How do I go about hiring agencies/freelancers for SEO?
I'm running a business selling pet related products and wondering how I should go about hiring agencies or freelancers.
Currently the website is on Shopify and has absolutely no optimization for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
• Is a budget of $3000/month any good?
• If my business is US based, should I only hire people in the US, considering they will be more connected to US press and media? My concern is that this will cost a lot more.
• How can I find freelancers or agencies?
What I've done is Google the agencies that did SEO for my competitors and contacted them. But that didn't give a lot of results.
Is Upwork any good?
I've worked for agencies and in-house, before setting up my own SEO agency so I have a fairly balanced view.
• $3000 is a healthy budget, but as always it depends on your expectations. You may still be looking at 12 months+ for non-local SEO results.
• I work with a US company (I'm UK based) so it's not crucial, but working with a company who understands your region is always a good idea. So a US based firm would make sense.
• As u/boostedgts said. Look for some local companies. But also remember that ranking locally for "SEO agency" is very hard unless you are a long time player. You may be missing some other local gems. The long timers who rank for "SEO+city" are often quite crap in my view so do your due diligence and look for a real gem. Try LinkedIn shout out?
I use Upwork to find work and I do ok on there, but that's because I'm competing with a LOT of rubbish. So I don't really reccomend it on the whole. a LOT of spammy overseas stuff.
• Is a budget of $3000/month any good? This is a solid budget to start with.
• If my business is US based, should I only hire people in the US, considering they will be more connected to US press and media? My concern is that this will cost a lot more. – I live in Australia and have done heaps of freelance work for US & UK clients. US, UK, CA, AUS, NZ are all great options if you want to hire English speakers who are fairly connected to US press/media anyway.
• How can I find freelancers or agencies? – As a freelancer & agency owner, I wish I knew this answer too. I browse Upwork for hours, shifting through the 99% of low budget and super high expectation jobs. It really pisses me off. It's definitely hard to connect to decent prospects, both from a hiring side and freelancing side IMO.
>Is a budget of $3000/month any good?
Depends on expected profit, industry, and website.
>If my business is US based, should I only hire people in the US, considering they will be more connected to US press and media? My concern is that this will cost a lot more.
In most cases the answer is you should hire people in the USA. Because they know specifics of language, culture, business ethic, etc. But you are right, it is expensive and there is a lot of agencies from Ukraine, India, Serbia and other countries which do an SEO for companies from the US. For example, our web agency creates websites for marketing, website development agencies from the US.
>How can I find freelancers or agencies?
Recommendations, recommendations, and critical thinking.
Upwork is a place where you can find agents who hire freelancers from Fiverr.
Local companies… it seems a good idea to hire somebody who isliving side by side with you, but there are no guarantees. 50/50
So, if I hire the SEO agency, I will prefer to hire people, who know a marketing, who have ability to check my marketing strategy, to fix it, and to adapt to web search (create query space for me, drive valuable traffic). In the other words, you should hire the real professional who do the real SEO.
Your budget may be adequate enough depending on what results you are expecting to achieve. Be prepared for the long haul, as results may take longer depending on the competitiveness of the keywords being targeted especially if they are national as opposed to local.
Press and media contacts are important only if you are looking to target specific publications (it's probably worth specifying this to any prospective agency that you intend working with), otherwise most agencies will have access to general press releases syndication platforms across the US.
As for finding the right agency, I'm afraid that there isn't a 'one size fits all' method but rule of thumb should be to actually speak to the clients of any prospective agency to gain first-hand insight on how that agency works and the kind of results that you might realistically expect from them.
As others have said hire local if you can, however as we are in a digital age, location should not be the sole defining factor. We're UK-based for instance but work with companies across the globe.
All the very best of luck with your search!
Your budget isn't a bad place to start out, but depending on your competition, website and content needs more could be necessary with an agency.
Unless you are experienced I would stay away from Upwork. It is very easy to fall for a fast talker who doesn't do good work, or worse uses black hat techniques.
World of mouth will be your friend in this search. Top ranking locals can be good, but you will miss lower priced gems by only looking at the highest ranking local providers.
If you need some recommendation or would like a better idea of what specific deliverables would be needed for your project let me know!
$3,000 pm is a good budget, you'll be able to get a lot done for that.
Upwork can be great but I have only used it once to find SEO contractors. The challenge is finding the right quality and strategy. And that goes for finding good SEO people anywhere, it's a mixed bag. There are some great SEO'ers out there but finding them cold can be risky.
Some of the main SEO tasks include keyword research, meta tags, image tags, product category text, unique product descriptions if that's viable \- depends on how many products you have, backlinks for authority, content, tech stuff like load speed (image size is important), User Experience (UX) and sitemaps, ranking in rich results / Search Engine Result Page (SERP) features, Google Analytics and Search Console setup. Shopify is good for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), usually a lot of stuff is pretty good out of the box.
I have an agency and do SEO and Google ad work myself. I'm not US based, I have a number of US based clients and have visited the US countless times, and the USD is strong here. We have built and optimized a number of Shopify websites.
Please let me know if you'd like to chat.
PS (edit) we also offer done with you SEO so that a business can take in-house much of the SEO work in-house if they have the right people in place or can hire someone even if part time. Part of SEO is knowing what needs to be done and although some of it is tech, a lot of it is routine stuff that people can be trained to do. We deliver this with a mix of coaching and online modules. It's like an SEO Academy. This is a good option within tour budget of $3k pm.
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