Why Hire a Freelance SEO Consultant

What are the main benefits of hiring a freelance SEO and what other points should you consider during your selection process?

Search Engine Optimisation or (SEO) refers to the process of improving the results of a given web site / page in the Natural (Organic or Algorithmic) search results, using both onsite and offsite elements. SEO is by nature rather an instinctive art that lends itself to being undertaken by an individual rather than individuals in a larger company. This article covers the main benefits of hiring a Freelance consultant and also touches upon other points that you may wish to consider during the selection process.

But First a Warning (or Why SEO Comes First)

It is simply incorrect to assume that SEO is something that can happen after a site has been designed; SEO (if done well) should be considered during and after the design process as the SEO process will often dictate the navigation and structure and certainly the content of your site.

A Freelance SEO Consultant costs less than a SEO Company

There are a number of reasons why its more cost effective to hire a Freelance SEO rather than a larger company, these include:

A Freelance Consultant has low overheads compared to a traditional SEO company.
A large SEO company is less able to scale down services to cope with smaller projects, where as a Freelance SEO needs smaller projects to survive.
A large SEO company is likely to charge a standard monthly fee, a Freelance SEO can offer a bespoke service defined by the needs of the client.
The other reasons to hire a Freelance SEO Consultant Aside from the financial considerations there are a number of other reasons to hire a Freelance SEO over a SEO Agency:

A Freelance Consultant has to be good to survive and must achieve results to retain your business.
A Freelance Consultant is more likely to; care about your project, treat you with respect, return your calls and deliver the work on time.
A Freelance Consultant is not a small cog in a large wheel, they are less likely to be confined by outdated company guidelines, or made board by being handed the umpteenth link building project this week.
A Freelance Consultant is more likely to strive to leave a good impression, after all its their reputation that’s in the balance.
I am a Gloucester & Cheltenham based SEO working in Stonehouse near Stroud in Gloucestershire I provide my SEO services to clients in Bristol and Gloucestershire and throughout the UK.

SEO Consultant – Do You Really Need a SEO Consultant?

What is SEO? SEO, also known as search engine optimization, is the process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a website from search engines via natural search results. The earlier your site appears in the search results, the more visitors it will receive from the search engines.

SEO is more than just placing keywords on your website. You may get some results by doing so, but the result will not last. A good SEO strategy focuses on building the popularity of a website in Google’s eyes. It is a continuous process and a SEO consultant can be a great help to you.

There are many benefits of hiring a SEO consultant. In this article, let me share with you some reasons why you need to hire a SEO consultant for your company:

1. Experience. A professional SEO consultant has years of experience in the search marketing industry. He or she will be able to give you the right advices and implement the right strategies to bring your website to the top. They have also worked on numerous SEO projects and know the ins and outs of how search engine algorithm works. Ethical consultants will not use black-hat SEO methods to optimize your website so that search engines will not ban your site.

2. They can utilize pre-existing relationships. Experienced consultants will utilize their pre-existing relationships inside the SEO industry to generate press releases and articles distribution that will help increase the popularity of your website in Google’s eyes.

3. They are competent in solving SEO problems. Experienced consultants have the expertise to identify and solve any SEO issues. By fixing problems fast and early, you can get your optimization campaign back on track.

4. Link building expertise. Link building is the most important process of SEO. Without a good link building strategy, it is very difficult to get your website to the top of search engines. Professional consultants will have the necessary link building expertise to identify popular forums, communities, directories and blogs to build links.

5. Save time. Link building is an extremely time consuming and tedious process. It will take up a lot of time if the task is done in house. You should spend your time on things that you do best. An experienced SEO consultant has all the systems ready for optimization and they can use their experience to provide better service in lesser time.

SEO Consultant – What Can You Expect From a SEO Consultant?

For some people, they do not know what to expect from a SEO consultant. In most cases, clients always expect more than what can be done in the given timeframe and budget. For many SEO consultants, they always face a dilemma when facing clients. Some consultants will try to overpromise in order to get the deal and under-deliver by the end of the project. On the other hand, there are consultants who always undersell and over-deliver in the end. Unfortunately, when the consultant undersells in the beginning, he or she will have difficulty getting the deal because most clients have unrealistic expectations.

