With the way the current internet landscape is evolving, SEO is becoming one of the most influential skills in internet marketing.
However not a lot of people possess the type of SEO and inbound marketing skills to really understand how everything “ties together” online – the big picture. It really takes years of experience in evaluating websites, influencing rankings, creating and monitoring campaigns, researching millions of keywords and monitoring them over time to understand how the big picture all comes together. So understandably, more digital marketing agencies are turning to SEO consultants for help with the “more obscure” “higher-level” concepts and campaigns.
So why don’t they just hire a full time SEO person? Likely they already have hired someone and didn’t get the results they anticipated. Or they used an internal staff member and didn’t see the results they wanted. I have compiled my almost 10 years of SEO consulting into these 5 reasons digital marketing agencies are hiring SEO consultants over the traditional full time marketer.
SEO subject matter expertise and authority
A talented SEO person can often help your agency sell more digital marketing. That’s right, not just more SEO, but more digital marketing services in general.
The reason is subject matter authority.
A true subject matter expert (especially on a lesser known topic like SEO) can walk into a meeting, and if he’s good, take Alpha control over it by taking lead as the subject matter expert. This often gives the SEO person full attention of the room where they can discuss how SEO is the cornerstone of any digital marketing campaign. They can also discuss how SEO can effect their entire digital presence and how it ties in with the rest of their marketing. Then when the timing is right, they can pivot to the additional services that compliment SEO, like content marketing and social media, or even PPC advertising.
They’ve hired “SEO experts” before
How did the agency know the last expert SEO person they hired truly was an “expert” at the time of hire? – It said so on their resume! The problem is that everyone, and I mean everyone who works in the digital space, puts “SEO expert” or some form of this on their resume. But only a fraction of them have put in the leg work to learn it like a true pro and spend thousands of hours digging for SEO results. Then they deserve to put “expert” on their resume.
So what usually happens is that these companies hire a few people and lose hope that SEO can be included in their service offerings – and just stop performing the service.
A staff member failed to get results
Another common reason SEO departments fail is because they “train” an ancillary person to perform the service. The graphic designer or the social media person is now the SEO expert. And while they can usually perform many of the duties, they often lack the depth of knowledge to really “think outside the box” to perform action that get serious results.
So after failing to achieve results, losing a few clients, and probably feeling a little dirty about it, they stopped performing the service. Now they NEED an SEO consultant, but are too weary to try and find someone legit.
They’re taking larger clients
I’ve worked with several agencies who were starting to take their first large regional clients or brands and were coming across internet presence questions they simply didn’t have the answer to. So even if these agencies hire a consultant who costs 4x the fees of a full time employee, it can be worth it to them to know with confidence that they are providing the right answers to these important questions.
A talented consultant can also keep identifying and searching for new opportunities to grow the agency’s business with these larger clients – And package up these higher level ideas in a way to present to higher level executives and outside team members to get them on board.
They’re looking to grow their SEO departments
Often times digital marketing agencies know they need to grow out their SEO departments to either steer the future of the department or to keep up with demand. The consultant bridges that gap and brings their expertiese to help grow the department. Being able to provide the work is one thing, but a truly skilled SEO and inbound marketing person will be able to guide your team every step of the way through planning, implementing, and evaluating digital marketing campaigns.
Have you hired an SEO consultant in the past, and if so, were they for any of the reasons above?