Are you aiming to improve your search engine results? If not, you should optimize your website for SEO. The website that lands the first organic search engine result generates 32.5% of traffic share.
But should you handle your own SEO efforts? You’ll benefit from having a professional at your side. An SEO consulting services can help you gain insight to increase your brand awareness, boost website traffic, and generate more sales.
How do you know you found a great SEO consultant? Here are 8 questions to ask an SEO consultant before hiring them.
1. How Will You Improve My Search Engine Rankings?
The SEO service should discuss their methods and strategies in detail. A skilled SEO expert will take a look at your goals, devise a plan to generate search engine results, and will create a realistic timeline as to when your website will start accomplishing these goals.
An SEO consultant will also likely look at your current website and any tactics you’re already implementing. They will also point out any errors in your existing strategy; for example, maybe your website isn’t Google-quality or maybe you’re not utilizing on-page optimization.
It’s also helpful to ask your SEO consultant if they will use off-page strategies. This helps generate backlinks to your website. Some common off-page SEO tactics include social media promotion, guest posting, and press releases.
If you invest in SEO packages, the consultant will likely disclose all strategies they will be using.
2. Who Are Your Current and Past Clients?
Professional SEO services will likely have a portfolio of clients available on their website. If an SEO consultant doesn’t have this information, it doesn’t mean they’re not skilled enough. You can always request their current and past clients during the consultation.
When you receive a list of their clients, go to these websites and see if they have great SEO performance. You can also request any results from these clients’ SEO campaigns, such as increased website traffic or achieved conversions.
3. Will My Website Achieve Great Rankings on All Search Engines?
Google dominates the search engine sphere, but it’s not the only search engine. Bing is also a popular search engine. Why is this important? Google and Bing have different metrics — they handle keywords differently, have their own backlinking requirements, and even more.
Your SEO consultant should aim to get your website to rank on all search engines, but shouldn’t promise the number one spot across the board. This is an unethical SEO practice.
4. Do You Abide by Google’s Webmaster Guidelines?
Google has a strict webmaster best practices document which identifies quality ranking factors and prohibits certain SEO tricks.
Some of the prohibited practices include hidden text and spamming content. If your SEO consultant encourages these practices, you could suffer seriously low SEO results and Google may even ban your website from its search engine.
Your SEO consultant should also emphasize Bing search engine results, so be sure they follow Bing’s webmaster guidelines.
5. Will You Inform Me of Any Changes Made to My Website?
Don’t be surprised if your SEO consultant recommends certain website changes to improve search engine rankings. However, they should always inform you and receive your approval before making any changes.
You’ll also want to know how much of your website your SEO consultant is changing. While fixing broken links isn’t a major change, you’ll want to know if your SEO consultant wants to re-code and redesign all of your web pages.
These changes may not always be technical. Your SEO consultant may hire a writer to revamp your content. Make sure you know all of the changes done to your website before they’re executed.
6. Can You Improve My Local SEO?
If you own a brick-and-mortar store, you’ll want to put emphasis on local SEO. You’ll show up in local Google products such as Google Maps. But local SEO is a specialized skill and not one that all SEO consultants can manage.
Local SEO requires specific strategies. For example, you’ll have to optimize your content for localized keywords that are used in the content, metadata, and more. Local SEO also involves creating a Google My Business page, getting your website listed in local directories, and more.
7. How Will We Communicate? How Often?
Every SEO consultant has a different communication preference, but it’s essential you know their communication standards before your service begins.
You’ll also want to know if your SEO consultant provides regular status updates and how often. Ask if you should expect these updates via phone, texting, Skype/Zoom, or email.
Overall, your SEO consultant should practice excellent customer service. You’ll be able to trust them and know the status of your projects. In addition, they should provide concrete proof of your SEO success, which includes metrics and statistics.
With that being said…
8. How Do You Measure the Success of My SEO Campaigns?
All SEO campaigns differ and every SEO tactic requires a different way to measure success.
But you should at least have a good idea about your SEO consultant’s proof of success. For example, if they state you’re getting more website traffic, ask to see the metrics and if they know where your traffic is coming from.
Some of the tactics they use should also have measurable qualities. For example, if they’re trying to optimize your website for a certain keyword, they should provide search traffic and difficulty metrics to ensure you’ll rank for that keyword.
Ask your prospective consultant if they use certain programs such as Google Analytics to measure results. You can research the programs they use to gauge how they’re used and what they measure.
SEO Consulting Services Will Help You Rank in Search Engines
The best SEO consulting services will create tactics to improve your search engine results. But not all SEO consultants are the same. Ask your prospective SEO consultant to ensure you’re hiring the best SEO services.
Continue reading our blog for more SEO advice.