SEO Knowledge

What Is An SEO Consultant?

An SEO Consultant is an individual with expertise in search engine optimisation that will generally offer one to one consultancy with businesses looking to improve their organic performance.

An SEO Consultant Generally Offers Search Engine Optimisation Services to Businesses & Website Owners


Search Engine Optimization (SEO) should be the foundation of every business that wants to achieve optimum visibility online. But for many, the practise is shrouded in mystery. Is there more than one method of making your company’s presence felt online? And how much time, effort, and money should you be devoting to the practise?

One of the ways to increase your chances of SEO success is by hiring a professional SEO consultant, who can debunk some of the myths surrounding this dark art, and help you find the best way of building SEO into your business online. 

This article will explain exactly what an SEO consultant does, what working with one can help you achieve, and how to find the right one. 



SEO Consultant: The Definition

In a nutshell, an SEO consultant provides expert support for businesses with an online presence, advising them on how to devise and implement search engine optimisation strategies that will make them more visible and successful online. This support will include a range of techniques that help make the site more attractive to search engines, so that pages rank higher on Google searches, and more targeted traffic arrives at the site. Ultimately, the goal is to increase revenue from online sales or enquiries – a process that requires long-term commitment to SEO best practice.

What do SEO Consultants Do?

SEO consultants focus their day to day activities on two key areas: on-page SEO and off-page SEO. 

On-page SEO

On-page SEO involves optimizing individual pages of your website in order to rank higher and secure more relevant traffic in search engines. On-page refers not only to the content (text / images / video) found on each page, but to the HTML source code of the page. 

A skilled and experienced SEO consultant should be able to advise you on all aspects of on-page SEO, including things like: 

  • Title tags
  • Meta tags 
  • Description tags
  • Keyword density
  • Latent semantic indexing

Off-page SEO

Rather than dealing with individual site pages, off-site SEO focuses on using techniques that will improve your website’s position in the search engine results page. This is likely to involve long-term strategies like link building, social media, and content marketing, which involves the creation and sharing of online material such as videos, blogs, and social media posts to stimulate interest in your brand’s products or services, and drive highly motivated traffic to your site. 

They should also be able to help you create quality content for each page of your site, structure your site well, and ensure that it loads as quickly as possible and is mobile friendly – all important aspects of SEO.

How Much Does an SEO Consultant Cost?

Fees for SEO consultancy vary, with the price you pay being affected by a number of factors, including the scope of the services you need, the size of your business, and whether you choose to work with an individual SEO consultant, or with an SEO consulting agency.

As a general rule, prices for quality SEO consultancy start from £1000 per month, depending on your company’s individual needs. 

SEO Consultant UK Hourly Rates (By Experience)

Cost Per Hour Experience General Quality Suitability
£10-£20 1-2 Years Low One Man Bands / Local Business
£20-£30 3-5 Years Medium/Good One Man Bands / Local Business
£30 – £50 5-7 Years Good Small Business
£50-£80 7-15 Years Very Good Medium / Large Business
£80-£120 15+ Years Exceptional Medium / Large Business
£120+ 15+ Years Exceptional Corporate Business


SEO Consultant UK Monthly Rates (Retainer)

Average Monthly Retainer Experience General Quality Suitability
£100-£500 1-3 Years Low One Man Bands / Local Business
£500-£1000 3-5 Years Low / Average Small Businesses
£1000-£3000 5-10 Years Good Small / Medium Business
£3000-£5000 5-10 Years Good / Very Good Medium / Large Business
£5000 – £10000 15+ Years Good / Exceptional Large Business
£10000+ 15+ Years Exceptional Corporate Business


Average UK SEO Consultant Retainers by Business Size

Average Monthly Retainer Business Size Consultant Hours (avg) % UK Businesses
£100 – £1000 One Man Bands / Small Business 10-20 Hours 10-20%
£1000 – £2000 Small Business 10-30 Hours 25-30%
£2000 – £3000 Small/Medium Business 20-30 Hours 15-25%
£3000 – £5000 Medium Business 30-50 Hours 10%
£5000 – £10000 Large Business Limited/No Time Constraints 15%
£10000+ Corporate Business No Time Constraints 5-10%


How Long Will I Need To Work With An SEO?


Successful search engine optimization doesn’t happen overnight – it’s a long-term commitment that requires consistent and thoughtful action to achieve results. 

Any consultant or company that promises you a page one Google ranking within a matter of weeks is not to be trusted. Skilled SEO is a process that requires patience, so expect to commit to working with your chosen consultant for a period of several months, if not longer.

Typical SEO Projects should run over a 12-24 month timeframe with demonstrated results being visible within the first 12 months & progressive results in the year that follows.

