Like a good doctor, good consultants show common characteristics. If you keep the following in mind, you can rest assured that you are dealing with someone who knows what they are doing. If a company has the following traits, they have worked their way to the top in a very competitive business. You don’t accomplish that by accident.
Requirement 1. Since you are looking for someone who knows how to maximize your web site, they better know how to maximize their own. Therefor, the first requirement is that their business comes up on the first page of the search engines results page for a search on internet marketing experts. Not only do you want someone who is in the top 10, you want someone who’s site page has lots of ‘weight’ to it. Check out the page rank of the “experts” as they come up (This page rank has nothing to do with where they are in the top 10). If your browser doesn’t have a little window to display page rank, you can download a free toolbar from firefox.org.
Requirement 2: Any company you want to pay to consult with better be willing to give at least equal value to what you pay them. A good indicator of their willingness to over deliver is to look the site over for free downloads of reports, courses, articles or other related information that would be valuable to you. The company that gives out a lot up front will be much more likely to give you more for your money.
The top sites can be found by doing a search exactly as follows with the quotes: “consultant internet marketing strategy”.