Yes! Generally speaking it is definitely well worth the cost of hiring an SEO for most businesses.

To work out whether you should hire an SEO Expert or not depends on how much you can realistically increase your online sales vs the cost of those increased sales, whether SEO and better rankings will deliver the right kinds of “motivated to buy” visitors to your website, and how long you will enjoy the benefits of increased rankings.

For example, if employing an expert to work on your SEO will cost you £2000 per month, but after 6 months you’ll be turning over an additional £20,000 per month, and that increase will last, then clearly, it’s a great Return On Investment (ROI) and well worth the upfront cost.

In reality (and there are some real-life examples below from our own clients) the benefits can last permanently if things are done properly and can make way more than an extra £20,000 per month.

The key is to realise the value that an expert in a field that you probably don’t understand can add to your bottom line in a pretty rapid timeframe.

Unfortunately most business owners just can’t wrap their heads around it, and because they are blitzed on a regular basis by people who claim to be SEO experts from various parts of the world who promise the earth for $100 per month (but note – never EVER deliver), they can’t understand why they should pay £2000 per month for solid, measurable, real and tangible results, when “Joe Smith” from Mumbai says he can do it at a fraction of the price.

If you think about it, if someone could make you several £Million per year (which we HAVE done with some of our clients), why on Earth would they do that for you for $100?

If someone could make you £500K extra per year, would you complain at paying them £100K for that result?

We’ll come onto that in more detail in the case studies below.

How do you hire the best SEO expert for growing your business?

If you went back 10 years ago an SEO expert was simply someone who increased your rankings in Google, and it was pretty easy, but today there is a lot more to think about.

The conversion rate, the way you present your content to your visitors, the way you engage them, and of course the ways you drive that traffic all need to be carefully crafted.

On top of that are various ways you can dramatically increase sales if you understand the psychology of how people behave online (we looked at this here), and really, it’s this full package of service that you need if you want to see your online sales increase.

And if you think about it, that is really why people want SEO – it’s not about where they rank in Google alone that’s important to them, it’s how that will increase revenue and profit, and so trying to achieve one element of this equation without thinking about the others means you’re missing out on a HUGE amount of income.

So how do you make sure you’re hiring the best SEO for your business?

Talk to them rather than just reading a sales pitch, see not just whether they sound like they know what they are talking about, but if they ask you the pertinent questions about your business, your customers, what you want to achieve, timescales, etc.

If you’re confronted with someone who wants to spout jargon at you (often in the hope that you don’t have a clue what they’re talking about), and they don’t really ask you anything about you, then you’re better off avoiding them.

Coming back to the $100 SEO again.

You’ve been in business for how long? Years probably, you know your industry inside out and you know your customers and what they want.

How can some kid who knows nothing generate money for you for $100?

They’re hoping that you’ll believe there’s some magic secret formula that they know, but again, if they knew some magic money button, they wouldn’t be giving it to you for $100.

Personally, my background is from sales and marketing.

I worked for a FTSE 250 company that turned over around £800 million per year. I worked for an American company that turned over around $150 million, a German company that does probably a Billion Euros per year, and a Swiss company that does hundreds of millions.

You just don’t end up working for companies like that in sales and marketing unless you are very, very good at what you do.

You certainly will not get someone of that calibre for $100 per month.

Would you work for $100 per month? If you did, would you think it reasonable your employer would expect you to generate £Millions for them?

Of course not, and yet in the SEO / Online marketing world, people seem to think this is reality.

There are probably kids earning more than $100 per month for doing a paper round. Would you put the future of your business at that level?

Hiring a good SEO Expert is an investment in your business and your future, and you really want someone with their eye on the future.

If they are paying attention to how things are changing, how things look like they might move, and they are working on these things for you ahead of time, then you have someone worth their weight in gold.

How To Spot a Bad SEO Consultant

Of course, you want to make sure you get the right person, but just trying to go for the cheapest possible will inevitably end in tears.

If you use someone who charges $100 or $250 and etc, they will undoubtedly just use software to spam your website with low value links, and if they do that then it will end up harming (or getting your website banned) by Google.

So how can you identify a bad SEO? Watch out for the following:

  1. They talk a lot about backlinks and “how many” they will build per month, as though quantity is more important than quality.
  2. They can’t tell you the difference between a good or bad backlink in a convincing way.
  3. They won’t or can’t be specific about exactly what they will do (this is critical to avoid people who will do “black-hat” tricks to try and game Google – and end up getting you banned).
  4. They talk about On-Site SEO being headlines, meta titles, meta descriptions, etc, the general things that have been talked about for the last 20 years with no real technical understanding.
  5. They talk about “quality content” but can’t tell you how quality content is defined.
  6. They obsess over visitor numbers with no thought about conversion rates or controlling visitor behaviour.
  7. They very rarely take the time to ask you about you, what you want or are looking to achieve.

You want to make sure that you understand what they are going to do for you and your business, and don’t just pick the cheapest option.

I know you think I would say that, but it’s the truth and you hopefully can see that if someone has the key to making you a lot of money, they aren’t going to give it to you for next to nothing so you can sit in your mansion, and they can eat a tin of cold beans.