How long you’ll need to work with an SEO is entirely dependent on the consultants experience & available SEO budget.

Why do I need to Hire an SEO Consultant?

Many business owners have a basic understanding of SEO best practices, and want to put these into practice, but find their time taken up with the day to day running of their businesses. Truly successful SEO also delves deeper into the process, and many of us don’t have the understanding, talent, or resources needed to achieve impressive and lasting results. 

If you’ve been trying to manage SEO in house, and haven’t managed to get the results you need, a freelance SEO consultant would be an ideal addition to your team, helping you climb the search engine results page more quickly and efficiently, saving you both time and money that’s usually lost to trial and error.

Experienced SEO consultants have a range of tried and tested SEO techniques that are proven to help your business become more visible online. From the beginning, they can help you understand what is working well, and what needs to be improved, and can help you devise and implement an SEO strategy with targeted results that can be measured over a set period – with absolutely no guesswork involved. 

What SEO Consultants Should Be Doing

There are lots of things an SEO consultant should do when optimising a website – namely being honest with a client and managing expectations – as, in general SEO is a time consuming process that involves a lot of testing, micromanagement and usually the support of web developers, content writers and digital PR consultants.

Things SEO Consultants SHOULD DO:


  • Optimising your website so that it has a good technical compliance – making it easier for search engines like Google (Googlebot) to crawl and index. This generally means eliminating broken pages, temporary redirection, canonicalisation / cannibalisation issues, blocked resources etc.
  • Improving website content so that it’s good for the end-user – this is sometimes referred to as search intent – you’ll want your content to be aimed at your target audience and produced in such a way that it proves useful to them.
  • Making your website faster – sometimes referred to as pagespeed insights or core web vitals. Websites and pages within them should load quickly on desktop and mobile devices. An SEO consultant may require the support of a developer to achieve this.
  • Improving internal linking – making it easier for users to navigate to other relevant pages on your website.
  • Improving structured data – sometimes referred to as SCHEMA. Structured data helps search engines and web crawlers to better understand, categorise and understand the relationship between data.
  • Building brand trust & domain authority – sometimes referred to as link building or digital PR. An SEO consultant SHOULD be helping to build domain authority and trust through link earning, link building and digital PR.

What SEO Consultants Shouldn’t Be Doing

Unfortunately in the SEO world, there will be SEO consultants who may take short cuts, or, to save money may use SEO techniques that violate Google Webmaster Guidelines. It’s not uncommon for SEO specialists to use techniques that could be classed as grey hat or even black hat – these can increase the risk of a Google Penalty – which, can damage rankings and cause a loss of traffic.

Things SEO Consultants SHOULDN’T DO:


  • Buy Poor Quality Links including Spun Guest Posts, WEB2 links or Tiered Link Building – this is seen as an attempt to artificially inflate rankings by using poor quality / irrelevant links.
  • Stuff keywords into content – stuffing keywords into content can make it read and look spammy, stuffing in lots of keywords will damage the quality & will likely turn off end users & search engines.
  • Focus on keyword densities – there is no such model, good content relies on matching search intent with information that users need depending on their intent. Adding keywords so that they meet a density is NOT an advocated SEO process.
  • Hiding text – a legacy technique that some people still use. This effectively means hiding text by making it the same colour as the background.
  • CTR Manipulation / Click manipulation – this can involve buying traffic / clicks to make the website look more credible and to enhance CTR. Again, an old school practice that’s a waste of time.

How do I find an SEO Consultant that I can Trust?

If you’re looking to update and add to your armoury of SEO tactics and techniques, you’ll need to find an SEO consultant that keeps up to date with best practices – this is a fast moving industry, where what works today may not be so effective tomorrow.

You’ll also need to seek out a consultant who understands that SEO isn’t a magic wand or a quick fix, and can help you build good practices into your business that will last a lifetime, not stick a temporary plaster over a problem.

It’s also sensible to seek out an SEO consultant that can offer the following:

Data-driven results 

Some SEO consultants may talk the talk, but great SEO is based on actionable results that come through exhaustive and accurate interpretation of accurate data. 

Whether you’re attempting to solve issues around link building, produce quality on-page content, or fix technical issues hindering a site from loading or displaying properly, the only way to achieve long-lasting results is to work with an SEO consultant that gathers and interrogates data, rather than relying on guesswork. 

For this reason, you should ask about a consultant’s working processes, including how they will measure that something has been ‘successful’. Finding alternative solutions 

SEO is a constantly shifting process, in there is always more than one way to rank highly in search engines. A good SEO consultant will use a flexible approach to problem solving, offering not only fundamental strategies but a range of alternative solutions that can be tailored to suit the unique needs of your business. 

