There are three main types of search engine optimisation consultant services - individual SEO experts, SEO agencies and in-house SEOs. Individual consultants are usually freelance SEO experts offering services while agencies consist of teams of experts who make use of standardised process to serve their clients. In house SEOs refers to experts hired by large or rapidly growing businesses to work in their marketing department.
There are many SEO service providers to choose from. Some are great while others should be avoided. It is important to note that such services don't come cheap and anyone offering extremely low prices is likely to disappoint you.
Most service providers promising unrealistically quick results are also likely to be using black hat techniques which will cost your website in the long run. On the other hand, expensive doesn't always equate quality. Since many people don't understand SEO, they assume the highly priced services are the best and end up paying more than they should on the service.
Before hiring SEO consultants it is paramount that you familiarise yourself with the terms and techniques used in the industry. For instance, it helps to learn a thing or two on search engine algorithms and the latest SEO trends. Armed with knowledge, you won't fall prey to malicious SEO services that are always lurking on the internet.
Find out how long a SEO expert has been in business and how many websites similar to yours they've worked on in the past before investing in their services. Start by finding out how they intend to improve your ranking and the process they follow to do this. Most experts start with an on-site audit which helps them come up with strategies that will help boost ranking fast. After this, they determine the best target keywords to incorporate with their SEO strategies in order to keep you ahead of the competition.
Link building has been a major part of SEO and has stood the time through many search engine algorithm changes. There are high quality links and low quality ones at your disposal. The high quality links will cost you more but will prove more beneficial in the long run. A good link can cost you anything between $20 and $100. Anything cheaper than this should be approached carefully.
Finally, it is important that a SEO expert provide you with regular reports on any changes they make to your website. Reliable companies will inform you of any changes before and after they make them.