The tricky part about SEO is that most of the benchmarks are not under the control of the SEO consultant. Benchmarks like traffic, enquiries and sales vary depending on many factors. I think it will be useful for you to understand what NOT to expect from a SEO consultant.

1. Never expect guaranteed rankings. Many people who are interested in SEO want guaranteed rankings for certain keywords in a certain timeframe for a certain price. Unfortunately, no one can guarantee you a certain ranking for a keyword. Rankings should not be used as a benchmark because it is subject to the algorithms of the search engines. Search engines change their algorithms every now and then so it is just impossible for someone to guarantee you a certain ranking for a certain keyword.

2. Never expect the cost of SEO to remain the same overtime. This is because most SEO consultants charge according to the amount of work that needs to be done. When rankings and competition changes, so does the cost of the SEO package. The cost of SEO is likely to increase to accommodate more competitive keywords.

3. Never expect SEO to be a one-time project. SEO is a continuous process as link building needs to be undertaken from time to time. When you change the layout or add new content to your website, you need to optimize it. Most clients expect SEO to be a one-time project. This is simply impossible.

4. Never expect to see quick results from SEO. If you want to see an increased in organic traffic to your website in one day, it is simply not possible. SEO takes time to take effect before you can get any ROI from it. So be patient and do not give your SEO consultant an impossible timeframe to deliver the ROIs.

Cheow Yu Yuan is the co-founder of OOm, an online marketing agency providing SEO service.

Small Business Consultant Internet Marketing – What You Should Know and Expect

Not surprisingly most online small businesses fail miserably. One of the reasons why is that they never had a good internet marketing business plan. To ensure you get a better chance of succeeding is by looking for a small business consultant internet marketing expert. In this fast changing times requires a robust business that can quickly adapt to the economy. The small business would need to have the correct tools to maintain a competitive edge on their competition. Doing it the right way will mean total domination over your competition. Take these notes to understand what you should expect when looking for an internet marketing consultant.

These days the modern small business is very price conscious and is much more concerned with their operating costs. Therefore an internet consultant is something that is not planned for their budget. But more and more consumers are doing their research online prior to making a purchase on a product or service. Studies have shown that nearly 75 percent of these consumers make their initial research from search engines. Having your business website not internet ready can mean a huge loss in potential sales. So the small business consultant internet marketing expert should be able to explain to you how they plan to get your internet website optimized. You want to ensure your website can attract the most visitors. The next plan is to explain how he can convert those visitors of your website into sales.

Pricing to hire a small business consultant internet marketing expert can range significantly. Every consultant establishes their own prices. So it is best for you to get quotes from as many different internet consultants you can. But beware that the lowest price is not always going to be the best. There are literally millions of different ways to market your business on the internet.

Recession-Proof Your Computer Consulting Business

It’s true that economic recessions result in downsizing and poor consumer spending in practically every major market. As the economy tumbles, it can seem daunting to take risks in business, especially when all you hear about in the news is how businesses are closing up and money is scarce.

But don’t believe everything you hear! The truth is, poor economic conditions are the BEST time for small business owners and start-ups to get in on the game and leapfrog their competition! While huge corporations are stuck with mind-boggling overhead and klunky business models to manage, fresh start-ups use nimble business strategies and innovation to become the next big thing in their industry.

The same is true for the computer consulting industry. If you implement frugal operating practices and aggressively innovate, you can outgrow your competition and end up in a better position when times are good.

The key is to ‘recession-proof’ your business. When it comes to computer consulting, there are 4 important steps to take to stabilize your income and build predictable wealth and market dominance.

Here Are 4 Steps You Can Put In Action Today:

1. Focus on accessibility. Successful companies are moving their focus away from making their products more sophisticated, and are instead focusing on adding more value and affordability. In a down economy, people are looking to either save money or get MORE for their money. It’s no coincidence that inexpensive netbooks are outselling their more expensive competitors. Study the graph to the right to learn more about 3 important movements that are going on right now in the computer consulting industry. Companies are adding more value to inexpensive products and reducing the price on their premium products. This is putting pressure on the middle market and squeezing them out of their market share.