Ask them about what exactly you will get for your money, you want to see total transparency from them.

Understand also that you can’t expect to hire someone today, and see immediate results tomorrow, this is in the hands of the Google Gods, and we need to accept they will decide how quickly you’ll see results.

However, if you’ve agreed on specific, measurable results with your SEO then you can see if things are going in the right direction or not.

There’s no such thing as “cheap” SEO, there are tens of thousands of shysters and ten-a-penny useless SEO companies out there who you can give a bit of money to and get no results.

If you can afford genuine SEO then expect to pay for it, and if your business is in the right position it’s probably worth hiring someone full time.

Is It Worth Hiring an SEO Expert for a Small Business?

Hiring an SEO expert as a freelancer, an agency, or an in-house employee is a matter of choice and where your business is in terms of growth, etc.

In some circumstances outsourcing might be more cost effective, but again you need to appreciate that the price you pay are not just their wages, there are also some pretty hefty costs to be covered, so even £2500 per month (or c. a £30K per year salary) might only provide them with £1500 of income, meaning they need to work for multiple clients.

On the other hand, if you paid them a £45,000 salary and had them work for you 100% of their time, then you’re not going to just get twice as much for your money, it could be 3 or 4 or more times since their entire focus is on you and your business.

As they become more and more adept and skilled in understanding what you do, and the effects of their full-time efforts build, then you could easily end up with a seriously better online business (e.g., by a factor of 10 or more) than trying to save a little money by outsourcing.

The point at which you should consider hiring a full-time in-house SEO manager is when you can see that there is an opportunity to really experience some serious growth if you can hit the market effectively.

If you end up with someone who knows what they are doing, then you’ll have work being done and content being added to your site that will keep bringing you more and more business for years to come.

A good SEO who knows what they are doing is incredibly valuable and can literally add £Millions to the value of your business.

So really you need to make sure that the person you work with, if they’re a freelance SEO expert or you bring them in house, knows what they are doing.

A good thing to do is ask them about methods to increase sales on a website, ask them about conversion rate optimisation, and how they plan on driving people to the website, and how and why all of that will work.

To give you 2 examples of massive gains we’ve made for clients in the past:

  • A company selling a home refurbishment product.

The client was struggling when we were first approached by them, they’d used some very dodgy foreign SEO company who had spammed their website with links and got the site totally removed from Google.

We managed to recover it (we had to use the Google disavow tool and it took weeks), but when the site recovered, we then did some ethical SEO for them.

The client then asked us to take over their Google Ads campaigns, and the managing of the site, which we did since it made it easier to have it all under one roof, so everything was pulling in the same direction.

We rationalised their Google Ads campaigns and increase their spend from £4500 per month to £6500 per month, but their sales went from £125K to £375K per month, and the sales mix shifted from mainly a product with a 10% margin to a range of products with 25% to 45% margins.

  • Another client wanted to get into electric car charger installation

This was a local electrician with a couple of members of staff, and they were not installing EV chargers at all at this point.

We made a website for them with a very specific layout and format for some very tactical (conversion optimisation) reasons and ran a small ad campaign via Google.

In less than a year they were installing 120 to 150 units per month, turning over in excess of £1 million, and are now probably the largest installer of EV chargers in the UK.

This wasn’t just electric vehicle charger SEO, it was a carefully thought-out, well-planned website to target specific geographic areas, specific types of people, specific vehicle types, and to encourage a response from the visitors.

The website was at one time getting a response rate of c.17% (that is to say 17 out of every 100 visitors were getting in touch).

The average response rate across all websites in all industries is less than 1.5%.

What is the Best Place to Hire an SEO Expert?

You are probably better off finding an SEO expert from either a word-of-mouth recommendation, or an online search where you find someone who seems to understand what you’re about and what you want.

Please do not use the supposed professional freelancer sites like Upwork, odesk, Fiverr etc, these are just full of people who have no idea what they are doing.

I mean Fiverr as a prime example. If someone can generate Hundreds of Thousands for you – why are they promoting themselves on a website where they charge $5 as a starting point?

If I’d discovered the secret to turning base metals into gold, I can assure you that I wouldn’t be telling you how to do it for 5 dollars.

SEO experts don’t waste time on Fiverr or other sites full of scammers and idiots.

Asking “Is it worth it to hire an SEO expert from Upwork?” is like asking “I have this really high-tech piece of equipment that keeps my business alive.

Should I pay the approved repair guy, or see if someone in India can do it for $5 instead?”

I mean, come on.

Basically, your business is your livelihood, and you may have taken years to build it, don’t try to game Google by choosing some “on a shoestring” SEO company that will use banned and bad practices and potentially cost you Thousands of pounds.

Similarly, if you’re at the point where you could really accelerate and grow your business online, then take the time to find a good solid partner, or even a full-time employee who can deliver the results you believe are achievable and pay a fair price for that employee.

As we said earlier, they are literally worth their weight in gold.

Want to do it yourself?

Check out our “How SEO really works” page, and our free SEO guides here.

SEO Experts are based on the West Yorkshire and North Yorkshire border we work with businesses in Bradford, Leeds, Keighley, Skipton, Harrogate, Ilkley, Halifax, and Huddersfield, as well as nationwide.