SEO is a very important business strategy. It impacts your reputation, ranking on search engine, authority, and helps you earn your audience’s trust.
Search engine optimization is a time-consuming job, which is why it makes sense for business owners to hire professionals to handle it for them.
But you need to make sure you hire the right person.
Most people take their time to research an SEO professional’s background and level of experience. However, this is just touching the tip of the iceberg.
The only way to really determine whether the expert is the right fit for you is through a consultation.
Down below is a list of five questions you should ask an SEO expert before hiring them:
How will you improve my rankings?
It is one thing to promise excellent results, but another thing entirely to get it.
Successful SEO professionals have a tried and tested system in place that provides them with good results.
Ask them about their process and how they go about creating an SEO plan.
Experts who have worked on successful projects in the past will be about to provide a step-by-step introduction to their process.
This will give you a good idea of whether they’re the right choice for your company.
How do you acquire backlinks?
This is a very important question. Backlinks require a lot of work and involve a lot of uncertainty.
Many SEO professionals take the shortcut by employing Blackhat techniques like link farming or link purchase.
High-quality links are worth at least $20 each and a single high-quality link is worth more than hundreds of low-quality links.
If an SEO professional promises dozens of links at a very low cost, it’s a sign that there’s something fishy going on there.
Know more: Highly Effective Link Building Strategies
Can you provide referrals and testimonials from past clients?
The proof is in the pudding, as they say. All SEO experts will make promises, but you can’t determine how great they are without looking at their past work.
Ask the expert to provide contact information of past clients.
Some clients agree to provide referrals and will be happy to answer any questions you might have regarding the SEO expert’s services.
They can point out what they liked and didn’t like about a service.
You can also ask to look at the data and reports from past projects to get a clear idea of what to expect.
It is difficult to determine just how skilled an SEO professional is without this information.
Do you follow Google’s Best Practices?
Google has set standards to ensure websites deliver the best user experience for their users.
If you follow these standards, it is easier to achieve a higher ranking on Search Engine Results Pages. You are less likely to face penalties if you follow guidelines as well.
It is always a good idea to find SEO experts who follow Google guidelines and keep up with the search engine’s expectations.
Best practices can also change from time to time.
Experienced and successful SEO professionals will always keep their ear to the ground when it comes to these changes.
Can you guarantee a number 1 ranking?
Everyone wants concrete results from their marketing campaigns but that isn’t always possible or accurate.
Strategies like SEO are fluid and organic.
While an experienced marketer will do their best to optimize your online presence, they can’t control the search engine or the competitors.
That’s why no legitimate SEO company will promise the number 1 ranking.
They will promise ranking high on SERPS, they might even promise first-page ranking, but never the number one ranking.
If you encounter a professional that promises concrete results, run in the opposite direction.
Also Read, Ultimate Guide To Ranking in Google
When and how will you provide reports?
Reporting is an important aspect of running an SEO campaign. Most SEO companies provide detailed reports every month.
This allows users to keep track of the performance of the campaign.
Some companies will send short weekly reports as well, especially if the campaign is particularly active.
These reports will also include detailed information regarding all the changes the SEO expert makes during the marketing process.
Before you hire an SEO expert, look at how they handle reporting.
Do they email reports or provide you access to reports online?
Asking these questions can help in the long run.
7. What is your payment system like?
You will have a long-term relationship with your SEO partner, which is why it is important to be clear on the pricing before you hire anyone.
You can choose between project-based payment or retainer SEO services.
Project-based can cost around $1,000 to $7,500 and is a good option if you’re looking for a one-time SEO solution.
SEO isn’t something you can implement and forget about it. It must be maintained carefully to keep providing good results.
That’s why it is a good idea to hire a professional on retainer.
This costs around $500 to $2,500 per month. A retainer is a good idea for businesses with very active SEO campaigns.
Do you keep up with the algorithm updates?
Google upgrades its algorithm around 500 to 600 times a year. If you don’t keep up with these changes and optimize your campaign accordingly, your website will slip down the ranks.
Make sure the SEO expert you hire can keep up with all the changes in the algorithm.
You can quiz them to determine just how familiar they’re with Google algorithms like Rank Brain, Panda, Penguin, etc.
Can you adapt to my industry?
Different industries have different requirements. For example, SEO campaigns for lawyers will be different from SEO campaigns for a fashion design company.
You need to make sure the language, information, design, and research are based on your industry.
Choose an SEO expert who has either worked on projects in your industry or specializes init.
These questions will help you find a great SEO expert for your company.
It is important to have a candid discussion about your expectations and requirements with the expert before you hire them. This ensures everyone is on the same page.
Justin Kemp is working as a Jr. content writer and blogger with Ethane Technologies. He can be seen blogging about digital marketing, SEO, SMO, PPC, etc.