So start thinking of ways you can add more value to your product while keeping your prices affordable to people with a tight income. You could bundle your services together, offer free upgrades, provide flat rate pricing (instead of hourly fees), etc. Making your computer consulting more affordable to low-income families will allow you to jump into an untapped market and dominate. Plus, if you build a loyal client following now with this low-income market, just imagine how profitable they will be when the economy picks up, they start making more money, and go to you for all their computer work!

2. Establish recurring income. The single fastest way to ‘recession-proof’ your computer consulting business is to capture reliable, recurring revenue streams to sure up your expenses and save you when business is slow. The easiest way to do this is to take your existing services and package them into proactive monthly maintenance plans. Managed services is a cash cow market, as is emerging cloud computing opportunities. Start looking into these markets and put together a monthly plan of your own that you could offer small businesses and home users in your area. Clients will contract to pay you monthly for unlimited support, scheduled backups and audits, and included upgrades. It’s a win-win because it guarantees you business (even if your client’s systems are healthy) and it gives your clients peace of mind that they never have to worry about their system going down or a catastrophe occurring that could have been prevented.

If you also provide web design (which some computer consultants do), web hosting and online email marketing software plans are a great way to establish recurring monthly income.

3. Go lean. To grow your business and build market share you have to be a lean, mean operating machine. That means cutting corners with expenses as much as you can. Make sure you are documenting EVERY PENNY you are spending on your business. You’ll find things like eating out, going over on your cell phone minutes, printing on paper when you could go digital, and wasting unnecessary electricity can all add up to a dollar amount that could ultimately break you. Imagine what you could do with an extra $400/month in advertising to get new clients. Do that every month for 2 years and you are talking about tens of thousands of dollars in extra business (not including the word-of-mouth these new clients will generate for you). Positive growth happens exponentially.

4. Learn to multiply by dividing. Most computer consultants are one-man-bands, but the fastest way to more money is to partner strategically. If you take a small slice of a much bigger pie you’ll make out in the end. It’s very easy to partner strategically with other companies when the economy is tight, because everyone is hungry for new money-making opportunities. Don’t be afraid to work together with someone locally. When you help others make money, you make money too!

The bottom line is

Successful companies know that the best time to get ahead is to innovate when their competition is tightening their belts and closing their wallets. Now is the time to think creatively and act on it. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

What Can a Marketing Consultant Do For You?

Many of today’s small businesses look for help with various aspects of their business and a marketing consultant could take a load off their mind and their plate. Beyond taking on work, an experienced marketing expert can deliver results. What could a business consultant, specialised in marketing do for you?

Analyse Your Business

An expert can take a look at your existing business (or business plan if you’re just getting started) and identify potential opportunities for growth that you might not have previously considered. An expert can gather business intelligence data and use that to help you make a plan to move forward in a new area of business as well as unleash potential for growth with existing clients of yours.

Target New Customers

A consultant could look at your business and help you identify new ways to attract customers and gain market share. This can happen through effectively marketing with inquiries, creating a sales funnel system that walks customers through a sales cycle without much intervention from you, and can help you attract search engine traffic for potential customers who are ready to buy. All this can be done on a shoestring budget as well. Hiring a consultant is much more cost effective than staffing a marketing department!

Get Repeat Business (And Referrals!) from Past Customers

A lot of businesses don’t effectively market to their past customers. Once you’ve convinced someone to buy from you once, don’t make the mistake of forgetting about going after repeat business. This type of business costs you less to get than a new prospect and can also result in word-of-mouth referrals as well. A marketing consultant can show you how to go after the low hanging fruit effectively.

Increase Productivity

Once you’ve been operating for a while, it’s very easy to become complacent with tools and procedures that work ‘ok’ for you. But if you learn about new tools that are available it can improve your productivity and your profitability. And if you’re new to business, you can get started on the right foot! Continually improving processes and approaches isn’t just helpful in today’s business world — it’s essential for sustainability! Hiring someone to help you expand and enhance your business might seem like a hefty expense but if you find someone with the right set of skills, this is going to be an investment in your business. The ROI (return on investment) could make it very worthwhile!

