Thursday, May 26, 2011

How to Work in Harmony with Your SEO Consultant

Forming a good relationship with your SEO consultant is crucial to the success of your campaign. Yes, you are paying him good money to make your site rank well so you can generate more sales, but you must resist the urge to micromanage the process. SEO isn’t an exact science and there are many factors involved with it that you might not fully understand. Therefore, it’s imperative that you trust in your consultant and not do anything, consciously or subconsciously, to derail the process. Before embarking on your SEO project, keep the following guidelines in mind.

Manage Your Expectations

SEO can be quite a frustrating experience; what works for one site may not work for yours. Plus, the search engines are constantly tweaking their algorithms, so one day a tactic could work and the next day, you could be penalized for it. Of course, when you are paying someone to perform a service for you, you want to see results. With SEO, you will eventually see results, but it will take some time. It’s just the nature of the beast. It is very much like cultivating a garden—after planting the seeds, you have to wait to reap the fruits of your labor. The same is true with SEO, so, as hard as it may be, give the campaign a couple of months to bear fruit. Don’t contact your SEO consultant two weeks into the process, furious that nothing has happened, accusing him of ripping you off. You just need to wait it out a little bit.

Don’t Ignore Suggestions

By hiring your SEO consultant, you have acknowledged the fact that he has proven experience in his field of expertise. Yes, it is YOUR website he is working on, but you need to have faith that he really does know what he’s talking about. So, try to avoid having knee-jerk reactions to what he suggests before understanding why, for instance, you should avoid using Flash. Again, it all comes down to trust and believing that your consultant really does have your best interests at heart. Also, don’t balk when he suggests you create a steady stream of content for your site. Some consultants will create content for you for an additional fee, so this is something that needs to be hammered out between the two of you before you sign a contact. If you opt to write the content yourself, don’t take it personally if your SEO consultant critiques its quality. Great content is an essential building block of any SEO campaign, so make every effort to create it on an ongoing basis without letting your ego get in your way.

Don’t Make Changes on Your Own

While it may be tempting to make a few changes here and there on your site (after all, it is YOURS), doing so without discussing it with your SEO consultant can have disastrous consequences. Even a seeming inconsequential change can completely derail all of the progress your consultant has made, which will not make for a fun conversation! Remember, SEO is a painstaking process with many moving parts and every action has an effect and messing with it can destroy your rankings. So, don’t go rogue!

Before choosing your SEO consultant, make sure you do your homework first. Ask him what his philosophy is towards SEO and if he subscribes to white hat tactics. Employing someone who engages in black hat SEO is only opening you up to a world of hurt and most likely will result in your site being penalized or banned outright. Make sure you question him about how many SEO campaigns he has been involved with, what his role was in the projects and what the result was. This person will be handling your site’s livelihood, so do your due diligence to find the right person for the job. And, once you do, trust in his expertise.