Thinking of hiring an SEO expert to make your site rank higher? Here are key questions to ask SEO consultants before taking them onboard.
1. Do they understand what kind of SEO strategies you should focus on?
For an SEO expert to build a successful SEO strategy they need to have a good understanding of your business, your products and services and your goals. Have they asked you to fill out an SEO brief? Service based businesses and ecommerce sites need different kinds of strategies in order to be optimised for Google and other search engines.
2. What can they offer that other SEO agencies don’t?
What are their points of difference, what sets them apart from other SEO agencies or specialists? They may be using advanced SEO tools such as SEMrush or MOZ, or they may be trained in other skills that come in handy when optimising your website (such as website design or digital advertising).
Search for the agency or specialist on Google and check if they have received any Google reviews. You can also check the testimonials on their website to hear more of what their previous clients have to say.
3. Are they skilled in web design and development?
SEO and web design go hand in hand and therefore it is important that the SEO specialist you hire is skilled within both fields. Ask them for a case study or a sample of a website that they have built so you get an idea of their skills and style. How well a website is ranking and converting has a lot to do with the user experience, design and navigation.
4. Are they giving your recommendations on Off-Page SEO?
One of the pillars of SEO is called off-page SEO and it refers to anything that is happening outside your website to improve the rankings on search engines. An experienced SEO specialist is well aware of the importance of this part and he or she should give you recommendations on what you can do to grow your website SEO by getting backlinks, reviews, optimising Google Business Profile, guest blogging and more.
5. Do they always include an SEO Audit?
Before hiring an SEO expert, ask if they will perform an SEO audit as a part of their strategy. An audit will give you insights into what areas of your website need the most improvement and help identify goals for the whole SEO process. Many SEO agencies offer a free brief audit, but if you want a full-scale one that covers your whole site, including technical issues, expect to pay for it.
6. Are they transparent with their SEO work and reports?
Have they published any case studies where you can see what difference their work has actually made to other clients? Are monthly performance reports included in their monthly SEO maintenance? You can also ask which key metrics they are focusing on in their reports - are they measuring conversions, clicks, views or leads? Transparency is very important in these cases.
7. Are they doing Keyword Research as a part of their SEO?
Keyword Research is one of the most important parts of a successful SEO strategy so if they are not including it as a part of their services it is definitely a red flag. A professional and serious SEO expert uses the keyword research as a base for the whole strategy and implementation and it’s even better if they have access to advanced tools for the research.
8. Is the SEO expert including a competitor analysis in their SEO package?
To work out a successful SEO strategy it’s important to look at what your competitors are doing. What words and phrases are they using, are they missing any areas where you can tap in, how well are their Google Business Profiles and websites set up? This will tell you more about where in the market you are standing and what areas you need to work on in order to beat the competition.
9. How frequently do they report on the SEO results?
Are you receiving SEO reports once a month, every three months or not at all? To keep track of the performance and what the SEO specialist or team is working on you’ll want frequent and transparent reports that are backed up by data.