What to Expect from an SEO Consultant

It may be tempting to decide to be a jack-of-all-trades for your eCommerce store. While you can expect to save some money doing this, you might end up losing money in the big picture. Focusing on all of the minor details means that you aren’t able to focus on the time that you could be spending on the things only you can do. SEO strategies and implementation can be performed by hired professionals, leaving you time for other priorities.


Hiring an SEO consultant may be somewhat intimidating. One of the best ways to reduce the intimidation is to make sure that you understand what to expect. Here are some of the general guidelines to remove some of the concerns.

General Cost Involved

While you can go on Fiverr or oDesk and hire people to handle your SEO work for less than $25, you won’t be getting a quality product. In fact, hiring someone who charges less than $1000 is generally a sign that you aren’t getting a quality product. SEO work can be quite technical and time intensive.

Moz’s 2011 Pricing Survey found that the average price per contract project ranged between $1,000 and $7,500. This does not take into account other longer term projects. Monthly fees and retainers of quality SEO consultants start at $250 a month and can go up as high as $7,000 a month.

You will also want to make sure that you understand what services are involved. Moz’s 2011 Pricing Survey looked only to pure SEO work and did not evaluate firms that included other services such as setting up a one step checkout process.

Obviously, the money involved is not a small amount. You need to make sure that you’re going to get good results for the money invested. Look to the references and credentials of the consultant. This amount of money should result in a quality product that gets you the results you want.

Initial Analysis

A good SEO consultant or firm will give your entire eCommerce store a technical analysis. The reason that this analysis matters is that it allows the consultant to evaluate what works on your site and what doesn’t. It also helps to avoid the potential for “unexpected new tasks” cropping up later on.

The analysis can take a couple days. Don’t be surprised if the consultant does ask for a nominal fee. Good ones sometimes charge a fee, and sometimes they don’t. It all depends on the firm.

Maintain All Rights

You should retain all rights to the work on your site. Even if the SEO consultant creates content for your site, you need to make it clear that the content remains with you. Most of the time, this is not an issue. To be safe, make sure that your contract clearly states that the rights remain with you. Avoid a consultant who wants to retain ownership rights or even non exclusive rights.

This can lead to problems later if he should try to post it on another site as Google will see it as duplicated content and potentially penalize both sites.

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