Making a bad decision when choosing an SEO can be very costly which Google’s Matt Cutts covers in the video below. The experts who you plan to give these responsibilities should be able to put in clear terms what they plan to do and why they’re doing it.
Lesson 1: Self-proclaimed ‘experts’ never are. In a group such as this, dedicated to copywriters and wordsmiths, I hardly need to point out that ‘Expert’ is a pretty exclusive term, and describes not just every professional. As a person highly regarded in SEO circles for well over a decade, I have never known anyone I actually class as an expert give themselves that title, or refer to themselves as such.
Lesson 2: It takes a special kind of idiot to join a group that is so clearly for, and by, SEO copywriters, and pitch them bottom-level SEO so badly. Wrong message, wrong audience, and lets face it, just wrong.
Lesson 3: You get what you pay for. You sometimes get a lot less than you pay for, but you never get more. You do not get to hire even an apprentice level SEO for less than the US minimum wage. Because if they had any level of talent, an SEO can earn at least enough to jump on a plane and flip burgers in another country for 5 times the amount shown here. An SEO of any skill can earn at least $10 per hour on affiliate sites and AdSense from anywhere in the world. (An Expert can earn far more).
Lesson 4: Don’t ever outsource anything but the most simple, scaleable, clearly explained tasks to people who think “make your path clear to set business goals” is making any sense.
Lesson 5: People who lie to you right from the beginning to get your trust and money are confidence tricksters – pure criminals. [source]
Do your research, a good place to start is looking around their clients and how well their websites are performing. If they have a blog, read a bit about what they have to say about current topics to get a feel for the type of work they will do for you.
Don’t hire an SEO or a SEO company without keeping in mind these lessons. They’ll end up hurting your website more than helping it. Look for someone or a company with proven success and credibility.