SEO: How to Weed out the Hacks

Set expectations for an SEO consultant to make sure you're getting your money's worth

Written by Mira Shenker

Content is king, right? CEO Scott Wilson says that trope should be reworded to “content people can find is king.” Wilson argues that search engine optimization (SEO) trumps social media as a strategy to draw customers and clients to your website.

Read: Social media doesn’t deliver the most valuable customers

If you can’t do it on your own, you’ll be looking at hiring someone from the ever-growing throngs of “SEO expert” consultants out there. How do you know if you’re wasting money on a hack? Wilson offers this advice: tell them how you’re going to measure them before they start.

Here are four steps your SEO consultants should be able to follow if they know their stuff:

  • Give them a list of keywords you think are core to what you deliver.
  • They will data mine those words to determine which ones really resonate with your customers. For instance, if you run a hotel, they may find that “hotel” is less searched than “lodging” in that set of words.
  • Benchmark where you rank in your market for those keywords. If you’re focusing on “lodging,” see how quickly your site comes up when you search for “lodging.”
  • Ask how fast they think they can get you traction on these keywords—you should be in the top 100 for those keywords within a month, then see progress every month after that.

What do you think? Does SEO live up to all the hype? Have you had a bad experience with a consultant? Leave it in the comments section below.

Scott Wilson shared these tips at the PROFIT CEO Summit in Toronto. There will be more expert advice (not to mention PROFIT 500 CEOs to mingle with) at the PROFIT Growth Summits in Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver this fall. Register now to get the early-bird rate.

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