Sales Consultant – Characteristics of Great Consultants

Are you leaning towards hiring sales consultants to improve your sales? Then, hire somebody who has these characteristics:

1. Active listening. Sales consultants must be willing to listen to their clients. They must understand the needs and demands of the people that they are serving before they offer their expert advice. Run to the opposite direction if a prospective sales consultant does all the talking. He cannot in anyway help you reach your goals — that’s for sure!

2. In-depth knowledge. Ask for a free consultation to gauge the expertise of your potential sales consultant. Ask as many questions as needed to make sure that he has in-depth knowledge in this field. You can also ask for his portfolio. It would be great if he has a degree in advertising or business. If he has served well all his clients in the past and if he is highly recommended by industry leaders then, by all means, hire him!

3. Patience. Not all clients have the ability to articulate all their needs. So, find sales consultant who have a truck load of patience to really understand what you are looking for.

4. People skills. You would want to work with somebody who enjoy being around with other people, right? So, find someone who is warm, friendly, and someone who shows genuine concern in helping his clients.

5. Consistent. The sales consultant that you hire must be consistent in everything he says or does. He must not change his mind too often that you’ll get confused on what you need to do in the long run.

A Consultant Can Improve Online Performance

An Internet Consultant can really add improvements to a business; even website design and development companies should regularly source a consultant’s advice and recommendations. The Internet is a massive place with a population that is evolving at an impressive rate.

Every week there are many new websites, techniques and approaches that could be applied to promote and draw new customers to a website. As with all marketing, it is not the method that ensures success, it’s the approach taken. The approach needs to match what Internet users are expecting to see, a good Internet consultant will understand what current best practice techniques are required to maximise on the amount of success a marketing campaign will generate.

The future of a business’s interaction with an internet consultant will change; in the next few years consultants could hot desk within the businesses they serve. In one day spent at a client’s office many face to face meetings could occur, for example a meeting with the sales department to cover:

  • Current online performance and what should be focused on internally.
  • The Internet provides the best consumer research platform available, it can let you know what your customers want, when they want it and what they can’t find on your website. A consultant can review and provide this information.
  • Feedback on how discounts and offers are performing online, reviewing successes and failures of promotions to learn and improve them.
  • Discussions on how new sales initiatives can be applied online and what new products and services need to be promoted, and to what audiences. The same could occur with the marketing department, providing advice, feedback and recommendations.

This would allow a marketing department to understand what is working, what could be trialled and how best to develop future marketing messages. Employing a full time Internet Consultant would be expensive and potentially flawed. If a company is lucky enough to have an Internet Marketing manager, they should still seek external consultancy services. It can be hard to see past business constraints and current ways of working, sideline objectives often take over and much time can be spent building relationships with key stakeholders.

Full time employees often have interdepartmental barriers that can cause conflict due to different objectives and priorities. It then becomes very hard to break the “It’s how it always has been done” mindset and think out of the box.

An external consultant can cut through existing cobwebs, propose and implement measurable improvements without some of the full time employee constraints. It’s a benefit that often applies to externally sourced advice and recommendation, maybe this is because the organisations that seek external help understand the associated returns.

How Recruitment Consultants Can Benefit the Business World

Recruitment consultants are an important asset to any business no matter how big they are or how established they are. Recruitment consultants can help a business to find an ideal candidate for long term or short term employment. So, how can a business benefit from using a recruitment agency? Read on to find out more.

There are many ways that a business can benefit from using a recruitment agency. If you’re business needs to hire temporary staff then an agency can be on hand to find the perfect candidate. A consultant will be on hand to help a business find a suitable employee from hundreds of potential candidates.
They will be able to help you with the following;

  • An employer can sign up with a recruitment agency so that they can access a large database of potential employees. A recruitment consultant can then filter through them to find the most likely candidates.
  • Advertising is also a crucial factor when it comes to finding the right employee and this area is thoroughly covered by an expert consultant.

Naturally, recruitment is a delicate area as above all else they have a reputation to uphold. This is why it is important for a recruitment agency to find the best candidate for their client. Businesses can expect the following high level of service;

  • So that a large range of potential employees are targeted a comprehensive advertising campaign is put into effect. A skilled recruitment consultant will be assigned to help a business achieve this.
  • Time and effort can be saved when it comes to interviewing a potential candidate as a recruitment agency will conduct the first interview. This is a great way to find out if a candidate is right for the job.

