If you are wondering what to expect from a SEO consultant then please read on.

Questions you’re likely to be asked
What are your business objectives i.e. increased traffic, sales, enquiries or visibility?
What marketing strategies do you currently have in place?
What are the demographics of your target audience?
What are your primary & secondary key phrases?
Are there any design, infrastructure or development considerations?
How do you currently measure performance?
Are you buying paid media, what’s the mix & what are the flight dates?
Where/how are you currently performing?
Who are your competitors?

The next step
Once the clients business objectives and strategic marketing plan have been understood, the SEO consultant is in a position to make a proposal for your SEO campaign. A typical proposal might look something like this:

Stage 1 – Analysis & Research
The first task is to identify the most important pages of the web property for optimisation. Through keyword research and competitor analysis the key phrases that will boost relevancy and bring the most targeted and qualified traffic are identified. This data is reviewed and any necessary alterations are made before agreement and progression to the next stage.

Stage 2 – On Site Optimisation
Using the information provided by stage 1, deeper analysis is performed to determine the key elements that need to be optimised for overall SEO success.

Recommendations are made in the form of a comprehensive document that developers or designers can easily follow. Detailed specifications are given and HTML snippets for copy and pasting directly into the source code are provided where necessary. Functional requirements and specifications are made for programming changes and an audit is carried out to verify recommendations have been implemented correctly.

A snapshot of the websites current online presence within the major search engines is taken and used to create a benchmark to measure future progress and the return on investment.

Support to the developers is provided throughout the implementation process, as are detailed explanations of the whys, where fores and implications of every recommendation.

Stage 3 – Initiating the Link Building Process
Submissions to the relevant search engines and free directories are made at this stage. This is a good time to discuss submission to paid for inclusion directories such as Yahoo and BestOfTheWeb, along with any others that will give SEO value. This is also a good time to discuss relevant link partner procurement, methods for approaching related websites for free links and text link rental opportunities or other online advertising opportunities.

Stage 4 – Ongoing Maintenance & Reporting
Continual monitoring of the marketplace, changes to search engine criteria and keyword trends is essential to maximising the effectiveness of SEO tactics. Tracking user behaviour also highlights usability issues and is critical in measuring and improving conversion rates. Results are measured using benchmarks set by the previous months activity and recommendations for further optimisation are made as opportunities arise and business objectives change.

Stage 5 – Ongoing Off Site Optimisation
A continual flow of incoming links is essential to drive traffic and increase rankings. Once the on-site factors have been optimised the link building campaign will usually commence, targeting the relevant key phrases and their alternatives. Generally speaking generic key phrases are targeted first with efforts being channeled towards long-tail or phrase based searches later on in the campaign.