If you want to gain business through your website, you need to rank high on Google and other search engines (preferably on the first page!). However, without a solid SEO strategy, your website won’t rank. But I’m sure you know all of this already.
However, finding the right SEO consultant for your business can be tricky. How do you know which ones are going to deliver on their promises and which ones are going to damage your website whilst giving the appearance of successful SEO?
In our experience, the key to hiring a reliable and professional SEO consultant is to know your stuff and ask the right questions. In this blog, we’re going to share the important questions to ask an SEO consultant – and the answers you should expect from a bloody good SEO consultant.
Top Questions To Ask An SEO Consultant
The following questions will give you all the information you need to find out if your SEO consultant is the real deal.
How Do You Plan On Improving My Search Engine Rankings?
Each SEO consultant will have a slightly different answer to this question, but a good SEO consultant will be willing to discuss their SEO methods. A professional SEO consultant will usually start with an SEO audit of your website.
Then, they should discuss the various strategies they may use to increase traffic to your website. This might include keyword research, onsite SEO, content creation and link building.
Can I See Case Studies Of Your Previous Work?
If the SEO consultant doesn’t have examples of their previous work, it’s because they are not as experienced as they claim to be, or they don’t have work to be proud of. Either way, it’s not a good sign.
Your SEO consultant should be able to demonstrate how they have helped businesses in the past with successful SEO campaigns.
Do You have Client Testimonials?
If you were purchasing a new product, such as Vacuum Cleaner, chances are you would read the reviews beforehand. So why not do that when investing in a service? Client testimonials will give you a better idea of how good the SEO consultant really is.
Do You Adhere To Search Engine Webmaster Guidelines And Follow Best Practices?
Obviously, the answer to this question should always always always be YES!
Unfortunately, there are one too many “SEO professionals” out there using black hat SEO techniques to try and manipulate the search engines. And although it may appear as if your website is suddenly doing very well, these techniques are damaging your website and increasing the risk of Google penalising your website.
Will You Get My Website To The Very Top Of Google?
Because search engine algorithms are constantly evolving, it is impossible to guarantee that your website will get to the very top of Google.
Any SEO consultant that makes such promises should be avoided at all costs – chances are they are going to use some of those unethical black hat techniques we mentioned earlier to try and manipulate the search engines. But when you are trying to trick the world’s biggest and most complex search engine, you are not going to come out on top.
A professional and reliable SEO consultant will provide honest and realistic expectations from word go.
Have You Worked With A Business In My Industry Before?
It can be comforting to know that your SEO consultant has experience with companies within your industry. But it is not essential for an effective SEO campaign.
What you should be looking for is an SEO consultant that is willing to put the research in and adapt their SEO efforts to ensure they are in line with your business and industry.
How Long Will It Be Before We See Results?
When done properly, effective SEO takes time. If someone promises you the world in a week, it’s a red flag.
The length of time it takes to see results depends on various factors, including your website and your competition. Either way, an experienced SEO consultant should be able to provide time frames for results.
How Do You Measure The Success Of Your SEO Efforts?
A professional SEO consultant should use various tools, including SE Ranking and Google Analytics to carefully track and analyse their SEO efforts.
Will You Provide Reports And If So, How Often?
Your SEO consultant should provide SEO reports detailing the strategies carried out, changes made and the results of these changes. It is important to remember that due to algorithm changes, it can take months to see changes to your rankings.
This means your SEO consultant may provide reports every 3-6 months, rather than monthly reports. If you would like frequent updates, your SEO consultant should be able to provide regular updates of what they are doing and what they expect to achieve from it.
Will You Update Us When Making Changes To Our Website?
To successfully optimise your website for search engines, changes will have to be made. A reliable SEO consultant will make a note of any changes and communicate them to you as and when required. For big changes, your SEO consultant will likely discuss them beforehand.
What Do You Need From Us?
A professional SEO consultant will need information about your target audience, industry, competition, and goals, in order to create an effective SEO campaign. They will also need access to your website, analytical tools and possibly your social media channels.
How Will Your SEO Efforts Fit In With Our Overall Marketing Strategy?
The very best SEO strategies should be part of an overall marketing strategy. For example, your content marketing strategy should line up with your keyword research, and your social media should provide links back to your website.
Hiring an SEO consultant that is skilled in other aspects of digital marketing is often the key to success.
Can You Tell Me More About Cost And Payment Terms?
Before you go ahead with any SEO consultant, you need to be comfortable with the cost and payment terms. Prices for SEO can vary dramatically from one SEO agency to another. We have outlined how much you should be paying for SEO in this blog.
You should also discuss the terms of your contract and ensure you know how to terminate the contract if you need to.
Additional Questions To Ask An SEO Consultant
If you are familiar with the wonderful world of SEO and have experience in the strategies used to improve rankings, you may want to dig a little deeper into the strategies of the SEO consultant. For example, you may want to ask:
- Will you optimise my website for local SEO?
- What SEO tools do you use?
- How will you approach link building?
- Do you have experience in working with penalised sites?
- Do you stay on top of algorithm updates and changes?
Get In Touch
GrowTraffic is an award-winning digital marketing agency based in Lancashire and Yorkshire. We specialise in SEO, content marketing and social media – but we offer a range of digital marketing services.
If you would like some help with search engine optimisation, get in touch with the GrowTraffic team. You can email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call 0161 706 0012.