With business owners being super busy in running business operations, hiring an SEO consultant has become a must. Before hiring one for your business, you need to ask a few questions to ensure you are making the right choice. After all, search engines are now stricter than ever when it comes to SEO. To be a frontrunner in online marketing and to convert your leads into sales, you need to hire the right person for your website’s search engine optimisation (SEO) who can drive qualified traffic to your website and understands the constantly changing nature of SEO.
We list ten important questions that will help you decide if a consultant is worth your money or not:
1 What Is Your Experience In Practicing SEO?
Consider asking what the consultant did before becoming an SEO consultant to see what kind of continuity he or she displays in terms of career choices. It goes without saying that you should only hire a consultant who is reliable and reputable. Ask your consultant to share information about previous projects and clients. These references can help you judge how effective the candidate is, as well as verify that the person is experienced in SEO.
2 How Will You Improve My Search Engine Rankings?
Stay away from SEO consultants who fail to freely discuss their SEO methods in detail. You need to ask questions to ensure the consultant is up to the task and confident about delivering results. Enquire about the timeframe within which they can deliver the results. They should explain the plan they would use to drive up your website’s search engine ranking as well as estimate how long it could realistically take to achieve the SEO campaign goals you agree on.
Ask the candidate for an initial technical review of your website to point out any problems that could lower your search engine ranking, including broken links and error pages. Consultants also should provide “on page” optimisation and off page SEO strategies.
3 Can You Assure Me Getting My Product And Services On The First Page Of Google’s Search Results In One Week?
SEO takes time and investment and cannot be done in a hurry. If a candidate promises to bump up your site in a few days’ time it’s better to show him the door immediately because they may be practicing black SEO techniques. The danger bell in your mind should start ringing out loud if a candidate claims to have direct contacts with Yahoo, Google or Bing because priority search results ranking require hard work, patience and investment.
4 How Do You Approach SEO? Which Link Building Strategy Do You Employ?
You have to enquire about the approach the professional will take towards the SEO of your company’s website. Keep in mind the wrong approach could hurt your online presence. A pertinent question here is asking about the link building strategies they use. Make sure you select an agency that follows a strategy which is focused on long-term results. There are numerous ways they might be doing this, including:
- Writing guest posts for popular blog sites to drive traffic
- Bolstering your presence on social media
- Using ads and online forums to gain more backlinks
- Identifying influencers in your niche and partnering with them to get results
You might come across a few consultants who promise great results but the methods they use are wrong, such as buying links, publishing press releases without any SEO considerations and getting empty or broken links to your website.
5 How Do You Measure The Success Of Your SEO Campaigns?
The simplest and most effective way to measure the performance of your SEO campaign is using Google Analytics. Any SEO consultant worth their salt know how to use Analytics to determine the volume of traffic your website is attracting and whether or not they are being converted. So, it is a good idea to ask the SEO consultants you are interviewing about the methods and metrics they will be using to determine the success (or failure) of the SEO campaign they design and run for your business.
Keep in mind, hundreds of thousands of dollars could go down the drain if the performance of your SEO campaign isn’t being measured.
6 Do You Guarantee Following the Webmaster Guidelines Laid Down By Search Engines When Working on My Project?
Again, this one is a no-brainer. The consultant you hire should not only be familiar with the webmaster guidelines and best practices as defined by Google and other search engines but also guarantee that they will follow them to the letter. This includes complete abstinence from using spam content or hidden text links.
7 What Is Your Know How About the Recent Google Algorithm Update?
It goes without saying that most SEO companies are well versed regarding the Penguin and Panda updates Google made to its search algorithm. Still, it doesn’t hurt to ask the consultant whether they are familiar with DMCA penalties, Exact Match Domain Update and Link Warnings, etc.
8 How Can I Get In Touch With You?
You need to ask the agency the modes of communication through which you can get in touch with them, i.e. Skype, email or call. Moreover, make it clear from the outset how often the consultant is going to update you.
9 What Are Your Terms And Conditions Regarding Remuneration?
You need to know the payment terms and conditions before hiring a consultant. Paying per project a popular method in but the cost may vary based on the requirements of your particular project.
10 What Happens When We Decide To Discontinue?
You are entitled to maintain the ownership of all of the optimised web content you paid the consultant for even after your contract expires.
Make sure the contract states that when you part ways, consultants will not change or remove any of the content they added, modified or optimised on your behalf. You also should ask consultants about any termination fees or any other charges at the end of the contract.