How to Find the Best SEO Consultant in Portland, Oregon
For years savvy businesses in Portland, Oregon have turned to SEO consultants to help rank their websites favorably on the search engines. For businesses that have experienced success with SEO (search engine optimization) it can be a real game changer.
Right now in Portland, Oregon there are so many companies offering SEO that it feels like a gold rush is happening in the industry. Simply search “SEO Portland Oregon” within Google and your screen will be flooded with a massive amount of search results.
With so many consultants, companies, agencies and experts offering SEO services in one city how does one know where to begin locating an SEO consultant, let alone the best? Even Google struggles to answer this question from a local search perspective.
If you’re in the Portland market looking for an SEO consultant, you’ll need to ask several questions:
So why a local SEO expert from Portland?
With literally tens of thousands of SEO consultants available in the world why choose one in Portland? Because the number of companies and consultants are overwhelming and you will need to begin eliminating candidates somewhere.
Having the ability to work with someone locally within the Portland metro area will give you a few notable advantages. For one, you will have the ability to actually meet in-person. Although, traffic can be bad in Portland, you’re realistically only 45 mins from an in-person consultation. If you meet at a halfway point, like a coffee shop, maybe 25 minutes away.
Also, working with someone whose hand you can shake and whose eyes you can look into instantly creates trust and commitment by both parties. If you really want to step up the relationship, you can invite the consultant to your business so they can see firsthand what it is you do. After all, the SEO consultant is going to be in charge of describing your product or services with words to the public, so what better way to experience your brand then through first-hand experience.
Additionally, search engine optimization in recent years has turned hyper-local. This means Google brings up search results based on location. Having the ability to work with a local who knows the region has its pluses. For one they can create associations with the areas of the city (particularly neighborhoods and landmarks) with products and services that you offer. Also, like anywhere in the world, the Northwest’s dialect is unique. The words the SEO utilizes in their work, particularly the nouns they choose to represent product categories and services can make a big difference for your SEO efforts. All of this can also impact your branding when considering the copy-writing component of SEO. So yes working with a local SEO consultant has its many advantages.
You don’t necessarily have to find an SEO consultant who works from a downtown Portland or Pearl office either. In-fact, overhead from rent in one of those two places could impact the cost of the service. An SEO from across the river in Vancouver, WA could easily offer all the same advantages pointed out above and maybe even at a lower rate. This brings us to the next point.
How much does the SEO consultant charge?
The rate that the SEO consultant charges can say a lot about their services. With a higher price, one would expect a premium service, the result of many years of experience where the SEO’s work is in a class of its own. A lower price may suggest a less seasoned consultant who hasn’t been in the SEO game that long.
SEO consultants can price themselves in a number of ways. Sometimes they charge by the hour. Sometimes they charge by project. Get the specifics in writing so there aren’t any surprises.
Just because an SEO doesn’t charge a lot doesn’t mean they are not any good. Some have been in the game for a long time, perhaps while working for a corporation or agency, and are just now branching off as a consultant. This could be a great opportunity to pick up a talented consultant to help you with your SEO for a lower rate.
How much experience does the SEO have?
The value of an SEO consultant is measured in their past success and accomplishments (AKA experience). An experienced SEO consultant will have a track record of successfully maneuvering SEO on behalf of clients in order to reach goals. Although certifications and coursework obtained in SEO is complimentary, it is not a necessity. As long as the SEO consultant practices their craft within Google’s webmaster best practices and standards there should be nothing to worry about.
If the SEO is currently servicing a competitor in your market, that’s a major red flag. That’s clearly a conflict of interest. There can only be one #1 position on Google so why would you play second fiddle to a direct competitor’s SEO efforts.
It is strongly discouraged to work with company that offers SEO services for industry or a field. Why? Because there are several conflicts of interest. From a competitive intelligence standpoint your lending your blueprint of success to a firm which will share your data among your competitors. Every time you hit a goal milestone with your SEO efforts, you’ll be looking over your shoulder as the industry adopts your strategy.
Is the SEO creative?
Creativity is a big part of SEO. It’s not all technical work. The SEO will be in charge of writing or re-writing large portions of the website. They’ll need to be able to balance the technical aspect of SEO with the creative side of marketing which relates to your brand messaging. This is what differentiates the best SEOs from one another – their ability to balance these very two different aspects. When you are looking at an SEO consultant, make sure to review some samples of their writing. You’ll be able to see first-hand how their writing style translates onto webpages.
Levon Guiragossian is principal marketing consultant and founder of The Holy Grail of Marketing, a marketing firm specializing in search engine optimization services. Levon has been in the SEO game since 2007 where he pioneered SEO across multiple industries. Levon is located across the river from Portland, Oregon in Vancouver, Washington and is available for an in-person consultation.