambiguous, huh? Personally, I don’t like using it. An SEO Consultant sounds like someone who just gives advice and recommendations and doesn’t actually DO anything. That said, many SEO Consultants have a wide range of skills and services, from site audits and content strategy down to implementing specific updates on (and off) your site.


One thing the SEO Consultant title does often imply is that the person is an independent contractor, and not part of an agency. This is not universally true, mind you, but it’s a reasonable assumption.


If you’re in the market for SEO services, don’t be turned off just by the use of this word. It’s not predictive of a person’s offerings or abilities. It’s more a matter of whether your needs dictate a single person or an agency team working together.


Where do you find a good SEO Consultant?


There’s sort of a paradox here. You would think that the best SEO Consultant would be able to rank first on Google for “best SEO consultant,” right? Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Much of what you’d find in this search is third party sites providing lists and, in some cases, bookings for agencies and freelancers. And for the individual people and agencies you do find (and props to them for ranking well!) you might have a tough time negotiating an affordable price.


Speaking of those booking sites, two of the most popular ones for finding SEO consultants are Fiverr.com and Upwork.com. And by “popular,” I mean frequently used — not necessarily the best choice.


As I write this, a search of “seo” on Fiverr returns 28,156 results. Upwork doesn’t report the number of matches, but I would assume it’s in the same ballpark.

You don’t have to go deal-hunting on Fiverr to find reasonably priced SEO services.

So, with almost 30,000 options to choose from, there must be some great SEO consultants on there, no?


Yes, absolutely! There is nothing stopping a brilliant freelancer from setting up shop on Fiverr. And just like trying to find that perfectly ripe avocado at the grocery store, the odds are not in your favor. (Side note: tips for avocado selection are appreciated.)


What makes things worse is that I know people who have had such bad experiences with marketers they’ve found on Fiverr and Upwork that they’ve soured on the entire industry and marketing channel.


Finding high quality SEO Consultants local to you


I can rattle off a bunch of names of people and agencies that are absolute masters of SEO and digital marketing. Here are some that come to mind:

You can’t go wrong with any of them (and many others), but they’re all in demand and their pricing and availability likely reflect that. If you’re a small or medium sized business, it just might not make financial sense for you OR them.


That’s why I recommend looking for local SEO independent contractors and agencies as a starting point. Use Google Maps, visit your Chamber of Commerce website, ask around in Facebook groups. Not only are you likely to find a great partner, you’re supporting local business. And on top of that, there’s a good chance the person or agency you hire already has at least an awareness of your business!


How do you know when you’ve found a good SEO Consultant or Agency?


It would be easy to say that when you have the right partner, you’ll see your website traffic tick up, sales increase, and a positive ROI you can feel good about. And that’s true… but what about *before* you’re investing your money?


Finding an SEO consultant or agency you can trust is much like the vetting process for other business services. They should have references. They should explain their process by laying out some initial steps and timelines. They should be transparent about pricing and set reasonable expectations. And they should be able to explain everything to you in a way that’s understandable, even if you have a limited amount of knowledge about how SEO works.


Is Highway One Marketing a Fit for You?


We take a lot of pride in the work we do for our clients, and part of being able to provide that great work is knowing which clients are a good fit and which are not. We’re not right for everyone, and that’s OK.


If you’d like to explore whether Highway One can help you meet your growth goals, and why we’ve been selected among the Top Delaware SEO Companies by Designrush, and similar accolades from other sites, just contact us to set up a free consultation.

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