DIY, In-House, Agency or Freelance SEO Consultant – What is better for your E-Commerce business

It has been a decade of internet transformation and search engines have evolved immensely. Competition in the market compels to review the site quality and rankings every now and then. Often small businesses end up doing self website audit consuming a significant amount of valuable time. There are definitely other options to look towards when considering SEO analysis. What is the best possible way to get your SEO done given the specific needs of your business? Become aware of the basics of this step be it through full time in-house SEO, hiring a freelance consultant or in case you may choose to do your own website audit, hold on to these points before beginning.

Doing your own SEO
Who knows your business better than you? SEO is not merely technical fix up of your website but it needs to be completely merged with the objectives of your business. Getting a broader perspective improves the method of optimisation. How effective can be self SEO analysis? Given the expertise you hold and most importantly the time availability, there is nothing that can beat self done SEO analysis of your website.

At the same time considering SEO a onetime process could be a huge mistake. Frequent fix ups and page ranking checkups and definitely the content update and changing trends are more like variables than being constants. While self done SEO could be a great tool for initial development, a consistently in depth business check-up is needed for sure once expansion starts.

Hiring an inhouse SEO expert
Hiring an inhouse SEO means hiring an SEO Expert or a team to work for your company solely. It gives you a direct control on your SEO processes. Your inhouse SEO or team is available for discussions with you or other teams everyday. So there is nothing better than having the SEO person especially when you are at a very initial stage of your business. However if you hire an inhouse SEO consultant, the chances are, he/she cuts off from the overall SEO industry and the focus becomes narrow with only the understanding of only your business/website or just extended to what your competitors are doing. What’s working for other companies, different niches is also important to know and innovate.
Besides this, hiring a full-time SEO can be very expensive specially when you are a start-up in India.

Hiring the SEO Agency in India
Choosing to opt for a one time big business investment is natural in initial stages. Investing in better ecommerce business involves hiring one of the best SEO agencies in India.

So if you plan to allocate big budgets for SEO and looking to hire an SEO agency, here are few points to keep in mind:

  • Does the SEO agency understand your business motive?
  • SEO covers larger aspects than only technical issues and link building. Make sure that the agency must understand your business objectives well in order to develop lasting digital presence.
  • SEO Agencies, even the best ones are spread thin and wide. And keep in mind that your project manager with best of SEO knowledge might not be the one involved in SEO execution for your website.

In case you have been looking for something light budget plus short term then the third road to hiring a freelance SEO consultant in India could be an equally effective option for you.

Hiring Personalized SEO Services / SEO Consultant
Want to get a deeper insight of your website? Personalised SEO consultants are more like your customised experts. You will have a better chance to reveal your site’s motive to a particular expert. If budget and time both are the road blocks then a freelance SEO consultant is your road to growth. SEO consultant who understands your business well can put an end to all the technical and qualitative issues of your website. Here too time commitment is needed to see quality output. These people do audits almost on daily basis and so could turn to your advantage improving the often neglected areas. The best strength of best SEO Consultants in India is the flexibility of sharing short term to long projects with them. It could be a specific website need or an overall ranking check for better indexing with search engines, you have the liberty to go with one issue at a time or all at once.

Besides Personalized SEO consultants are more likely to combine their expertise with the understanding of your business. They are likely to give you more time than an agency and can also be involved at much deeper level than an agency.

Of course budget varies being based on the service and experience of the consultant. This is where your own knowledge about hiring right consultant comes in.

Questions to ask your SEO consultant
Knowledge comes to your rescue when wanting to hire right SEO consultant. It is a good practice to take a look at these questions before moving ahead. Define your results. Before questioning, clarify your needs. What is it that you want to be fixed?  If it is something specific then present it as a project or you may be looking for a general website audit.

  1. Ask for past projects and experiences in e-commerce.
  2. What are the methods of optimisation being used?
  3. What are the range of packages offered by them?
  4. What results should be expected from their SEO audit?
  5. What is the time for results to be visible?
  6. Have they done any previous audits in your industry?

Risks to avoid while hiring SEO consultant
Sure there are more SEO consultants in India than before. How many of them are experts and how many are just pretending to be an expert is a matter that needs awareness. SEO has the reins of your business. Does the person you chose knows how to drive in a bustling road of hundreds of other ecommerce sites?

Here are the cases which give you every reason to step back and rethink before hiring these SEO consultants.

They claim to offer too much too soon
Getting a good amount of leads in a matter of days is definitely not a matter of days! Depending on your goals, current market position and website image, a genuine consultant will give you a reasonable guess of possible results in a given time. Never fall simply for keyword rankings. What is the search frequency of the keywords for which your site shows on top? Make sure your consultant doesn’t drop you reports showing top ranking for completely dormant keywords which no doubt is easy to achieve but add to zero website growth.

Such straight claims promising high ranking in a matter of days give you every reason to doubt their practices and might even lead your website into serious trouble.

Offering lots of backlinks at cheap price
What would it take for a good source to provide your website as a link? Time and trust for sure. Consultants promising backlinks at cheap rate and in no time raise the need to question their methods.  If you have heard something like Google penalty then you must broaden your knowledge about backlink farms and that how the consultants offering lots of cheap backlinks could land you into serious trouble.

If backlinks make a website into a ‘somebody’ on internet then sure it would be so nice to hear about lots of backlinks being offered. However there are websites built for the sole purpose of linking other websites. The only thing you will see on such sites is probably useless blog posts stuffed with website links. These sites act a backlink farms. Google for sure knows that such sites are completely useless for users.

Don’t even bare to look at the offers providing a package of backlinks as they are hanging at the mercy of these backlink farms. You might even have to rebuild your website from scratch in case these farms lead you to a Google penalty, which now no doubt will not happen since you just became aware about it.

Instead earn your backlinks through great social media campaigns, content development and effective website audit.

They refuse to explain their practices.
By this time you must have gained awareness about the black hat SEO practices (link farming was one of them). Make sure that your SEO is based on honest methods. Discuss the complete audit process with your consultant, ask for detailed reports, take your time to get satisfied with the methods used. SEO consultants hardly accept result based payments being that results take time to get visible. Many a times even results are not as exact as expected, in such cases at least be sure that you have paid only for right SEO methods.

Ignore the fancy claims of number one Google ranking.
Probably you know by now that number one ranking claims are simply the tactics to fetch more clients. Don’t think twice before ignoring such claims. Rankings cannot be purchased. Really this is the best thing for a genuine ecommerce business. With smarter search engine indexing you now have every chance to take over the internet by simply putting some value based efforts. Only the transparent and effective SEO practices will sail you across. Sure it will take time but avoid taking short cuts which may hinder your business growth.

Self done SEO, in-house SEO, SEO agency or hiring a freelance consultant, whatever be your choice, ensure that it all goes the perfect way making your time and investment worth it. Explore more what Google has to say about hiring right SEO consultant for your business.
Starting your website from scratch? Follow the do’s, avoid the tempting don’ts and you will be at your highest destination.

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