An employer might only want to hire an employee on a short term basis however it is still important to find someone who is ideal for the job. This is where a recruitment agency can be of great benefit. With a highly skilled consultant on board a business can select temp employee from a database of hundreds, sometimes thousands of potential candidates. This vast pool of candidates can be tapped into at any time. An employment agency will carry out all important administrative duties and will continue to offer full support to their client.

A business that is looking to hire staff will find that a recruitment agency is the most logical and efficient route to go down. In only a few days, a recruitment consultant can find the employee to suit the needs of your business.

A Fashion Consultant Can Help You Love Your Body

Fashion is not just about wearing high-end designer clothing; it includes wearing garments that make an individual statement about your personality, lifestyle, and career objectives. A can help you integrate all aspects of your life in order to create a customized “look” that expresses your individuality.
A fashion consultant can assist you in making the right decisions about “what to wear” and “what not to wear.” A consultation with a fashion expert will also guide you into making the right style choices when you are shopping. Individuals should dress for their particular body structure which ultimately makes all the difference in your overall appearance and a fashion consultant can help show you how.

Many people mask their feelings behind bad fashion. Unknowingly, people decide what to wear on a daily basis based on their current mood. Has there ever been a day when you are rushed or stressed out and don’t feel like making an effort to get dressed? We are all guilty at one time or another. Somehow convincing ourselves that the easiest solution is grabbing a black top and bottom from our closet will take the guesswork out of what to wear. Maybe you are one those people who just have bad luck matching styles and colors but insist on being fashion forward. Instead of fashionably mixing garments, you end up making statements which always end in fashion disaster. Maybe you stayed out too late on a work night and compromised your work attire the next morning by wearing jeans and a t-shirt. In a professional or personal environment, your appearance should always project a positive image no matter what you emotions you are battling internally. With the help of a fashion consultant, you can express your outward appearance in an effective and positive way that is guaranteed to boost your confidence no matter what you may be feeling on a daily basis. Fashion is a form of self expression and can be liberating when expressed properly.

Color has significant psychological effects and communicates a strong statement to the people around you. Commercials, advertisements, interior decorators, photographers and magazine editors all use color to command attention or express a certain mood. Color can also be considered an important element in selecting a great garment. Certain body types should avoid specific colors. For example, if you are 5’3 you should avoid wearing contrasting tops and bottoms. Color can help your appearance by altering your shape and size. A Fashion Consultant will work with your body structure to figure out what colors will flatter you and which ones will fight with your figure. By using compassion, sensibility and practical advice, color can be applied to serve a multitude of issues. Wearing bright colors can have an alarming effect where as dark colors can be depressing. If you are giving a speech to a large group do you know what color wear to keep the attention of your audience on your words and not your outfit? If you have a job interview do you know what colors and styles will make you appear more professional and reliable? A fashion consultant can help explain the dynamics of color so that you can effectively integrate them into your everyday life and wardrobe.

When people use to be impulsive buyers, it was OK to be an emotional shopper. Sometimes shopping can be therapeutic. In today’s economy, it is important to be economical and smart about your fashion expenditures. In a perfect world we can go to a high end boutique and shop till we drop! Economically speaking, this is clearly not practical shopping behavior. A fashion consultant understands the importance of a personal budget and can take you shopping in your own closet. By cleaning out your closet and purging garments that are unflattering and outdated, a fashion consultant is able to see what garments are left over to make-up your wardrobe. Usually, new outfits can be created or you can get recommendations about things you may need to complete specific looks. The most important thing is to maximize the investment you have already made in your wardrobe and stretch it out to get the most “bang for your buck.”

Whether you need to establish an identity for work, social activates, vacation or a specific event, a fashion consultant is also your personal stylist. They can help you shine through all of life’s circumstances. Sometimes our feelings or emotions can easily be manipulated by a little self confidence. Whether you are having a bad day or upset and angry over a situation, a compliment or kind words can seemingly go along way.