Clear communication

An SEO expert worth his or her salt must be able to address any challenge thrown their way, but that doesn’t mean that their solution will be to everyone’s liking. You may not always agree with what your consultant suggests, but you must be able to trust their professional opinion, and this boils down to how well they communicate, and how effectively they can explain the motivation behind their decisions.   

It’s possible that devising and implementing a successful SEO strategy will involve much debate and several changes of course before a lasting solution is achieved. Being able to discuss what’s going on openly and transparently with your consultant is all important – this is a marathon, not a sprint.

More than anything, SEO is about identifying and implementing at times complex solutions, and that requires a process of ongoing back and-forth communication.

“Finding a good SEO Consultant is different as the industry is unregulated – therefore it’s hard to benchmark genuine consultants against ones with less experience until you begin the work.”

A lack of industry regulation means anyone can call themselves an “experienced” SEO even if they have little to no experience. Most businesses are oblivious as it takes some fundamental understanding of SEO to know that you’ve chosen the right consultant – the other method is seeing poor quality of work and no organic results.

How can I become an SEO Consultant?

To become a highly sought after SEO consultant, you need to become an expert in the field, and this won’t happen overnight (or indeed quickly). 

It’s possible to train in SEO consultancy by working within a consulting agency, but you can also teach yourself the skills needed, and many of the most successful SEO consultants in the UK are, in fact, self-taught.

Becoming an SEO Consultant will usually require years of SEO Training (both as part of an SEO training course, SEO experiments and self testing to build up experience).

There are lots of SEO guides and resources for people to learn how to become an SEO consultant on sites like SEMRUSH, MOZ and by searching Google for SEO training courses.

What Skills Do I Need to Work as an SEO Consultant?

SEO consultants add a huge amount of value to the digital world, and have a wide and  complex range of skills.  

As an SEO specialist, at the top of your game, you’ll need to know how to:

  • Program in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to ensure that a website is accessible, easy to nativate, and interactive. 
  • Write and run pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaigns to increase a company’s revenue through sponsored online advertising
  • Write original content for web pages that’s tailored to the target audience (or hire a great content writer who can)
  • Make technical recommendations to web developers
  • Constantly check search terms, rankings, and analytics to monitor a site’s performance and make recommendations for improvements, based on your findings
  • Engage with other businesses over link-building opportunities, to bring in paid commission for driving customers to their websites
  • Use user experience (UX) and conversion rate optimisation methods to turn web visitors into more active users and to help improve a website’s performance
  • Drive targeted and loyal traffic to a site by community building 
  • Develop and integrate content marketing strategies
  • Monitor algorithms set by search engines, to stay abreast of changes
  • Develop and integrate successful content marketing strategies

SEO consultancy is not a job for the faint hearted, and it’s easy to understand why those at the top of the profession are able to command significant fees for their work, due to the range of skills and experience needed to truly master the art of SEO. 


What are the benefits of hiring an SEO Consultant?

Hiring an SEO consultant offers the benefit of a more dedicated resource – meaning your business and website are likely to get more attention over using an agency. The other benefits include saving money, getting more agile responses and getting a higher level of general experience. Hiring an SEO consultant can save your business time and money – get analysis and recommendations faster, avoid agency staff turn-over and deal with someone dedicated who can get to better understand your business, marketing and ultimately deliver a better quality of service.

How do I find a Good SEO Consultant?

Finding a good SEO consultant is difficult – usually, you’ll want to find a specialist who ranks well for keywords you search for in relation to the service – as that’s usually a sign that they have the ability to rank their own website. You can also find good SEO consultants by researching social media groups, evaluating top organic results and asking for references.

Why Work with Daniel Foley?

With over 20 years experience delivering performance search engine optimisation campaigns, Daniel Foley has significant experience in boosting local businesses visibility. From generating more social media awareness to helping brands build more trust. Whether you are looking for an SEO specialist for Small Business or even a Local SEO specialist in London – Daniel is your go-to SEO expert.

Reap all the benefits of an organic specialist without the large costs associated with digital marketing agencies.

We have been working with Daniel on our national flooring site since last November focusing on link building and on page fixes. We were told it takes up to 6 months for result to manifest however we are already starting to see some good increase in organic traffic. Daniel is great to work with and tells it how it is without the fluff. Highly recommended.

Peter Hirani Avatar Peter Hirani
February 15, 2020

Best thing I ever done was use this company. Daniel Foley has increased our website views more than double thanks to his expertise. Super happy

Zoe Norris Avatar Zoe Norris
March 9, 2019

I used Daniel for the advertising of my accountancy firm. He has done a wonderful job helping to build a professional website and thanks to his skills in SEO work, we are ranking really well on Google. I found Daniel to be very knowledgeable and always happy to help.

Stacey Avatar Stacey
June 6, 2019