Over 20 years of real-world experience with digital marketing, SEO, inbound marketing, WordPress development, and sales. Fluent in small business, mid-market, and enterprise-level activity across both B2B and B2C organizations. Founder of Web Savvy Marketing and SEO educator via SEObits.fm, diySEOcourses.com and SEObootcamp.com. Calls available between 9-5pm EST, Monday through Friday.
If the WordPress site or blog is in a folder of the main domain, you'll reap SEO benefit.
It's when you place the WordPress site in a subdomain then you start to lose SEO value, reporting options, and a cohesive experience for your visitors.
I encourage my SEO clients to use folders and I do what I can to avoid subdomains.
First and foremost, you need to know what the SEO consultant is working on each month. Ask for specifics on tasks and closure of any known deliverables.
Second, I would also ask him to send you reports or generate your own reports. Here are some of my favorites:
Pages Per Visit
New vs. Returning Visitors
Traffic by Channel
Traffic by Source
Traffic by Social Media
Traffic by Referrers
Top Search Queries
Top Landing Pages
Most Popular Pages
Top Exit Pages
Conversions by Goal
Conversions by Medium
Revenue by Channel
Positions with Changes
Page 1 Keywords
Almost There Keywords
Pages 2 to 5 Keywords
I would highly recommend you reach out to influencers inside the WordPress community.
And when I suggest that, I don't mean sending mass emails with pitches.
I mean truly connect with people online and at live events in an effort to build relationships. Once those relationships are built, then you can approach people to review your plugin.
To build your connections, I would recommend:
Attend local MeetUps
Travel to WordCamps
Participate on Twitter
Join Facebook groups for WordPress and help people
I am eager to help people I know, try their plugins, and help promote their offerings. But I have to know them or know of them.
If I receive an unsolicited email pitch from someone I don't know, it goes immediately to the junk folder.
I have a strong online following, a very active Facebook group, and webinars that each book well over 1,000 registrants.
The reason I've been successful is that I've been me. The good, bad, and ugly.
I've given freely of myself, but I've skipped the polishing and filter. I've shared my successes but also been very honest about my failures.
This helps people relate to me - the person - and want to be part of things I offer. It builds trust and encourages them to engage.
And most important is the fact that they that the community is a safe environment that is worthy of their time.
Consider affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is a great way to bring in revenue without having a huge presence on the web. There are networks like ShareASale that will offer lots of items to promote and many won't require a large history online.
If you do go this route, make sure you write high-quality posts that offer in content links to the affiliate products.
Skip the banner ads, because honestly, they won't convert nearly as well as subtle links within your content.
Depending on your niche, some products will offer payouts of $200 or more per sale. In that environment, even a few sales add up quickly.
There are lots of great resources on the internet to learn the basics of SEO.
Google has a great PDF at https://static.googleusercontent.com/media/www.google.com/en//webmasters/docs/search-engine-optimization-starter-guide.pdf. This getting started guide will give you the basics from their eyes.
Google also offers some online information on How Search Works and this can be found at https://www.google.com/insidesearch/howsearchworks/thestory/index.html.
The key is to make sure you are using current information from trusted sources. Outdated information can quickly lead you astray.
I publish a list of recent articles from trusted sources at https://www.diyseocourses.com/seo-articles-news/. This would be another good location to get up to date information from people and agencies you can trust.
I have to concur with the other responders. It is really really hard to be an expert on all things.
The best SEO consultants will have areas of focus where they excel. They will know what these areas are and they will state them quickly.
When you run into a person who claims to be an expert in everything, you need to have reservations.
I've always stated that organic SEO is my strength and in particular, educating and helping clients set up a process that works long-term.
On the flip side, I openly state I know very little about PPC or any online advertising and that I cannot and will not provide assistance with those activities. I do this to protect myself and the client both.
The best consultants know their value and work to that end. And we back out when the requested task is not our strength.
We've used and created a number of stock WordPress themes that use LMS plugins. My favorite is LearnDash, which I feel is very solid and offers lots of functionality and features.
We used LearnDash on our own course site at https://www.diyseocourses.com. You can see an example of the LearnDash course page at https://www.diyseocourses.com/courses/online-seo-training/.
Our installation of LearnDash uses WooCommerce to sell the membership, however, our stock themes have been built using WooCommerce and iThemes Exchange. Both work great for integration and I've been very happy with all three plugins.
My suggestion would be to focus on some quality, organic SEO. Since your budget is limited, you can apply search engine optimization yourself and for limited funds. You just need to learn the ins and outs of SEO and apply it to your website and products one by one.
I recently recorded a podcast on the subject and if you are interested, you can find it here:
You could use a plugin. AppPresser is a suite of WordPress plugins and theme that you install on your site, customize, then package into an app and submit to the app stores.
It has good reviews and it built by a team of very reputable and solid developers.